Customer Reviews for

Fairest

Average Rating 4.5
( 267 )
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5 Star

(168)

4 Star

(55)

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(26)

2 Star

(9)

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(9)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

42 out of 46 people found this review helpful.

Reviewed by The Story Siren for TeensReadToo.com

In a land where beauty means everything, Aza finds herself lacking in every way possible. Her only redeeming quality is the beauty in her voice. If only her singing reflected what others saw when they looked upon her face. She spends most of her time trying to hide her ...
In a land where beauty means everything, Aza finds herself lacking in every way possible. Her only redeeming quality is the beauty in her voice. If only her singing reflected what others saw when they looked upon her face. She spends most of her time trying to hide her face from the staring eyes of guests at her parent's inn. Singing is the only beauty Aza finds in herself, and she sings often while she is working.

She discovers that she can "throw" her voice and make it appear as though it came from another place in the room! She tries to teach her family her new trick but no one else is successful.

A Duchess passing through the inn on her way to the King's wedding invites Aza to come along as her maid. While at the castle, the new Queen discovers Aza's talent in "throwing" her voice and insists that Aza stay and become a lady in waiting, so that the Queen can use Aza's voice as her own.

When the King is injured, the young Queen is hungry for power and the kingdom is soon threatened to fall apart, as well as Aza along with it.

I have heard great things about Levine as a writer, so when I had a chance to read FAIREST I jumped at it! And I have to say that I wasn't disappointed! I loved the fairy tale setting and the storytelling quality of Levine's writing.

The plot was fast-paced and Aza's growth within the novel is believable. Aza isn't your typical heroine and that made the story so much more enjoyable. I loved that the book tackled the issue of beauty, which is something that I know I struggle with, as well. I know that I'm looking forward to reading more of Ms. Levine's works in the future!

posted by TeensReadToo on October 28, 2008

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Most Helpful Critical Review

4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

Kinda boring

I found this book to be really slow. I wanted to see more of a snow white tail like it was suppose to be, but you got to meet the nombs like more towards the end of the book. It really depends on what you like because my sister loves this book she has read it three t...
I found this book to be really slow. I wanted to see more of a snow white tail like it was suppose to be, but you got to meet the nombs like more towards the end of the book. It really depends on what you like because my sister loves this book she has read it three times, and i'm sure she will read it more in the future as well. It had a beautiful meaning though great theme and i would suggest this book to anyone who is down and need some cheering up to do.

posted by KaykayKD on April 9, 2009

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  • Posted April 9, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Kinda boring

    I found this book to be really slow. I wanted to see more of a snow white tail like it was suppose to be, but you got to meet the nombs like more towards the end of the book. It really depends on what you like because my sister loves this book she has read it three times, and i'm sure she will read it more in the future as well. It had a beautiful meaning though great theme and i would suggest this book to anyone who is down and need some cheering up to do.

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 16, 2013

    OK...

    This book was OK but not my fave. It had SOME interesting parts but i thought it was a littlle slow.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 23, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Meet Aza

    "I was born singing. Most babies cry. I sang an aria."

    What a stellar first line. What follows is Levine's tale loosely based on the fairy tale Snow White. All the basic elements of the ancient tale appear in some form or fashion in the novel: apples, fair skin juxtaposed with jet black hair, dwarves (or gnomes in this case), a charming prince, and a cleverly disguised wicked queen. I would definitely recommend reading Ella Enchanted first before reading this one; this book has some characters connected to Ella. It's not imperative that you do so; just helpful.

    Song is an important concept in the book; the Ayorthaians value singing as their main form of expression. This fact leads to my only complaint for the book: lengthy passages of sung poems or verses are included in the novel and I confess I began to skip over them. I found the songs to be annoying after the first 8 or so. Perhaps others wouldn't find them to be as distracting as I did. I understand the need for them to be there; I just did not like the vast amount included.

    One of the main themes of Fairest is an important one for the book's target audience: accept the way you look. You're unique and beautiful just as you are. Aza was just like any other teenage girl - insecure and too hard on herself. I think many YA readers could relate to the way she feels. This aspect of the novel is very applicable in today's appearance-driven society.

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  • Posted April 4, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    This was the first book I've read from Gail Carson Levine and it was good!

    I thought the book Fairest was a good book. Its about a girl named Aza who is a good singer but she thinks she is ugly. Then she becomes a lady in waiting to the new Queen Ivi. And the queen is jealous that Aza can sing so well. So she uses Aza's gift of mimicing other peoples singing voices so the queen could pretend that she can sing well. Believe it or not the book has parts from Snow White in the book theres a poison apple and a magic mirror. In the end Aza realize's that everyone is beautiful in thier own way. I was dissapointed that the queen didn't get punished for giving Aza the poisoned apple.In the end the queen is sent away and the king who is better now, goes to visit her. And why did the Snow White in this story have to be ugly? Gail Carson Levine is a good writer but in my opinion I don't think this would be on my number 1 top 10 book lists but it was a good book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 8, 2008

    MIDDLE

    This book is about a girl named Ariel. She is not as pretty as you know. She helps her parent a restrant. But thing began to chage when she is the queen lady in waiting.When she find what makes the queen so beautiful she has a challenge she has to do

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 31, 2007

    Pretty Good, Not great

    I've read Levine's past two books, Ella Enchanted and the Two Princesses of Bamarre. They are my two favorite books of all time! Both have a plot that entrances you the moment you start and also both have great characters that you just can't not love. I was so excited when this book came out because I was expecting another one of Gail Carson Levine's lushly detailed fantasy stories. I have read this book twice. The first time, it was not that great to me. The second time, it got better but still was not one of my favorites. I don't completely hate the story, however. It was pretty interesting in many ways. It just lacked many of the great qualities of Levine's earlier works. I think a major problem for me was that I did not really like the main character, Aza. I found Ella and Meryl & Addie much more likeable. They seemed more genuine or just had something more captivating about them. In all, I rated it three stars because it is pretty good, but not great. I recommend going to the store and reading the few first pages to see if it is your type of book before buying it. It might be. My opinion is not everyone's. From there, you can see if you should buy it, borrow it from the library, or just leave it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 14, 2007

    A reviewer

    I read this book because I thought it would be really good, but I am sorry to say that I was not quite satisfied with the book. I was not immpressedwith this book after reading Ella Enchanted, but it was entertaining.'In a way' It was no where near as good as Ella Enchanted, but I did enjoy it as a book to pass time, but overall I was disappointed. But then again, how can you top an amazingly good book like Ella Enchanted!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 2, 2007

    a reviewer

    Personally, i like The Two Princesse of Bamarre best of all her books i have read. This one didn't really compare to Ella either. it was somehow not very believable. it didn't really capture me. this is more like an i-don't-have-anything-better-to-read-book...

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 12, 2006

    Fair, but not the fairest book of all

    Gail Carson Levine's new novel Fairest, is an inspiring take on the classic tale of Snow White. In the style that only Levine possesses, we are told the tale of Aza who is considered by many humans to be disturbingly ugly and lives in a land where appearance and vocal skills matter the most. Through clever plot twists and turns, Aza finds that beauty is simply what one decides to make of it. Levine's latest novel is interesting and well written, yet I found myself never completely absorbed by the book or the characters as I was while reading her other works. As a big fan of her work I can hardly be disappointed (I¿m very glad I read it and would suggest others read it too), but still feel that her best works so far have been Ella Enchanted and The Two Princesses of Bamarre. Overall, it's a good book. It¿s well written and nicely done. I would definitely recommend it!

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