Bites

mirrormirrorPublished: April 1, 1992
Publisher: Scholastic
Author: Website
Info: Goodreads

Dore’s pretty. She’s got a good-looking guy. Very understanding parents. And such a devoted best friend.

But she wants more.

So when her new friend Luci offers Dore a chance to have it all, Dore decides to take it.

Now Dore is a real beauty. And only Dore knows that beauty is also the beast…  (goodreads.com)

*rubs hands evilly*  I LIKED this one.  It’s creepy and sinister and evil and twisted and it was just so great.

It doesn’t take long into the story to see where the plot’s going, especially once the mirror’s introduced but it’s the ending that really does it in because you can’t help but wonder whether the author will follow through on where the story needs to go or if the ending will be soft.  This ending was most definitely NOT soft.

In the grander scheme of crappy characters a la Fear Street MIRROR, MIRROR follows that line of thinking because Dore’s a pretty crappy person.  Even her best friend Gwen turns out to be rather craptacular despite her more subdued demeanor.  So there really isn’t anyone in the story to root for or get behind because everyone sucks.  But Dore’s self-involvement keeps escalating at a wicked pace and it brought me some joy to watch her spiral.  She’s not a wicked caricature but she’s wicked to the point where I couldn’t not keep reading about her.  She was engaging in all her evil behavior.  Plus you knew it was going to come crashing down.  You just didn’t know how.

Athkins was mercilessly unapologetic when amping up the doucehbaggery of the characters as the plot continued on and while no one (largely) got hurt in her escapades she was relentless in her bid to get to the top of her self-imagined mountain and you watched as any shred of conscience she had just disappeared.

It was obvious that it all revolved around Luci and her mirror gift right from the beginning.  It wasn’t very subtle.  But Dore is hilariously obtuse about everything, even when she looks in Luci’s mirror and sees herself changing.  Nah, not a problem.  The rest of the mirrors she kept around her reflected perfection so why bother?  Of course, it just keeps getting worse.  And worse.

The ending was spectacular.  Definitely a bit of a moralistic ending but still fantastic in its execution of just abject horror and despair.  I don’t think I need to tell you where a story about an incredibly vain girl getting vainer ends up but I will say the ending goes where it needs to, digs its heels in, and stays there.  Wonderful.  Super creepy, teaching a bit of a lesson but that can be overlooked for the horror factor Athkins plays out.  Old school YA horror perfection.

5

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