Tuesday, August 6, 2013

First Frost by Liz DeJesus

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It was a fun and fast read. I really enjoy fairy-tale retellings and this one was an exciting read.

What I liked: It had a great premise. Bianca and her mother rose own a fairy-tale museum. Rose reads stories to cute little kids and sells them wands and Cinderella outfits. The creepy apple from Snow White and the mirror are all in there. Plus, DeJesus throws in some great world-building elements like the history of how the museum was started back in the Great Depression by her grandfather. She has a fun relationship with her mom. She also has a really great friend. You can kind of feel their history and loyalty.

I also enjoyed the way she weaves the fairy-tale world in Everafter with our modern world. She explains who the Grimm Brothers were and why they told the fairy tales the way they did. It adds some credence to the world she's built. And I liked Bianca's inner dialogue. DeJesus had fun writing her female characters. Her male characters were a bit dimmer but they weren't major characters so I didn't mind as much.

What I didn't like as much: The story didn't flow in some parts. Some plot devices were thrown aside to make things easier. She learns magic super fast. An old woman who's magic finds them, stops time and teaches her a bunch of stuff. Another character tells her to believe and not doubt and she can do anything and the next encounter she can do all this stuff just because of that. At the beginning when her and her friend get to Everafter, they just happen to immediately find a somewhat dim prince and his awesome servant who are super helpful and become their respective love interests.

Also, many times Bianca wants answers and to understand things; she has questions but the characters just say 'don't worry about it,' 'just believe.' Nah, it's good to question and want to understand and have doubts.

The true love theme was a bit cheesy, too. Bianca's romance was a bit strained but not too heavy-handed so I didn't mind so much. The ending wasn't my favorite. I was hoping for more real life and less movie magic fantasy but oh well.

Overall, it's a really cute book. I liked the fantasy, the characters, fairy-tales and how it all came together. But due to it's 'rough-around-the-edges' nature, I had to lower my rating. I do look forward to continuing the series, though.

4 comments:

  1. The fairy tale aspect is fun and I like the cover. Maybe some of the rough edges will soften in the next book!

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    1. I sure hope so! Looking forward to see how she keeps the story going.

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  2. Sounds like a lot of the problems are things that a good editor could have helped DeJesus work out.

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    1. That's the interesting thing about self-publishing or going with smaller publishers---sometimes the editing isn't quite there. But hopefully the next one improves :)

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