Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Fairest” as Want to Read:
Fairest
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Fairest (Ella Enchanted #2)

by
3.87  ·  Rating details ·  54,552 Ratings  ·  3,914 Reviews
In the kingdom of Ayortha, who is the fairest of them all? Certainly not Aza. She is thoroughly convinced that she is ugly. What she may lack in looks, though, she makes up for with a kind heart, and with something no one else has-a magical voice. Her vocal talents captivate all who hear them, and in Ontio Castle they attract the attention of a handsome prince - and a dang ...more
Hardcover, 326 pages
Published September 19th 2006 by HarperCollins (first published September 2006)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Fairest, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Abeer A. yes i would say its Aza on the cover. During the book, they commented on the eyes Aza had, and the cover model had the eyes like her. It could be Ivy,…moreyes i would say its Aza on the cover. During the book, they commented on the eyes Aza had, and the cover model had the eyes like her. It could be Ivy, but i doubt it. Also, Aza has the mirror in hand, and she was interested in it during the book. So in short, yes I'm sure it's Aza. (less)
Jenna Hughes how do you think you either own it or get it from the library you don't read it off goodreads if thats what you're thinking

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
Rating details
Sort: Default
|
Filter
Riannon
Jul 20, 2008 rated it it was ok
When I read a book, especially when I read fantasy, I find myself mentally putting myself in the place of the protagonist. Which is why my very favorite books of all time are the books that have strongly developed protagonists that I can identify with well in some way or another. I had a hard time enjoying this book at all to start with because the protagonist and I could not be more different.

Superficially, Aza is tall, wide, has dark hair and white skin (I'm short, small, blond, and tan easil
...more
Rachel M
Jan 20, 2011 rated it really liked it
I pulled this book off of the Young Adult shelves expecting some light fiction, but I really enjoyed some of the deeper meanings behind this story! Yes, it is a retelling of Snow White, but with insights that really apply to most women today.

First of all, the two most prominent female characters are alike in that they find themselves unacceptable- like two sides of a coin, even their names are like each other. One, however, becomes the villain, and the other, the heroine. But Levine paints the t
...more
Aj the Ravenous Reader
The title of this book suggests that the story would be a fantastic tale about a beautiful young girl in distress who is the fairest of all waiting to be scooped away by a fine handsome prince. But that is not the story of this book at all which makes it really unique especially that the title totally negates the actual description of the main character and of the main conflict of the story. I liked that the main character is not those stereotypical female heroines in fantasies. I also like that ...more
Angela
Mar 05, 2009 rated it it was ok
This was a really pathetic book - a sad departure Levine's other fantastic novels. The idea was interesting (a take on the story of "Snow White" where her desirable trait isn't beauty, but instead is her singing voice), but the execution was horrible.

The book staggered under one major inconsistency: the main character is horribly ugly, but the prince falls in love with her very quickly anyway. Hopelessly romantic? Perhaps. But I call it an inconsistency because Aza was not only unlovely, but alm
...more
Bonnie
Jul 29, 2007 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: fans of Ella Enchanted in specific, and fairy tales in general
It was really hard for me to decide between 4 and 5 stars. I wish I could give it 4 1/2!
Fairest takes place in the same world as Ella Enchanted, and has one or 2 characters from that book, which is excellent, because that book is one of my most favorites. In fact, this world seemed instantly recognizable, after reading Ella Enchanted. It was like revisiting that book, in a way.
It's a take on Snow White, but only in the loosest of ways, and only after 200 pages. That's the area that I wanted to g
...more
payasa213
Sep 26, 2007 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Stephanie Jobe
May 02, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Snow White but so much more. When I picked up this volume I was unaware of the ties to Ella Enchanted so I giggled maniacally when I came to mentions of Sir Peter of Frell and Areida. I love Ella but I feel like with Aza there is so much more like Levine simply stepped everthing up a notch. I think people tend to see fairy tales as having to be about the pretty princess getting the handsome prince and happily ever after, but personally I love fairytales because they can call into question what i ...more
Elise (TheBookishActress)
Snow White is a story that doesn't necessarily appeal to me. It's about beauty and jealousy and the cliche evil stepmother. That is not what this book is about.

