A Fantasy Adventure With A Strong Moral Lesson
Sumi Hara loves fashion so much, it's all she ever thinks about. So when a magic mirror suddenly whisks her off to a fantasy land for a quest that will test her in many ways, it's hard for her to let go of her appearance, even for the sake of survival. But sometimes the best lessons are the ones it takes the longest time to learn.
I enjoyed this book. The descriptions are lovely and very thorough. Not only does the reader enjoy an adventure, we get a mini lesson in antiques and an even longer lesson in marine life along the way. These facts are seamlessly woven into the narrative and help complete the world building.
Sumi is a hard character to like at first. She's very self-centered, but that was the point. She had to learn to look outside herself and be more concerned with seeing the heart of others rather than their outward appearances. Doing that changed her own heart and made her care less about her outward appearance. The quest she is given as she enters the Fairy Godmother Academy is tough, and Sumi has to really prove herself.
My only small issue was that there was no actual physical Fairy Godmother Academy in the book, and while we are told Sumi's mother is already a fairy godmother,
we really aren't sure how that works or what it means. She brings beauty out of damaged, old things. Which is nice, but doesn't quite seems like a fairy godmother thing to do. The way the academy works, and the broad definition of fairy godmother powers, might well be addressed in book one of this series, but for readers just picking up the series midway, a few explanations would've served us well.
However, this book can be read as a stand alone, and it is both enjoyable and instructional. In a world where we are constantly told to compare our appearances to others as if that is the sum total of our worth, it's refreshing to see a young girl learn to embrace her true worth: what lies in her heart.