FairestFairest by Gail Carson Levine

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I loved Ella Enchanted and had high expectations of this novel. I enjoyed it, though I didn’t enjoy it as much as Ella Enchanted. There was a lot more singing that I expected, until I was reminded that this land was filled with singers. I listened to the full cast audio so I got a full operatic performance of this book. It would have to be a musical if this book were to ever become a movie.

The base story of a girl who thinks she’s ugly was a refreshing twist for Snow White, though I must say that I was surprised to realize how vain Aza was even though the rest of her personality was caring and compassionate toward others. Even though I didn’t agree with her position on beauty, it made for a good story arch. I liked how she got trapped within the lies and temptations of beauty and I was especially happy that she didn’t become “typically beautiful” at the end of the story.

Though this is only the 2nd book of Ms. Levine’s that I’ve read/listened to, I like the note that each of the heroines had to save themselves from the curses that afflicted them. Yes, they may have had a little help from their male counterparts or female companions, they still rescued themselves in their time of need.

I think this is a good book to hand to a girl who thinks herself beautiful and for the girl who thinks herself ugly. It’s a good book to understand the dangers of vanity as long as you can get past all the random bursts into song. [wink] [wink]


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