Spelled


by Betsy Schow (June 2, 2015; Sourcebooks Fire)

Review by KM

I remember waiting weeks for book fairs in elementary school. The flyer would come out; I’d bubble with excitement as I went over each summary, clearly cataloging which books I could afford. I’d skip lunch for two weeks and save the $2.50 each day, finally showing up to the book fair with twenty dollars in quarters.

Spelled would have been one of my top picks at the book fair and I won’t be surprised if it sells out of every one it’s featured in this fall. It’s listed to be for ages 12-17, but I’d definitely put it at the lower end of that spectrum, great for preteens.

Summary

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.*

Musings
I love, love, love the slang in this. Son of a Basilisk? Pixing, Pox-ridden Prat? I can totally see myself using this all the time. Definitely my favorite part of the book. The other part I loved was how the “story-makers” were treated to be Gods, while the author of this story remaining unmentioned. Breaking the fourth wall, but only partially.

Despite Dorthea being overly shallow, I found myself rooting for her. More than any other character though, I loved Kato. He was practical and no-nonsense, unwilling to tolerate Dorthea’s appalling behavior. Plus, nothing beats a chimera.

My biggest complaint about the book had to be how it dated itself. With mentions of Flitter (Twitter) and Wrong Direction (One Direction), it’s going to be hard to read without giggling at the outdated references within a few years.

Overall, I loved the spin on the Wizard of Oz. It felt original, but Princess Dorthea is nothing like Dorthy. She’s shallow, but loyal and driven.

*Thank you for the Summary, Goodreads.

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