Saturday, July 11, 2015

Review: MIRRORED by Alex Flinn

Publisher: HarperTeen
Publish Date: September 15, 2015
Genre: YA Retelling, Fairy Tale
Source: Print Arc
Rating: 3.5 Stars

A modern, multi-generational tale of Kendra, the witch from "Snow White," who trains Violet, an ugly, lonely, and heartbroken girl in the 1980s who transforms herself into "the fairest one of all" but still cannot win Greg's heart, and Celine, Greg's daughter with Violet's high school rival, Jennifer.

Mirrored is a book that was high on my to be read reading list - well more like one of my top books to be read this year. It didn't disappoint. This is the story about the wicked stepmother/witch from Snow White. The first half of the story follows her when she was a little girl. No one liked her because she wasn't 'beautiful' like them. It began an obsession; to be flawlessly beautiful. 

Of course what type of story would it be without our beloved Kendra! Violet only wants to fit in and be beautiful, and with the help of Kendra she can make that happen. She does all this not just for beauty but to win the heart of the boy she's desperately in love with. Only, he doesn't want her, even when she's insanely pretty.

 The story then delves into a second part - Snow White's part. She's the daughter of the man Violet is in love (obsessed) with. When Celine's mother tragically dies from an animal attack, Violet sweeps in and it no time becomes stepmother. But the closer Celine comes of age, the more and more Violet begins to loathe her. Celine is beautiful and may even be the "most beautiful girl in all the land". Violet can't have that, she she sabotages Celine in different ways. When tragedy strikes Celine again, she's in deep trouble. With the help of Kendra, can these two stop Violet from herself? 

I felt for Violet and I seriously loved her innocent character in the beginning of the story. Then we get to that second part and j couldn't help but hate her with a passion! She was so jealous and so manipulative; I just couldn't help but mourn the sweet and lonely little girl. Alas, she was in fact an evil witch. All in the name of love and looks. 

I feel like I need to mention the freaking amazing characters. Most notably Goose. I really enjoyed him; he was quirky and super fun to read about. Celine was a cool character even though her constant complaining about how beautiful she was, was definitely annoying. But for the most part I really did like her. The ending had a cool twist that I enjoyed and I know readers will love it too! 

If you're looking for a different take on a classic fairy tale I highly recommend this one! It was great seeing the stepmother from Snow White so vulnerable; she almost seemed human. Almost. It's sad and you may want to pity this woman (witch) but her actions do make it so hard to love her. 

Random thought: everyone in the beginning of the book were assholes. No joke. Plus Violet's love interest, Greg, was kind of a dud. I had NO idea why she had to be so obsessed with him. 

*Thank you to the publisher for providing a copy for and honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own. 

Buy Link:

About the Author:
I was born in a log cabin in the Big Woods of . . . okay, maybe not. I was born on Long Island, New York. When I was five years old, my mom said that I should be an author. I guess I must have nodded or something because, from that point on, every poem I ever wrote in school was submitted to Highlights or Cricket magazine. I was collecting rejection slips at age seven!

I learned to read early. But I compensated for this early proficiency by absolutely refusing to read the programmed readers required by the school system -- workbooks where you read the story, then answered the questions. When the other kids were on Book 20, I was on Book 1! My teacher, Mrs. Zeiser, told my mother, "Alexandra marches to her own drummer." I don't think that was supposed to be a good thing. Now, when my daughter, Katie, brings home FCAT prep materials where you are supposed to read a passage and answer questions, I want to ask the teacher, "Does she really need to do this? She can read!!!"

My family moved to Miami when I was in middle school. I had a really hard time making friends, so I spent a lot of time reading and writing then. But unlike Christopher Paolini or Amelia Atwater-Rhodes, I never finished writing a novel. That was also when I learned to be a keen observer. By high school, I'd made some friends and gotten involved in various "gifted and talented" performing arts programs. I studied opera in college (I'm a coloratura -- the really loud, high-pitched sopranos.) and then went to law school.

It was law school that probably helped with my first novel. Breathing Underwater deals with the serious and all-too-common problem of dating violence. I based the book on my experiences interning with the State Attorney's Office and volunteering with battered women. I thought this was a really important topic, as 27 percent of teenage girls surveyed have been hit by a boyfriend. I'm happy that the book is so popular, and if you are reading this bio because the book was assigned for school, I'm happy about that too.

I started writing an early (and laughable) version of Breathing Underwater in college (I was really bored on a car trip with my parents). I didn't get back to it until I had my first daughter, Katie. I'm self-taught. I went to the library and took out books on writing. Then, I read a lot of young-adult novels by writers I admired, particularly Richard Peck. Reading his books is like listening to Mozart -- you learn the right way to write a novel. Then, you fill in your own style. I actually got to meet Richard Peck in person at a workshop of the Key West Literary Seminar. Lots of writers have been really helpful to me, especially Richard and fellow YA author, Joyce Sweeney.

I think I write for young-adults because I never quite got over being one. In my mind, I am still 13-years-old, running laps on the athletic field, wearing this really baggy white gymsuit. I'm continually amazed at the idea that I have a checking account and a mortgage. So I try to write books that gymsuit girl might enjoy. It's a way of going back to being 13...knowing what I know now.
Right now, I live half a mile away from my old middle school, in Palmetto Bay, a suburb of Miami, with my husband, Gene, and daughters, Katie and Meredith. 


  1. I read King by TM Frazier and it blew my mind!

  2. Oh, I loved it so much that I can't wait for book #2 to come out (Tyrant) :)


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