You Are Your Own Fairytale is Amanda Lovelace’s second trio of books. I really enjoyed reading her first trio, Women are some kind of magic and quickly fell head over heels for this next trio of books. With strong themes and imagery to fairytales, I took so much comfort in these books. Lovelace seems to just improve with time and experience. You can read how her writing style is evolving over time.
First in the trio is break your glass slippers, which I gave four stars. At the time of reading this, it was one of my favourite of her works (since changed). Based mostly around the fairy tale of Cinderella, it was full of female empowerment through fairytales; including fairy godmothers and princes. The book is even dedicated to ‘those who break glass slippers as well as glass ceilings‘.
It of course dealt with Lovelace’s usual sensitive themes and topics like trauma, fat-phobia, eating disorders, sexual harassment, toxic freiednships & relationships, and many others; but overall it had a strong theme of self-worth and self-love. It also deals with women being rivals to one another, feeling unloved and unworthy, standing your ground and sticking up for yourself, and just overall independence. The book ends with a beautiful piece:
she never needed anyone else’s help to have the fairy tale she always wanted. at long last, she’d realised one the greatest truths a person can learn during the course of a life: she is her own goddamn fairytalebreak your glass slippers, p.127
I found this book more-so inspiring and empowering than her previous works. I couldn’t help but feel emboldened by this work. Another element of this book I loved was the ‘fairy godmother says’ pages. They almost acted like a sage figure, imparting wisdom on the reader.
The second book in the trio, as heavily inspired by several ice-queen, icy-witchy tales which really translated into more of an empowerment theme through images of covens or sisterhood. It focuses on female bonds and building each other up – the idea of not needing a man but being a queen:
screw the outdated tradition. I don’t need to have a king in order to be called a queen. I have always been a queen in my own right, now im officially declaring it, so bow down.shine your icy crown, p.129
In true Lovelace fashion, it did have her sensitive themes trigger warning which I do love. Like the first instalment, this book also had pages titled ‘big sister says’. Very much like the godmother ones, these pages served to impart advice and wise words. I did really enjoy this element too but on the whole the book didn’t impress me as much as the first did. I can’t quite put my finger on why but it just lacked something.
The third and final instalment of You Are Your Own Fairytale, this book really portrayed the mundanity of everyday life in such an enchanting way for me. This final book has strong roots from Beauty and the Beast, especially with its pages entitled ‘her books say’ like the previous books. For me this was a wonderful evolution from her previous books, everything felt like it had been kicked up a notch!
There was a strong sense of being ‘seen’ for me. A sense of validation to her words -kinship, of sailing in the same boat and having experienced the same feelings. I loved how she address the idea of perfectionism and the idea of going against the norms of society. At times I’d say the book veers into self-help but in a way that personally I enjoyed. It also had some beautiful ‘break’ pages, or at least that’s how I like to think of them. The pages were so warm and cozy with illustrations of bookshelves and pumpkins.
There were some repetitive themes in this book but I found myself overlooking this as it introduced entirely new ones like death and the grief from losing a parent. This is something that I have been addressing in my own life, especially dealing with the grief of a parent whom you’ve had a complicated relationship with so these pieces resonated with me quite a bit. I’d say on the whole, this book was my favourite of the trio.
Once again, Lovelace delivered yet another great trio of books. I do think her writing has evolved a lot since the Women are some kind of magic trio, and I can’t wait to see what she produces next. I feel like she’ll always have me hook, line, and sinker!
Cheerio for now!