Sunday, May 23, 2010

My Fair Godmother A Fun Read Full of Simple Wisdom

(Image from Barnes & Noble)

"'Did you think wishes were like kittens, that all they were going to do was purr and cuddle with you? ... Those type of wishes have no power. The only wishes that will ever change you are the kind that may, at any moment, eat you whole. But in the end, they are the only wishes that matter.'"

- Chrysanthemum "Chrissy" Everstar, Fair Godmother (Page 243)

A fairy godmother is one thing; a fair (as in not excellent, not great, not even good - just fair) godmother is quite another. Ask Savannah Delano. She's stuck with Chrissy Everstar, a ditzy, shopping-obessed fairy who didn't exactly make the honor roll in Fairy Godmother School. Nevertheless, she's standing in Savannah's bedroom ready and willing to grant three wishes. And Savannah's got wishes. Boy, does she ever. She doesn't need beauty - she has that - or friends - she's got those, too. She doesn't even really need to wish for male attention - she could probably find a prom date on her own - but ever since Hunter Delmont dumped her (for her older, smarter sister, no less), her self-confidence has taken a major nosedive. Arriving at Prom on the arm of a prince would change that. If she made Hunter jealous in the process - well, she wouldn't complain.

When her basic Cinderella wish goes horribly wrong, Savannah realizes that fairy tales might not be all they're cracked up to be. Castles, knights and royal balls are nice, but so are electricty, daily showers, and cell phones. Cleaning chimneys, cooking for dwarves, dining on hard bread, dodging angry goats - well, where's the magic in that? After her Cinderella and Snow White adventures, Savannah's ready to wash her hands of the whole godmother mess once and for all. There's just one problem: thanks to another blunder from Chrissy, Tristan Hawkins is now stuck in medieval times. And it's all Savannah's fault. She has no choice, she has to help him get home.

A little magic and poof! she's back in the smelly, rat-infested Middle Ages. This time, she's not after a prince - her one wish is for Tristan to return home safe and sound. The only thing standing in her way is the mysterious Black Knight. And a fire-breathing dragon. And an evil queen who's trying to kill her with a poison apple. And an ogre. Well, at least she brought shampoo.

Each misadventure teaches Savannah something new about her own talents, strengths and weaknesses. Chrissy's screwed up royally, make no mistake, but the closer Savannah gets to the kind-hearted Tristan, the more she wonders about her fair godmother - Could the airheaded fairy be wiser than anyone ever suspected? Does Savannah really have all the magic she needs inside herself or is that another one of Chrissy's tricks? There's only one way to find out. Unfortunately, it involves a dragon. A big, scary dragon. All she's got is a bottle of Pantene and a godmother who couldn't perform a spell to save her own life, let alone Savannah's. What's a 21st Century high schooler (with very shiny hair) to do?

My Fair Godmother by Janette Rallison is one of those sweet, light-hearted stories that's just fun to read. It's got a little big of everything - comedy, adventure, romance, mystery - thrown against a delightfully twisted fairy tale background. Despite being both pretty and popular, Savannah is a surprisingly sympathetic character. She's spirited, likeable and brave. Rallison keeps the moralizing light, imparting simple wisdom through dingy Chrissy Everstar. While nothing about the book really knocked my socks off, I thoroughly enjoyed this delightful romp through fairy tale land. It also taught me a valuable lesson: Be careful what you wish for and always pack shampoo.

(Readalikes: reminded me of Princess for Hire by Lindsey Leavitt and a little of Just Ella by Margaret Peterson Haddix)

Grade: B

If this were a movie, it would be rated: PG simply because it's a teen romance most suitable for readers 10 and older (although my 8-year-old loves it)

To the FTC, with love: I bought this book with some of the millions I make from my lucrative career as a book blogger. Hee hee.

4 comments:

  1. Yeah! I love this book! :) I actually love all Jeanette Rallison's books (I've read two so far). She has a gift for simple wisdom and making believable stories out of plotlines that should be stale.

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  2. Oh, cool! We are just finishing a fractured fairy tale unit. I'll have to get this one to place in my FFT book bin! Thanks!

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  3. Per usual....you tempt me.

    I know a few readers who will find this their perfect escape. Thanks for sharing!

    Only 2 more days til vacation~!

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  4. just finished this one and thought it was cute too.

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