Published by Harper Teen on September 15th 2015
Genres: Contemporary, Fairy Tales, Folk Tales, Legends & Mythology, Fantasy & Magic, Fiction, Young Adult
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A modern, multi-generational tale of Kendra, the witch from "Snow White," who trains Violet, an ugly, lonely, and heartbroken girl in the 1980s who transforms herself into "the fairest one of all" but still cannot win Greg's heart, and Celine, Greg's daughter with Violet's high school rival, Jennifer.
I adore retellings of any kind and Alex Flinn knows how to do them properly. She has updated Snow White into a new classic retelling in a contemporary setting. Kendra is back and much more present in this tale which makes me very happy. Kendra has taken to heart a young girl who has the gift of magic and has suffered for not being beautiful at the hands of her mother, a narcissist, that can’t see beyond her mirror. As Kendra teaches young Violet to fix her defects of a crooked nose, bad skin and hair, she finds that Violet is only masking the ugly with a beautiful facade. So you have the evil step mother in contemporary times but without the botox and facelifts, since they can be done magically!
Violet has been the subject of all the mean girls and the bullying that accompanies not being considered beautiful in a superficial grade school setting. She does make one friend with Greg, who has just lost his mother and is doted upon by Greg’s father who makes her feel part of a family, so when Greg is granted access into the cool group, he quickly discards his friendship with Violet. Greg goes on to marry Violet’s main tormentor, Jennifer and they have a lovely daughter named Celine. Celine is a special girl with talent and compassion. Without going into detail, Jennifer dies and Violet moves in on Greg, taking over what should have been hers, well, in her mind. Celine is pushed to the side and when she starts to shine, Violet’s jealous rage becomes all consuming.
Of course, there is a mirror, a dwarf and the goodness of Snow White (Celine) to bring the whole story together. The dwarf, played by Goose (nickname), is a ham as well as brilliant. He was probably my favorite character in the whole book. Again, I don’t want to give away too much, but if you liked Flinn’s previous retellings, you are going to love this one as well. Parents: Some language, some kisses and alluded sexual situations of adults, but this one is pretty safe for even young teens.
About the Author
Alex Flinn loves fairy tales and is the author of the #1 New York Times bestselling Beastly, a spin on Beauty and the Beast that was named a VOYA Editor’s Choice and an ALA Quick Pick for Reluctant Readers. Beastly is also a major motion picture starring Vanessa Hudgens. Alex also wrote A Kiss in Time, a modern retelling of Sleeping Beauty; Cloaked, a humorous fairy tale mash-up; and Bewitching, a reimagining of fairy tale favorites, including Hansel and Gretel, Cinderella, The Princess and the Pea, and The Little Mermaid, all told by Kendra—the witch fromBeastly. Her other books for teens include Breathing Underwater, Breaking Point, Nothing to Lose, Fade to Black, and Diva. She lives in Miami with her family.