Fairest, by Gail Carson Levine, is a retelling of the classic story Snow White. But in this story, Eva is definitely not the fairest in the land. The rest of the story is basically the same premise, with a few magical twists. I enjoyed the book but at times it seemed to drag. By the end of the book though, I was racing through it to discover the final outcome. Eva is definitely a sympathetic character that grows in strength and confidence by the end. If you enjoyed reading Levine's other magical book Ella Enchanted, you will enjoy this one as well!
Levine's books are always a treat for me to read. Ella Enchanted, her most famous work and The Two Princesses of Bamarre (my personal favorite) both proved that a heroine doesn't have to be perfect in ways that were easy to identify with. Fairest
is no exception. Aza is very easy to identify with--not just because
she is ugly, but also because the trials she goes through are trials
everyone deals with.
I liked Aza, she was a honest open
character who did her best to do what she says she will do. She cares
about others more often then herself and has been able to rise above
the pettiness of the inn's guests to feel that she was greatly gifted
by her family. I didn't begrudge her the fact that she often brought up
the subject of her looks, the other characters rarely let her forget
how she looked after all.
Ivi, as is to be expected I guess, was
a horror. Even before Aza realized, finally, what was going on with her
I could have guessed it. I would accuse her of being bipolar, but
honestly even when she was being 'generous' with Aza the fact was that
you could hear what she wasn't saying out loud. 'I will give you this
Aza, but mine is still better' or 'You look great in that Aza, but I
still look better' seemed to be the theme of their relationship.
Attention, of any kind, always had to be on her. Good, bad or even
hateful it had to be directed at her. She was a vain birdbrain given to
selfish tantrums (I honestly wonder what she was like before she
married Oscaro. I can't imagine that as a peasant girl in Kyrria she
could have gotten away with even a smidgen of what she pulled in the
Ijori...I really really liked him at first. He
seemed like such a wonderful guy. But I don't believe he ever really
got over his intial distrust of Aza--despite what he said. Too quickly
did he decamp from her when it looked like things were stacking against
her. Too harshly did he decry his feelings for her when favor turned
against her. I wouldn't have faulted Aza for socking him.
end this book left me with more feelings of unease then Ella or Bamarre
did. The moral of the story (any good fairy tale has one after all)
seemed too forcibly hoisted on the reader. Forgive Others! Accept
yourself! Be Confident in Yourself! I might have liked this better if
Aza didn't accept herself after Ijori said he thought her looks were
fine and he liked them better then ordinary beauty.
(Reprinted with permission from the author)
In a land where beauty means everything, Aza finds herself lacking in
every way possible. Her only redeeming quality is the beauty in her
voice. If only her singing reflected what others saw when they looked
upon her face. She spends most of her time trying to hide her face from
the staring eyes of guests at her parent's inn. Singing is the only
beauty Aza finds in herself, and she sings often while she is working.
The plot was a bit fast-paced and Aza's growth within the novel is
not that believable. Aza isn't your typical heroine and that made the story so
much more enjoyable. I loved that the book tackled the issue of beauty,
which is something many struggle with as well. I know that
I'm looking forward to reading more of Gail Carson Levineworks in the
I really enjoyed the characters in this book. They all felt so real and were easy to connect with. I loved Aza's talent in this book as well as this country that loves to sing and puts it in such high esteem. Aza was my favorite character and I liked the lesson that she learned and that beauty isn't everything.
Fairest is the story of young Aza, who since birth is not a very
attractive girl. She has dark hair, very pale white skin, and bright
red lips. People turn their heads when she enters a room, are rude to
her, and mock her bad looks. The only thing Aza has that is desirable
is her voice. Her voice is one of the most beautiful in the land. On a
trip to see the king's royal wedding, Aza is taken in as the queen's
lady in waiting, after the queen hears her beautiful voice. Soon after
she is made a "lady" of the court, the queen shows her true colors. The
prince Ijori is her only friend, and she can't bear to let him find out
the truth of what the queen has made her do.
While I enjoyed this
story, it was a little strange that the character's "sang" everything.
I didn't enjoy Aza as much as I enjoyed Ella in Ella Enchanted, but she
was alright. She was just too down on herself all the time. I did think
it was a nice spin on "Snow White" though, and had a fun plot, humor,
and romance. A fun read for teens, and anyone who enjoys a good fairy
A young girl with a heart of gold is cursed with an ugle apperance. Yet her chance comes when she is able to go to court and meet a handsoe prince, and his beautiful step mother. This young girl goes through so many trials to find beauty, yet over looks the beauty within herself. A wonderful read for any girl.
In the land of singers, Aza is definitely the best. But in the beauty department...well, not so much. So when the Duchess asks Aza to accompany her to the capital of Ayortha to attend King Oscaro's marriage to Ivi, a commoner from Kyrria, Aza's family tells her to go because she will probably never get another opportunity like this. Awestruck at the magnificence and beauty of the castle, the power and presence of the king, and at the beauty of the queen, Aza stumbles and stutters over her congratulations to the royal couple but her bumble causes her to become friends with the queen and the prince himself. Then some things go wrong and Aza finds herself in a situation where her life and the future of her precious country is in grave danger.
Gail Carson Levine is one of my favorite authors and Ella Enchanted is one of my favorite books. This book wasn't as good as Ella Enchanted (but then again, what book is? haha) but it was still worth reading and I recommend this book for all readers, young and old.
Fairest is about a girl named Aza who is (trying not to be mean here!) not very pretty, and spend most of her time trying to change her appearance. Although ahe is not beautiful, she has the most amazing voice that could do wonders. And when by chance, she got to go to the King's wedding, she was chosen by the new (and vain) Queen Ivi to be a lady in waiting. Similar to the story Snow-white, except Aza is not the fairest in the land, and instead of dawves, they are gnomes, Aza embarks on the journey that changes her perspective on herself, and (of course) saves the Kingdom from the creature in the Mirror. (I think that it also helps to have a Prince around, they usually come in handy.)
I really enjoyed this tale of a girl leaning to look past her appearance and instead look deeper in the heart. If you like fairytale re-tellings like i do, then you'll love this story. (the only down side is that the heroine isn't beautiful like all the others, but after reading this book, you should have learnt to look past that as well)
This book is okay but nothing in comparison to Ella Enchanted and the Princesses of Bamarre. The main character is supposedly ugly, which is okay because we need more heroines that aren't barbie dolls, but she was constantly moping and dwelling on it. She didnt realise that her voice was an amazing gift. And her love interest was rather annoying aswell. I would have liked it better if the prince she was in love with didnt do something extreamly nasty towards the end. Once again it was an okay book but i don't think i would read it again.
Aza's story is a great one. She is not the most beautiful of them all and she is not the girl you look at first at a party. She normal and not extraordinary. She is treated as a maid and a slave. Soon though she is given extra gifts because she helps the new queen, because she can not sing (which is really bad).
This book is really great and fun to read and makes you cry and laugh. It has some romance. If you like her previous you will love this one great book. You will also love this if you love Donna Jo Napoli.