Ever After High: The Storybook of Legends by Shannon Hale

18053786305 pages
Published October 8th, 2013 by Little, Brown and Company
Source: Library

Synopsis: 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.

Review: I spied this book on my library’s e-book website and decided to take the plunge and check it out and read it. I love fairy tale adaptations and saw that Shannon Hale had written it. I haven’t read anything by her before, but I’ve always read good things about her. Little did I know that this book was actually written to tie in with a line of dolls in the spirits of Monster High dolls. Of course, they are called Ever After High dolls. I almost wished I hadn’t found out about this fact until after I had finished reading the book, because it made me feel a little sick to realize I was reading such a blatant marketing ploy, but I had to plow through and finish it anyway.

Overall, the story isn’t awful, considering it is a marketing tool. It’s one of the fluffiest books I think I’ve ever read in my life and oh yeah, very cutesy too. There are cute nicknames for everything to the point that I found it very distracting. An example is “hexciting” instead of “exciting” and “fairy” to replace “very.” Pretty over the top, but I can see that maybe appealing to the girls that would want to read this book. I am definitely not the audience for it.

I did like the general plot, Raven Queen wants to rebel and find her own path in life, and she is not the only fairy tale being that does. I think it can send a good messages to girls reading this, but at the same time, the focus on fashion, with a description of each character’s outfit is so blatant that it makes it hard to read. I noticed the clothing descriptions before I realized they were dolls and found it a little odd. The plot was a little slow, however, and nothing really seemed to be accomplished and the book ended on a cliffhanger, of course! To get people to buy the next book and not just the next book, the dolls too!

I will admit, if I was in the right age range for these dolls, I would have loved the dolls. But I would have realized that the book was a total marketing sham. It was cute and fluffy, but I think most girls will see right through it and not read the book, but play with the dolls.

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