Spelled - Betsy Schow
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.
I am the first one to tell you I totally judge a book by the cover and this cover is absolutely stunning. Nobody can say this book is not stunning and if they do, punch them in the face because they are a moron. What isn't totally super, over the rainbow stunning, (you see what I did there?) is the story. I KNOW. I just kind of deflated your balloon, didn't I? The story is not awful, I was real doubtful, but honestly the last third of the book is the best part.
I'm normally a fan of re-telling of classic stories and you know my top re-telling of ALL TIME is and will forever be Lisa Jensen's Alias Hook. That book is near and dear to my heart, I love it more than I would love my own book, if I ever finish it. But Spelled is not so much a re-telling, but more a different take of The Wizard of Oz. And not even that, to me this is more like the movie that came out with James Franco and everyone said was crap, but I actually totally loved it.
So we have Dorthea, who is a spoiled rotten brat who is too cool for school and boys, and she's basically locked up in her castle because there is a curse on women in her family but nobody knows who really is cursed, so let's not take any chances. Of course, Dorthea is willful and bratty so she tries to make a run for it, and fails. She's informed she'll be marrying Kato, who looks like a dirty gardener and far from a Prince Charming. (And I'm sorry, I read the name Kato and all I could think about is the OJ Simpson trial and that kind of ruined all chances of me thinking this guy is any kind of hot.) So she takes a wishing star from a child and hell breaks lose and Dorthea is on the run presumably to save her life AND set the story right.
I know this is kind of picky of me but using words like "pixed" instead of "pissed" and "Grimm" instead of "damn" and a variety of other fairy tell vocabulary to replace swear words is kind of ridiculous. I know it's supposed to be kitschy and go with the story but I found it distracting and I think ultimately did a disservice to the book. This book would have worked as a really dark romance novel and I feel like the author was afraid to go there and instead opted for cutesy and it just didn't work for me ultimately. Also, one of the characters that I thought was just a blip in the story, Hydra, actually has a large part in the novel but she's also.. well she's different. She has a flair for multiple personalities as she changes heads but some of the dialogue from her is so bizarre and difficult to read at times, almost like she has a really bad Creole accent? I mean, that's what it sounds like in my head as I read it. I get that is the character you are portraying but again, so hard to read. An example is on page 264 where she says, "She be havin' a point. But ya should alsa know, if ya be growin' inta a full beastie, der be no changin' back for ya." That was one of the easier sentences, but you have to read the words phonetically for you to understand it.
I'm not telling you to rule this book out because at 344 pages, this books is kind of a steal of a deal and worth the purchase price of $9.99 or less on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. I will say again though, The Bookworm Box had amazing books, each one of them were 5 stars and so far, for my first Lit Cube book I have to give this one 3/5. It wasn't awful, but it wasn't tremendous either. So stay tuned because I do have another Lit Cube coming and I'll review that book again as well.