I think I've pinpointed why Dokey and this series in general do not work for me. It's just the low quality of the writing and plotting, which is disappointingly lowest-common-denominator-tween-cliche. It's not primarily the tendency to eviscerate the source material, although that does bother me, especially with stories like this that have an actual author rather than being folktales with a range of variant versions. No, what I really can't handle is that these authors are trying
. Trying to be original and "relevant," and at least in Dokey's case trying to be meaningful and literary. And she's so bad at it, so obvious in her effort, that it makes me depressed to read her. If she wasn't trying, if this was some throw-away, knock-it-out-in-a-week for extra cash piece of trash, it light actually be entertaining. I would know that the author didn't expect my engagement and wouldn't be hurt if she saw me rolling my eyes. But seeing the painfully obvious symbolism and the 5th-graderesque attempts at literary devices, it just hurts. Clearly this is a person who wants to be a good writer. I can understand that desire. I'm sure if I dug out some of the fiction I wrote in middle school I would find it pretty lousy. But I'm not publishing it, am I? And I'm not ripping off perfectly good stories from Hans Christian Andersen in order to cash in on some name recognition while taking out most of the key elements and characters and replacing them with some Disneyfied simplistic teenage romance.