Tuesday, August 13, 2013

The Fairest of Them All Blog Tour: Review of The Fairest of Them All by Carolyn Turgeon + GIVEAWAY

Goodreads rating: 3.82
eARC, 288 pages
Published August 6th 2013 by Touchstone
Genre: New Adult Fairytale Retelling

What if Rapunzel was Snow White’s evil stepmother? From the author of Godmother and Mermaid, The Fairest of Them All explores what happens when fairy tale heroines grow up and don’t live happily ever after.

Living in an enchanted forest, Rapunzel spends her days tending a mystical garden with her adoptive mother, Mathena. A witch, Mathena was banished from court because of her magic powers, though the women from the kingdom still seek her advice and herbal remedies. She waits, biding her time to exact revenge against those who betrayed her.

One day Rapunzel’s beautiful voice and long golden locks captivate a young prince hunting in the forest nearby. Overcome, he climbs her hair up to her chamber and they fall into each other’s arms. But their afternoon of passion is fleeting, and the prince must return to his kingdom, as he is betrothed to another.

Now king, he marries his intended to bring peace to his kingdom. They have a stunning daughter named Snow White. Yet the king is haunted by his memories of Rapunzel, and after the mysterious death of his wife, realizes he is free to marry the woman he never stopped longing for. In hopes of also replacing the mother of his beloved daughter, the king makes Rapunzel his queen.

But when Mathena’s wedding gift of an ancient mirror begins speaking to her, Rapunzel falls under its evil spell, and the king begins to realize that Rapunzel is not the beautiful, kind woman he dreamed of.

This book might not be labeled New Adult, but it has sex and violent thoughts.

I was very excited for this book. This was going to be possibly one of the coolest twists EVER on two very different fairy tales, but alas it was not as cool as I'd been hoping. And I love that cover! That's exactly how I imagined Rapunzel. What we got to see in this book is a very vain side of Rapunzel (so if you're expecting her to be like the Disney version, look elsewhere). This was not one of my problems with this book. I really loved how human they made not only her, but all the characters. Nearly every character had some sort of flaw, and so often in YA at least character is written as being perfect. And then there's the prince, who is at first seems perfect, and then turns a bit rotten when Rapunzel finally goes to the castle as his queen. While they're story was romantic at first, I could see it going bad just like Mathena's overgrown garden. Even before she becomes queen, Rapunzel suspects Mathena of some treachery, but she could never imagine how deep her guardian's need for revenge goes. Snow White was sweet at first too; almost too perfect. And honestly, I thought she'd stay that way. But she grows up without her real mother, and though Rapunzel grows to love her, Snow White is always suspicious just like the rest of the kingdom, especially when Rapunzel starts ignoring the king.

There were a good amount of things I didn't enjoy about this book. The main thing is that it's a retelling. And I say that because I was expecting it to be dark like it states in the synopsis, but not be so open with nakedness and sex. I think that's what really turned me off to this book. In YA, I always expect the darkness, but since Rapunzel is young and has never had sex or even kissed a guy, I didn't expect it to escalate the way it did in the beginning. The language was cringe-worthy at times, mostly because, while I felt like it fit with the story, it was too stilted at times. The other most annoying part was that we know Mathena is bad, not only because the synopsis tells you she's seeking revenge, but also, if you've watched the Disney movie, you know she's bad. So it wasn't a surprise that she was behind everything and that Rapunzel was basically her puppet. I liked the setting a lot too, and the descriptions, but it wasn't enough to shadow my main issues with this book. Like I said, I did appreciate the growth of all the characters and the relationships that were made and broken over time, especially ones I can't tell you about. Everybody was keeping secrets, and I think that's what kept my interest. Still a very interesting read!

Those who enjoy a fairytale retelling in a New Adult way.

(1) Signed paperback of The Fairest Of Them All by Carolyn Turgeon

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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