Publisher: MTV Books
Release Date: 18th May 2009
Once upon a time, there was a beautiful princess with shining, golden hair…
If life were a fairy tale, Oribella Bettencourt would have a “happily ever after” kind of future ahead of her. A Hollywood producer has come to Des Moines in search of a perfectly modern Princess Rapunzel, and Ori - a model, dancer, and a star of the beauty pageant circuit - lands the part. And why shouldn’t she? With her hard-working, self-sacrificing mother guiding her career, Ori is stunning, dedicated, poised…and then there’s her hair. Breathtakingly lustrous blond hair that sets her apart from all the other girls at school. So what if she doesn’t have any friends her age, or anyone to talk to other than her mother? She’s on the verge of having everything she’s ever dreamed of.
But in this fairy tale, the beautiful princess wakes up to her worst nightmare - when almost overnight, Ori begins to lose her hair…
Jan Blazanin’s debut novel, Fairest of Them All, is the great story of a girl who survives her whole world crashing down around her.
Beauty pageants aren’t a big deal here in England so I began Fairest of Them All knowing almost nothing about them. I was kind of shocked at what goes into entering one. It’s like another world full of hairspray, spades of make-up and haute couture dresses! That as well as Ori’s dancing, modelling and acting made me realise why she didn’t really have a life outside of her career. I felt a bit sorry for her.
This began to change as Ori went through alopecia. She was extremely brave and very strong. It helped her to really get to know herself again and finally allowed her to make friends. I also loved what she realised about the industry she so desperately wanted to be at the top of. The stress and pressure must have been enormous.
One of the only things that I didn’t like about Fairest of Them All was Ori’s mum. I really didn’t like her at all. I was a little horrified at how she reacted to Ori’s diagnosis, probably because I could never imagine my mum reacting in the same way. She did manage to redeem herself slightly at the end, however. I even started to understand what she acted the way she did.
I really enjoyed Fairest of Them All and I’m looking forward to reading more of Jan Blazanin’s novels in the future.