Sunday, February 16, 2014

Book Review: Fairest of All by Sarah Mlynowski (Whatever After #1)

Stars: 5 out of 5
Pros: Fun twist on a familiar story
Cons: Only for the Evil Queen
The Bottom Line:
Snow White gets twisted
By two kids trying to help
Happy ending still?

The Importance of Eating Poisoned Apples

Fracturing fairy tales seems to be a popular sub-genre these days with many book series dedicated to twisting and mashing these familiar stories.  And, of course, there are a couple TV series based on that idea right now, too.  Still, I can’t seem to get enough of the genre, which brings us to Fairest of All.  This book starts an early chapter book series, and I’m enchanted.

Abby is not adjusting well to the recent move her family has made from Chicago to Smithville.  Everyone does things differently, and she hates change.  But then her brother, Jonah, wakes her up because the mirror in the basement is acting funny.  Yes, you read that right.

And Jonah is right because the next thing Abby knows, the two of them are in a forest.  They stumble upon Snow White just in time to keep her from eating the poison apple.  But now that they’ve changed the story, will Snow get her happy ending?  And how can Abby and Jonah return home?

This book is about 170 pages, with larger print and short chapter.  Translation – I read it in roughly two hours.  Of course, I’m not the target audience; it’s those just graduating to longer chapter books, and I think for them it would be a perfect length.  The chapters are short enough they’ll feel like they are getting somewhere and the book isn’t so long to discourage them.

The characters are developed enough for the audience.  While they aren’t super deep, there are some good character moments that really let them shine.  Plus their characteristics contribute something to the twists of the plot.  What more do you want in such a short book?

The plot is wonderful.  It takes a few interesting twists that caught me off guard.  And yes, one part of the climax did make me bark out a laugh, too.  It was perfect.  No, this isn’t the fairy tale you know and love, but that’s the point.  In fact, it is fun because it twists in ways you don’t expect.

There is a definite girl power theme to the story, but the book never turns preachy, and it just shows that women are capable of helping themselves.  No man hating here at all.  Frankly, considering Snow in the original version of the tale, I’m okay with her taking a more active role in her happy ending.  And the scene between her and the prince at the end of the book is a riot.

Yes, I found the humor in the book to be delightful.  It wraps the entire story in a fun shell that kept me turning pages, too.

I will be picking up the next in the series soon.  Fairest of All is a fun take on a story we all know that will please fairy tale fans of all ages.

NOTE: I won this book in a contest.  My opinion is my own.

This book is part of this week's Marvelous Middle Grade Monday.  Follow this link to read more entries.


  1. I have not read any books in this recently popular sub-genre. Your review is enticing me to get started. Might also be a good title for a reluctant reader.

    1. Yes, I do think it would be a good title for a reluctant reader.

      Get started in this sub-genre. Get started in this sub-genre.... :)

  2. This was one I enjoyed, too. Enough so I think I'll pick up the sequel as a guilty pleasure. ;) Happy MMGM!


    1. Yes, the next will be a guilty pleasure for me, too.

  3. Haven't read this, but I thought her YA novel GIMME A CALL was adorable. Truly.

    1. That is very good to know. I will add that to be to be read list after I get caught up on this series.

  4. I like the fractured fairy tales... they can be fun. and chapter books are great for enticing kids to read just a bit more.

    1. Kids nothing! Chapter books entice me to read just a bit more. :)

      It's amazing the creativity people can apply to the familiar fairy tale characters and stories. Maybe that's one reason why I love the genre so much.

  5. I have seen this one around. I love fractured fairy tales, so I'm going to definitely check it out. Thanks!