Scarlett Sims's Reviews > Fairest

Fairest by Gail Carson Levine
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Jun 23, 11

bookshelves: audio, children-s, fantasy, fairy-tale, leisure, romance, ya
Read from June 20 to 23, 2011

In a fairy tale retelling, there's always a fair amount of beefing up the author has to do, since in most cases the "original" (obvs I'm using that term to refer to like the Grimm version which is prob not the original) is very short. Levine does this by devoting a lot of time to world building, which I loved. I was pretty sure this was a Snow White retelling, but it took quite a while for me to see how. The world she creates is really lovely. Another interesting narrative choice is to have the story narrated in the first person. So when "Snow White" appears dead, we get to see what is happening to her. This was a really original retelling and I liked Levine's interpretation. Sometimes Asa's voice was a little annoying, or there would be things she didn't realize that were obvious. I think this is a byproduct of me being about twice the age of the target audience.

The audiobook was a full cast audio, which I'm enjoying more and more. At first I wasn't sure how I felt about all the songs-- there are lots of songs and singing in this book; it's a pretty huge part of the setting. I wasn't always crazy about the actors' voices, but in the end I realize that it would have been stupid not to have sung them. Some of them were even kinda catchy.

This is a clean book, suitable for middle grades or advanced upper elementary I'd say. Some mild violence and a few kisses but def. aimed for the younger set. If you like fairy tale retellings and are older than that, I'd also recommend it.
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