Snow spell by Sonia Pereira Murphy
find it on Amazon
Published September 2011
Source: author review request
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
*my gut feeling tells me the actual rating is 4.5, but rounding it up because the originality deserves it*
Summary: Loosely based on Grimm’s Snow White, Snow Spell (a novel in prose poems) recounts the tale of a poverty-stricken young teen living in Paris and completely unaware of her magical powers. Only when she starts seeing gorgeous ghosts floating on her family’s cracked apartment walls, does Neve suspect she may not be quite normal. But will her talents as a witch prove strong enough to protect her from her stepmother’s desire to see her dead and buried or will a cute but evil warlock be the cause of her downfall?
Now, this was something completely different. The author provided a sample chapter with her review request, and it was enough for me to say "YES, PLEASE!"
Snow Spell is a retelling of Snow White set in modern-day Paris and written in prose poems. Neve is a poor girl roaming the streets of Paris until one day she meets a beautiful, but mysterious lady and an intriguing young man...if I say any more, I will probably spoil the plot for you, which is not your good-old Snow White in its entirety. Murphy has updated the story, added a fantastic spin, and made the whole concept of Snow White fresh and interesting again. Given the space limitations, there's not much branching out, no subplots to digress into.
Chapters are told from different points of view. Each chapter consist of non-rhyming verses of varying lengths. I admit that, at first, it took some time to adjust, but after that it went smoothly. Since it's such a short read (118 pages, but consider the form), I read it again and loved it even more the second time around. Murphy's writing, with its beautifully lyrical, rhythmical and evocative language, provides a movie-like experience. From half a page of text, a detailed scene unrolls before your eyes, conveying so much more than what's written down. So despite these initial and short-lasting hiccups, once I allowed myself to feel every word, I thoroughly enjoyed it.
Maybe this is not everyone's cup of coffee (yes, coffee. No tea, please.), but if you allow yourself a little experimentation, I'm sure you will be well-rewarded.