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First Frost by Liz DeJesus
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First Frost

by Liz DeJesus

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Showing 5 of 5
Note: I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review

Read the full review at Witchmag's Boekenplank

* Squeal* Fairy Tales! I absolutely love reading them! I don’t know how many times I’ve read Snow White or Rapunzel. Although it becomes a bit boring after some time, since the story is always the same and you know what’s coming. But even then it won’t lose its magic. I still love reading them ^^ Therefore I love to read retellings of my favorite ones. A retelling usually focuses on details you’ve forgotten or gives the story a different twist. It makes well-known fairy-tales ”fresh” and enjoyable. It gives you a whole new story to enjoy, with the same magic of the old one.

That’s also the case with First Frost. To be more specifically: this book is kind of a retelling of one of my favorites: Snow White. Although I had to refresh my memory, since the story doesn’t use the Disney version, but the much darker, original story of the brothers Grimm. Apparently I’ve forgotten some little details (like the fact that she was almost killed 3 times… how could I forget that?). It was fun to read it again and see how Liz DeJesus twisted this story around. In her book everything that happened in the story is real. Except for the little fact that the prince didn’t kiss her awake, he just found a wizard who could undo the spell ^^ Ha! Had to laugh out loud when reading that one ^^ And Bianca is apparently a descendant of Snow White! With magical powers! How cool is that?

What’s even more awesome is the museum, full with stuff from fairy tales. It becomes even better when said stuff turns out to be magical! Each object in the museum can do something different. Some are bad, while others are good. Like Rapunzel’s hair, that becomes longer when you say a spell and is unbreakable! Or Little Red Riding Hood‘s cape, which shows you the quickest way to get somewhere? Amazing! Why isn’t something like that available in the real world? Even though all of it would be fake, it would be cool to visit ^^

Furthermore there are a lot of little details which made the fairy-tale fanatic in me laugh a lot. Like the cliché of the prince on the white horse. Who turns out to be very differently than the ideal he stands for. And what would a story be without witty sidekicks? Bianca’s friend is one of the best wittiest sidekicks I’ve ever read about. She says her wily remarks at just the right moment. I’ve spent most of my time giggling while reading this book ^^

So we’ve got a good story, lots of fairy-tales and great characters who will make you laugh. Then why only 3 hearts? That’s because I missed something while reading this story: emotions. Not the emotions Bianca has to go through, but mine. I didn’t feel anxiety during fights. Would someone get injured or die? I just couldn’t care. I didn’t swoon during romance time, I just didn’t feel anything except a vague feeling of amusement and the desire to giggle. It was therefore a bit hard to really bind myself to the story and it softened the impact this story could have had on me. It became more of a rainy afternoon book than a book I want everyone to read. Such a shame, cause it has all the right ingredients!

Conclusion

3 HEARTS. There’s a terrific story: a retelling of Snow White. What happened afterwards and what is real and what is made up? There’s also a very cool museum with a lot of stuff from fairy-tales, who have magical properties. We’ve got lot of fun little details for fairy-tale lovers and very witty remarks made by funny sidekicks. Only set back was the lack of emotions I felt while reading this book, no anxiety or swooning. The story didn’t really come to life. Which was a bit of a letdown. ( )
  Iris-Boekenplank | Dec 1, 2013 |
Seventeen-year-old Bianca Frost can’t wait to graduate high school and move on with her life. She works at the fairy tale museum run by parents and is the only employee since her parents refuse to hire outside help. She tries to make the best out of the situation and grudgingly assists her mother when needed. One night she returns home to find her mother battling a witch. She watches in awe as her mother conjures up fire and sends a ball of light towards Lenore. Afterwards her mother tells Bianca the family secret: they are descendants of Snow White. Bianca accepts her heritage and begins to train with her mother on how to use her own magic. Everything seems to be going well until Lenore comes back and kidnaps Bianca’s mother. Suddenly her world is turned upside down and she’s left with the task of finding and rescuing her mother.

Liz DeJesus’ First Frost is an engaging read filled with humor and adventure. Bianca’s journey searching for her mother leads her to Everafter where she finds out that it really does exist. Her mother explained that the Brothers Grimm stepped into a fairy ring and it transported them to Everafter, but explains the whole “they lived happily ever after” is a typo and it actually should read, “and they lived happily in Everafter.” That’s a unique twist on the fairy tale world. You’ll notice some similarities to other versions, but she does change details and offers her own spin. For example in First Frost, the Prince finds Snow White, but doesn’t awaken her and instead finds a wizard to do it. The original Grimm tale has the Prince carrying Snow White’s coffin and he trips dislodging the piece of poisoned apple and she awakens.

