Tuesday, April 10, 2012
Girl Pick: Whatever After: Fairest of All
by Sarah Mlynowski
Available May 2012 (date not yet on publisher's website)
Fresh, funny, and fairest of all, Whatever After: Fairest of All is book one in what appears to be a planned series. It is a great beginning full of fun and puns!
Siblings Abby and Jonah have just moved cross country to Smithville, a small town that pales in comparison to Abby's beloved Chicago. They live in a creepy old house where Jonah has discovered something quite strange in the basement. He wakes his sister up and together they venture downstairs in the middle of the night. Jonah shows Abby how he knocked on the mirror and it began to shimmer and hiss and suddenly they are sucked into the ornate mirror and find themselves in a huge forrest.
Everything is weirdly off and they have no way of getting back home. Suddenly the basement and Smithville are looking better and better! They run into a wrinkled grandmotherly old lady who is just rude. Abby can't believe a grandmother type can be rude--grandmothers are supposed to be nice. They follow her to a small cottage where she tries to trick the occupant into letting her in. Jonah is starving, and when the grandmother offers the girl inside the cottage an apple, Jonah begs for the apple. He thwarts the woman's plan of poisoning the girl, and now the kids have to set the fairy tale right again.
The old woman is really the witch/queen from the castle and the girl in the cottage is none other than Snow White. The queen has stolen the castle and banished Snow to the woods where she lives with the seven dwarfs. Except these dwarfs have names like
Alan and Stan and there's even female dwarfs Enid and Tara!
The kids realize that by not eating the poison apple, Snow cannot go to sleep and the prince can't come and fall in love with her and kiss her and live happily ever after. They feel responsible for Snow's predicament and decide to right the wrong. After that, they can figure out how to go home.
The dialog between Abby and Jonah is precious and lovely. Two siblings have never been better together. Abby is one of the funniest and snarkiest characters in a tween novel. She is freshly captivating and clever; her voice is spot on. Girls will want to be her or--in the least--be her BFF.
Fairest of All is a sure hit and should not be missed by any girl who loves a funny fairy tale with clever comedic pitch.
Highly, highly recommended grades 4-up. Easy to read and easy to love.
FTC Required disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher. I did not receive monetary compensation for this review.