Spelled by Betsy Schow will leave you asking, “What The Spell Just Happened?” (in the very best of ways).

Spelled by Betsy Schow will leave you asking, “What The Spell Just Happened?” (in the very best of ways).

While the tone in this book is much more lighthearted and slightly irreverent when compared to several of the latest YA fairytale reimaginings, fans of books like Stacey Jay’s Princess of Thorns or RC Lewis’ Stitching Snow will probably get a kick out of Spelled.  Oz isn’t the only thing that gets an update here – pretty much every story you every loved gets some kind of a cameo.  If you are a purist with no sense of humor, you can skip it, but if you are up for a little adventure and snark this summer, definitely give Spelled a chance.

Self centered and spoiled Princess Dorthea of the Emerald Kingdom makes one little wish upon an enchanted star and singlehandedly breaks the rules of magic and storybooks.  Now her mom and dad, the King and Queen, are stuck in Kansas, her fiancé has been turned into . . . well, it looks like a puppy with wings, and she is left to find the magic over the rainbow with only a kleptomaniac kitchen girl to help.  This isn’t the Oz we all know and love, but a wicked mishmash of all the storybooks you ever cherished.  The characters were enchantingly human in their flaws.  Dorthea is not as smart as she thinks she is, and readers will enjoy her bumpy ride to maturity — she reminded me of Cher from Clueless! The “handsome” prince, too has some work to do on his charming.  And that snarky, bitter kitchen girl?  Well, she is a surprise for everyone right up until the end.  The adventures of this band of unlikely heroes is unique and original.  Success is never certain, and readers won’t be able to guess what is going to happen in the next chapter, let alone predict the resolution.  Fast paced and clever, Spelled will engage readers of all ages. 

I received an ARC from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.


About queenbook

When the final bell rings, I stash those messy piles of essays and analysis assignments in a desk drawer and I head home to a pile of good books. My kids and dog eat too many chicken nuggets and the house could be neater, but as long as I get my daily read, I guess we are doing all right. When I was twelve and fifteen and eighteen and twenty, I believed I needed to get out there and do those things I had just been reading about, which ended in disaster, tears, a tattoo that scares me every time I catch a glimpse of it in the mirror, and the realization that some of us are meant for action, and some of us are meant to critique the pace of action in a book. I read primarily YA fiction as I have a rather hulking classroom library and a hundred high school readers to engage daily. Nothing makes me happier than coming to school and finding an impatient teenager waiting by my door to turn in a book and get another one just like it. I adore a good zombie, a medieval princess, or girl assassin (I would like them all in one book if you are a writer looking for some inspiration). I add historical mystery to my wish list a year in advance, and you should get out of my way when the next Outlander book comes out. I have an embarrassing fondness for rock star books, but only if they don’t get too trashy and embarrass me. My favorite book of all time is The Blue Castle by L.M. Montgomery. My book boyfriends include Gilbert Blythe, Alonzo Wilder, and Jamie Fraser. They are mine and you can’t have them.

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