07 January 2017

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

Fairy-tales? Do you like them? Because to be honest I love them and one of the series that I started last year that I'm really focused finishing this year is the Whatever After series by Sarah Mlynowski. I randomly saw the first book at my local library and decided to just give it a random shot and come to find out I really ended up enjoying them. So these books pretty much all follow the same premise in which the two main characters Abby and Jonah, brother and sister, get sucked into various fairy-tale worlds. While in these worlds they must figure out how to complete various tasks that will either keep the original plot or they will recreate the stories creating a new life and path for the fairy-tale characters.

Published: May 2012
# of Pages: 196
Source: Library Audibook
Goodreads | Amazon 

Mirror, mirror, on the basement wall . . . 
Once upon a time my brother and I were normal kids. The next minute? The mirror in our basement slurped us up and magically transported us inside Snow White's fairy tale. 
I know it sounds crazy, but it's true. 
But hey -- we're heroes! We stopped Snow White from eating the poisoned apple. Hooray! Or not. If Snow White doesn't die, she won't get to meet her prince. And then she won't get her happy ending. Oops. 
Now it's up to us to: 
- Avoid getting poisoned
- Sneak into a castle
- Fix Snow White's story 
And then, fingers crossed, find our way home.

Okay so I definitely only have one word for this book: cute! I didn't think that I was going to even pick this book up or give it a chance, but for some reason I was really craving a good fairy-tale and I saw this book lying around my local library so I decided to give it a try. At the time; however, I noticed I didn't have a lot of time to read any physical books so I sought out an audio version of the book instead. And to be honest, I'm glad that I did. 

This first book is the introduction to the world of Abby and Jonah, a sibling duo that has been forced to move to a new city while their parents focus on their careers as lawyers. Very hesitant about a new beginning in a new city, the two children try function as normal kids until they are sucked into their an old mirror in their basement. Once the process in complete, the children find themselves in a new world set in the backdrop of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. What I liked most about this novel was that the author introduced the original story of the fairy-tale and she also gave variations. As everyone knows, all fairy-tales have variations in characters, plots, outcomes, etc. By incorporating this concept into the novel, Mlynowski is definitely giving her readers the chance to understand how the story could possibly change due to the influence of Abby and Jonah. 

In entering the world of Snow White and trying to save her from a persistent stranger (the witch) they unexpectedly change the course of the entire story when Snow White is influenced to not eat the apple provided to her. By doing this, Abby, Jonah, and Snow must figure out how to put the story back together so it ends correctly. During their journey, the children discover a lot about themselves and a lot about common misconceptions of the human world. I loved that Abby becomes a strong enough character to believe in the idea that every princess or girl or woman doesn't have to wait for another individual to come around and save them from their problems. It was rather refreshing to read from the perspective of an individual that held true to these values and ideals.

This book definitely is a light and fun read and would be perfect for any child that would be considered a reluctant reader. It will provide them with a sense of familiarity while adding a spin/twist to the original story. They will resonate with characters like Abby and Jonah are strong, intelligent, kind, and all around fun kids. I also highly, highly, highly recommend the audiobook. The narrator Emily Eidem literally gives life to all the characters especially Abby and Jonah. I am definitely hoping that as I continue the series she is the one that narrates all of the books. 



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