Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Review: Spelled

SpelledTitle: Spelled
Author: Betsy Schow
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Published: June 2, 2015
Format: E-ARC
Pages: 352
Dates Read: June 6-8
Source: Recieved via Netgalley
in exchange for an honest review
Add on Goodreads
My Rating: 3 Stars
Snippet That Stuck With Me: N/A 

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.

Melissa's Musings

The first thing that drew me to this book was the cover. I was browsing Netgalley, and came across Spelled, saw the cover and thought "Hmm, that looks interesting."

I'm not all that big on retellings and don't read them all that often, but when I read the sysnopsis for this, it seemed like it would be fun.

And it is.

 From the very beginning the story is full of curiosity, action and adventure. Dorothea is looking for a way to escape her boring palace life, where she is literally trapped by a curse. Fire is banished from the palace and she isn't even allowed outside beyond the courtyard, not even for a little while.

Little does she know that one tiny wish can have a huge impact on her life and the lives of those around her. 

The first thing that I liked, as I read were all the interesting plays on words and puns. There are a ton of them so I'll only give one example, UPS = United Pegasus Service. This one actually made me laugh out loud just because it was the slightest bit out there and Dorothea was so annoyed at the time, so the juxtaposition of the two made me giggle. There are also cute little plays on words like some of the substitute swear words, ie "pixed" and "glammed."

Plus, there are guidelines and quotes from other famous fairytale characters at the beginning of each chapter. These are a fun way to modernize the fairy tales.

There are also countless references to every possible fairy tale you can imagine. It's like a serious mashup of every fairy tale ever written interspersed within this story. And while these references, and the language and quotes are a lot of fun at first, I do have to say I did eventually grow bored of these, about halfway through. They just started to get tired, and eventually lost their sparkle.

As for the characters, I'd have to say my least favorite is probably a toss up between Rexi and Dorothea. Rexi lives up to her description and by the other characters and is rude and has a charred exterior. Dorothea fits the spoiled princess role a little too well. I was disappointed not to see more growth from her throughout the story. And while most of the time the main character is what keeps you reading, for me it was all the other characters that kept me going. I felt like they were more interesting.

Especially Hydra. With her large collection of ever changing heads and constant personality switches to go along with them , I feel like she brings a lot of life and fun to the story.

There is a lot of action and adventure. Plus there's the emphasis on fashion, beauty and just the idea of being a princess, so it makes the story equally relatable to both guys and girls. The ending is left open for a sequel, so I imagine there will be one. 

And I'm definitely willing to read it. As much as the quotes, quips and references do get a bit old  they've left me curious to see what will happen to this cast of crazy characters. I just hope that in the next part of the story Dorthea really starts to grow into her own a lot more and mature as a character.

Have you read Spelled? Did you enjoy it? Are there any other versions of retellings you'd recommend that I read?

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