Monday, May 18, 2009

Fairest - Gail Carson-Levine (Audiobook)

Summary: Aza is far from beautiful. With pale skin and blood-red lips (not to mention ungainly size), she is seen as odd, at best. But Aza does have one blessing: a voice of astonishing beauty. In Ayortha, where singing is the main mode of communication, this gift is no small thing, and soon Aza finds herself rising at court. But, as she will discover, unexpected good fortune can also bring unexpected danger...
Funny and moving, wise and uplifting, Fairest represents New York Times bestselling autor Gail Carson Levine at her finest. Composer-director Todd Hobin has crafted melodies for all the story's lyrics and songs, resulting in a unique listening experience - an audiobook that has as much original music as a Broadway show!

My Review: I picked this up to pass the time on this weekend's road trip. We always listen to books as we drive, as it makes the ride more enjoyable. And I have to say that this was the most unique book that we have listened to. A musical book? I wasn't sure I would like it but found myself engrossed. What's more is that my 6-year-old was also engrossed in the story, so much so that he chose to listen to it rather than watch his DVD.

This is the story of Aza, an ugly duckling abandoned as an infant at an inn. The innkeeper and his wife find the child and raise her as their own. She grows up a good girl with a beautiful voice but she is rather hard on the eye. She refers to herself as ugly and tries to remain hidden from guests as the inn. Her biggest wish is to be beautiful.

One day a grumpy duchess visits the inn and takes a liking to Aza. In an unexpected turn Aza is invited to be the duchess's companion to a royal wedding. At the wedding Aza befriends the queen, who in a Snow White type twist has magic mirror and life takes another drastic turn. In a dangerous quest to discover the true meaning of beauty, Aza also learns the hard lessons of love and betrayal.

This story is full of beautiful magic, music, and morals. It teaches that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. And that inner beauty is always more important that outer. A fun tale appropriate for all ages. This one is sure to delight. I would definitely recommend listening to this book rather than reading it as I can't imagine the songs fitting as neatly in written form. They certainly wouldn't contain the same immense feeling if you were merely reading it.

My Rating: 4 Stars

If I had to sum it up in one phrase it would be: A delightful musical book sure to leave you smiling.


Anne Bennion said...

I loved this book. The author did a great job of incorporating just enough of the traditional fairy tale to keep me wondering what was going to happen next. I am sure listening to the songs was fantastic - opposed to my mind trying to come up with what the song must sound like.

Kari said...

I read this book this April, and I'm jealous you had the audio! I think I would have enjoyed it more with actual music. My imagination must not be good enough to enjoy the book thoroughly without the songs being sung.

kaitlyn said...

A few years ago when i bought this book i hated it but im gonna try reading it again to see if id like it now. Many books that i hated when i was younger seem to be really good to me now:)


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