Read Fairest by Gail Carson Levine Online

fairest

Once upon a time, there was a girl who wanted to be pretty . . .Aza's singing is the fairest in all the land, and the most unusual. She can "throw" her voice so it seems to come from anywhere. But singing is only one of the two qualities prized in the Kingdom of Ayortha. Aza doesn't possess the other: beauty. Not even close. She's hidden in the shadows in her parents' inn,Once upon a time, there was a girl who wanted to be pretty . . .Aza's singing is the fairest in all the land, and the most unusual. She can "throw" her voice so it seems to come from anywhere. But singing is only one of the two qualities prized in the Kingdom of Ayortha. Aza doesn't possess the other: beauty. Not even close. She's hidden in the shadows in her parents' inn, but when she becomes lady-in-waiting to the new queen, she has to step into the light—especially when the queen demands a dangerous favor. A magic mirror, a charming prince, a jealous queen, palace intrigue, and an injured king twine into a maze that Aza must penetrate to save herself and her beloved kingdom....

Title : Fairest
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780062253477
Format Type : ebook
Number of Pages : 352 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Fairest Reviews

  • Riannon
    2019-06-08 09:54

    When I read a book, especially when I read fantasy, I find myself mentally putting myself in the place of the protagonist. Which is why my very favorite books of all time are the books that have strongly developed protagonists that I can identify with well in some way or another. I had a hard time enjoying this book at all to start with because the protagonist and I could not be more different. Superficially, Aza is tall, wide, has dark hair and white skin (I'm short, small, blond, and tan easily). Also she has an amazing singing voice (I can't sing to save my life). Small things like this could be overlooked if she had some mental or personality characteristic I could identify with or get to like. But she doesn't. She starts off by being socially awkward, lying to everyone, and allowing herself to be pushed around. I HATE it when main characters are this stupid! And the prince falling for her right away is totally not even believable. I'm sorry, but people don't fall in what is apparently love at first sight with people who are physically unattractive (and especially men do not do this). Maybe he could have come to be attracted to her with time and as he got to know her, but with the way this story is set up, I'm finding it very hard to suspend my disbelief for the entire length of it.Anyway, the idea of a country where everyone sings instead of speaks as often as possible and birds fly around in the halls and make messes on people seemed pretty ridiculous to me. And to sum it up, that was the impression this story left on me. If I had to choose one word to describe it, it would be just that: ridiculous. I generously gave it two stars because there are probably some young girls who would enjoy the fairy tale aspect despite all the cheesy and irritating elements.

  • Rachel Crooks
    2019-05-24 12:48

    I pulled this book off of the Young Adult shelves expecting some light fiction, but I really enjoyed some of the deeper meanings behind this story! Yes, it is a retelling of Snow White, but with insights that really apply to most women today.First of all, the two most prominent female characters are alike in that they find themselves unacceptable- like two sides of a coin, even their names are like each other. One, however, becomes the villain, and the other, the heroine. But Levine paints the two characters so you can see how one, in coming to accept herself as she is, finds happiness and bestows grace on those around her, and how the other, in hating herself and trying to be other than what she is, ends up destroying the kingdom. Women are so good at obsessing over their weaknesses - an extra ten pounds, a lower grade in math than someone else, etc. What is interesting about this story is that Aza (the heroine) has one of the best singing voices in the kingdom, but thinks and worries more about her ugly face. She gets to the point where she will do almost anything to be beautiful. She finds her appearance so offensive that she believes that she causes pain to anyone who has to look at her.But another character, Ivi, is so obsessed with the idea of beauty that she actually does begin to destroy people in order to appear to the best advantage. Her pursuit to correct her one weakness begins to cause major problems in her life and those of others.We are constantly distracted by the idea that our external weaknesseses hold us back from true happiness; when really it is the inability to accept our imperfection that is the bane of our existance. Why is it easier to notice and worry over an extra five pounds, when the real problem is a dissatisfaction with ourselves and a belief that if we were other than what we are in every respect, things would be better? Levine poignantly portrays the incredible harmfulness of envy and shows how hatred of self can come to destroy our worlds, if we let it.

  • Aj the Ravenous Reader
    2019-06-04 11:53

    The title of this book suggests that the story would be a fantastic tale about a beautiful young girl in distress who is the fairest of all waiting to be scooped away by a fine handsome prince. But that is not the story of this book at all which makes it really unique especially that the title totally negates the actual description of the main character and of the main conflict of the story. I liked that the main character is not those stereotypical female heroines in fantasies. I also like that there are no total makeovers done in the character despite her imperfect physical characteristics.