Fairest is an incredibly subvervise retelling. The main character is not beautiful, and the queen is not jealous of her beauty. Aza's most praised quality is her beautiful singing voice. She's not a flawless, saintly character either.

I like the message sent here around beauty, that everyone is beautiful to someone. Snow White has such a
...more
Amy
I don't love Fairest as much as Ella Enchanted, but I still find this is one of those classic fairy-tale retellings that deserves repeated reads. I've read this one quite a few times but apparently it never occurred to me how much of a Snow White retelling it really is. And how young Aza is...
Liv K. Fisher // On Hiatus // Will Return 6/25
Sequel to the Newberry Honor Award-winning Ella Enchanted and a retelling of Snow White, completely its own, Gail Carson Levine's Fairest tells the story of Aza -- a young woman with hideous looks yet a voice to make up for them; abandoned at an inn when she was a child.

I really enjoyed Ella Enchanted, so I had rather high expectations for Fairest. Though the beginning and end were both rather slow, Gail's tasteful writing and curious plot in between helped to make up for it. I greatly admire ho
...more
E.F.B.
Apr 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: pre-teens and lovers of fairytale retellings
Recommended to E.F.B. by: Grace Mullins
4 charming stars

I listened to this on audio, so please forgive me if I make any egregious misspellings of character or place names. I'm actually going to skim some reviews to see if I can find how to spell these names...

"Fairest", a Snow White retelling, was the first book by Gail Carson Levine I've ever read. I'm familiar with her work because of the Ella Enchanted movie, but only now got around to picking up her books. (Seeing the movie did at least allow me to notice and appreciate the refer
...more
Sella Malin
Dec 01, 2008 rated it it was amazing
This book is very good. The story is very sweet. I love how it's based on Snow White, but the author went in-depth with the story, and the plot is much more complicated; Levine took Snow White and revised it, making it a better, more interesting story. She took the flat characters from Snow White and made them round and three-dimensional. For example, instead of making the queen completely evil and power-crazy, she made her insecure, foolish, weak, slightly barmy, and easy to manipulate. Everyth ...more
Rosalba
Jul 18, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: princess-like
Fairest is a nice and entertaining retelling of Snow White, and I would have enjoyed it a lot more had I not believed it would be as good as Ella Enchanted. Yes, I know it is not fair, but I just couldn't help myself. Aza herself is a sweet character though rather bland in comparison to spunky Ella, and Ijori, nice though he is, turns out a little too generic. He felt like a slighlty watered down version of Prince Char, with a dog. I was dissapointed we did not get to see his relationship with A ...more
Katie
Jul 28, 2011 rated it it was ok
This book was somewhat charming in that typical YA way, except I couldn't help compare it to Ella Enchanted, and it didn't measure up. The main character (Aza) is very ugly and unlike most YA where ugly isn't ugly, she's described as actually not attractive. And then she spends the whole book obsessing about how ugly she is and wanting becoming pretty. I knew almost nothing about her character other than that she hated being ugly.

