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Spelled (The Storymakers) by Betsy Schow
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Spelled (The Storymakers)

by Betsy Schow

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Spelled Series (1)

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Showing 1-5 of 9 (next | show all)
It's an adventure, coming-of-age novel with lots of cultural references, young adult witticisms, and connections to "The Wizard of Oz." It is a story that looks at loyalty, friendship, instincts, and loss. The one thing I didn't like about this story was its play on cursing. For example, "all spell is about to break loose." There were others also.
  edwardcandler | Feb 3, 2017 |
This book was so fast paced and amazing I can't believe it. Spelled is about a princess who is possibly doomed to a curse put on her family so she is locked up tight in a castle. When she makes a wish that ruins all the rules of fairy tales and all the happily ever afters she is forced to brave possibly invoking her curse to rescue the world and fix what she has done. What made this book all the more interesting was that the whole thing intertwines all sorts of fairy tales together and reads a lot like the Wizard of Oz. The main characters name is Dorthea, she travels with a group, there is a wicked witch after her, and there are some almost ruby slippers.

The plot was very engaging and kept me on my toes the entire time. At about page 50 is when the mayhem starts to set in and the book really gets going and I really appreciated that since recently I have been picking up some slow starters.

Dorthea is a great main character, there is character growth and she is just sarcastic enough to be a typical teenager but she is strong and brave and I didn't hate her, even when she was bratty.

This whole book was a pleasant surprise. I kind of knew what I was getting into but I didn't think I would love it so much. Schow takes these worlds that we know and so beautifully adapts them into her story so that they feel familiar yet different enough to keep the reader guessing. Loved it.

If you are a fan of fairy tale retellings, you will enjoy this one. ( )
  sszkutak | Sep 28, 2016 |
Love the idea of the book - what a great concept! I found it a little hard to follow, but kudos for creativity! ( )
  Dmtcer | May 4, 2016 |
Review Originally Posted At: FictionForesight

In accordance with current FTC Guidelines, please let it be known this book was received through NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.

A Spellbinding 4 Stars!

Think of Spelled as Legally Blonde meets Once Upon A Time with a heaping sack of sarcasm thrown in!

A Quick Summary:

Spelled is pseudo mashup of the Wizard of Oz, and various other fairy-tales, all centering on one thing – a wish gone awry. It blends some of the best pieces of all of these worlds, but morphs them into ways never seen before.

Dorthea is crown princess of Emerald. She has money, power, expensive clothes, jewelry…yet she is still quite unhappy. Dorthea’s real wish is to leave her kingdom. She desires nothing more than to go outside and be a normal person. Well I wouldn’t go that far, she loves her stuff, she just wants to be able to go where she pleases. See, Dorthea’s family is cursed, badly. It was foretold that one day, because of the curse, a female from her familial lines would one day burn the entire kingdom to the ground. So for safety’s sake, Dorthea is never allowed outside, or near fire…obviously.

To top things off, Dorthea’s parents just sprang the news on her that she is to be married, to someone she doesn’t even know or like. That’s the deal-breaker. So when Dorthea happens upon a wishing star, she decides to take matters into her own hands. Unfortunately, her wish backfires drastically. Now with the rules of magic undone, Dorthea must find a way to make amends.

As Dorthea learns, certain things are easier said than done. As it happens, the wish she made was on a cursed wishing star, and the Wicked Witch orchestrated the whole thing! Evil wants to take over, and Dorthea, her servant Rexi, and her would-be future husband, turned Chimera, Prince Kato are the only ones standing in the way. With the laws of magic undone, and a variety of evil bad-guys chasing them down, they must find a way to break the curse, before it releases the most evil witch of all. Can this ragtag band of freneimes save the day? Or is this “The End”?

The Good:

Starting with the obvious, this book is funny. But not just haha, oh that’s clever funny. No this book is laughing out loud, people staring at you thinking you’ve gone insane funny. Which, I’d imagine, is also quite funny in it’s own way. When I started ready Spelled my initial reaction was oh crap what did I get myself into. Since we never DNF (did not finish) label a book, I knew I had to read the whole thing. When you get terrible books, it’s a punishment like nothing else. That was my gut instinct with this book. However, instead of adapting and liking it over time as I do with other books, I changed my opinion in the first 20 pages. It’s just such a fun read, that you can’t help but like it. All the things we think of when watching old fairy tales, all the “that would never happen” or “this is how I would do it”, that’s this book! It’s the book the finally puts fairy-tales as they should be!

One of the best things about Spelled is how it morphs all the best fairy tales into a story unique to itself. I mean you have Cinderella, Bell from Beauty and the Beast, almost the whole cast of The Wizard of Oz, and so many others. In terms of classic tales, this book has all the A-listers. But they weren’t the characters we’ve known and loved for so many years. They were more realistic, gritty, sarcastic, etc. The term “realistic fairy-tale” seems incredibly oxymoronic, but it’s more or less true.

The characterization all around was pretty great. The way miss Schow makes you feel towards some of her characters…just…amazing! Let’s be honest, for those of you who have already read the book, you probably hated Dorthea in the beginning. I know I certainly did. She’s spoiled, self-centered, and incredibly dense. She’s the stereotypical ditsy rich girl that doesn’t consider anyone but herself. It’s believable, but I still hated it. It’s part of the reason I was dreading the book in the first place. I was so relieved when she started to learn and grow along the way. I know it’s cliché, but it’s still a bit heart warming to witness personal growth, especially the kind of 360 turn-a-round that Dot makes.

The Bad:

There really isn’t too much here that I can write for bad, because you get what you get. You have to understand that this is a sarcastic, adventurous, and yet realistic take on our favorite childhood tales. It’s fun, it’s witty, it has just the right amount of action and pace, but it’s not the crown jewel of literacy. This isn’t the type of book you would look for to blow your mind, or expand your knowledge. It’s a fluffy misadventure that will entertain you. Don’t make it out to be more than it is.

Overall:

Spelled was, simply put, a fun book to read. Sure it felt a bit fluffy, and it may not be the most intriguing book there is, but it had action, adventure, romance, and a huge amount of comedic relief. For me, it’s the kind of book I would read after finishing a heavy book. You know the kind. The one’s that make you feel like you’ve been sent through the ringer of emotions. This was like my rebound book if you will. It was quick, fun and shameless. I’ll look forward to reading the sequel after I go through another book-related heartbreak.

(www.FictionForesight.com) ( )
  FictionForesight | Apr 26, 2016 |
Review
Spelled is a fun story. I love how Schow weaved in all the fairytales, and made them come to life.

Dorthea is a girl who is forbidden to step outside the castle, and it's the one thing she wants more than anything. When we first meet her she is kind of a brat. She thinks she is better than everyone and needs a kick in the pants. I think my favorite thing is that Dorthea grows. She learns that maybe she isn't all that, and maybe she should be a little more kind.

Another favorite thing is that she is constantly having to fight this hunger that is trying to take over. I can't imagine how hard it would be to try to figure out if I'm the hero or villain of the story. Each choice leads to something a consequence, can Dorthea live with some of hers.

Then there is the friendship and romance. Dorthea ends up with a wide range of friends. She didn't think she'd find herself amidst these people, or want to be friends with them. But they prove that friends come in the unlikeliest of forms, and have a fierce loyalty.

I'm hoping there are more books to this. I could get lost in this world over and over again. The characters are smart, witty, and a lot of fun in even the most dire situations.

 


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This review was originally posted on Bookish Things & More ( )
  BookishThings | Mar 23, 2016 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Betsy Schowprimary authorall editionscalculated
Heath, MikeCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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