  • Angela
    2019-05-22 13:56

    This was a really pathetic book - a sad departure Levine's other fantastic novels. The idea was interesting (a take on the story of "Snow White" where her desirable trait isn't beauty, but instead is her singing voice), but the execution was horrible.The book staggered under one major inconsistency: the main character is horribly ugly, but the prince falls in love with her very quickly anyway. Hopelessly romantic? Perhaps. But I call it an inconsistency because Aza was not only unlovely, but almost unlovable. Many wonderful heroines are not particularly beautiful (Jane Eyre, Jo March, Anne Shirley, Princess Amy, etc.), but they have wit, strength, courage, charm, or passion that makes them remarkable. Aza had none of these - she was whiny, miserable, thoughtless, and full of self-loathing throughout the entire book.Also, the prince likes her almost immediately, before he has any chance to get to know her: this would suggest to me that either the prince has horrible taste in looks, or that Aza really isn't as ugly as she constantly tells us she is (which would only make her whining all the more exasperating). Her amazing voice and ability to compose music are impressive to him I suppose, and her "ability to make him laugh" was apparently important...but he lives in Ayortha, where almost everyone sings and composes well, and he was called "merry," "smiling," and "laughing" long before Aza captured his heart. Even knowing that she deceived him, he falls for the ugly wet blanket. She was never clever, except in her skill at singing. She didn't do anything smart, and certainly didn't act brave. Her sister says she is kind, but we never see her acting like it. What on earth is there to like about her? Her characterization, in my opinion, ruined the entire book.There were other problems as well: Couldn't Levine have come up with a more realistic antagonist than...Lucinda? Of course everyone who read "Ella Enchanted" dislikes her already - it was so much easier to use her, than to actually design a characterization for someone who would hand out such a dangerous gift at weddings. Unfortunately, it didn't fit her character at all (Lucinda loves attention and admiration - she would never visit the bride alone and give the gifts with absolutely no ceremony or a huge crowd of people around; and why would she give a potion of disguise to someone she was making beautiful?), and it even discredits her change of heart that comes at the end of "Ella." It was a total cop-out.Last of all, it was predictable. Not just in the way that all fairy tales are rather predictable, but in the way that makes the book really boring because the main character is being such a blind fool, predictable. Besides the fact that it was clean, there is nothing in this book to recommend.

  • Bonnie
    2019-06-14 13:58

    It was really hard for me to decide between 4 and 5 stars. I wish I could give it 4 1/2!Fairest takes place in the same world as Ella Enchanted, and has one or 2 characters from that book, which is excellent, because that book is one of my most favorites. In fact, this world seemed instantly recognizable, after reading Ella Enchanted. It was like revisiting that book, in a way.It's a take on Snow White, but only in the loosest of ways, and only after 200 pages. That's the area that I wanted to give 4 stars...or even less. The story is about a girl named Aza who is found as a baby by owners of an inn. She is different looking than everyone else around her, and she finds herself very ugly. Think Snow White's appearance, but in a world that doesn't appreciate that asthetic. She also lives in a world that loves singing. Singing for any reason, and sometimes no reason. At this she excels, and in fact discovers she has a gift of throwing her singing voice. A dame visiting the inn decides to take Aza to the castle, to be her lady in waiting. She's going to the castle because the King is getting married to an out of towner, who can't sing. When the new Queen discovers Aza's gift of throwing her singing voice, she hires her as her lady in waiting, and binds them together with a secret...whether Aza likes it or not. As long as that took to describe, that's only about the first 50 or so pages. Sounds nothing like Snow White, right? Whereas Ella Enchanted was so brilliant because it answered a question that Cinderella left in a totally plausible way, i.e. why does Cinderella humble herself by working as a servant for her evil mother-in-law? Because she has to do what anyone commands her to. That just makes sense. But, in this story: ah! The story Snow White is the way it is because she can throw her singing voice??? It didn't fit in the traditional story, and didn't add anything to it. I would have prefered if Fairest had been an original story, rather than trying to be a retelling of Snow White. The connection to the classic story made this story worse, whereas the connection to Cinderella made Ella Enchanted better.Another reason that I wanted to give it less than 5 stars is because there are a lot of songs in the book. It's a world that loves singing, and the author made up songs for it...but most of them are just STRANGE. Due to my years of choir experience, I tried to figure out their melody as I read them, but the number of syllables changed constantly, so that was impossible. In addition to that the lyrics of most of the songs are very weird.As for why I wanted to give it more than 4 stars...it's just a great enjoyable read. It was great being in Ella Enchanted's world again. I didn't want to stop reading. It was a great romance, very adventurous, funny, a good sense of character, and after I finished, I wished there was more. All the signs of a good book... which is why I'm torn!!