We have several key secondary characters that make an appearance. Bianca’s best friend, Ming, is along for the ride when she is told what happened to Bianca’s mother. She even makes the journey to Everafter. In Everafter we have Prince Ferdinand, because no fairy tale is complete without one. I loved him! He wasn’t very smart and in many ways reminded me of Lancelot from the early medieval tales and how he’s depicted as not very bright. At Ferdinand’s side is his faithful servant Terrance who happens to be related to the Big Bad Wolf. He’s the brains behind Ferdinand’s activities and I have a feeling the poor prince would be dead if it wasn’t for him. A romance develops between Terrance and Bianca and it will be interesting to see where DeJesus goes with this. Although a part of me really wants Terrance to be the prince masquerading as a servant!

I really liked that DeJesus combined magic and spells and weaved them into her story. Most fairy tales have some form of magic, but it’s limited and only tends to be used by the villains. Here DeJesus makes Snow White into a witch and Lenore is a great, great, great, descendant of the Evil Queen’s assistant. Bianca questions why Lenore and her family are causing problems and I had the same question! Talk about loyalty! Never fear that question gets addressed and even Snow White makes an appearance.

I debated with the rating between a three and four and decided on a three. The reason has to do with the language and at times both Ming and Bianca sounded younger than they’re supposed to be. Even the conversations between Bianca with her mother sound a bit unnatural. Furthermore, during the intense scenes where a life was a stake, I didn’t quite feel the direness of the situation. Everything Bianca experiences tends to be wrapped up nicely and I wanted more intense feelings. I’m not sure if it’s because Bianca is still processing the truth about her family and hence DeJesus doesn’t give us that intensity.

My favorite quote:

“A quest and a spell to break? A mighty adventure indeed! The minstrels will sing songs about me.”

Overall, Liz DeJesus’ First Frost is a charming read and I enjoyed it. If you’re a fan of fairy tales and retellings you might be interested in reading this. ( )
  winterlillies | Sep 10, 2013 |
Fairy tales have been very popular this year. There were movies: Snow White and the Huntsman, Mirror Mirror; series Grimm, Once Upon a Time; and I don't even know how many books, that retold or did a spin-off of famous fables and tales. As a fairy tale lover I can only say one thing: YAY! (Very eloquent as always.)

First Frost is not a simple retelling. No, it's much much more. Liz DeJesus took the famous fairy tales elements and trademarks and used them to tell us a universal tale about girl who is trying to discover herself, help her parents and find true love. But isn't that what all the fairy tales are all about?

Rose Frost runs The Museum of Magical and Rare Artifacts. But not just any artifacts, all the items displayed in this museum are from fairy tales and fables. What will you find here? Feather mattresses from The Princess and the Pea? Seven foot lock of Rapunzel's hair? A handful of beans from Jack and the Beanstalk? Yes and much more! I always thought that being a librarian would be my dream job, but working in a The Museum of Magical and Rare Artifacts is a close second. Although, I would be probably fired quickly because I played with displayed items. :o)
Unfortunately, 17 year-old Bianca Frost does not see this job in the same light as I do. Since her father went missing 10 years ago she spent every free moment of her life working at the museum and helping her mother Rose. She compares herself to an agnostic working in a church.
"She choose not to believe in this other world and everything it stood for. Magic represented a life out of the norm and Bianca desperately wanted to be normal. Just like everyone else."
Everything Bianca thinks is real will fall apart when unknown women attacks her mother one night - with fire balls. And her mother start firing back! But that's only the the start of Rose's adventures, they will take her to another land where she will find out not only that the magic is real. The fairy tales are real also.

Liz DeJesus has a very fluid writing style. First Frost was light and easy to read. Although, ever-present problem of some over-used cliches in ya novels can be noticed here, Liz DeJesus managed to add some unique and original twists that surprised me.

Disclaimer: I was given a free eBook by the author in exchange for a honest review. This text is also posted on Amazon and my blog. ( )
  bookwormdreams | Apr 10, 2013 |
*NOTE: We (The Readdicts) received a copy of First Frost from author Liz DeJesus @ Musa Publishing in exchange for an honest review. We thank Liz and the publishing house for the book!

