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The Wishing Spell (The Land of Stories #1)

4.18  ·  Rating Details  ·  38,046 Ratings  ·  3,542 Reviews
Alex and Conner Bailey's world is about to change, in this fast-paced adventure that uniquely combines our modern day world with the enchanting realm of classic fairy tales.
"The Land of Stories" tells the tale of twins Alex and Conner. Through the mysterious powers of a cherished book of stories, they leave their world behind and find themselves in a foreign land full of
Hardcover, 438 pages
Published July 17th 2012 by Little, Brown Young Readers
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Isle of Winds by James FahyHarry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. RowlingHarry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J.K. RowlingHarry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J.K. RowlingThe Wishing Spell by Chris Colfer
Potential Fantasy Classics
5th out of 253 books — 240 voters
Insurgent by Veronica RothCity of Lost Souls by Cassandra ClarePandemonium by Lauren OliverReached by Ally CondieSpell Bound by Rachel Hawkins
2012 Releases I'm Most Excited For
21st out of 269 books — 339 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Aug 01, 2012 Vanessa rated it really liked it
Actor, Golden Globe winner, 2-time Emmy nominee, one of Time Magazine's 100 Most Influential People in the World, singer, screen writer, producer ... and now author? And all of that at just 22 years old? I understand how some people might be a bit skeptical in regards to Chris Colfer's actual writing talents, but the truth is - the guy just seems to be a natural-born storyteller, and it doesn't matter which medium he uses for it.

His first novel, "The Land of Stories: The Wishing Spell", is the f
Aug 12, 2012 Jazz rated it did not like it
In Which I Drink Haterade and Review The Wishing Spell...

I'm not getting my hate on just to hate. I'm getting my hate on because this book was the most painful reading experience I have ever had. I didn't think a book could irritate me so much that it would result in a terrible weight in my chest, but it did. It did.

Colfer's prose is cliche and redundant from the first page. His sentences are short and simplistic with no signs of imagery or depth. Instead of showing emotion and action, Colfer op
Johara Almogbel
Aug 04, 2012 Johara Almogbel rated it it was ok
Shelves: 52-books-2012
I picked this book up at the airport because I was trying to convince my ten year old brother to start reading more imaginative stories and less... Diary of a Wimpy Kid.

I figured I'd read it first and see what it was like. Then I found out the author was this dude on glee, apparently, and I admit my enthusiasm kind of dipped. And, good thing it did, because this book was very... I don't know. The plot and the fairytale world was good enough, but the whole story was quite bland. Not to mention th
Sep 13, 2012 Nicole rated it did not like it
The main reason I am writing this review here is because I am tired of hearing only positive things about this book. I find it misleading and I know that there are many other better written stories for our readers. Chris Colfer is an actor on the television show Glee, and this book reads like a long drawn out screenplay. Descriptions are either nonexistent or so basic that my students could paint a far better image. When describing a cavalcade of knights arriving in front the twins, Colfer descr ...more
Oct 11, 2012 Lilian rated it liked it
Writing felt annoyingly clunky, and not in a juvenile way (though I did think the writing explained EVERY LITTLE THING. I am not stupid here!)--in a messy way. I listened to the audiobook, and I am surprised Chris Colfer didn't feel the urge to clean his weird sentences. The dialogue felt too rigid, and all those he said, she saids annoyed me (maybe more because it was an audiobook, complete with voice actors?) I have a feeling Colfer made Alex and Connor twins just so he could refer to them as ...more
Apr 24, 2014 Yana rated it liked it
I can see why many wonder about it being another celebrity using a ghost writer but Chris Colfer has been into writting for far longer than you think. While not professionally, and it's fun because he didn't do professional acting before Glee and a short movie and ressulted excelent on it, he's done work adapting musicals and being on the writers club at his school. While that is cute and all, there's then that he's done the scriptwritting for Struck By Lightning, a movie which he stars and prod ...more
Nov 20, 2014 Melodee rated it did not like it
The synopsis of this book showed such a fun, interesting idea, and the artwork is done by one of my favorite book artists. I began reading it to see if my daughter would enjoy it, because she gets easily bored with books. I'll not be recommending it to her. Too bad the artist can't write, too. This is obviously a first time writer, and I wonder if he was published so quickly and easily because he's on TV. I dunno. There was too much going on without much consequence. It was supposedly a dangerou ...more
Jul 21, 2012 Bianca rated it it was amazing
“It doesn’t matter how greatly you’ve been hurt or how much you’re hurting, it’s what you do with the pain that counts. You could cry for years, and rightfully so, or you could choose to learn and grow from it. Take it from me: I spent years hiding in a hole, afraid to come out because of what people would think of me. But one day I decided to leave, and I ended up saving lives!”

