Spelled

Paperback | May 20, 2015

byBetsy Schow

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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 not-so-charming 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. "

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From the Publisher

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. Bu...

Betsy Schow is the author of the memoir Finished Being Fat, and has been featured on The Today Show and in The Wall Street Journal. She lives in Utah, but travels the country with Color Me Rad 5k, and partners with non-profits to teach kids creative thinking and how to reach their goals. Visit her at betsyschow.com

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:352 pages, 8.26 × 8.16 × 0.95 inPublished:May 20, 2015Publisher:SourcebooksLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1492608718

ISBN - 13:9781492608714

Reviews

Rated 1 out of 5 by from Review from Esther's Ever After Spelled is certainly one of the more innovative fairytale retellings I've read, and it's a quirky read that I think would be particularly enjoyable for younger readers who like fun, fantasy books. As for me, this was one of my less enjoyable reads lately because of what I personally look for in a story; a more complex plot, and a different sense of humour. Reasons to Read: 1. A creative retelling: While Spelled has a number of obvious nods to The Wizard of Oz, it doesn't closely follow the story and Betsy Schow relies on her own imagination to create a whole new story. It's a rather loosely inspired retelling, but I think that's something that clearly works in the book's favour since it felt like a completely new story. And interestingly, Spelled also includes references to many other familiar fairytales. The basic setting is a fairytale world where all of our favourite stories co-exist. And while in some ways this was a fun addition, I wasn't much of a fan of the ways it was incorporated with campy allusions to pop culture; mentions of brands like Hans Christian Louboutin shoes, for example. It's a consistent theme throughout the book, and for those that like these types of jokes, you'll love it. But if you're like me, it detracted from the story since that just isn't my sense of humour and I rolled my eyes at it more often than not. The main character, Dorthea, definitely felt like a younger character to me as she was rather naive and immature. And that's fine - not all characters need to be grown up and mature! There's a clear sense of strong development as she learns important life lessons in the story. But the risk is that a character like this can also grate on the reader, as Dorthea did for me. All in all, Spelled was not the right book for me. I think I've just read too many other retellings and tend to prefer the darker, grittier types. And I can see how this would work for many other readers who appreciate this type of storytelling. ARC received from Raincoast Books for review; no other compensation was received.
Date published: 2015-09-09
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Loses its Cuteness Disclaimer: I received a copy of this novel via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. I was really excited about this one. It was a Wizard of Oz retelling and had the promise of an interesting take on a beloved story (of mine). Then I started reading it and it tied together the entirety of the fairytale world. Characters from every story were present and accounted for, which kept the plot fresh and fun ... until it wasn't anymore. This one fizzled and died for me about 35% of the way through. The puns and the other fairytale characters were fun at first but they got to be overused. Then they got to be annoying. It was as if every other sentence was a blatant (but twisted to fit the story) pop culture reference and I was done with it. It is better to do things in moderation and a lot less of these would have been better in my opinion. I didn't like the "punny" curse words either. They were a little much in my books. There was minimal world building, which was a waste in my opinion because with a fairytale retelling that includes every fairytale under the sun, you could have a lot of fun with the world building. But there wasn't much there and what was there was lacking because it was rushed and overlooked. Character development was also minimal and felt as if it was exclusively Dorthea who had it. She was extremely bratty in the beginning but we got to see her change throughout the course of the story. You know, after she created a magical disaster and realized Kato actually loved her. And the fact that she was self aware enough to realize she had been stuck up and didn't want to go back to it was nice but almost too nice. Obviously she should have realized she was stuck up and a brat, but she did a complete 180 in like a couple weeks. Which doesn't happen. People do change but not that quickly -- it takes time. It would have been more realistic and I would have liked her more had she not become "perfect". It was a pretty predictable ending, but that was to be expected since it is a retelling of a story I already know. I do hope some of the world building gets fleshed out in the next one because that would make me really happy. Overall: 3/5. I liked the fresh take and the puns started out fun, but I would have liked more world building.
Date published: 2015-08-16
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Starts bad, grows quickly to be amazing. For the first 125 pages, I really wanted to DNF this book, I even complained about it to my non-reading friends. The main character was extremely naive, her helper was more of a pain in the bottom than helping and the furry thing that followed them was a nuisance. The story was very cheesy and childish, the whole plot line was silly and I cant believe Dorthea did such a thing and all that happened. Then there were the pop culture/language references in this book, like Wrong Direction's "My Spell's What Makes You Beautiful" for One Direction's "That's what makes you beautiful", and Pix for well, sh*t. I couldn't stand it. But the book had a lot of hype on NetGalley, you can really only tell by how many likes the cover had (I wish they could show how many requests were made too). That was my number one reason for requesting the book. That was also my number one reason for wanting to give the title more of a chance by saying "I'll give it 50 more pages then I can drop it." After that the book got a lot better, (view spoiler) and I wanted to finish the book. Betsy Schow wrote really well, even when I hated reading it, I loved how she wrote beautifully in a voice that definitely suited the main character, Dorthea. I really enjoyed the writing. Schow wrote one hell of a retelling that was so genius, so one of a kind. She created this whole world with all the fairy tales we know with more that Schow created. The world building in this story is definitely on point. One thing that annoyed me about the plot of this retelling, is that it left me with a lot of questions, especially around the wedding. So many questions here. Otherwise the plot was really fine, I couldn't predict anything. It was full of plot twists that leave you surprised and wanting to read more. The only predictable ones were the ones that played a card from the traditional Dorothy in Oz tale, e.g. the Poppies. Through the book Dorthea (whom while writing this review I keep on writing my name, Dorotea,) really develops. She starts as a naive, shoe loving, spoiled and doing without thinking princess into a determined, strong, still shoe loving heroine. Kato grows out of the dirty, sharp tounged guy-who-my-parents-are-making-me-marry prince, into a caring, save-the-world-before-myself love interest who even I would want to marry, fur ball and all. In conclusion, if you enjoy fairy tale retellings with a lot of fantasy, and you also read with a child in your heart then this book is perfect for you. The sequel is on my TBR, but is not one I will be queuing up at the bookstore for.
Date published: 2015-07-20