I know I’ve been posting a lot of book reviews lately. I hope you don’t mind. But there is really a lot of fantastic Y.A. and Juvenile fiction out there and I’ve really been enjoying reading it! Fairest, by Gail Carson Levine has to be one of my favorites. It takes place in the world of Ella Enchanted (also by Levine and another fantastic book.). It is about a girl named Aza, a girl who was brought up by a family of inkeepers. She is a self-described oaf. And others, unfortunately, think of her the same way. After years of hearing others make fun of her looks she thinks herself ugly, too. She would like nothing more than to be beautiful. However, she does have a gift. She has a tremendously beautiful voice and in her kingdom this is very important. Singing is a vital part of the culture. She also can Illuse. That is, she can throw her voice and make it “come out of” different objects, and even make it sound like other people. This little gift gets her an invitation to the Royal Wedding, where she meets the Queen and becomes her lady-in-waiting. As the Lady-in-waiting Aza discovers the Queen’s magic mirror that can make her look beautiful. She, then, discovers the Queen’s secret beauty potion and drinks some. She then becomes “fairest in the land” which leads to disasterous results.
While she is living in the castle the young prince falls in love with her. But he falls in love with the “ugly” Aza. Not the beautiful Aza. This helps Aza to realize that she is beautiful without a potion, and she begins to accept her looks.
I loved this book. Absolutely loved it. It was one of those books that I couldn’t put down. I loved the message. And I think it’s a message that many young girls need to get these days, so you can bet I will be recommending this one to lots of kids. It was also very funny. Just an all around fun story.