The 2nd year students at Ever After High have a very exciting day coming up, their Legacy Day. When they are excepted to sign The Storybook of Legends and pledge to follow their destiny, to live out their fairy tales just like their parents before them.
Raven Queen does not what to sign, as the daughter of the Evil Queen that would mean being forced to be evil, hated and hurt people. But Apple White is determined to convince Raven that signing is the right thing to do, but will their story really disappear if she doesn’t sign? Or does Raven have the chance to change everything and choose who she wants to be?
I give this book five stars (out of five). I have to say how good this book is. I first read it when I was seven or eight years old and I recently reread it. I wanted to see if the story was really as I remember it and years later I still really liked it. It’s directed mainly to young girls but I think this series could be good for all young children.
I personally think that the Ever After High series is better than Monster High for kids, they’re both written by the same person, and I have this opinion from being a kid and reading and watching both. I think this because Ever After High teaches more life lessons even just within the first book, but I also was more into Ever After High so that could just be my bias. The two series are technically connected, many kids can like both because they’re pretty similar.
Just rereading the first book I noticed so many things that I missed when I was younger, I immediately noticed how the author was slipping in important things that kids should learn. This was the first series that I actually fell in love with, I bought all the books and was really obsessed with it for a while. I think it was very influential and it was one of the main reasons I started reading books for fun instead of just for school. Right after my Ever After High phase I went right into Harry Potter, so I’m glad it was able to spark my love for reading.
The thing I remembered most about this entire series was absolutely hating Apple White, even though she’s one of the main characters and supposedly the most likeable. Here’s some context as to why I, as a seven year old, hated this character so much and squeway into explaining the plot.
The main premise of the series is that character from famous fairy tales have grown up out of their stories and had kids, then these kids need to fulfill their legacies and relive the fairy tale to teach it to a new generation of kids. There’s a bit more to the story and set up but that’s a basic explanation.
There is a narrator who is actually a character because of the fairy tale setting, the point of view switches every chapter from Raven Queen and Apple White, the two main characters. Apple White is the daughter of Snow White and she is a typical princess but she’s the most popular and loved. She’s used to being the center of attention and is relatively ignorant for someone supposed to be modest and kind.
Raven Queen is the daughter of the Evil Queen but in this story’s universe the Evil Queen tried to take over other fairy tales as well. Spreading her own evil and trying to take the place of other villians in other stories besides Snow white. Raven is kind and nice, which is a problem considering she’s meant to be evil and the worst villain of them all.
Life is really hard for Raven, everyone is either scared of her or they make fun of her, both for things she can’t control. Raven spent her childhood being told how to be evil and why you should never be nice.
In their second year of Fairy Tale high school they must sign the Storybook of Legends, a book that will bind you to your story once you sign. This means that you must relive your story, although the fairy tale changes slightly each time as the fairy tale gets olders and changes over time when people tell it over and over again. The narrator tells each side of the story equally and makes it the reader’s decision whether they want to agree with Raven or Apple.
The main storyline is that it’s Raven and Apple’s Legacy year, meaning they have to sign the Storybook of Legends. But Raven doesn’t want to pledge to be evil for the rest of her life, she doesn’t want to be evil. She’s a good person but all the adults around her are telling her to be evil and sign the book.
Apple is worried because Raven doesn’t want to sign and that puts her Happily Ever After and her story in jeopardy. The first thing Apple does to try and convince Raven to sign the Storybook of Legends is force her to be her roommate, even though Raven wanted to room with her best friend Madeline Hatter. Apple decorates Raven’s side of the room with stereotypical evil things that Raven all hates.
The reader has the choice to be a rebel or a royal, a rebel is someone who doesn’t want to sign the Storybook of Legends and who wants to choose their own destiny. While a royal is someone, mainly the Princes, Princesses and people with good endings, who wants to follow in their parents footsteps and fulfill their role.
Raven is constantly being told who to be and how to act, she’s always being judged for not being who people expect and want her to be. So when she tells Apple about not wanting to sign, of course Apple doesn’t understand. Apple often says that even if she wasn’t born a princess she would still want to sign, she believes that everyone has a part to play to keep the world functioning and even if she was a villain she’d still want to sign. She doesn’t understand at all, she can’t comprehend why Raven doesn’t want to sign.
But Raven doesn’t want to be evil, all Apple hears when Raven talks is that she doesn’t want to sign because she doesn’t want to be the next Evil Queen. They sort of become friends but Apple doesn’t actually care about Raven, she cares about whether or not Raven’s going to sign.
[Spoiler warning, skip to the last two paragraphs to avoid them.]