  • payasa213
    2019-05-22 09:44

    Once I started to read this I couldn’t stop it took me two days to read it and it was good! Fairest by Gail Carson Levine is a Fiction book and is told in first person. Fairy Lucinda has done it again but instead of having a gift to obey like in Ella Enchanted this time it’s a magic mirror. Ever since Aza was left on her adoptive parents' doorstep as a baby, she's been a mystery. She is plain-looking, with large bones, pale white skin, ruby red lips, "a big sphere of a face and round button eyes." For all this, though, she makes up with a beautiful, even magical voice. In the kingdom of Ayortha, music and singing are prized among all other gifts, sometimes they sing for no reason which I didn’t get, and Aza has the most beautiful voice in her whole region. What Aza has that all other Ayorthaians don’t have, is the gift of "illusing," of throwing one's voice and mimicking the song or speech of almost any other person, which she invented by starting to hiccup. Growing up in a happy, caring family and helping to run the family's Featherbed Inn. Aza wants to be beautiful. Through a series of events, Aza is chosen to go with a duchess to the marriage of King Oscaro to a foreign princess, her quiet life will change forever. Shortly after Aza arrives, King Oscaro becomes injured ny getting hit by an iron ring, making his teenaged bride the ruler of Ayortha. When Queen Ivi becomes aware of Aza's power of illusing, she secretly tells Aza to use her voice when Ivi , who can't sing, must perform at the high-profile courtly Sings. Soon, Ivi, directed by some mysterious advisor lets her power of being Queen go to her head, as she abuses her crown and takes away many Ayorthaian rights and privileges. Anyway, Aza falls in love with the Prince Ijori and Prince Ijori falls in love with het too, not caring that she is ugly. I soon found out that the magic mirror made queen Ivi prettier but she was already pretty. At the end Queen Ivi is exiled from her crown and Prince Ijori and Aza get marriend and live happily ever after. The author’s purpose in this book was to send a message about the value of inner beauty and that it shouldn’t matter what somebody looks on the outside and also to entertain us in another Great book by Levine. This book is supposed to be like Snow White but more interesting. It’s also romantic which I like. I am a great Gail Carson Levine fan for her books. So you would already know that I like this book! I would recommend this book to anyone definitely because its just good if you have read Ella Enchanted you can see that these to books are great and interesting. Like a lot of fairy tale books I read I like then end because good always wins and they live happily ever after like in this book and almost in every other fairy tale book. I gave this book 5 out of 5 stars because once I started to read it I couldn’t stop, even at school in classes the teachers would tell me to put it up. It kept me entertained just like Ella Enchanted did.

  • Stephanie Jobe
    2019-06-05 11:44

    Snow White but so much more. When I picked up this volume I was unaware of the ties to Ella Enchanted so I giggled maniacally when I came to mentions of Sir Peter of Frell and Areida. I love Ella but I feel like with Aza there is so much more like Levine simply stepped everthing up a notch. I think people tend to see fairy tales as having to be about the pretty princess getting the handsome prince and happily ever after, but personally I love fairytales because they can call into question what is beauty? What is friendship? What is love? What is happiness? And they ask these questions in a way that makes you see the story as if there was a fun house mirror but it has been taken away. Aza has a beautiful voice and a beautiful spirit but physically she is nothing to be admired. She gets swept away from the Inn of those who raised her to the castle and there meets the beautiful new queen who is her polar opposite, only attractive on the outside or so it seems. The prince has ears that are too big and a saucy hound by the name of Oochoo. In this tale of magic and mystery things are not hardly ever as they seem, they are never as they seem.

  • Elise (TheBookishActress)
    2019-05-30 09:53

    Snow White is a story that doesn't necessarily appeal to me. It's about beauty and jealousy and the cliche evil stepmother. That is not what this book is about. Fairest is an incredibly subvervise retelling. The main character is not beautiful, and the queen is not jealous of her beauty. Aza's most praised quality is her beautiful singing voice. She's not a flawless, saintly character either. I like the message sent here around beauty, that everyone is beautiful to someone. Snow White has such an emphasis on beauty, and it was nice to see that subverted. VERDICT: Gail Carson Levine's retellings are truly so amazing, and I'm so glad I read these as a kid. Definitely recommended to preteens, although maybe not quite as much as Ella Enchanted.

