Monday, January 6, 2014

Ever After High: The Storybook of Legends - Shannon Hale

Summary:  At Ever After High, an enchanting boarding school, the children of fairytale legends prepare themselves to fulfill their destinies as the next generation of Snow Whites, Prince Charmings and Evil Queens...whether they want to or not. Each year on Legacy Day, students sign the Storybook of Legends to seal their scripted fates. For generations, the Village of Book End has whispered that refusing to sign means The End-both for a story and for a life.

As the daughter of the Evil Queen, Raven Queen's destiny is to follow in her mother's wicked footsteps, but evil is so not Raven's style. She's starting to wonder, what if she rewrote her own story? The royal Apple White, daughter of the Fairest of Them All, has a happy ever after planned for herself, but it depends upon Raven feeding her a poison apple in their future.

What if Raven doesn't sign the Storybook of Legends? It could mean a happily never after for them both.   (Image and summary from goodreads.com)

My Review: I'm a sucker for a fairy tale, or a retelling/reimagining of one.  I love seeing these old, classic stories given new life.  Shannon Hale has done such a great job with this iteration - the children of the heroes, heroines, villains, and secondary characters we've been familiar with all our lives are about to take on the burden of their parents, stepping into their roles for the next generation.  But, what if they don't want to follow in their parents' footsteps?  What if, like Raven, they want to write their own destiny?

Hale's blog announcing her involvement in this series got me so excited to read it, I've been anxiously awaiting its arrival.  It didn't disappoint.  The characters are almost as you'd expect, with some delightful surprises sprinkled along the way.  It's clear she's tried to modernize the fairy tales, paralleling their world to ours as much as possible.  Students and teachers rely on their mirrorphones.  The students listen to Taylor Quick and songs like "You Don't Know You're Charming".  They have their own updated spin on classic fairy tale fashions.  Robin Hood's son and his friends have a band called "The Merry Men".  Silly?  Yes.  Isn't that what fairy tales are for?

The story reminds me a lot of the Sisters Grimm stories because of the all-encompassing fairy tale characters you'll read about - but the story lines are vastly different.  It's a quick read, but definitely one I'll keep reading!

Also, this would be a fantastic gift for those of you looking for something for your 9-13 year old readers!

My Rating:  Four stars

For the Sensitive Reader:  Squeaky clean.  That's just one of the reasons I love Shannon Hale's books!

1 comment:

Meredith said...

I saw Ever After high dolls when I was Christmas shopping and was wondering what they were about. I thought they were just Monster high dolls that didn't look quite as crazy!

I will have to check out the books now.

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