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I Belong


Review: Mirrored by Alex Flinn

MirroredTitleMirrored

AuthorAlex Flinn

Genre: YA Fantasy

Series: The Kendra Chronicles (Book #3)

Publication Date: September 15, 2015

Format: Hardcover, 384 Pages

ISBN-10: 0062134515 (HarperTeen)

ISBN-13: 978-0062134516 (HarperTeen)

Reviewed by: Kaitlin

Synopsis:

Celine’s life is the stuff fairy tales are made of. She’s beautiful, talented, and brave. Unfortunately, her tale comes complete with a wicked stepmother! When Violet steps into Celine’s life, everything changes and weird things begin to happen to her—bizarre accidents, strange illnesses, and rabid animal attacks. Celine doesn’t feel safe anywhere. It’s almost as if some hateful witch is out to get her.

And there is. Violet has been waiting all her life to have Celine’s father to herself. Getting rid of his gorgeous daughter is child’s play for a witch as powerful as she is. Happy-ever-after isn’t enough for Violet. She wants to be the fairest of them all, and Celine is in the way . . . but not for long.

Forced to take refuge with her friend Goose and his family, Celine gives up everything she loves and goes deep undercover. But will it be enough to fool Violet, or will Celine’s fate be decided by a reflection in a magic mirror? And where do you find Prince Charming in Miami anyway?

Quick & Dirty: A predictable and underwhelming novel that was enjoyable, but didn’t stand out among all of the retellings.

Opening Sentence: I was a strange child.

Excerpt: Yes

The Review:

Violet has never been beautiful. Her eyelashes seem non-existent, her nose is misshapen, and her chin is weak. Her mother is too beautiful and glamorous to appreciate her ugly daughter. To top it off, Violet isn’t well-liked at school – she is bullied constantly. The only friend she ever really had is named Greg, and she’s falling in love with him, until he ditches her for the popular crowd and leaves her all alone. When Violet discovers Kendra, a witch, and learns that she too has magic powers, it changes her world. Suddenly she has the power to make herself beautiful. Although she thinks her new supermodel appearance could change everything, she is still hated around the campus, and Greg is still dating her nemesis Jennifer.

Flash-forward many years, when Greg and Jennifer have married and have had a daughter, the gorgeous Celine. Her beauty is almost ethereal, and its completely natural. When Celine’s mother dies in a freak accident at the zoo, Violet and Greg reconnect and soon marry, giving Celine a stepmother. She doesn’t understand the strange things that keep happening to her with Violet around: the scowls, the jealous and spiteful words, her cats attacking her and her hair appliances burning her. It seems almost  . . . like magic. When Celine is almost killed, she takes refuge with the goofy, short boy from her drama class, Goose. But is that enough to save her from Violet’s vengeance?

When I saw the author’s name, I immediately recognized it from somewhere, and soon connected it to Beastly. I’d heard good things about the book, and Vanessa Hudgens starred in the movie, so I assumed that the novel must have been incredible. That being said, I expected a gorgeous, unique writing style – after all, Alex Flinn has written her fair share of books! She must be talented, right? Sadly, I found that the writing style was very simple, using language that didn’t seem experienced or mature. The novel would have fit more as a middle grade book, in my opinion, as it scooted around topics of sex, drugs, and alcohol anyway.

Luckily, there were some things about the novel that kept me reading and made it enjoyable. I actually liked Violet’s character the most; she was the most interesting. Her story was touching and sad, and watching her develop from the victim to the villain was a truly intriguing story arc. I found Celine’s part much less fun. Her character was almost too perfect: gorgeous, compassionate, empathetic. While I understand the part her perfection played in the plotline, it was not believable how little flaws she had, and that made her a hard character to relate to. The magic aspect of the story was okay, but not very original.

Altogether, I found the book alright and think it was a decent read. There was a love story as well, obviously, which was cute enough. I liked Goose’s character and found him more relatable despite the many differences between us, just because he was flawed. I enjoyed his backstory and seeing from his perspective as he developed as a character. Again, the magic and the characters weren’t anything too special, and the writing style was simpler than I had expected. I also found the plotline to be very predictable. I understand that it’s a retelling, and it will be closely related to the original, but there wasn’t anything that really stood out about this novel among a slew of Snow White retellings. However, I think that readers will enjoy it, especially younger ones (I’m still convinced it would fit in the middle grade genre!).

Notable Scene:

“I want to be beautiful. Can that happen?”

It sounded so bare, out in the open like that, out in the empty street. Yet, it was the only thing I wanted, had ever wanted. Well, that and Greg. I knew beauty was nothing. But it was also everything.

“Yes, yes, I can do that.”

The Kendra Chronicles:

1. Beastly

2. Bewitching

3. Mirrored

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FTC Advisory: HarperTeen provided me with a copy of Mirrored. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.

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