First Frost was like walking straight into Disneyland. I absolutely love the idea of a fairy tale coming into a contemporary setup.
For Bianca, accompanying her mom to and helping her run her family's traditional museum, Museum of Magical and Rare Artifacts is just that- tradition. She grew up looking at all the wonderful pieces kept in the museum for display. From Cinderella's slipper to Snow White's poisoned apple to a single brick from the ones The Three Little Pigs used to build their home, the museum hosts all the magical items from our evergreen and legendary fairy tales written by the Grimm Brothers. For Bianca, these items of art and grandeur are just that - items. She never even thought that this family-run business will ultimately change her life and land her in a beautiful yet slightly dangerous time and world. She finds herself in her very own fairy tale.
Bianca was an awesome protagonist. She has a girl next door appeal and shares a wonderful relationship with her parents, a rarity in YA novels. Most of the book is explained from Bainca's POV and her thoughts are clear and practical. She likes helping her mother in running the museum, but that's not what she wants to do for the rest of her life. Little does she know that her destiny has already been fixed.
I loved the relationship between Bianca and her mother, Rose. It was so normal and wonderful to read. Rose reads fairy tales to kids at the museum and there's almost a magical tint to her voice, what with children and parents both being completely engrossed in her lecture; while Bianca cleans the museum and manages the gift shop counter.
In the beginning of the book, there was a scene where a little girl purchases a wand and asks Bianca if it will perform magic. A little confused, Bianca turns to her mother for a response when Rose says that magic is inside us all, we just have to have faith in it. It was an adorable moment. Bianca's father and her also share a wonderful relationship. The love between her father and mother is evident and a love story in itself.
Bianca also shares a great relationship with her best friend, Ming. Ming is a supportive friend and a strong shoulder. I loved how she was always there for Bianca and even accompanied her in her other-worldly adventure. The two friends did things any normal friends would do in spite of the twist in the tale. They are always there for each other, no matter what. Both them are so understanding and simple. Ming is in perfect balance to Bianca. She is emotional and fun to have around while the Bianca is practical and hard-working.
When the Frost family find themselves in another time and world altogether, Bianca comes across two handsome and amazing gentlemen, Prince Ferdinand and Terrance. The two of them are the knights in shining armour or princes on horses. I loved them both! They brought a light-hearted and warm feel to the story.
First Frost is truly a wonderful read. A different fairy tale, it manages to remain both practical and imaginative simultaneously. Author Liz DeJesus writes in a simple and systematic way which makes you want to read more and more. I thoroughly enjoyed every page of First Frost and I would highly recommend it. What better than reading a lovely and pretty fairy tale! I loved how the story explains that 'happily ever after' is actually a typo of 'happily IN Everafter'! ( )
  SarikaP8 | Oct 31, 2012 |
First Frost
By Liz DeJesus

Seventeen year old Bianca Frost spends her summers and weekends continuing on a family tradition working in their Fairy Tale Museum. She has grown up around all these items and has become cynical towards them knowing that they are all just pretend. One day though she is proven wrong when she returns home from a friend’s house to find her mother fighting with Lenore, but they are not physically fighting they are throwing magic at each other, and Bianca is thrown head first into a world full of wonder. When Bianca’s mother is kidnapped she must make her way to EverAfter and will do anything she can to save her mother from the clutches of an evil witch and a feud that goes back for centuries.

True Love, Evil Witches, and Happily Ever After what more could you want from a fairy tale novel? Liz DeJesus incorporates everything we love about the fairy tale genre and then some with thoroughly lovable characters and such evil nemesis that you cannot help but hate them yourselves. Bianca is a character that you can relate to who has already been through a lot in her short life after her father disappears when she was seven, but she and her mother overcome and this adds a new depth to the story that is already emotional and beautiful. I started this novel late at night thinking I would just read a couple of chapters before I go to bed. I ended up staying up until four in the morning I couldn’t put this one down, this novel is amazing! Not only is this a great young adult novel it is also fun for anyone who loves a triumphant novel, I truly hope the author makes a return visit to EverAfter.

For More Reviews be sure to visit my blogs at:
http://reflectionsofabookworm.wordpress.com/
http://bookwormrflects8.blogspot.com/ ( )
  BookWormRflects | Oct 7, 2012 |
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