Lauren's Reviews > Fairest

Fairest by Gail Carson Levine
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's review
Aug 19, 11

Read from June 02 to 03, 2011

A quasi-retelling of Snow White, this book is heavy on message and light on story and characters. Aza is the adopted daughter of innkeepers and, while blessed with a beautiful voice, is a bit hard on the eyes. She ends up at the palace for the king’s wedding, where she meets a handful of people, including the beautiful but vain new queen and the handsome and perfect prince. Dramatic events ensue (although not as dramatic as perhaps intended). I have no quibbles with the message Ms. Levine wanted to convey to young girls – Looks don’t matter! Beauty is in the eye of the beholder! – but it was overdone and required some odd leaps of logic to get to the happily ever after. More than that, Aza is a boring character. We know she’s not pretty and has an amazing voice, but there’s nothing in her personality that’s particularly appealing. I love the message that beauty is found within – that a mirror cannot show the qualities of a person that matter – but that’s not the message I got here. Instead I learned that even ugly trolls with beige personalities can get the prince if they are fortunate enough to be the protagonist in a fairy tale. And, once again, I am left wondering why books that are supposedly about girl power have to end with the fifteen-year-old heroine married off to a guy she’s known for a couple of months. So I guess the moral is that it’s OK to be ugly, so long as you’re married by 16? Good to know. Not recommended.

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