  • E.F.B.
    2019-05-24 07:51

    4 charming starsI listened to this on audio, so please forgive me if I make any egregious misspellings of character or place names. I'm actually going to skim some reviews to see if I can find how to spell these names... "Fairest", a Snow White retelling, was the first book by Gail Carson Levine I've ever read. I'm familiar with her work because of the Ella Enchanted movie, but only now got around to picking up her books. (Seeing the movie did at least allow me to notice and appreciate the references this book made to Ella Enchanted.) Now that I have read one of her books, I see what all the fuss is about. The world she has created is charming with it's many fantastical creatures and Ayortha's music-based culture, and I know Aortha is only one small part of the world.I enjoyed many of the characters too, Prince Ijori probably being my favorite. He loved Aza for who she was despite her "ugly" appearance, and even when she turned herself beautiful, he liked her better the way she was before because that was the real her. Aza herself was a good character too, though I probably would have related to her more when I was much younger and still struggling with self-image issues. I admit that I didn't initially find her all that interesting, and for some reason, at the beginning of the story especially, I had trouble believing she truly was as horribly ugly as she and certain others seemed to think she was. But much like the story, she grew on me as things went along, and I was happy to see her overcome her problems in the end. I'll give some points to Aza's adopted family too. While not perfect, they did seem to love her and treat her well.The "evil" queen (Ivi) was interesting (though not necessarily likable) because she wasn't actually all that evil -- more like misguided and infuriatingly self-centered. But I did think it was an interesting and refreshing twist on the character. That Lucinda, though. *shakes head* Need I say more?As for some of those fantastical creatures, I adored the gnomes the most. Their whole culture and living situation fascinated me, and I'd say I finally really started enjoying the story around the time Aza (view spoiler)[ started living with them(hide spoiler)]The reason I've taken off a star is because the pacing in the beginning of the story could have used some improvement. It was enjoyable and all, but the story didn't truly suck me in until around the time they were headed for the gnome cavern, and that was a good 3/4ths of the way through the book. Truthfully, I probably would have enjoyed it more when I was the target age for the book, rather than nearly twenty-five, like I am now. I was also a little disappointed that we don't find out who Aza's birth parents were. She gets dropped off at the inn as a baby and is all wrapped up in these fine velvet fabrics with fancy gold embroidery, hinting that she was the daughter of someone important, and then we get to the end and are told that they just never found out who her parents were. Um...okay. Not the worst way to be disappointed, I guess, but after all those hints I really thought it would be revealed. *shrug*Otherwise, this was a fun, charming little book and the ending left me with a smile and warm fuzzies. Content Advisory for those who want to know: There are a few non-descriptive kisses. Various characters are in peril from time to time, but none of it was intense or upsetting. There is some fantasy magic. Overall, it was a very clean book, great for children and adults, but definitely aimed at pre-teens who suffer from self-esteem issues and need a good example of self-acceptance.

  • Liv Fisher
    2019-05-26 13:59

    Sequel to the Newberry Honor Award-winning Ella Enchanted and a retelling of Snow White, completely its own, Gail Carson Levine's Fairest tells the story of Aza -- a young woman with hideous looks yet a voice to make up for them; abandoned at an inn when she was a child.I really enjoyed Ella Enchanted, so I had rather high expectations for Fairest. Though the beginning and end were both rather slow, Gail's tasteful writing and curious plot in between helped to make up for it. I greatly admire how Gail can so boldly weave unique cultures and intricate languages into her stories!The characters, I had a hard time coping with. Aza's battle with discovering inner beauty was certainly relate-able, but I didn't feel like she truly struggled with it -- at least enough to make me empathize much with her.I also felt no connection to Ijori, Ivi, Areida, or many of the main characters; the character I enjoyed the most was probably zhamH. (Random comment: Gnome Caverns sound like so much fun!)The setting was good, but I rather wish there had been more description. As interesting as Ayortha's musical culture was, it wasn't enough to make me fall in love with the kingdom.I do think I'd recommend this book, though likely more so after one's read Ella Enchanted, so they'd have a better knowledge of the setting. Fairest makes for a fun little read, and would probably be enjoyed most by pre-teen girls. :)You may want to know: There is kissing and mild fantasy violence, along with some magical elements.

