Review: Forever Snow (The Everly Girls Book 1) by V.B. Marlowe
At the core of many fairy tales is a witch or two, casting curses and blighting the lives of innocents. For Princess Snow White, the cursing witch is her stepmother. A sympathetic huntsman saves Snow by substituting a deer's heart for hers.
The Everly Girls novels (three so far) take the witch-curse datum from this and other stories' hearts and weave an intriguing structure around it. In the latest iteration of this evergreen tale, Neva Albini (Snow) has been cursed by a coven of witches to live three years of mid-adolescence, over and over again for centuries.
Her curse will only be lifted when she consents to kill another similarly-cursed wight and deliver her still-warm heart to the coven. Beauty, Hansel and Gretl, Cinderella, and others whose encounters with witches brought them similar problems, will need to make their own choices, but each of these other cursed characters is contending for a limited supply of happily ever after.
And Neva's own heart is a ticket for someone else to escape the curse.
Time is running out for Neva to comply, and all the other problems of adolescence—mean girls and classroom rivalry, teen love long delayed by the fatal-kiss clause of her curse, and dire warnings from one friend that none of her other friends are to be trusted—pale next to this one. If she doesn't make a choice soon, it could mean spending the rest of time trapped in her three-year teenage hell. But choosing to kill another to benefit herself, especially someone suffering under their own curse, is simply a different damnation for Neva.
Marlowe has put a fascinating twist on cursed-child fairy tales, modernized them and intertwined one with another to create a series full of possibilities. While I got this title for free as a Kindle Scout selection, I'll be purchasing each of the subsequent Everly Girls novels as soon as they come available. (I've already started with Forever Ella.)
Because you can never have enough happily ever after, even if it is only happy enough.
Note: These books are currently only available in eBook format