Author: Betsy Schow
Release Date: June 2, 2015
Publisher: Disney Hyperion
Genre(s): Fantasy, Magic, Adventure, Science Fiction
Every so often I buy a book solely because the cover looks really neat. Okay, so I do this a lot. Most of the time, it works out well and I discover a new book that is fun, entertaining, and well worth it. Other times, it goes wrong. Terribly wrong.
Spelled is a twist on the story we know and love as Wizard of Oz. Dorthea is the princess of Emerald. She can never leave due to a curse that affects the females of her family, and no one really knows who it will effect. Her nanny/handmaiden/basically only friend is a green witch that has been with her family for ages. She is spoiled, and I really mean spoiled. Dorthea is over princes and rejects every one that is presented to her.
Finally, her parents have had enough of that nonsense and betrothed her to a prince named Kato. Who she hates because he doesn’t look like a normal prince, and basically she’s a brat. At the ball, she takes a one time wish from a strange kid, because you know, that’s smart. Uses it to make a super selfish wish, and ends up going on a journey to right it with a servant girl named Rexi who is pretty much the most sullen traitor ever.
The story is predictable. Meet spoiled girl with family curse. Girl is the cursed one. Betrothed to guy she hates, comes to love guy. Saves day. Hooray. But beyond the predictable lines, this book is packed full of puns, mashed up fairy tales word play, and very ill-timed jokes. It is simple slapstick humor for little reason other than an attempt to make it seem more sophisticated than it is.
I love puns, mash-ups, and the like, but this was so over the top it made me cringe. The writing itself is simple, easy to follow, and easily a weekend afternoon book. That is if you want to read through the massive about of puns. The best part of the book were the tips and quotes at the beginning of the chapters. They almost made up for all the bad pop culture references. Almost.
There was little character growth throughout the book. Dorthea is a brat at the start and slightly less of a brat at the end. But by no means is it impressive. It’s mostly that she’s now realized she loves Kato. Kato is the same at the start and end. Rexi is a sullen, spiteful person just as she was. The only character that had any growth or difference was Hydra, for reasons that will be found if you choose to read it.
Final Thoughts: Either you’re going to love how cheesy this book is, or you’re going to hate it. There isn’t really an in-between for this read. It’s a simple, see through read without many twists, turns, or excitement. I wasn’t a big fan (obviously), but the cover is very pretty and eye catching. And they do say there’s no such thing as a bad read…right? Better to have read and disliked than not read at all?