  • Sella Malin
    2019-05-25 05:50

    This book is very good. The story is very sweet. I love how it's based on Snow White, but the author went in-depth with the story, and the plot is much more complicated; Levine took Snow White and revised it, making it a better, more interesting story. She took the flat characters from Snow White and made them round and three-dimensional. For example, instead of making the queen completely evil and power-crazy, she made her insecure, foolish, weak, slightly barmy, and easy to manipulate. Everything horrible that the queen does, it's either out of stupidity, insecurity, or because someone else convinced her to do it. I could really sympathize with Queen Ivi, but at the same time I hated her guts; which is an interesting combination. I love those moments of realization when a lightbulb flashes over you and you go, "Whoa! Snow White moment!" The story idea is really creative, and it's very nice. The writing style has a nice, musical tone; when I was reading the book, it felt like a song. And I love how Levine chose to portray the dangers and hype of beauty. This was great! ;D

  • Amy
    2019-05-27 12:06

    I don't love Fairest as much as Ella Enchanted, but I still find this is one of those classic fairy-tale retellings that deserves repeated reads. I've read this one quite a few times but apparently it never occurred to me how much of a Snow White retelling it really is. And how young Aza is...

  • Kate Willis
    2019-06-02 13:40

    This story had such an amazing theme of struggling against vanity and discovering inner beauty. Ayortha's culture of singing and all things related to it was so beautiful. Makes me want to visit it and stay awhile (especially to play the hilarious composing song). ;) I loved the world building with the songbirds, the library, and the beautiful singing hall. It was delightful to experience a similar setting to Ella Enchanted (view spoiler)[(Areida was the main character's younger sister!) (hide spoiler)] even though it was only a neighboring kingdom. I loved the dear, sweet king Oscaro; and Aza's parents were some of the best book parents I've read about in a while. The villain was very complicated, and it was easy to feel slightly sympathetic to them when you discovered who was really behind their evilness. Aza was such a realistic character! It was easy to feel sorry for her when she felt sorry for herself and (view spoiler)[learn to accept her looks when she had to (hide spoiler)]. Although the romance wasn't as realistic as the one between Ella and Char, it was really sweet and (view spoiler)[I loved Prince Ijori even more when I discovered his very first opinions of Aza (hide spoiler)]. Not recommended for younger readers because of romance (view spoiler)[including quite a bit of premarital kissing (hide spoiler)] and thematic magic including "spells" and potions. Also there is one short scene (view spoiler)[at the gnome cavern when Aza is bathing with some other women (hide spoiler)] that is slightly embarrassing.Best quote: (view spoiler)[I shook my head. "Voices and faces aren't manifestations of good or bad." (hide spoiler)]Altogether, I found this to be a great read for anyone who enjoyed Ella Enchanted and doesn't mind the content issues.

  • Jessica
    2019-06-07 10:41

    Yet another wonderfully intriguing and refreshing story from Gail Carson Levine. This story was set in the world of her older book "Ella Enchanted" and was about the older sister of Arreita.(I'm sure I didn't spell that right.) A spin off of the fairytale Snow white, this was a nice, new rendition of the old fable. I love how Levine intertwines the original stories of snow white and Ella Enchanted with interesting new characters, settings, and plotline. I often found myself forgetting I was even reading the story of snow white because I was swept up so much in the story itself. When a nip of the original came in, I was happily surprised and kept saying to myself... "Neat! Oh, now I see how this all links together!"As usual with Levine's writing, the characters draw you in and pull you right along with them as they go on their adventures. Her writings always make me feel as if I'm standing in the room, seeing everything pan out.I'm not one for fantasy books, but I don't mind dipping my toes in for a bit of Levine's Masterful writing. She always gets me by the first/second page.A few things you may want to know: There was a few kisses, and a section where the heroine climbs into a pool naked to wash herself. (That's basically the description Levine gave. It didn't go further than the use of the word "naked," though that in itself I felt wasn't needed.) To further inform for parents of younger readers, there was no peeping tom in that scene, thankfully. Also, as usual with Levine's writings and fantasy books in general, there were ogres, gnomes, a magic mirror, etc. So, there is magic and mystical creatures also.

