I'm not sure why I love stories set during the Roaring Twenties, but I do. Do I love F. Scott Fitzgerald's books because they're set during the Jazz Age? (BTW, Fitzgerald is credited with coining the name The Jazz Age!) Or do I love that era because I like a lot of stories set there? I don't even know anymore.
January Snow: A Jazz Age Fairy Tale is a retelling of Snow White set, obviously, in the 1920s. It's got flappers and bootleg hooch and speakeasies and gangsters and hobos. Everything you need for a good (fictional) time, right?
Jan herself is not having a good time, however. Her father dies. Her stepmother blames Jan. Her stepmother takes out a hit on Jan. Jan flees. Jan makes new friends. Apples play an important role in more ways than one. Also, Jan's stepmother is a medium and communicates with the dead. And the FBI get involved.
Jan might not be having a good time in this book, but I sure enjoyed reading it! I also liked that there wasn't any overt romance in it. So many fairy tale retellings play up the romance and play down the other interpersonal relationships, like those within families or between friends. I love that this one was different.
Note: I received an ARC copy of this book, and I promised to give my honest opinion of the book if I chose to review it. I liked this book so well, I bought a paperback copy to keep on my shelves!
Particularly Good Bits:
January Snow had long ago decided that the public's preference for alcohol stemmed from two things: one, their own inability to face up to their problems; and two, to disguise the fact that without their liquid crutch, they would all be exposed as very tedious, very boring people.
...when she'd shorn off her waist-length hair four years ago, it had been a bold move. Now it was only one head among thousands wearing the same style, the sign of rebellion fading into the typicality of the masses.
"It's all right to cry," Mrs. Brendan said. "It doesn't have to mean you're injured, it just means you're a human being."
If This was a Movie, I Would Rate It: PG-13 for violence, suspense, scenes with danger, and occult practices. The latter are clearly shown as wrong and dangerous.