"The Land of Stories: The Wishing Spell" is the most incredible book I've read since "The Never-ending Story", and tha
Sep 25, 2014 Molly rated it did not like it
I wanted to read this book and like it, but I just couldn't finish it. I barely got to the start of Alex's and Conner's adventure, but there were so many things that annoyed me in this book.
The way the book talked about fairy tales made me want to grind my teeth. The emphasis on "all fairy tales have a moral and there is only one correct interpretation" really was what made me give up on this book. It indicates a real lack of research or general knowledge about either fairy tales or literary an
So, was that ending exactly like the Narnia ending or what?

A part of me thinks I would've enjoyed the book more if I was a bit younger. The other part of me is saying "uhm Therese you read a lot of children books, and you don't have any problems with them." So who knows? Maybe I would've liked it more if I was 10. Maybe not.

The good parts:
* There were some really good and funny quotes.

The bad parts:
* The teacher at the start made me really, really angry. She was just extremely pretentious, and w
Jemma (MyLittleBookishCorner)
When I first heard that Chris Colfer was going to be publishing a novel, I knew that I had to buy it and give it a go. And I am so glad that I did. I just know that The Land of Stories is going to be an amazing series.

There are quotes throughout The Wishing Spell that make me realise just how wise Colfer is for his age. I finished this book in only two sittings and I fell in love with all of the characters, as well as the land that is created by Colfer's words.

I cannot wait to see just what
Jennifer Macdonald
Jul 03, 2011 Jennifer Macdonald rated it it was amazing
I can't believe that they have a page for this book. it's not coming out till next year. when it comes out I'm so buying this book. It's great that Chris Colfer is expanding his horizion with Glee, making a movie, making a pilot for Disney and writing 2 books. My bb is going far
Alyssa (Books Take You Places)
Jul 28, 2012 Alyssa (Books Take You Places) rated it really liked it
Shelves: own, arc
Originally reviewed on Books Take You Places.

Alex and Conner are doing their best to get by. Having recently lost their father to an accident, the twins live with their overworked mother in a small rental home and rely on one another for comfort. Alex is an overachiever, the teacher’s pet and the logical one of the two, whereas Conner is the comedian, and the more impulsive twin. Both children hold memories of their father close and look upon his stories when they need comfort. On their twelfth
Initial Excitement:

I freaking love Chris Colfer, so excited for this!

My Review:

The Land of Stories was a delightful tale for anyone who ever enjoyed any fairy tale whatsoever. Even when our favorite tales ended, they were still continuing in this world. For example, Cinderella is pregnant and the Evil Queen is in Snow White's dungeon. Alex and Conner were realistic children who had to track down some impossible items, and reading about their journey was really fun.

First off, this book is gorgeou
Dec 25, 2012 Becky rated it did not like it
If I had only one word for this book it would be "boring." There are problems with this book at every level. I bought it because I like Chris Colfer and was interested to see what he wrote like. He sings way better than he writes.
However, all the problems I have with this book are age-related. He writes like a teenager. His diction is painful, problems are CONSTANTLY being solved through happy coincidences, the tension is poorly handled (basically non-existent), there are italics and ellipses ev
Mar 26, 2013 Heather rated it liked it
Before I review this book, I must tell you that the author, Chris Colfer, is one of my favorite actors, but as I read this book I put that out of my mind to judge him as a novelist only. I have attempted to review this book as fairly and impartially as I do all the novels I read.

There is no question that this story is entertaining. The number of times I laughed out loud, teared up, and let my imagination run wild with theories cannot be counted. Colfer is, as he’s said in his own words, a consum
Aug 10, 2012 Tammy rated it did not like it
Being a fan of Glee and generally supportive of all the cast (and being a huge fan of children's fantasy novels) I decided to read this book.

I found the writing to be of extremely poor quality for several reasons.

1) The sentences were far too simplistic, even for a children's book
For example he uses "Connor said" or "Alex said" every single time they speak.

2) As someone else mentioned, Colfer simply tells the reader what is happening rather than showing us, as the writing completely lacks imagi
Jun 29, 2012 Cassie-la rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2012-reads

The Land of Stories revolves around two twins obsessed with fairy tales. There’s brainy Alex who loves to learn, and the Bart to her Lisa, her brother Conner. Conner is one of the few likeable characters, with a great sense of humor. This is slightly ruined when Colfer makes sure to tell us Conner is funny without meaning to be. When things in their life are at their lowest (their father recently died and their birthday looks like it will b
Rachel Sharpe
Sep 28, 2012 Rachel Sharpe rated it did not like it

I really tried to like this book. I just couldn't do it. The dialogue and narrative is stilted, and the descriptions are just weird sometimes. (I'm still trying to figure out how metal chains "rustle".) Despite all this, I might have liked the book if the characters were even remotely likable or realistic. They weren't. Every character was so fake. I couldn't make it past chapter three.

