ARC Review: Spelled – Betsy Schow

Spelled – Betsy Schow

cover58454-mediumFairy Tale Survival Rule #32: If you find yourself at the mercy of a wicked witch, sing a romantic ballad and wait for your Prince Charming to save the day.

Yeah, no thanks. Dorthea is completely princed out. Sure being the crown princess of Emerald has its perks—like Glenda Original ball gowns and Hans Christian Louboutin heels. But a forced marriage to the brooding prince Kato is so not what Dorthea had in mind for her enchanted future.

Talk about unhappily ever after.

Trying to fix her prince problem by wishing on a (cursed) star royally backfires, leaving the kingdom in chaos and her parents stuck in some place called “Kansas.” Now it’s up to Dorthea and her pixed off prince to find the mysterious Wizard of Oz and undo the curse…before it releases the wickedest witch of all and spells The End for the world of Story.

Release Date: June 2nd, 2015

Thank you to NetGalley for providing a free copy in exchange for an honest review!

love fractured/retellings of fairy tales so I was pretty stoked when my request for this was approved (it was also the first time I had ever requested anything on NetGalley, so I guess it was beginner’s luck?).

What I liked:

-the fairy tale puns and allusions. I love a good pun, and I found the “swear words” hilarious – what the spell/I’m so pixed/fairy-loving, etc. Amazing! Also, the advice/life lessons/excerpts from other fairy-tale authors that started each chapter was a whimsical touch.

Plus the appearance of other characters, Hydra’s ability to change heads, the different realms – the world-building in this book was fantastic, though it helps that a lot of people would already be familiar with a lot of the source material.

It sort of reminded me of Ever After High, to be honest. But since I’m fascinated by the Ever After High world/characters, I enjoyed it!

-Rexi. Rexi is the servant girl who ends up being Dorothea’s sidekick/adventuring partner. She was sarcastic and funny, and even if she did have her bad moments, she more than made up for them.

I’ll also admit that I was sort of hoping for a Dorothea-Rexi relationship, but that wasn’t the case.

-there’s no insta-love between Dorothea and Kato. In fact, they have an Elizabeth Bennet/Mr. Darcy vibe at first (except not as epic): they start off fueled by hate, but eventually learn to accept each other. I didn’t feel their relationship right away, but it grew on me and ended up being a lot cuter than I expected.

-the ending. I didn’t think this was the first book in a series, but I felt like the ending both wrapped everything up and left it open enough for a possible (probable?) sequel.

-Dorothea started off as a spoiled (literal) princess, but she gradually developed into a flawed but generally likeable heroine.

Which leads me to

What I didn’t like:

-it was hard to sympathize with Dorothea at the beginning, because she’s so spoiled. But she grows and matures and eventually you can’t help rooting for her. HOWEVER, there are several times when she resists using her powers because she’s scared they’ll tip her over to the “dark side”, and I was like…DO IT. Let loose and wreck havoc and destroy everything! Don’t be a traditional heroine, be badass and tough and take control of your own destiny (which she does, but not in the chaotic way I hoped).

-I felt like this book took forever to finish. Maybe I had way too many things going on this past week, but it almost felt like a chore to finish (like I said, that was probably just me).

-while it’s listed as YA, it felt like the younger end of the YA spectrum (I guess 12-14? Right on the cusp between middle grade and young adult). That’s not a bad thing, but Dorothea tended to sound younger that she is, most likely as a result of her spoiled upbringing, which could annoy some “older” YA readers.


3 interrobangs

3.5 interrobangs

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