Men Are Frogs
Men are Frogs is cheesy, but in a good way. With a sense of humor and a warm if goofy ability to retell fairytales through a modern spectrum, it’s a perfectly okay little romance.
Petunia – Petty – Blossom is a fairy godmother with a mission. Living in Ever After Missouri, the cradle of magic, she and her fellow fairies are determined to keep that magic flowing at any cost. Matchmaking seems to do the trick here, and thus they focus as much energy (and fairy dust) on the concept as possible. Which is why they own a wedding planning service – Fairy Godmother Inc.
At her last wedding, Zuri Davis’ client set her own dress ablaze and declared she was skipping the ceremony and taking off on her honeymoon cruise solo. That alone would be bad enough news for a wedding planner; worse is the fact that the bride’s reaction was sparked by Zuri’s falling in love with and dating the groom (whom she thought was single). Her career destroyed, Zuri jumps at the chance to switch professions and move to Ever After, where – of course – she ends up working with Fairy Godmother Inc. But unfortunately she’s blind to the magic around her, while her twin sister Zeva can see everything.
Prince Phillip Charming (yes, really) is part human/part frog, and cursed to forever transform into the latter during the day. A bed and breakfast owner in Ever After, he isn’t even the third most unusual citizen there, but his life is complex all the same. Unable to claim the throne due to the curse and forever looking for true love’s kiss to transform him into the human he is during the night, he kisses plenty of women, which gives him a reputation as something of a Casanova.
Phillip and Zuri slowly begin to fall in love, but when her kiss keeps him froggish, what does that mean? And will an evil witch – and the former fiancé who so enchanted Zuri – interfere and break them up for good?
Men are Frogs is cute, fluffy and sweet – the right kind of sugary sweet hit you might need after a long day at work. It’s not the sharpest or most memorable fairytale revamp, but it’s decently entertaining.
Zuri is sweet and misunderstood by others, and she’s driven by love in all of its forms. Her relationship with Zeva is pleasing, and I liked how her determination to rise above her heartbreak ultimately made her a victor over her circumstances instead of the victim.
Phillip is gallant and a little melodramatic, and understandably torn between his desire to be with Zuri and his yen to be a human being all the time.
Their relationship is perhaps a tad too instalust and the obstacles in their way a little weak (has there ever been an evil queen who’s won the day?) And does the author expect us to believe that Cheaty McGroompants is actually a worthwhile option for Zuri? When the book is entirely about Phillip and Zuri, though, it works nicely.
The worldbuilding is all fluffy sweetness – in the case of Ever After’s Fairies quite literally, as they are addicted to sugar and constantly in need of cake, cupcakes, cookies, etc. to thrive. There’s nothing dark or complicated here, nor, one supposes, should there be.
In the end, Men are Frogs will please fans of shows like Once Upon a Time, or even movies like Shrek, where humor and heart can be found in out-there retellings of the familiar.