One of the awesome things about Ella Enchanted was that GCL showed
...more
 Rogue
May 11, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone
I thought I'd just read for a hour or so before bed to make sure my bedtime snack had enough time to settle. Yeah, that didn't work. LOL Six hours after starting, and no sleep later, I finished.
I couldn't put the book down! :) I cried, I laughed, I enjoyed this story. It's a fun read, but not in a 'fluffy' way. When I picked up this book at the library, the summary didn't sound too terribly interesting, but then I saw it said 'set in the land of Ella Enchanted.' (Or something like that.) I remem
...more
Kate Willis
Oct 04, 2016 rated it liked it
This story had such an amazing theme of struggling against vanity and discovering inner beauty. Ayortha's culture of singing and all things related to it was so beautiful. Makes me want to visit it and stay awhile (especially to play the hilarious composing song). ;) I loved the world building with the songbirds, the library, and the beautiful singing hall. It was delightful to experience a similar setting to Ella Enchanted (view spoiler) ...more
Jessica
Jan 27, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2012-reads
Yet another wonderfully intriguing and refreshing story from Gail Carson Levine. This story was set in the world of her older book "Ella Enchanted" and was about the older sister of Arreita.(I'm sure I didn't spell that right.) A spin off of the fairytale Snow white, this was a nice, new rendition of the old fable. I love how Levine intertwines the original stories of snow white and Ella Enchanted with interesting new characters, settings, and plotline. I often found myself forgetting I was even ...more
HeavyReader
Dec 18, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: young-adult
This book is the second that I've read by Gail Carson Levine. Although this one has a storyline similar to Ella Enchanted (teenage girl goes through trials and tribulations, grows wiser, and things work out positively in the end), it was different enough that I was not bored.

The story is set in the same enchanted universe as Ella Enchanted, and halfway through, the reader realizes that this one is loosely based on the Snow White story (or at least the one I learned thanks to Walt Disney).

I real
...more
Kylara Jensen
Listened to this. The full Cast Audio production is AMAZING! They actually sng all the songs. I was humming them afterwards. It was like watching a musical.

As for the story, fun but predictable as fairy tale retellings often are. I found this one, being in the same world as Ella Enchanted to be totally entertaining, though.

Very heavy-handed with the whole beauty isn't everything etc. message.

Overall, if you're going to read this book, listen to it instead!!
Colleen Houck
An interesting twist on the Snow White fairy tale.
Anna
Dec 20, 2008 rated it it was amazing
AWESOME!!!!!!!!!! This is a really great book and I recome it to all of you!
Ifigenia
Apr 02, 2010 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantas-a, cuentos, juvenil
El libro empieza mal, estamos en un reino donde lo que más se valora es la belleza y la habilidad para el canto ¬¬. Al parecer los habitantes también son generosos y no destacan por su gran inteligencia. En concreto, nuestra protagonista tiene una gran virtud para el canto, pero es fea. Su máxima aspiración en la vida es ser guapa, se siente ofendida porque hay algunos que la desdeñan por ser fea, pero ella es la que más valora la belleza, la pobre es simple como un vegetal.

Conforme vamos avanz
...more
Mary
Apr 12, 2008 rated it it was ok
Shelves: fantasy-chap, lis-565
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Maddie
Jan 02, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I wanted to start this off with "Don't judge a book by it's cover", because that really is the underlying theme of the book. But seriously, how beautiful is this cover? This cover is wonderful, just like the wonderful story written on it's pages.

I was always a fan of Ella Enchanted (the movie) when I was a kid, and I remember that day at around ten years old when I realized that Ella Enchanted was in fact a book. There is something so deeply satisfying about falling in love with a book (and the
...more
Deborah
Feb 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: books-i-own
Snow White was never a favorite fairytale for me. It still isn't. But... Oh! This book was awesome!! Mrs. Levine takes every liberty you possibly can use with fantasy and brings it to a whole new level. The creativeness is pure genius. I was on the edge of my seat for the whole book and that ending... Oh wow.

On a note of caution though, there were a lot of things I was uncomfortable with, but I felt that since it is fantasy that gives enough liberty to the make believe.
Jane G Meyer
Jan 09, 2008 rated it did not like it
Shelves: youngadultbooks
Blah. Were the editors interns? Levine's writing style is plain, but I can forgive that if the characters are fabulous, but they weren't. I suppose the plot was fine; it kept me turning pages, but in the end I was disappointed. She had the makings of a great book, but I'm thinking that deadlines kept her from flushing away the weeds that seemed to crop in all around her...
Trisha
Mar 11, 2015 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I think maybe this one was just a little too young for me. Or maybe I'm just too picky

but I didn't like the music parts and all the singing. I've never been so glad I didn't have the audio book.