  • Rosalba
    2019-05-23 12:45

    Fairest is a nice and entertaining retelling of Snow White, and I would have enjoyed it a lot more had I not believed it would be as good as Ella Enchanted. Yes, I know it is not fair, but I just couldn't help myself. Aza herself is a sweet character though rather bland in comparison to spunky Ella, and Ijori, nice though he is, turns out a little too generic. He felt like a slighlty watered down version of Prince Char, with a dog. I was dissapointed we did not get to see his relationship with Aza develop more before they admitted their feelings for each other, the way we did with Ella and Char. I must admit, nevertheless, that making Queen Ivi a rounded character instead of an archetypical Evil Queen was a nice touch. One thing that surprised me was that the mystery surrounding Aza's birth was never unveiled, when from the beginning I thought it would be used as an important plot point later on. I liked Aza's gift of illusing but I believed it could have been used in a much more interesting way than it was done.Another thing I noticed was that, in Ella Enchanted, Prince Char wrote a letter to Ella in which he commented Ayorthaian nobles hardly ever spoke, but in this book, the nobles seem quite talkative to me. Mhmm...Overall, Fairest was good, but it just didn't live up to my expectations.

  • Katie
    2019-05-18 05:45

    This book was somewhat charming in that typical YA way, except I couldn't help compare it to Ella Enchanted, and it didn't measure up. The main character (Aza) is very ugly and unlike most YA where ugly isn't ugly, she's described as actually not attractive. And then she spends the whole book obsessing about how ugly she is and wanting becoming pretty. I knew almost nothing about her character other than that she hated being ugly.One of the awesome things about Ella Enchanted was that GCL showed us Ella and the Prince falling in love. We saw what attracted them to each other, we saw how she made him laugh and how he tried to impress her. In Fairest, I had no idea what attracted Aza to the Prince. Was it because he was handsome? Was it because he was funny? We saw so few of their interactions that I had no idea of their chemistry.Essentially, they loved each other because GCL said that then they were in love, which was incredibly disappointing.Finally, the plot was random and kind of forced. I was annoyed because the plot of Ella Enchanted seems to flow naturally and everything makes sense. Here, there wasn't any payoff, the people who were mean to her never get punished and the resolution is a giant Deus Ex Machina. I'm curious to read another GCL book to see if it is more like Ella Enchanted or Fairest.

  •  Rogue
    2019-06-09 13:02

    I thought I'd just read for a hour or so before bed to make sure my bedtime snack had enough time to settle. Yeah, that didn't work. LOL Six hours after starting, and no sleep later, I finished.I couldn't put the book down! :) I cried, I laughed, I enjoyed this story. It's a fun read, but not in a 'fluffy' way. When I picked up this book at the library, the summary didn't sound too terribly interesting, but then I saw it said 'set in the land of Ella Enchanted.' (Or something like that.) I remember reading that years (way before the movie ;) ago after one of my sister's recommeded it, and I really liked it, so I thought I'd give this one a try. I'm really glad I did! :) I look forward to reading more of this author's work (and she may become one of my favorite authors!)I would definitely recommend this book! :)(The only reason I didn't give it 5 stars is because there are some books I like more. I'd give it a 4.9 if I could.)

  • Colleen Houck
    2019-05-20 14:01

    An interesting twist on the Snow White fairy tale.

  • Anna
    2019-05-30 07:41

    AWESOME!!!!!!!!!! This is a really great book and I recome it to all of you!

  • Ifigenia
    2019-06-07 10:43

    El libro empieza mal, estamos en un reino donde lo que más se valora es la belleza y la habilidad para el canto ¬¬. Al parecer los habitantes también son generosos y no destacan por su gran inteligencia. En concreto, nuestra protagonista tiene una gran virtud para el canto, pero es fea. Su máxima aspiración en la vida es ser guapa, se siente ofendida porque hay algunos que la desdeñan por ser fea, pero ella es la que más valora la belleza, la pobre es simple como un vegetal. Conforme vamos avanzando en el libro, que más que un libro en prosa, parece una carátula con diferentes estrofas de canto, con una rima un tanto cuestionable, y que enlentecen el ritmo narrativo. Por si esto no fuera poco, terminas el libro con la sensación de que no pasa nada, cada vez que va a pasar algo interesante, de repente desaparece. Si van a ser atacados, de repente, toman otro camino y ya no son atacados, por poner un ejemplo, como si cualquier tipo de acción fuese repelida del libro.Se podría decir que es un re-telling de Blancanieves, con una reina malvada, un rey tonto, y una huérfana y más tonta todavía, con príncipe incluido estilo Chapis al rescate (aunque más hace el perro que él en este cuento).El único punto positivo que puedo encontrar es la mención de personajes (cross-over) de personajes del mundo maravilloso de Ela (libro áltamente recomendable que se encuentra entre mis favoritos).De Fairest, solo me queda por decir que es el peor libro que he leído de Gail Carson Levine. Y con esto, colorín, colorado, este cuento se ha acabado.

