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Jen Calonita

Author of Conceal, Don't Feel

41+ Works 6,457 Members 169 Reviews 2 Favorited

About the Author

Includes the name: Jen Calonita (Author)

Series

Works by Jen Calonita

Conceal, Don't Feel (2019) 853 copies
Flunked (2015) 688 copies
Mirror, Mirror (2019) 681 copies
Go the Distance (2021) 652 copies
Secrets of My Hollywood Life (2006) 606 copies
On Location (2007) 340 copies
Charmed (2016) 300 copies
Belles (2012) 235 copies
Family Affairs (2008) 224 copies
Tricked (2017) 219 copies
Paparazzi Princess (2009) 178 copies
Sleepaway Girls (2009) 166 copies
Switched (2018) 163 copies
MisFits (-0001) 113 copies
Broadway Lights (2010) 112 copies
Wished (2019) 104 copies
Winter White (Belles) (2012) 76 copies
Turn It Up! (2018) 66 copies
Reality Check (2010) 63 copies
Cursed (-0001) 50 copies
Outlaws (2019) 42 copies
The Rise of Flynn Rider (2021) 30 copies
Suddenly Super (2023) 29 copies
Heroes (-0001) 17 copies
VIP: I'm With the Band (2015) 17 copies
The Retake (2020) 15 copies
VIP: Battle of the Bands (2016) 12 copies
Diamond in the Rough (2022) 9 copies
Side Effects (2014) 8 copies
The Fixer Upper (2023) 6 copies

Associated Works

Who Done It? (2013) — Contributor — 136 copies
A Twisted Tale Anthology (2023) — Contributor — 86 copies
All Is Found: A Frozen Anthology (Frozen Anthology, 10) (2023) — Contributor — 6 copies

Tagged

acting (21) adventure (19) ARC (16) audiobook (15) boarding school (19) celebrity (35) chick lit (31) children (15) Disney (46) ebook (23) fairy tale (45) fairy tale retelling (14) fairy tales (60) fame (20) family (24) fantasy (136) fiction (113) friendship (48) high school (16) Hollywood (64) Kindle (19) magic (44) middle grade (25) own (15) Paper Book (29) princess (19) read (27) realistic fiction (42) retelling (31) romance (51) school (16) secrets (14) series (77) summer camp (15) teen (51) to-buy (28) to-read (442) YA (85) young adult (113) young adult fiction (24)

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Reviews

WARNING: THIS REVIEW IS FULL OF SPOILERS

I put this book on my tbr years ago. In fact, it was the book that had been on my tbr the longest. Recently, I decided it was time to finally pick it up. I wasn't sure I'd like this book, considering I'd put it on my tbr two years ago, back when my tastes were different, but as always, Jen Calonita did not disappoint.
First of all, I love Lidia. This book has three main characters, and I can say with certainty that she was my favorite of them all. I thought she had every right to react the way she did, but I also liked how she took responsibility for her mistakes. Sure, Sydney screwed up, but Lidia should've thought about how her actions would affect the Nightingales. She owned up to it though, and I appreciated her for that.
Next, we have Julianna. Julianna was the main character who did not get as much page time as the other two, but she was my second favorite main character anyway. She had self-esteem issues, but she also had incredible talent. I was rooting for her to figure out she was amazing all along, and was very happy when she faced her fears. We didn't get to learn as much about her as Sydney and Lidia, but I knew enough to like her.
Now, Sydney. She was my least favorite main character. Not because she was a bad character, but simply because I was Team Lydia, and also liked Julianna better than her. She wasn't unlikeable exactly, she just wasn't my favorite. She was flawed and handled the whole Griffin situation badly, sure, but she had a good heart and made an effort to improve the team. She was passionate, courageous, and had big dreams. She didn't give up easily, which is really admirable considering the disastrous state her life and team were in. She was a force to be reckoned with.
Now, on to the relationships.
Sydney and Griffin were cute and everything, but I just didn't love them. I didn't like Griffin enough, and I just wasn't as invested. That may partly be because I didn't get to see their relationship blooming and see them get closer, since that happened before the book even started. Sydney and Griffin just wasn't the ship I cared much about, I suppose.
Jack and Lydia though? That's a whole different story. I LOVED Jack. Sure, I thought it was a little weird how both of them seemed to be thinking the same thing and had so much in common (example: how Jack compared Kyle's shop to Charlie and the chocolate factory the same way Lydia thought of it), but that wasn't really a big problem. I loved reading their interactions together and I thought they were really cute. They were the ship I was actually interested in, and I'm glad they ended up together in the end.
Lastly, I want to talk about Lydia's decision between dance and the Nightingales. I was really afraid the author was going to make Lydia rejoin the Nightingales because "that was where her true friends were and it had been a mistake to quit" or whatever, but she didn't. The author had her choose dance, and I respected her for it. I didn't like the idea of Lydia giving up her passion for the Nightingales, so I'm glad the author didn't do that. It was nice to see Lydia choose the thing she grew to love, but instead of just leaving the Nightingales in the past, see her use her new skill to help them out. Her choreographing the Nightingales' dances was a great idea. It was a good way for her to start something new while still being there for what used to be her greatest passion.
Overall, this was a really nice read. I'm glad I finally got around to reading this because it just reminded me of what I've always known- Jen Calonita does not let me down.
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That_Crazy_Fangirl | Mar 12, 2024 |
I picked this fairytale themed middle grade novel up at the height of my daughter's interest in fairytale retellings, thinking she might like it. She has not yet read it--but I do think she would enjoy it. I know I did.

Twelve year old Gilly would do anything for her family, and that includes stealing so her brothers and sisters have enough food. Her father's shoe business hasn't been doing so well since the fairy god mother started making glass slippers. Gilly is an excellent thief--at least until she gets caught and sent to the Fairy Tale Reform School run by Princess Ella's Wicked Stepmother. The teachers at the school are all former villains, now reformed. Remember the Big Bad Wolf, and the Evil Queen? Or the siren who tried to ruin the Little Mermaid's life? The promise of the school is to reform children who are on the path to villainy and turn them into heroes. But can villains really change?

It turns out reform school isn't at all what Gilly expected, and she quickly learns that not everything is quite what it may seem. Joined by her new friends, Jax and Kayla, among others, Gilly finds herself at the center of a wicked plan--and they the only ones who can put a stop to it.

Gilly is the kind of character I think my daughter would really like. She may be a thief, but it is hard not to understand why she does it. The Royals have everything and the commoners have hardly anything. Her family is poor and struggling. She loves her family and is very loyal to them. She is surrounded by friends with complex backgrounds of their own. There are funny moments as well as thoughtful ones, and plenty of action and suspense throughout the novel. Anyone who is familiar with the original fairytales may recognize some of the characters, and hopefully will enjoy this fresh take on them. I know I did. I especially was interested in the world building. Happily ever after for the ruling princesses and royal class clearly isn't a happily ever after for everyone else, and it is nice to see that side explored more. Not to mention, I enjoy a story in which unexpected heroes rise to the occasion. I am be curious to see where the author takes this series.
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LiteraryFeline | 32 other reviews | Dec 31, 2023 |
 
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cfulton20 | 5 other reviews | Nov 13, 2023 |
Emily Woo Zeller (Narrator)
thoroughly enjoyed this retelling. very fun read
 
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cfulton20 | 3 other reviews | Nov 13, 2023 |

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Works
41
Also by
4
Members
6,457
Popularity
#3,809
Rating
½ 3.7
Reviews
169
ISBNs
353
Languages
7
Favorited
2

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