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Book Discussions > Fairest (May 2015)

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Deborah O'Carroll (deborahocarroll) | 190 comments Mod
Since we wanted to read a fairytale retelling... why not a Snow White one? :) Here's the thread for May's book: Fairest by Gail Carson Levine!

I read this a LONG time ago but don't remember a thing about it, so this is going to be fun!

Everyone have their copies? Ready to read it? :)

Christine Smith (lauriloth) | 81 comments Yay!

Yep, I've got a copy of it sitting on my shelf awaiting to be eaten. :D I can't wait! I've been on such a fairytale kick lately.

I might try to finish The Night Circus before starting Fairest though. I really need to get on that...

Christine Smith (lauriloth) | 81 comments Sooo I may have already finished this book. Whoops. I didn't mean to but the other day I was tired and in the mood to read and it just...happened. I do think it's nice how we chose a short one after the length of The Night Circus last month. XD

I sort of have mixed feelings about Fairest and that makes me sad because I expected to absolutely love it, and I did enjoy it, I read most of it in one sitting after all. But something about it didn't pull me in as much as I would have liked. I'm kind of getting worried about myself because Middle Grade books have kind of been boring me lately. But I've always loved MG books. I don't care how old you are, they're awesome! But the last few I've read just didn't interest me too much. The characters were just so young and the writing isn't as deep as with YA books (which are my favorite). I think it depends on what kind of MG book. I mean, Narnia is meant for a younger audience but those are like the best books in existence! So it might just be the book. I'm sure there's still plenty of MGs I'd love out there.

Anyways! Back to Fairest. I wish GoodReads allowed half starts because I really want to give it 3.5 stars. I was so pulled if to give it 3 or 4, but I finally settled on 3. I think the big thing that bothered me was the characters. I just wasn't connecting with them. They all felt a little shallow to me. Characters is my favorite part of reading and even if I love the plot of a book if I don't like the characters chances are I won't get too into it. And that's what happened with Fairest. I quite liked the plot, the idea of a whole kingdom centered around singing was fascinating, I LOVED the world and all the touches and twists of the original Snow White story, but the characters just weren't working for me so it didn't pull me in too deep. And some of it seemed a little too sudden like when (view spoiler) But still, the overall plot was fun and kept me turning those pages.

Basically, I enjoyed the story quite a lot but I didn't absolutely love it. I do want to try more of Gail Carson Levine though. I know she's the queen of retellings and I'm certainly going to keep trying her books. Her world building and twists on fairytales is great!

message 4: by Deborah (last edited Jun 01, 2015 12:07PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Deborah O'Carroll (deborahocarroll) | 190 comments Mod
Oh my goodness, I keep forgetting to get on here and talk about Fairest! So, I finished reading it last week and kind of loved it. :D I HAD read it before, positively EONS ago, but hardly remembered it at all, so it was basically like reading it for the first time, just with some echoes like from a half-remembered dream... It was quite interesting! One weird thing is that I must have been really young when I read it the first time, because I somehow felt like the heroine was like 18 and the prince like 21 or something. So imagined my surprise when I realize she's 15-16 and he's 17. Meep! XD I feel old. :P

@Lauri: Aww, I'm sorry it wasn't as awesome as you could have liked. :( But I kind of see where you're coming from... I mean, I really liked it, but some of it DID seem a little lacking... I'm not even really sure why. I actually adored the characters, though I did wish there was a bit more of the prince. (view spoiler) Wasn't the queen sooo annoying?? XD And yes, Prince Ijori was my favorite character too. ^_^ But yes! You must totally try some more Gail Carson Levine! I've always thought that Ella Enchanted was better than this one... And it's kind of a companion novel. Of course, I should probably reread it because I don't remember it all that well. XD

I think as a retelling, Fairest was quite interesting. Because eventually, you can see all the little hints and references and things, but it takes quite awhile, in a way, and they're all so DIFFERENT than the original Snow White story, that it almost feels like it's an entirely original story. I actually kind of liked that. :) And yet, all the things are there! So it's kind of fun.

I'm giving it 4 stars because I loved it but it wasn't QUITE perfect. Anyways, I really enjoyed reading it, and I'm glad we did! :)

Oh! And I loved how the illusing thing came in so many times in the plot and was useful--such a cool idea! And the dog, Oochoo, was awesome and I loved how (view spoiler). And yes, the song-focused feel of the kingdom was cool. :)

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