This one just isn't for me.
Stephanie
Mar 09, 2009 rated it did not like it
This story has a bit of the Snow White story in it, but it had an undertone of evil that was really disturbing. And the audience includes young teenage girls. It could have been building and inspiring to the youth, whereas I'm afraid it ended up being just the opposite.
Melanie
Apr 19, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This was an okay read. The singing and songs were a bit annoying, but it was a really different fairytale read. :)
Rachel Winsor
May 18, 2015 rated it did not like it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
What's the Name o...: SOLVED. YA Fantasy Fiction - Princess trapped in cage in her castle. Spoiler ahead. [s] 4 102 May 20, 2018 09:51PM  
Prince Char's visit? 15 37 Apr 20, 2016 09:34PM  
English 238 Review 2 5 Oct 09, 2015 06:36PM  
Purple Elephants ...: Fairest (May 2015) 4 7 Jun 01, 2015 12:05PM  
A Million More Pages: Fairest: Apr 1 36 33 May 02, 2015 04:00AM  
so you like YA?!: Fairest by Gail Carson Levine - 4 chapters each day 20 14 Feb 23, 2015 08:31AM  
  • Bella at Midnight
  • The Wild Orchid: A Retelling of The Ballad of Mulan
  • Princess Ben
  • Once Upon a Curse (Tales of the Frog Princess, #3)
  • Forest Born (The Books of Bayern, #4)
  • Palace of Mirrors (The Palace Chronicles, #2)
  • Princess of the Silver Woods ( The Princesses of Westfalin Trilogy , #3)
  • Water Song: A Retelling of The Frog Prince
  • Violet Eyes:  A Retelling of The Princess and the Pea
  • The Rumpelstiltskin Problem
6,671 followers
Just letting you all know: I'm only going to review books I love. There's enough negative criticism without me piling on. A book is too hard to write.

Gail Carson Levine grew up in New York City and began writing seriously in 1987. Her first book for children, Ella Enchanted, was a 1998 Newbery Honor Book. Levine's other books include Fairest; Dave at Night, an ALA Notable Book and Best Book for Yo
...more
More about Gail Carson Levine

Other books in the series

Ella Enchanted (3 books)
  • Ogre Enchanted (Ella Enchanted, 0.5)
  • Ella Enchanted

