Wicked Jealous: A Love Story
By Robin Palmer
Available 19 July 2012
Simone never saw herself as the “cute girl”—she was always the chunky, band tee wearing, France-obsessed smart girl. But now that Simone’s a few pounds lighter and sporting a new retro style, things have gotten, well, weird. Her crush Jason seems to actually know she exists. And when Simone’s soon-to-be stepmonster Hillary stops ignoring her, Simone knows something is up. When Simone’s brother offers to let her move in with him and his six roommates on the beach for the summer, Simone jumps at the chance. But living with seven very different college boys isn’t exactly helping her land her very own happily ever after.
This Blonde’s Review:
As a fan of books and movies that take a fairy tale and make them current I knew I’d want to read Robin Palmer’s take on Snow White. Simone isn’t like our usual vision of Snow White though. She wasn’t always beautiful and she wasn’t her daddy’s princess. Instead her dad works too much and she’s starts out as a chunky girl who lived in shirts she picked up at her favorite thrift store. Luckily for Simone she has a loving big brother and a loyal best friend standing by her side. When he father’s girlfriend uninvites her from a family trip she finds herself living with her brother and his roommates for the summer.
Simone isn’t very confident in herself and doesn’t recognize that she’s turned into a beautiful girl. She is still the same Simone who prefers shopping in the thrift store, even if it is a thrift store full of clothing from the stars, and would rather look french or like her mother than follow the trends. She has more friends in the middle-age mom set than the teenage set, and she’s okay with that. Living with seven guys who are so different gives her insight in what guys see and think, as well as showing her that she’s not as invisible as she always thought. With the seven of them helping her out she should be able to snag the guy she wants and ride off with the prince. Except sometimes the prince isn’t who you expect it to be.
Since this is a Snow White story of course there is the evil stepmother. Hilary might not be her stepmother yet but she’s doing her best to make it happen. We watch as Hilary’s jealousy of Simone gains momentum while she tries in vain to get the perfect shade of red lipstick that will make her lips better than Simone’s natural color. Simone’s apple allergy is one that Hilary conveniently forgets so often that it becomes suspicious to everyone but Simone. We can only watch and hope that Simone will catch on before she finds herself taking a bite of the poison apple the way the original Snow White did.
Robin Palmer did not let me down with this one. I was only part way through the book when I knew I’d have to go out and find a copy of her other ones. She didn’t stay true to the original Snow White in the best ways. I loved that she didn’t give us a charmed Snow White whose life was perfect before her stepmother showed up. I loved that Simone wasn’t cut from the same cloth as those around her. She may have had her issues and blind spots, but it made her more real to me. The people she had around her built the story up so much more. I loved the conferences the ‘seven dwarfs’ would have about her when they’d notice she was upset. They may not have been smooth about it, but their hearts were in the right place and I loved them for it.
If you enjoy reading a modern revision on a fairy tale and would have loved to see how Snow White would play out for a teenage girl now, then you’ll love Wicked Jealous. It’s an adorable story and in some ways I might even like it better than the original. I will be looking into Robin Palmer’s other books soon, since I bet I’ll love to see how she thinks Cinderella and the rest.