Published by Sourcebooks Fire, Sourcebooks, Inc. on 6/2/15
Genres: Fairy Tales Legends & Mythology, Retellings, Young Adult
Source: Blog Tour, NetGalley
My content rating: YA (Nothing more than kissing, Some fantasy violence)
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.
This book is a really cute, fun, whimsical fairy tale retelling with a lot of appeal! The story follows Dorthea, who’s lived a sequestered life, just in case she is the Emerald Princess who has been foretold to burn the world down. Dorthea wants to escape her boring life, so she makes a wish – one that backfires and turns the entire fairy tale realm upside down. In order to put things right, she has to escape the clutches of the gray witch and embrace the power she never knew she had (and has been raised to fear) without allowing the power to take her over completely. She goes off on her quest with a couple of begrudging sidekicks and a true fairy tale adventure ensues.
What I loved:
- Fun take on fairy tales. Just the pure number of fairy tales that Schow managed to incorporate into this book is astounding – but the story is it’s own. It’s not so much a retelling as a mash-up of the worlds, stories and characters from traditional fairy tales, with lots of poking fun at the originals. The “gods” of the book are the Storymakers – the writers of the fairy tales. And the rules of happily ever after may or may not apply here …
- Dorthea’s growth. Dorthea isn’t a particularly likable character at first. She’s a typical spoiled, snobby princess who looks down on the commoners around her. But, as she goes off on her adventure, she learns that the outside world is a lot more complex than she ever realized, and she finds that you truly can’t judge a book – even a fairy tale – by its cover. Dorthea starts to realize that the world definitely isn’t black and white and that the heroes and villains of the story can sometimes get a bit mixed up. I loved her growth and the messages that were incorporated throughout the book!
- Adventure. This book had tons of whimsical fairy tale action and adventure and the characters were put into the craziest of magical circumstances. The pace was non-stop!
- Room for more. While this book had a solid ending and gave us a full story arc, it’s obvious that there are more books to come in this series! I think that Schow did a fantastic job of wrapping things up, so the reader feels satisfied but then leaving us with a final semi-cliffhanger that will lead to the next book!
- Not quite enough connection. While I really enjoyed this book, and it was super light and fun, I just didn’t always completely connect to the characters enough to feel engrossed. Occasionally I found myself zoning out on the fairy tale hijinx, even though it was cute and amusing – can’t exactly explain why. Dorthea did take a while to warm up to, but that was purposeful, since she really needed to grow by the end of the book. But the only explanation I can come up with for not being enthralled is that I wasn’t a million percent invested. Still a great read, though!
So, if you’re looking for a light, fun, amusing read, this book is perfect for you! Sometimes this type of book is just what I’m looking for – something to break up the darker reads I often gravitate toward. And it seems like a perfect fit for the YA crowd. I give this book 3.5/5 stars.
***Disclosure: I received this book from NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review. No other compensation was given and all opinions are my own.***
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
BETSY SCHOW is the TODAY Show featured author of the non-fiction book, Finished Being Fat; however she’s been mixing up real life and fantasy for as long as she can remember. If someone were to ask about her rundown truck, she’s 100% positive that mechanical gremlins muck up her engine. And the only reason her house is dirty is because the dust bunnies have gone on strike. She lives in Utah with her own knight in geeky armor and their two princesses (that can totally shapeshift into little beasts). When not writing, she acts as the Tournament Director for Odyssey of the Mind and helps teach kids creative thinking (or how to turn their toasters into robots).
Her debut novel, Spelled, comes out June 2015 from Sourcebooks. She is represented by Michelle Witte, Mansion Street Literary Agency.