Towards the end, the Headmaster of Ever After High makes this fake quest with fake clues and hints so that Apple and Raven can think they pieced together the story of a girl from a long time ago who didn’t sign the book and instantly died. He did this to try and convince Raven to sign, by nearly threatening her with death if she didn’t do what he wanted. After that Apple is 100% sure that Raven will sign the book and doesn’t worry about it anymore.
On Legacy Day right before you sign you get to see a summary of your story, this lets people see how their story will be different from their parents. During this Raven saw herself not only being evil in Snow White but also trying to do what her mother did and take over the entire fairytale world. So Raven didn’t sign, the Headmaster told Raven that if she didn’t sign she and everyone in her story would disappear, so it was surprising when nothing happened.
It was total chaos after that, Apple cried and screamed and the entire crowd of students and staff alike were panicking. Some screaming in distress, others cheering since there were almost as many rebels as royals, even including a secret relationship between a princess and a commoner. After Raven didn’t sign the Storybook of Legends, Apple was almost speechless. She said lots of things to Raven throughout the story but the most memorable for me was calling Raven selfish. Honestly I don’t think Raven was being selfish at all. Do you? Because I am biased and always was more on the rebel side.
The only reason Apple even cared enough to be friends with Raven was because she was worried that she wouldn’t get her Happily Ever After. And everything Apple did with or to Raven was to influence her and pressure her into signing the Storybook, so Apple could get what she wanted. Raven didn’t just want to change her story, she wanted everyone to be able to choose what destiny they wanted. Apple could still be Snow White if she wanted to but someone else who wanted to be evil could be the Evil Queen and Raven could be whatever she wanted.
In fact, I think that what Raven did was anything but selfish. Lots of the rebels called her brave and an inspiration. And that night after the failed Legacy day Raven crashed a Royal party and sang this song (this later becomes the intro song for the Tv show), which I found really empowering and inspiring as a kid.
I think that Raven not signing the Storybook of Legends teaches us that you shouldn’t give in to peer pressure, you shouldn’t make major life decisions just because other people want you to and you shouldn’t let people tell you who to be. It also teaches kids about how the villains in stories are people too and often redeemable characters with relatively understandable motivations. Because of all these underlying messages I think this book and the entire Ever After High series as well, teach important lessons.
The main reason why I’ve always hated Apple is because since everyone always praises her and tells her she’s perfect, she thinks she is the best. This makes her ignorant and blind to other people’s problems, she assumes that because her life is nearly perfect it’s the same for everyone when that just isn’t true. She is the most privileged character in this entire story, and she tries to manipulate Raven into doing what benefits herself.
Before even talking to Raven, Apple makes assumptions about who she is based on who her mother is, and she doesn’t even give Raven a chance to make her case. She just believes that she is right and acts like Raven is terrible for not wanting to be a villain. All Raven really wants is for people to start seeing her for who she is instead of who they want her to be. Raven wants people to at least attempt to understand her point of view.
Apple calling Raven selfish is what made me hate her the most, she’s so focused on what she could lose if Raven doesn’t sign the book that she doesn’t realize what Raven would lose by signing. She’s the selfish one in that situation, all she thought about was herself and she didn’t even care that if Raven signed she would be pledging to spend her entire life doing and being something she hated and hurt the people she cared about.
Apple is a really fake friend to Raven and I don’t understand how any kids liked her over Raven. The friendship between them is the main focus of the story and to me it’s just so clear that Raven was treated badly all her life and finally decided to take a stand against everyone trying to oppress her and take away all her opportunities. Throughout lots of the storylines it is infuriating to watch people treat Raven horribly and none of the other characters realize or react like anything wrong is happening, just because it isn’t happening to them.
Rereading this book was really fun and made me notice and appreciate how well written this was. I really recommend this to any younger kid or parents who want to give their kids something great and fun to read. Also for younger kids or parents they made this series into a Tv show and a few movies, these are available on Netflix. I also watched them when I was a kid and they are really good as well, they tell the same story as the books but in a slightly different format and with more other side stories. I also really enjoyed the movies and Tv series, and still enjoy going back and rewatching some of it every now and then for nostalgia.
Overall I really, really loved this book and the rest of the series. Still a five out of five because of how much I loved it as a kid and enjoyed it now, I would still even read it again despite how much my strong feelings about the characters get in the way of my enjoyment. I also plan on keeping my copies of the books and reading them to children or in other situations. I really recommend this to anyone who wants to read a great book, even though I still strongly dislike Apple White and will always agree with the rebels that everyone deserves a chance to decide who they want to be.
In the future I plan on rereading the rest of the series, there’s two other books and a few other special edition books set in the same universe, and posting reviews for them as well. But they aren’t on the top of my reading list so they might not be available here for a while.