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I'm a writer and library worker who wears many hats. I believe a good book and a good piece of chocolate are the keys to a happy life.

Friday, December 26, 2008

My Fair Godmother by Janette Rallison

Okay, this is a secret I’ve been holding on to for several months and now I can finally tell you about it! (Sometimes I just love knowing all these cool authors.) On January 6, 2009 Janette Rallison’s new book My Fair Godmother will be available for purchase. For me, My Fair Godmother was a total keeper. It was right up my alley and a very fun read.

In My Fair Godmother you meet a pair of sisters who are about to become an extra credit project for a fairy in training. (She’s a fair godmother- her grades in fairy godmother school are only average.) Said fairy is also very much a flaky teenage girl which makes her a very scary force to be reckoned with when you add a magic wand.

Savannah, the sister who gets granted three wishes in order to fix her love life, is whisked away to the middle ages to live the life of Cinderella before she can finish saying "Prince Charming". The only problem? The ball isn’t for another 8 months and Savannah is not at all pleased with the middle ages, or the prince for that matter, and her fair godmother won’t return her calls. When she does finally turn up it’s only to send Savannah in to the life of Snow White instead. The resulting story is reminiscent of other tales of modern men and women suddenly finding themselves in places like King Arthur’s court with the added fun of suddenly being the main star in a very popular fairy tale. With that twist there is a lot more of the story to tell and a lot more work involved to get to “happily ever after”.

There were a few very cliché problems sprinkled in the mix, but I didn’t mind them too much because although they are much used, they are also very true to actual worries and bad dreams for a modern teenage girl. I also stumbled a bit with the beginning of the story. It was a cute set of reports and correspondence in the magical world about the sister’s case, but I would have loved to jump into the girls' heads a little sooner. It took me a few paragraphs to transition to the different thought process successfully. My only other complaint was what seemed to me to be an over-emphasis on a negative trait: everyone, including Savannah herself, couldn’t seem to get over the fact that she was seen as a bubble-headed ditz. She had some great qualities and I would have liked to see her discover them in herself throughout the whole story rather than mostly at the end. She did grow as the story progressed, but her negative qualities were still very emphasized throughout.

Oh, and Janette made me crave Ding Dongs. I haven’t had those things in years. Darn her.

Other than those little complaints I had a great time following Savannah’s adventures. There are some great lessons on life and love peppered in subtly and some great giggle factors tossed in with the fairy tale references. I’m a big fan of books that make use of the classic fairy tales. I love to see those stories woven into something fresh and new and My Fair Godmother does a great job of that. Janette Rallison creates a new look at things and weaves them together with a nice twist. Watch for My Fair Godmother in January and treat yourself to a trip to the middle ages and a fun story. Great job Janette!

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