Fantasy & Science Fiction Deals

  • Off to Be the Wizard (Magic 2.0, #1)
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Beneath the Shine
    $3.99 $1.99
  • The Stepford Wives
    $9.74 $1.99
  • Time's Divide (The Chronos Files, #3)
    $5.49 $1.99
  • The Long Earth (The Long Earth, #1)
    $5.49 $1.99
  • Gilded (Gilded, #1)
    $3.99 $0.99
  • Infinity Lost (The Infinity Trilogy #1)
    $3.99 $1.99
  • The Man of Legends
    $4.99 $1.99
  • All the Breaking Waves
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Fellside
    $9.99 $2.99
  • The Banished of Muirwood (Covenant of Muirwood, #1)
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Muirwood: The Lost Abbey: The Graphic Novel
    $7.99 $0.99
  • 2061: Odyssey Three (Space Odyssey, #3)
    $8.99 $1.99
  • Alas, Babylon
    $9.74 $1.99
  • 3001: The Final Odyssey (Space Odyssey, #4)
    $8.99 $1.99
  • Fractured (Guards of the Shadowlands, #2)
    $4.99 $0.99
  • The Queen's Poisoner (Kingfountain, #1)
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Zeroes
    $7.99 $1.99
  • Dreams and Shadows (Dreams & Shadows, #1)
    $9.49 $1.99
  • Touch of Eternity (The Curse #1)
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Touch
    $9.99 $2.99
  • Dragon Rider
    $5.99 $1.99
  • EARTHCORE
    $4.99 $1.49
  • The Traitor's Kiss (The Traitor's Circle, #1)
    $7.80 $2.99
  • The Void of Muirwood (Covenant of Muirwood, #3)
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Dreadnought (Nemesis, #1)
    $7.99 $1.99
  • Dirty Magic (Prospero's War, #1)
    $8.99 $1.99
  • The Fire Queen (The Hundredth Queen, #2)
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Red Knight Falling (Harmony Black, #2)
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Zoo City
    $9.99 $2.99
  • The Wishing Spell (The Land of Stories, #1)
    $7.99 $1.99
  • Sanctum (Guards of the Shadowlands, #1)
    $3.99 $1.99
  • Unmasked (The Vampire Diaries: The Salvation, #3)
    $3.49 $0.99
  • Afterlife
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Unseen (The Vampire Diaries: The Salvation #1)
    $3.49 $0.99
  • The Dwarves (The Dwarves, #1)
    $9.99 $2.99
  • Dryad-Born (Whispers from Mirrowen, #2)
    $4.99 $1.99
  • The Unbroken Line of the Moon (Sagan om Valhalla #4; Valhalla #1)
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Blackfish City
    $11.99 $2.99
  • Supernatural: Bobby Singer's Guide to Hunting
    $8.49 $1.99
  • Silvern (Gilded #2)
    $3.99 $0.99
  • Some Fine Day
    $3.99 $0.99
  • Random Acts of Senseless Violence
    $15.99 $1.99
  • Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West (Wicked Years, #1)
    $7.99 $1.99
  • Mystic (Mystic, #1)
    $9.99 $2.99
  • Spell or High Water (Magic 2.0, #2)
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Uprooted
    $9.99 $2.99
  • Wormhole (The Rho Agenda, #3)
    $4.99 $1.99
  • The Dragons of Nova (Loom Saga, #2)
    $6.99 $1.99
  • The Ciphers of Muirwood (Covenant of Muirwood, #2)
    $4.99 $1.99
  • The Last Adventure of Constance Verity
    $7.99 $1.99
  • The Traveler (Fourth Realm, #1)
    $7.99 $1.99
  • Ancestor
    $9.99 $2.99
  • The Thief's Daughter (Kingfountain, #2)
    $5.99 $1.99
  • Darkness Brutal (The Dark Cycle #1)
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Marked (Servants of Fate, #1)
    $3.99 $1.99
  • The Glittering Court (The Glittering Court, #1)
    $9.99 $2.99
  • Circe
    $13.99 $4.99
  • Poisonwell (Whispers from Mirrowen, #3)
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Rama II (Rama, #2)
    $8.99 $1.99
  • Chaos (Guards of the Shadowlands, #3)
    $3.99 $0.99
  • Secondborn (Secondborn, #1)
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Rama Revealed (Rama, #4)
    $8.99 $1.99
  • The Blight of Muirwood (Legends of Muirwood, #2)
    $4.99 $1.99
  • The Red Wyvern (The Dragon Mage, #1)
    $7.99 $1.99
  • Time's Edge (The Chronos Files, #2)
    $5.49 $1.99
  • Brazen (Gilded #3)
    $3.99 $0.99
  • Everyone Knows You Go Home
    $5.99 $1.99
  • (R)evolution (Phoenix Horizon #1)
    $3.99 $1.99
  • Girl in the Shadows (Cirque American #2)
    $3.49 $0.99
  • How to Train Your Dragon
    $7.99 $1.99
  • The Wretched of Muirwood (Legends of Muirwood, #1)
    $4.49 $1.99
38 trivia questions
2 quizzes
More quizzes & trivia...
“I was born singing. Most babies cry, I sang an aria.” 122 likes
“Who judges the judge who judges wrong?” 90 likes
More quotes…