Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Spelled by Betsy Schow - Ashley's Review

*I received this book as an eARC from Sourcebooks FIRE on NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*

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Title: Spelled
Author: Betsy Schow
Publication Date: June 2, 2015

Synopsis: Fairy 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.


Review: I am always up for reading a book that takes classic, popular fairy tales and twists them into something fun and new. Especially when so many fairy tales are combined into one! Betsy Schow takes stories that have absolutely nothing to do with each other, melts them all down, and forges something that's a mix of old and new and left my sides aching from laughing so hard!

Dorthea is not at all your typical fairy tale princess. In fact, she's kind of a brat. A brat with killer shows, bu a brat nonetheless. I understand that she's been trapped in the castle her whole life and her parents keep trying to marry her off, but I did not like her attitude at all when I first started this book. But then, things change. Dorthea (kind of) changes. And her bad attitude and selfishness make for such a hilarious story that I couldn't help but (mostly) forgive her. 

One of my favorite things in this book was all of the "Fairy Tale Survival Rules" sprinkled throughout. They're all things that are so common and overdone in fairy tales, and I loved how Betsy made fun of them and placed them in exactly the right places. It was a lot of fun to try and figure out which fairy tales the rules are referring to, and to see the situations where maybe the rules aren't such a bad idea after all. Especially when Dothea scoffs at them and then gets herself into more trouble because she didn't heed them.

Another really fun part of this book is seeing all of the fairy tales smashed into one book. It's done really well, and I thoroughly enjoyed meeting all of my favorite characters from popular stories, and even a few from more obscure stories. The Wizard of Oz is definitely the main one, and there are the most references from and nods to those books, but we also get too see people from stories like Beauty and the Beast, Sleeping Beauty, Rapunzel, and more. There are also all kinds of magical beasts and creatures and objects, and I'm sure that I missed just as many references as I picked up. 

Overall, this is a really fun book, and I'm so glad that I read it. There are so many books based on fairy tales and fairy tales characters out there right now, and Spelled was a really nice change of pace. I can't remember the last time I laughed so much while reading a book (that I wasn't even really expecting to be that funny!), so that was a really pleasant surprise. I'd totally recommend this book to all of my fairy tale-loving friends! Especially the ones who appreciate a nice pair of heels. 4/5!


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