Welcome to Teen Services at the Olathe Public Library! We have many great resources for teens in grades 6-12.

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Summary: Aza lives in the fairy tale world of Ayortha where only two things matter: how well you sing and how pretty you are. Aza is no traditional beauty, but when the new queen discovers Aza’s hidden singing talent – the ability to throw her voice so it sounds like it’s coming from anywhere in the room – the queen decides to use Aza’s skill to her advantage. With Aza forced to lie to everyone, especially kind Prince Ijori, life at the royal court proves to be harder and more ominous than she could have anticipated.

Why I like it: Aza is an excellent main character who focuses on the traits she wishes she possessed (beauty) instead of the talents she has (singing). Her insecurities reflect the way all of us have felt at some point, even when people tell us how special we are. Levine adds in a little bit of magic and the perfect amount of romance (the staircase scene remains the most romantic scene I have ever read in any book!), culminating in a book that reminds its readers the importance of finding the people who love you the way you are.

Three words or phrases that describe this book: self-acceptance, feminist fairy tale, empowering

You might want to pick this book if you: Enjoy fairy tale retellings (this book is a take on Snow White, with some The Ugly Duckling thrown in), strong female characters, or monarchy political intrigue. Fairest also shares minor characters with Levine’s best-known work, Ella Enchanted, so if you enjoyed the movie adaptation, this is a great way to stay in the world of Kyrria a bit longer. A prequel also came out in 2008 titled Ogre Enchanted.

If you like this book you may also like: The Goose Girl by Shannon Hale, Palace of Mirrors by Margaret Peterson Haddix, Reflection by Elizabeth Lim

Recommended by Whitney Horn.