Title: Snow Whyte and the Queen of Mayhem
Author: Melissa Lemon
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
Shelf: Read-in-2012, Young-Adult, Fairytale-Retelling, Fantasy, 3-out-of-5, TBR-in-2012, NetGalley-Read, Kindle-eBook
Release Date: 11 December 2012
Synopsis: “Stuck in her family’s apple orchards, Kat’s got plenty of work to do and only pesky Jeremy to help. But when Jeremy convinces her to run away, Kat will discover that nothing—and no one—in her life is quite what it seems. Wonderfully reimagined, this is the magical tale of Snow White as you’ve never read it before!” (Taken from Goodreads)
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I am a sucker for fairytale retellings, stories like The Goose Girl, Throne of Glass and East, just to name a few. Maybe I’m still young at heart (hopefully), but reading about fairytales always makes me happier. Because you know they end happily, and sometimes that’s just what I need to read about. Happy stories.
SWatQoM (wowzer, what a long title) is narrated from the point-of-view of the magic mirror. A very good spin on the actual fairytale, so I’m very happy with that. At first, I thought it’d be a little weird following the thoughts of the mirror, but it ended up working out really well. I think at times, the narration wanders off away from the actual story, and could have been tightened up a little – but other than that, Lemon did a good job.
Kat (or Katiyana) Whyte was a character I became extremely fond of. She was raised by her uncle Barney in secret, because her mother (the Queen) tried to kill her. Growing up and working in an apple orchard did wonders for her character. She was selfless, hardworking and thoughtful. Her uncle treated her really well until he became blind and dependent on alcohol – that was when the plot actually moved forward and Kat was urged to leave her uncle by her childhood friend Jeremy Simkins, who worked with her in the apple orchards until he was fired by her uncle.
I also really like Jeremy Simkins, and really wished he was given more showtime in the book. He bears the name ‘Simkins’ which is hated by almost everyone because he his 12 brothers and sisters are forced to steal by their parents in order to survive. Jeremy refuses to, and tries to make a living by working hard, but his name makes it extremely hard for him to find work. I really, really wanted to read more about him, but I guess it was for the best that we don’t get to or otherwise the plot twist at the end wouldn’t have been as surprising.
When Kat left the orchard, obviously she went to live with the seven dwarves. While they didn’t add all that much to the plot, I grew very fond of most of them too. I actually cried when ***SPOILER*** one of them died. ***SPOILER*** While I like many characters in the book, the one I REALLY disliked was the huntsman. He felt like he was thrown in just for the sake of sticking to the original tale, and his actions were so forced I found myself skimming over most of his scenes.
The ending of the book was extremely rushed. SO BADLY. While I didn’t hate it, I didn’t exactly enjoy it either. The evil Queen had been built up to be such a powerful woman that I was really disappointed in the way she died. There was barely a fight. The lead up to it was very promising but it just fell flat. I had an “oh … was that it?” moment. And from that point on, everything moved at such a pace that it felt more like Lemon was telling us the rest of the story rather than showing us what happened. I do admit that some of the plot twists at the end was unexpected and interesting, but the execution of the ending was very disappointing.
Overall, I did really enjoy this retelling. I think Lemon did a good job, and this book managed to hold my attention. The best parts of this book was its characters. While some definitely needed to be fleshed out some more, Kat was a character that I didn’t hate. And that’s the most important part.
RELEASE DATE: 11th December 2012
THANK YOU: Cedar Fort and Melissa Lemon for the galley to review!