Book Review: Spelled by Betsy Schow

June 12, 2015 Young Adult Book Reviews 1 ★★★

Book Review: Spelled by Betsy SchowTitle: Spelled by Betsy Schow
Published by: SourceFire Books on June 2, 2015
Genres: Fantasy & Magic, Retellings, Young Adult
Source: NetGalley
Format: eARC
Pages: 352
Click it: Goodreads | Amazon

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.

I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

One Line: Great start, but some things didn’t work for me.

In My Opinion: Worth a try!

This was a case where the book starts are strong and so charming, but ends up being an okay read. After reading that synopsis, I was so excited to give this one a read. I love retellings and this sounded like fun. After only a few sentences in, I immediately liked it. There were a lot of fairy tale references, with some flair, and I loved the language that Schow’s characters used. Everything was cute and entertaining. Then, as the story progressed and the plot became more complicated, everything kind of fell flat for me. I couldn’t really connect to the characters and the romance didn’t affect me like I was hoping. I still loved all the creatures and Schow’s twists on all the fairy tales, so it gets points for those aspects, but the story itself wasn’t as entertaining as I was hoping for.

Dorthea is a princess who has been trapped in her castle her whole life because of a curse on her family. She’s always wanted to break free and explore the world. She’s also pretty spoiled and self-centered, but in a comical way, so I didn’t mind. She’s truly a product of her up-bringing. I actually liked her for the most part. She has issues with her mother, the all-important Queen who never has time for her and never really listens to her. She loves shopping and doesn’t have any friends. You’d think I wouldn’t like her, but she has a good heart and once things are underway and her ragtag gang starts their journey to right her wrongs, you can see how caring she is.

There are other characters that are significant to the story as well: Rexi, a kitchen girl who travels with Dorthea. I did not like her at all. She was always complaining and very negative. Kato, the prince, was okay. It bugged me that Kato and Dorthea went from insta-hate to insta-love without any preamble, that I could pinpoint at least. I preferred him in chimera form, actually. You also get plenty of witches, woodland creatures, and of course, the Tinman and Scarecrow make appearances in very unique ways.

Overall, Spelled is pretty funny and delightful. It definitely had its entertaining moments and like I said, I loved the language that the characters used. It was pixing hilarious! With that said, the story itself and the romance was what made me not like this as much as I had hoped. It was still a decent, and quick, read so if you like retellings, it’s worth a try.

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