Review of The Storybook of Legends (Ever After High #1) by Shannon Hale


The Storybook of Legends by Shannon Hale

My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars
Publication date: October 8th, 2013
Genres & themes: middle grade, fairy tales, boarding school, friendship, adventure.

BLURB:

At Ever After High, an enchanting boarding school, the children of fairytale legends prepare themselves to fulfill their destinies as the next generation of Snow Whites, Prince Charmings and Evil Queens…whether they want to or not. Each year on Legacy Day, students sign the Storybook of Legends to seal their scripted fates. For generations, the Village of Book End has whispered that refusing to sign means The End-both for a story and for a life.

As the daughter of the Evil Queen, Raven Queen’s destiny is to follow in her mother’s wicked footsteps, but evil is so not Raven’s style. She’s starting to wonder, what if she rewrote her own story? The royal Apple White, daughter of the Fairest of Them All, has a happy ever after planned for herself, but it depends upon Raven feeding her a poison apple in their future.


What if Raven doesn’t sign the Storybook of Legends? It could mean a happily never after for them both.

REVIEW:

♫ It’s an open book, a road in reverse,
a brand-new hook—forget that curse.
It’s a rebel cause with a royal heart.
Rewrite, ignite, restart.

*4.5 stars*

Ever After High : The Storybook of Legends is based on the YouTube episodes following the same story and characters with some differences and more details of course. I still remember how eager I was, last summer, for those short episodes to be posted since I was a big fan of the Monster High ones and the rights belong to Mattel as well so I was sure it was going to be a success.

I directly made some research after learning there was going to be a series and learned that Shannon Hale was to write this cute trilogy. In fact, I read on Shannon Hale’s web site that she was planning on taking a break from writing when she suddenly had this offer of being apart of the Ever After High new project. I’m glad she accepted the offer since I don’t know how this book could have turned out without her compelling writing and talent at bringing characters to life.

Raven Queen is the daughter of The Evil Queen who you all know plays an important part in Snow White’s, AKA Apple White’s mother, story. In this series, the descendents of EVERY fairy tale attends the Ever After High royal boarding school and learn etiquette, how to rule a kingdom or in Raven’s case how to act like the new evil queen she will someday become. Because, yes, every daughter and son has to revive her/his associated parent’s story. They so have to pledge their destiny and sign the Storybook of Legends. If they don’t, their story, along with themselves, will disappear. Poof! Here is the problem: Raven Queen doesn’t want to follow her mother’s steps and bring darkness into people’s life. She wants to be good and she IS good whatever others think of her.

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She desperately wants to change her destiny but Apple White, daughter of Snow White, wants her Happily Ever After which means no modifications as how the story must go. She pressures Raven into signing the book.

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Apple White may seem like a selfish spoiled princess, especially after the true facts I’ve said about her, but she’s not quite that. She has a good, beautiful heart but she’s young and afraid of losing what she has always dreamed of: living her mother’s wonderful story.

Every character in this story has won a special place in my heart. I love them all, even the less present ones. One thing I’d recommend though, before reading this series, is watching some of the YouTube episodes simply so you can understand better and get to know the character’s voices and way of being more easily.

Despite how much I loved this story, the way it was told and the lovely and charming characters, there is one thing that could have really been better: the verb terms!Shannon Hale almost always used the word ‘said’ in a dialog and it can break the atmosphere if it gets on your nerves (which it did to me) but principally because I knew the author could’ve written something else instead of that word over and over again. I truly hope it’ll be resolved in the sequel.

I know many people are reluctant to reading middle grade books and it’s understandable. I rarely read those myself but, when I do, I pick some that look enjoyable and cute because cuteness is something I do love in my middle grade reads. The point is, this series is worth reading if you believe you’d enjoy it and trust it’ll enchant you like it enchanted me.

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View all my reviews on Goodreads.

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38 thoughts on “Review of The Storybook of Legends (Ever After High #1) by Shannon Hale

  1. Lola, this looks adorable, how have I not heard of it? It’s Shannon Hale for the love of pete. I have most of her books already. Anyway, definitely adding this to my wishlist. Great review, Dollface!

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  2. Yay, Lola! I’m glad you had fun and enjoyed book one of Ever After High. My daughters love the episodes and I’m hoping to read it along with more youngest daughter this year for school. It sounds so enchanting and delightful! 🙂

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  3. Oh it’s the first time I hear about this book I confess but I confess I tend to stay away from middle grade, I should try more maybe. In any case this one sounds really nice! thanks for the discovery!

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  4. Loving the art, it’s adorable! I actually haven’t read middle grade in awhile but I will definitely give this one a chance, I’m also checking this out on YouTube before getting the book like you said since I agree that I’ll be able to understand and visualize the characters better. It will be a better reading experience also. Lovely review Lola!

