Snow Whyte and the Queen of Mayhem by Melissa LemonWhat I usually look for in a fairy-tale retelling are signs of actual, you know, retelling. I don’t want some dressed-up version of a Disney movie. In this book (with its long-ass Harry Potter-esqe title), I really wanted Snow White to be someone who was not simply kind because that’s the way the story goes, not simply beautiful just because that’s the way the story goes. I wanted to see history, I wanted to see a human being coping to survive extreme circumstances, whose personality (whether defiant or resolute or genuine or meek) is dictated by the impact of her environment. I’m sorry, but this Snow Whyte (or Katiyana Whyte) seemed to be just going through the notions of what was expected of her to complete the story. No real motivation, no real background to why she acts the way she does. (If you want a good fairy tale retelling, readers should try Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine)
However, I did like that the story is told from the point of view of the magical mirror watching over Katiyana and her love interest Jeremy. It gave the book an interesting sort of depth that isn’t often seen in other Snow White retellings, allowing Melissa to give emotion to events that would otherwise be told in omniscient POV. Inspired idea, but it wasn’t as successful in contributing to the story as I would have otherwise liked. The Mirror tells us, doesn’t show us, what he sees. If Katiyana is sad, we don’t get to see any of her emotions in writing; rather, we are told something along the lines of “Katiyana looks sad, and I can’t help but pity her.” It’s a bit like listening to a guy try to describe to you a girls expressions and emotions when said girl is standing right in front of you.
On the other hand, though, I did enjoy the Mirror’s storyline. We dont usually hear about the history of the mirror. I think the ending really made up for my boredom in the beginning. The problem with this book is that while it seems like Melissa tried in this book, it doesnt seem like she tried very hard.
The writing was, at best, wooden. You could read every third sentence and not feel like you missed out on anything. The only reason I know this is because, well, that’s what I did for the first few chapters. The queen did this, the king did that, I did this (who the f--- is this “I” person? Not Snow White, not the queen, not the king... It took me forever to figure out, but I really just couldn’t be bothered to go back and see if Melissa had mentioned who the narrator was in the beginning. But, in my defense, I don’t think she did). Introductions of the dwarves took forever, and honestly, I couldnt match their names to their personalities (if they had any...) when they were mentioned later on. To me, they were the dwarves. Melissa could have called them Dwarf 1, Dwarf 2, Dwarf 3, and so on and it wouldnt have made a difference.
And, btw, the revelations near the end of the chapters were not entirely revelations at all; I think at some point Melissa forgets that her readers have heard the story of Snow White before. We read this book because we want to see the history. There are some parts that I think are supposed to be impactful and make me go, “Ooooohh, I see the connection now ,” but I was actually more annoyed than anything else. I know there’s seven dwarves, I know the queen is evil, that is how the story goes. The only one who doesn’t know it is the MC. That is not a revelation, that is my irritation when I realize I’ve known about all the revelations this book will dish out since I was a kid.
PS: Putting a Y in a name DOES NOT make it hipster. Am I the only one who find the White spelled Whyte to be annoying?
Full review at http://www.thepaperfoxes.wordpress.com
Disclaimer: this book was sent to me by the publisher for an unbiased review.
BENOTRIPIA "The Stones Of Horsh" (Book Trailer)
Snow Whyte and the Queen of Mayhem by Melissa Lemon
But when Jeremy convinces her to run away, Kat will discover that nothing—and no one—in her life is quite what it seems. Happy stories. SWatQoM wowzer, what a long title is narrated from the point-of-view of the magic mirror. I think at times, the narration wanders off away from the actual story, and could have been tightened up a little — but other than that, Lemon did a good job. Kat or Katiyana Whyte was a character I became extremely fond of. She was raised by her uncle Barney in secret, because her mother the Queen tried to kill her. Growing up and working in an apple orchard did wonders for her character.
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Snow Whyte and the Queen of Mayhem
At least not that she knows. - March 27, Whitney Review 1 Comment. Stuck in her family's apple orchards, Kat's got plenty of work to do and only pesky Jeremy to help.
Stuck in her family's apple orchards, Kat's got plenty of work to do and only pesky Jeremy to help. But when Jeremy convinces her to run away, Kat will discover that nothingand no onein her life is quite what it seems. Wonderfully reimagined, this is the magical tale of Snow White as you've never read it before! I thoroughly enjoyed the fresh perspective the so--often--dehumanized character of the Magic Mirror brings to the tale Time and again, Melissa Lemon injects expected story elements with the unexpected, bringing them to life in unconventional ways Snow Whyte and the Queen of Mayhem is quite an original telling and a fresh but still recognizable fairy tale to curl up with on a cold winter night.
Post a Comment Thanks so much for stopping by. I love comments, so please leave a few. Stuck in her family's apple orchards, Kat's got plenty of work to do and only pesky Jeremy to help. But when Jeremy convinces her to run away, Kat will discover that nothingand no onein her life is quite what it seems. Wonderfully reimagined, this is the magical tale of Snow White as you've never read it before!