Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Review: The Fairest Beauty

The Fairest Beauty

The Fairest Beauty

By Melanie Dickerson

Blurb: A daring rescue.
A difficult choice.

Sophie desperately wants to get away from her stepmother's jealousy, and believes escape is her only chance to be happy. Then a young man named Gabe arrives from Hagenheim Castle, claiming she is betrothed to his older brother, and everything twists upside down. This could be Sophie's one chance at freedom—but can she trust another person to keep her safe?

Gabe defied his parents Rose and Wilhelm by going to find Sophie, and now he believes they had a right to worry: the girl's inner and outer beauty has enchanted him. Though romance is impossible—she is his brother's future wife, and Gabe himself is betrothed to someone else—he promises himself he will see the mission through, no matter what.

When the pair flee to the Cottage of the Seven, they find help—but also find their feelings for each other have grown. Now both must not only protect each other from the dangers around them—they must also protect their hearts.

Genres: YA  Christian, Fantasy, Historical Fiction, Retellings, Romance, YA

Published: January 8, 2013

My Rating: 2 stars

I just realized what I didn't like about this story; THE CHARACTERS! Yes, I think that must be it, because I just read two different fairy tale retellings, each with protagonists that were strong, witty, and had so much more character development and I looooved them.

The rating for this book was originally three stars. However, I'm redoing my rating system, because I honestly was bored out of my mind while reading this whole story, and why the heck should it deserve three stars?

There. I blew off some pent up anger at having to read this, I suppose. Now for the real, rant-free review. (Hopefully)

I hate that I didn't like this, because I was really excited to find an author who wrote Christian retold fairy tales. Those are my two most read genres mashed together (and of course they're two of my favorite genres, otherwise I wouldn't read them so much). In theory, The Fairest Beauty should have been my dream book. Well, it wasn't.

Sophie, the main character, was a boring, hopelessly perfect in every way, main character. And she was weak! I know that all the original princesses were not exactly the epitome of 'strong women', but this is a retelling! Your oppurtunity to make Snow White more than just a damsel in distress! Also, there was nothing truly original about her character. I really didn't see Sophie as being very different than the Disney Snow White, except for the fact that she didn't burst out singing "Someday My Prince Will Come." Note: I know that at first she seems pretty strong. Wait a couple chapters. She gets progressively weaker, in my opinion.

Now we have Gabe. He actually wasn't too bad. At least he had some personality, unlike the pale Mary Sue mentioned in the above paragraph.

I remember that another thing that I knew from the start I didn't like about this book was the fact that everything works out so perfectly in the end. Even (view spoiler)[Sophie's father ends up not actually being dead. (hide spoiler)]

After much pondering, I have decided that Sophie was the weak link in this story. If she had been a better character, for lack of a better term, I would have really enjoyed this story.

I don't really know who I would recommend this to. I hesitate to say people who enjoy Christian fiction, because this is definitely not the best the genre has to offer. I think that fairy tale lovers might enjoy this story, but this fairy tale lover didn't.

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