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  5. So there are books and You Tube episodes? FUN!!! I love all the artwork too, it’s just gorgeous. This is a new to me book, though I’ve been meaning to try Shannon Hale for some time, so thank you for putting it on my radar Lola! Glad you enjoyed it despite the overuse of the word “said” 🙂

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    • YES and dolls as well and other cool stuff!! The art is amazingly beautiful and enchanting. Inside the book, there is color it’s so sweet! So glad you’re thinkning about giving it a try! Yeahaha, hope that will get resolved in book two. 🙂

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  6. My little brother used to watch Monster High. Yeah, and he likes to draw so I had a room full of different sketches of these girls and boys. I’ll have to remind him of that one of these days (he is a big boy now). Anyhow this sounds really interesting and I think I’d enjoy this book more than tv show. So glad you enjoyed it. Great review, Lola 🙂

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    • OMG, ahahaha that’s so cool though! I think it’s sweet! Monster High lost a big of it’s ‘amazingness’ to me but I still look forward to the movies. xd I’m glad you’re thinking about giving this book a chance, Tanja! 😀 And thank you!

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  7. I’ll admit that lately I’ve been so busy, I pretty much forgot all about Ever After High! Same for Monster High in a way, but i wasn’t really interested in that series. o_o Great review, Lola! ^_^

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  8. I loved Shannon Hale’s Princess Academy series when I was younger, so this sounds really interesting! I can’t believe I hadn’t heard of it before. Fairy tales are always so much fun, and I love the sound of the writing and fantasy aspects. And it’s so cool that the book has YouTube episodes! I’ve never heard of a book doing that before, so I’m intrigued! I don’t really read much middle grade anymore, but I’ll definitely recommend this to my younger sister. 🙂 Thanks for sharing Lola, and, as always, BRILLIANT review! ❤

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    • I bought Princess Academy not so long ago. It’s on my to-read shelf so will read it this summer probably as well. Yeah, I agree, fairy tales are delightully entertaining and I LOVE them. ^^ Well, Monter High has YouTube episodes as well but it’s actually the book that’s based on the episodes and not the other way around. I think. 😛 Oh, I hope your sister will love it! Thank you, Zoe-dear. ❤

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  9. This sounds really cute, Lola! I’d be rooting for poor Raven with that horrible mother. Nice to hear you enjoyed the story in spite of the distracting overuse of “said”. I probably wouldn’t have noticed, but you never know. I “read” (listened to the audio) a Bella Andre novel and the word “lovely” was in the book about a million times! It drove me nuts! Wonderful review, and nice new digs! 🙂

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    • Oh yeah her mother is tricky and EVIL. She did some cruel stuff so she’s emprisoned in a mirror. ^^ I noticed then forgot and then noticed again. Oh yeah it’s annoying right?? And you’re like I’m I the only one noticing?? LOL Thanks a lot, Rachel!! ❤

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  10. Hey, Lola! I didn’t know that you had a blog. Wut? So glad to see that you have one 😉 My sister loves this series so I think I should rec it to her. Yay that Shannon decided to accept this 🙂 Oh, so it’s a retelling? Yeah? I love those! I know that my friend Mel would adore this. Hahaha! These gifd are so adorable 🙂 I’m not a big fan of MG books tbh. But this one overfloods with cuteness. I can sense it! I’m so glad you enjoyed it and I hope you’ll be happy with the sequel 🙂 Great review, Lola!

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    • Hehe, just created it a week ago!! 😀 It’s so exciting! Definitely recommend this series to your sister (or you lol.) A really special retelling. Hmm, I don’t even know if it’s the RIGHT word lol. 😛 Hahhaha, it overfloods with cuteness indeed and I love that about it! 😀 Thanks so much, Siiri! I actually bought the sequel at the same time *happy dance* lol. ❤

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  11. I love fairytale adaptations and this sounds pretty interesting. I’ve also never read any of Hale’s books but I’d like to give her writing a try. Oh, and I’m definitely checking out those Youtube episodes too 🙂

    P.S. Thanks for stopping by my blog. In reply to your question, The Cavendish Home for Boys and Girls is a MG read. I don’t usually read MG either but it has a lot of crossover appeal so it’s worth trying.

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    • Cool! I’m glad you’re interested! I really liked this book and hope you will too. ^^ The episodes are so nice. ❤
      I'm glad to hear that because I don't read many MG books either but I like to when I hear about great ones! Thank you. 🙂

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  12. I had been trying to decide whether or not to try these books. I love fairytales and I love Shannon Hale. And I like middle grade books as long as their not TOO childish, but these looked a little too young for my taste. But I’m probably just judging on the covers! Did they seem immature to you?

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