Monday, June 15, 2015

Book Review: Spelled by Betsy Schow

I rated it 2 out of 5 stars.

Overview: 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.

Review: Thank you NetGalley and Sourcebooks Fire for the ARC in exchange for an honest review.

What a beautiful cover. So beautiful it deceived me.

A fairy-tale retelling with wit, it had so much potential. Unfortunately the main character reminded me of a bratty, spoiled, teenager, which really made it difficult for me to want to follow her, to the point where I didn't care if she got a happy ending. Her character just wasn't dynamic enough and the way it started out, I just couldn't be sympathetic to the girl. And though it was well written, it was sometimes difficult to picture exactly what was going on that some passages and scenes were a bit muddled. The descriptions and setting would then fall flat, which is unfortunate because I think it would have added to the story.

The overall tone was also a bit dramatic, outrageous, and over the top. At times it was too much for me that I felt like eye-rolling the page. Though some may have liked the puns and thought it was clever, I just found them kind of annoying and distracting as it didn't add to the story. Instead it acted like a reminder that this was a knockoff book or something.

Perhaps this type of book wasn't my cup of tea. But the fact that it lost steam after one third of the book, really confirmed my rating of 2 stars.


  1. That IS a pretty cover! It doesn't sound like something I would like though. I love retellings, but I'm rather against pop culture retellings, if that makes any sense. I don't like The Wizard of Oz enough to read a book based on it. I know it was originally a book, but to me this is like someone doing a "Carrie" retelling. Just the thought of it makes me roll my eyes.

    1. No, I totally understand. You described it perfectly: a pop retelling. That's what made me want to roll my eyes. Just too over the top!

  2. *sigh* Blogspot doesn't seem to like me again, today. :P Ate my last comment.

    In any case, it's unfortunate a book with that cover and such a great blurb fell flat, but I can understand where you're coming from. It's hard to get behind a character like that.

    1. Bad Blogspot!

      yeah definitely. I think if the character was likeable, I would have been able to look over the 'over-the-top-ness.'