Fairest of Them All by Jan Blazanin

Fairest of Them All by Jan Blazanin

If life were a fairy tale, Oribella Bettencourt would have a “happily ever after” kind of future ahead of her. A Hollywood producer has come to Des Moines in search of a perfectly modern Princess Rapunzel, and Ori — a model, dancer, and star of the beauty pageant circuit — lands the part. And why shouldn’t she? With her hardworking, self-sacrificing mother guiding her career, Ori is stunning, dedicated, poised…and then there’s her hair. Breathtakingly lustrous blond hair that sets her apart from all the other girls at school. So what if she doesn’t have any friends her age, or anyone to talk to other than her mother? She’s on the verge of having everything she’s ever dreamed of.

But in this fairy tale, the beautiful princess wakes up to her worst nightmare — when almost overnight, Ori begins to lose her hair….

I was a little worried about this book at first.  Oribella and her mother were so focused on her career and looks that I was frustrated with them and turned off.  I also felt like it took a long time for the book to get to her diagnosis.

This may sound terrible, but once it got to the point where Ori is broken down, that’s when I really started liking the book.  It was interesting to watch her grow up and deal with her diagnosis.  Her mother’s reaction made it hard to like her.  But the characters that surrounded Ori as she moved forward were a lot of fun.

This was an interesting read.  I was drawn to it because I have a friend with alopecia totalis.  Her experience was different than Ori’s as my friend lost her hair as a toddler and it never grew back, but many of the things she’s talked about dealing with are things Ori dealt with.