Title: My Fair Godmother
Author: Janette Rallison
ISBN: 9780802797803
Pages: 311 pages
Publisher/Date: Walker & Company, c2009.

“All right, what’s your heart’s desire?” […]
I fingered my pillow sham, thinking. “I just wish that somehow my life could be a like a fairy tale. You know, with a handsome prince waiting for me at the ball, and that somehow when I meet him, everything will work out happily ever after.”
Chrissy checked her wristwatch again, hardly paying attention to me. “Okay, great. One Cinderella coming up.”
Before I could say another word–and I had planned to say, “Wait, that wasn’t my wish!”–white sparks surrounded me. The next moment I found myself in a cold, dark room. (46-47)

Sixteen-year-old Savannah Delano thought she had a great life, until her senior track star boyfriend Hunter dumps her for her older sister Jane. Jane and Savannah look extremely alike, but Jane is much more studious, while Savannah is focused on clothes and boys. Savannah is paid a visit by her fair godmother (not great, not good, just “fair”) and is offered a contract for three wishes. The first two do not go as planned, with Savannah being transported to the Medevial Ages, first as Cinderella and then again as Snow White. Neither trip goes as planned, and so the third time her godmother sends a boy back to the medevial ages to become a prince, instead of forcing Savannah to find one there. Savannah is then forced to go rescue Tristan, a cute classmate who unknowingly gets roped into this mess. Tristan and Savannah must battle an ogre, a dragon, and the dreaded Black Knight in order to get home safely, but nothing is as easy as it seems when magic is involved.

I find it surprising that even though I didn’t like Savannah, I liked the book. Or at least, I didn’t NOT like the book. I enjoyed how Janette Rallison begins the book by making readers feel sorry and sympathetic towards Jane, only to have us shift our focus and feelings to Savannah. The sisters have a real bond, and their arguments are based in reality, even as the action is taken into fantasy. Their similar looks also lend itself to the plot, prompting the question of brains over beauty. While not my favorite fractured/altered tellings of Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty, it’s interesting how all the pieces fall into place by the end.

This begs the question of what you think about the cover of the book, which I don’t think does the book justice. Rosiepixie over at An ad a day points out that the same stock art is being used for an insurance ad, but regardless of where else the photo is being used, the book focuses on Savannah’s attempts at leading a fairy tale life, and not on the godmother. In fact, it’s her inattentiveness and absence that causes the problems in the book. Besides which, even if this WAS Chrissy, it certainly doesn’t match her description upon first meeting Savannah:

The next moment a life-size teenage girl decked out in a tank top, miniskirt, knee-high boots, and sunglasses stood before me. She had long cotton-candy-pink hair, which matched not only a small sequined purse on her shoulder but also her immaculate nail job. (42)

Besides the hair and the sunglasses, I just don’t see it.