Spelled by Betsy Schow
Reviewed 8 April 2015
2.5 / 5 stars
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.
There were a lot of points while reading this book that I wasn’t sure I wanted to continue reading it. And then something would happen and it would entice me for just a BIT longer, which was all it took to convince me “eh, might as well keep reading.”
Doretha was a very lackluster character. She didn’t have anything that made me love her and in the beginning before she realized the world wasn’t a big fluffy ball of niceness and revolved around her – I couldn’t stand her. I liked her sassyness as she evolved as a character, and enjoyed her relationship with Kato.
I also liked Kato and Rexi as characters, but there was a good portion of my time reading Spelled that had me confused with what characters were doing, why they were doing what they were doing, and how they ended up in that situation.
The writing felt choppy and out of sync. It almost felt like there were portions that were skipped and pieces that were added that didn’t need to be. This book also lacked something that I really enjoy – emotion. I never felt fear along with the characters, nor did I feel love or appreciation or loneliness…nothing and that is a huge miss for me.
The tone of the book (fairly sarcastic) was great. I enjoyed the realistic personalities and quirky traits each character had. I was probably the least biggest fan of all the phrases attempting to tie in other fairytales (“oh for Grimm’s sake.” “check flitter” “not a pixing thing we could do.” “Hans Christian Louboutin Shoes”) they all got very old and honestly a bit annoying after a while.
The plot was solid and I understood where it was going and really enjoyed the story. There were also a lot of good quotes – mostly the tidbits of advice from Fairytale Advice books and things that were a staple at the end (beginning?) of each chapter. However, unfortunately I wasn’t a huge fan of the writing style and felt like a lot of important moments were grazed over and skipped, and the lack of empathy toward the characters made this book just okay for me.
Unfortunately, I don’t think this would be a book I’d tell all my friends to read. The cover is beautiful but the story falls short in too many categories to be a book I’d be confident recommending to people.