  • Mary
    2019-05-31 05:50

    While I thoroughly enjoyed Carson Levine's Ella Enchanted and The Two Princesses of Bamarre, I found Fairest less enjoyable. This story is a re-telling of Snow White but it lacks drama and suspense. Some characters are not well-developed and therefore their motivations seem less believable. Prince Ijori's interest in and almost immediate love for the main character, Aza is never fully explained and his abrupt disinterest feels even less plausible. I would also liked to have more development of the character of Skulni, the inhabitant of a magic mirror. Aza herself is likable enough but the use of lengthy song lyrics in place of dialogue slows what is already a plodding story and I found myself simply skipping over them.CIP Summary:In Ayortha, singing and beauty are prized above all else. Aza, a commoner, can sing, and Queen Ivi is a beauty. The Queen forces Aza to use her voice to deceive the entire court.From Booklist:Levine slowly reveals that the roots of the richly imagined story are cleverly tangled in the fairy tale “Snow White.” The telling, in Aza’s voice, is sophisticated, and readers may initially feel like foreign travelers who lack cultural context. But once connections become clear, they’ll sink into the fairy-tale romance, the remarkable characters, and the wild, magical adventures...From School Library Journal:/* Starred Review */ Readers will enjoy the fairy-tale setting while identifying with the real-life problems of living in an appearance-obsessed society...

  • HeavyReader
    2019-06-10 11:48

    This book is the second that I've read by Gail Carson Levine. Although this one has a storyline similar to Ella Enchanted (teenage girl goes through trials and tribulations, grows wiser, and things work out positively in the end), it was different enough that I was not bored. The story is set in the same enchanted universe as Ella Enchanted, and halfway through, the reader realizes that this one is loosely based on the Snow White story (or at least the one I learned thanks to Walt Disney).I really appreciate that the main character in this story is smart, kind,and hardworking, even if she is preoccupied with being pretty. But ok, what teenage girl is not preoccupied with being pretty? I bet even pretty teenage girls worry that they aren't pretty enough.Anyway, I recommend a dose of this book to any young girl obsessed with princesses and all that crap. The protagonist of this book is not just sitting around waiting for her prince to come. Oh sure, she's in love with the prince, but she's out kicking butt too.

  • Maddie
    2019-05-27 10:43

    I wanted to start this off with "Don't judge a book by it's cover", because that really is the underlying theme of the book. But seriously, how beautiful is this cover? This cover is wonderful, just like the wonderful story written on it's pages. I was always a fan of Ella Enchanted (the movie) when I was a kid, and I remember that day at around ten years old when I realized that Ella Enchanted was in fact a book. There is something so deeply satisfying about falling in love with a book (and the world inside that book) and then discovering that there are more books by the same author (also set in the same world). Fairest was everything I wanted and more, (and still is). I completely related to Aza, as I've delt with self confidence problems, and eating disorders, and everything she felt about herself completely resonated inside me. Aza's journey to find self confidence, and to believe that she is beautiful in her own and special way, is both moving and extremely motivational, and I often pick it up when I need a confidence boost, or just to enjoy the beauty of the book.

  • Kylara Jensen
    2019-06-02 13:46

    Listened to this. The full Cast Audio production is AMAZING! They actually sng all the songs. I was humming them afterwards. It was like watching a musical.As for the story, fun but predictable as fairy tale retellings often are. I found this one, being in the same world as Ella Enchanted to be totally entertaining, though.Very heavy-handed with the whole beauty isn't everything etc. message. Overall, if you're going to read this book, listen to it instead!!

  • Deborah
    2019-05-26 10:43

    Snow White was never a favorite fairytale for me. It still isn't. But... Oh! This book was awesome!! Mrs. Levine takes every liberty you possibly can use with fantasy and brings it to a whole new level. The creativeness is pure genius. I was on the edge of my seat for the whole book and that ending... Oh wow. On a note of caution though, there were a lot of things I was uncomfortable with, but I felt that since it is fantasy that gives enough liberty to the make believe.

  • Jane G Meyer
    2019-06-02 05:56

    Blah. Were the editors interns? Levine's writing style is plain, but I can forgive that if the characters are fabulous, but they weren't. I suppose the plot was fine; it kept me turning pages, but in the end I was disappointed. She had the makings of a great book, but I'm thinking that deadlines kept her from flushing away the weeds that seemed to crop in all around her...

