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Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Beauty by Nancy Ohlin (Nancy Butcher)

Ana is nothing like her glamorous mother, Queen Veda, whose hair is black as ravens and whose lips are red as roses. Alas, Queen Veda loathes anyone whose beauty dares to rival her own—including her daughter.

And despite Ana’s attempts to be plain to earn her mother’s affection,
she’s sent away to the kingdom’s exclusive boarding school.

At the Academy, Ana is devastated when her only friend abandons her for the popular girls. Isolated and alone, Ana resolves to look like a true princess to earn the acceptance she desires.

But when she uncovers the dangerous secret that makes all of the girls at the Academy so gorgeous, just how far will Ana go to fit in?

I love a fairy tale retelling and this one was a pretty good version of Snow White…well bits and pieces of Snow White. Evil Queen, check….7 dwarves…uncheck.

This was a pretty short book, more of a novella really and not worth the eight dollars I spent on it, it really should have been in the five dollar range.

The author had a good voice, storytelling and setting were decent, in fact the world she created for her characters was pretty fascinating and I would love to see more tales located in it.…I had a little bit of an issue with the character development and a teensy issue with the plot.

I felt that the Queen’s back story lacked…Why did she want to be so beautiful that she’d kill her daughter? What drove her…? In some parts the Queen seemed to love her daughter and then have that love turned to disgust and hate when her evil little Beauty Consultant would advise her that the girl was going to be the Queen’s competition. (He was the main bad guy of this story)It just seemed like a stretch that she would round up all these young beautiful girls and kill them… She just didn’t feel evil enough… I am not sure how to explain it, I felt she was a villain with potential that wasn’t realized.

Ana was supposed to be 16 or 17, however her inner voice sounded more like a 12 year old girl. She makes herself ugly and fat to win her mother’s love and then when at school her BFF ditches her for popular girls she comes out of her shell as a beautiful “true” princess. She suddenly is a heroine and saves the day, rescuing everyone…Which I felt was a bit of a stretch.

There was no romance in this novella, yes you read that right. This book had NO ROMANCE it was pretty awesome, it was completely plot driven (even if the plot lacked a tiny bit) and Ana was the star (though I craved more about her mother).

I felt the ending was rushed while the start was a little slow.

However I enjoyed reading this book and that’s important for me. It was fun and simple, had all the trademarks of a fairy tale, aside from the missing love interest. If you are looking for a fast easy read, perhaps something to take on vacation then this is the book for you.