Alex Flinn‘s Mirrored, like Mercedes Lackey’s The Serpent’s Shadow is a retelling of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. Mirrored is a contemporary YA novel. Most of the characters are appallingly shallow, because most of them are teenagers. Ms Flinn has written several YA novel retelling classic fairy tales.
The book starts with Violet in the 80s. Homely, weird, cruelly teased, she foolishly thinks physical beauty will solve all her problems. She has a crush on Greg, a boy who seems to appreciate her weirdness and her intellect, but who falls for the prettiest of Violet’s tormentors, Volet meets Kendra who claims to be a witch and centuries old. Kendra tells Violet she has magical powers, too, and begins instructing her in these gifts.
Part 2 of the book is told from the POV of Greg’s daughter by Jennifer, Celine. Celine becomes Violet’s stepdaughter (oops! spoiler) as Violet’s goals haven’t advanced since high school. Be beautiful, get Greg, get back at Jennifer. Where Violet actively desired beauty and schemed to get it, Celine hates the fact that A, she is beautiful, and B, most people judge her only by her beauty. (Not a problem I’ve ever had, but I can see where it would be annoying.)Celine befriends Mauricio “Goose” Guzman, a short but sensitive boy in the school theater program. Celine is a mega-fan of singer Jonah Prince, a One Direction-type performer, as is her BFF Laurel. Celine and Goose co-star in the school play, getting better acquainted. They meet Kendra and learn Violet is not just a bitch, but an actual witch.
When (spoiler warning again!) Greg dies, we learn Violet’s goals and dreams have not matured since her teenage years. She’s one of those women who can’t cope without their man. (I did mention most of the characters are shallow, didn’t I?) When Violet decides Celine is a complication she no longer needs in her life, Goose’s family takes her in. Part 3 of the book is told from Goose’s POV. He decides that Jonah Prince can awaken Celine from Violet’s spell. It’s not easy for a teenage boy to get access to a rock star heartthrob in another city, but for Celine’s sake, he’ll try.
I’d give this a 7/10. I might have liked it better if I were a teenage girl instead of the mother of one. I much preferred Lackey’s The Serpent’s Shadow, where the characters are older and have more depth. That’s part of her Elemental Masters series, set in Edwardian London.
ALA Booklist said, “Plenty of action to enhance the traditional tale, and a completely satisfying ending will leave readers with a big smile.” I don’t disagree with them.