  • Trisha
    2019-06-08 08:41

    I think maybe this one was just a little too young for me. Or maybe I'm just too pickybut I didn't like the music parts and all the singing. I've never been so glad I didn't have the audio book. This one just isn't for me.

  • Stephanie
    2019-05-31 05:36

    This story has a bit of the Snow White story in it, but it had an undertone of evil that was really disturbing. And the audience includes young teenage girls. It could have been building and inspiring to the youth, whereas I'm afraid it ended up being just the opposite.

  • Melanie
    2019-05-20 07:36

    This was an okay read. The singing and songs were a bit annoying, but it was a really different fairytale read. :)

  • Rachel Winsor
    2019-05-23 11:38

    Cringe.I would like to state that in general, I hate negative book reviews. They always seem so unsympathetic and antagonistic, sometimes, the reviewer even strikes me as intimidating. I realize this makes me something of a hypocrite, especially since I'm using my best prose to write this. I assure you, it's merely because I want to come off as well educated and intelligent, so that my opinion might seem more credible. I hate book snobs just as much as the next person, truly.There were things I liked about the book, but unfortunately on the whole, I hated it with a passion. Others may feel differently, and that is quite alright. This is my opinion, and seeing how you and I are most probably quite different, you might love it. If you have a desire to read this book, please do not allow my review to alter that.I feel I would have enjoyed this book much more if I was 8 - 12 years old. Although it has a great message and the story was captivating enough, I couldn't get over the redundant writing style. Perhaps the author was trying to teach young readers a more vast vocabulary? However, even when one does learn a new word, reading it three to four times in one paragraph proves extremely enervating. For example; “The small woman's expression was petulant, but the big woman smiled. The smiling one had to be the companion. After all, who would pay to have a petulant companion? I was perplexed by the duchess's petulance. What did she have to be petulant about?” (- Gail Carson Levine, Fairest, page 12, lines 6 - 11).I'm not usually one to complain about names, but I truly felt that even the appellation was repetitive. Every single name started with a vowel, and ended with that same vowel. Save for two; “Frying Pan” (the cook) and “Skulni” who also (once) went under the name of “Master Ikulni” (merely switching out one the “S” for an “I”).Some aspects really didn't make sense to me, like how Prince Ijori and Sir Uellu stated early on that they did not trust Queen Ivi and would leave her in an instant, and then when they found out about the Illusing, and that Aza might be part ogre, they were so quick to side with Ivi and throw Aza in prison, even though Ijori claimed that he was in love with her. I would also like to explain to the author the definition of “exile”. Miss Levine seems to believe that word means simply to leave when in fact it is synonymous with banishment. CHOOSING TO LIVE SOMEWHERE ELSE IS NOT SENTENCING YOURSELF TO EXILE. PEOPLE IN EXILE MAY NOT COME BACK TO VISIT.The songs were just terrible, I'd say a good 20% of the story was “sung”, now as we all know, when songs are written in books, readers do not, I daresay, CANNOT think of good tunes to read them in (on the spot, I mean) and they end up being disgusting, the author clearly didn't understand that. For even I, a singer having performed on stage many times, could not imagine a way to make these songs sound even remotely good. The songs themselves were awful, the lyrics lit my mind on fire with rage and confusion over how anyone could possibly believe that they merit to be published. On top of it all, characters sang at times that were completely inappropriate, I understand that singing is part of their culture but really? Singing in times of impending doom? For example when they needed to get the message to castle about Ivi wanting to kill some people and Aza sang “No, I'm coming with you” that just really pissed me off in ways I cannot explain.AND THAT ENDING, WHAT!?!? I WOULD HAVE (pardon my language) FUCKING KILLED IVI!!!! AFTER ALL, ALL SHE DID WAS TEAR APPART A NATION'S CULTURE, MAKE SERIOUS THREATS FORCING PEOPLE TO DO THINGS AGAINST THEIR WILL, HIT ON HER HUSBAND'S SON, AND TRY TO KILL A FEW PEOPLE, ALL FOR BEAUTY AND BECAUSE A STUPID MIRROR TOLD HER TO. I have never encountered a more conceited bitch than Ivi, in all of my reading and life living. I cannot understand how they let her live; how the king did not divorce her (the author tried to specify that their love was true but they got married the day after they met, the day after that he fell into a coma for the next few months, HE DIDN'T KNOW HER AT ALL); nor did I understand why they decided in the end that nothing was Ivi's fault and that she was a good personOn the whole, my reading experience was like one cringe after another, mostly due to the cheesy writing.