Title: Flunked: Fairy Tale Reform School
*Series: Fairy Tale Reform School #1
Author: Jen Calonita
Publisher: Sourcebooks Jabberwocky
Pages: Hardcover; 256
Release Date: March 3, 2015
Content Screening: Nothing of note.
HDB Rating: 4 Keys to My Heart
Recommended to: Young readers who love a good fairy tale and are looking for something different and fun.
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Would you send a villain to do a hero's job? An exciting new twisted fairy tale series from award-winning author Jen Calonita.
Full of regret, Cinderella's wicked stepmother, Flora, has founded the Fairy Tale Reform School with the mission of turning the wicked and criminally mischievous into upstanding members of Enchantasia.
Impish, sassy 12-year-old Gilly has a history of petty theft and she's not too sorry about it. When she lifts a hair clip, she gets tossed in reform school-for at least three months. But when she meets fellow students Jax and Kayla, she learns there's more to this school than its sweet mission. There's a battle brewing and she starts to wonder: can a villain really change?
As I expected, this book was a ton of fun to read! While the age group this book is aimed at will probably love it the most, there's a lot here to love for us older readers as well. Imagine a reform school for the villainous. A magical place filled with Pegasus riding classes and mermaid teachers. If you're a fan of fairy tale retellings, this story will definitely make you smile.
Flunked is packed to the brim will all sorts of lovable, and maybe even slightly evil, misfits. Gilly is our main character, and she fits in perfectly. Not quite a villain, but not exactly the picture of a model citizen either. I liked Gilly a lot. Kind, resourceful, and loyal to her family no matter what. Unfortunately, her love of her family is exactly what lands her in Fairy Tale Reform School. It raises the question, is evil really evil if there is reason for the crime? Once she stepped foot into FTRS, and I met the rest of the characters, I was hooked.
The one downside to this story is that there isn't much time for character development. It's likely that won't matter to the middle grade readers that this story is aimed at, but I craved more insight into the amazing characters populating this story. There were so many nods to the stories that I grew up loving. I giggled more than once at the antics Gilly and her friends were up to.
Still, this story is fast paced and well written, so it's hard not to fall in love. I read it through from beginning to end in about an hour, and I can't wait for more. I know this is the first in a series, and I'm honestly excited about it. I look forward to much more from Jen Calonita and her magical reform school.
FTC Disclosure: I received a copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. I was not monetarily compensated for my opinion.