I tried. I really did, but this book just had too many fundamental problems.
Kimberley doruyter
i can't express enough love for this book.
the fairytale twists and the land of stories it's self are enough to make you fall in love.
but the characters complete it so wonderfully.
we all would want to fall into this storybook.
Yasmin L.
Apr 04, 2016 Yasmin L. rated it it was amazing
It was really interesting and fun to read
Brett Axel
Jun 11, 2012 Brett Axel rated it it was ok
Shelves: didn-t-finish
What if C S Lewis, instead of honing his writing skills, watched lots of Shrek and Hoodwinked movies? I think you would end up with a book with Amazing potential that falls well short of the mark, which is exactly what The Land of Stories: The Wishing Spell is.

I could not read beyond, "She had a huge, caring heart and loved her kids more than anything else in the world." on page 36. It wasn't the first time I almost put it down for its poor editing. I almost did a few pages earlier then the read
George Kulz
Jul 15, 2012 George Kulz rated it really liked it
First of all, a disclaimer. I was not a Chris Colfer fan. This doesn't mean that I didn't like him, or anything like that. I just didn't know much about his career other than the fact he's an actor from the TV show Glee. I never really watch the show. Just not interested. So I feel I'm in a unique position to review this book without that bias.

Note above: I said I WAS NOT a Chris Colfer fan. I now AM.

I have tried to keep this review spoiler free for those who want to read the review but not find
Wandering Librarians
The biggest draw for most people about this book is probably the fact that it was written by one of the actors from the show Glee. You might remember from my post about Chris Colfer that he didn't want his first book to be a biography, he wanted it to be about a story he'd grown up telling himself. I think this is admirable.

Chris Colfer takes a lot of the classics and gives them a tweak. He gives Cinderella, Rapunzel, Snow White, Red Riding Hood, Jack and the Beanstalk, and Goldilocks, continued
Lubinka Dimitrova
I loved this book and the mingling of the fairy-tales stories and characters that the author so masterfully crafted. I'll just go ahead and start reading the next book - that's how good it was.
Dec 13, 2015 Becca rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: series-junkie

El sem hiszitek, de talán ez a könyv volt az, amit a legjobban vártam az idei magyar megjelenések közül. Mondom ezt úgy, hogy se árat, se fülszöveget, semmit se néztem. Elég volt annyi, hogy az általam nagyon sokra tartott Chris Colfer írta. Innentől nem volt kérdés, be kellett szereznem, méghozzá magyarul, hogy még távolról sem létező gyermekeimnek is olvashassam majd. Mert Chris a világ egyik legkülönlegesebb embere. Az egész lényéből csak úgy árad a ked
Jun 12, 2012 Lauren rated it really liked it
I received this book as an ARC and, as a children's librarian, was excited to read it. It seems that fairy tales are coming back into style, so I was a little skeptical that this one could be original. While the premise is basic (two children fall into a book, where all the fairy tale creatures live), the book itself was well-written and exciting.

Children will be introduced to all the characters they know and love, while relating to two protagonists that are very real. The two twins, Alex and Co
Jul 21, 2012 Kim rated it it was amazing
A few days ago, I read The Land of Stories by Chris Colfer. Now, I absolutely love Chris, so obviously I was excited to read his book - I even stayed up until midnight on the day of its release so I can start reading it on my Nook. After reading the first couple of chapters, I was sucked into the story of Alex and Conner Bailey and found it difficult to stop reading.

While it's about 500 pages long, The Land of Stories is ultimately a children's book, so it is a little predictable and not as comp
Apr 07, 2016 Mo added it
Recommended to Mo by: Clara
This book was lent to me by my 9 year old granddaughter, who told me that this was “the best book EVER Grammy!” How could I NOT want to read this book?

I opened the book, and on the first page saw that it was dedicated to the author’s grandmother. Nice. On page 2 was a quote from C.S. Lewis, one of my favorite authors. Very nice! An auspicious beginning, wouldn’t you say?

Ultimately, this was a children’s book that read like a children’s book. After reading it, I was left feeling delighted that Cl
Gary Butler
Feb 23, 2015 Gary Butler rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
11th book read in 2015.

Number 165 out of 439 on my all time book list.

Follow the link below to see my video review:

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Petition 1 5 Apr 20, 2016 07:04PM  
Land of Stories a movie 3 10 Apr 16, 2016 08:54PM  
Enchanting Stories & Endless Possibilities 1 6 Feb 25, 2016 04:08PM  
Adventure Awaits.. 1 8 Feb 25, 2016 11:03AM  
who else loved this book 8 29 Jan 24, 2016 06:22PM  
Do you think Disney should make this into a movie? 43 209 Jan 24, 2016 02:58PM  
the land of stories 2 12 Jan 22, 2016 02:22PM  
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Chris Colfer is an Emmy-nominated and Golden Globe-winning actor best-known for his portrayal of Kurt Hummel on the FOX television series "Glee".

He is also a New York Times bestselling author whose books include the first three novels in the "Land of Stories" series ("The Wishing Spell", "The Enchantress Returns" and "A Grimm Warning") as well as "Struck By Lightning: The Carson Philips Journal"
More about Chris Colfer...

Other Books in the Series

The Land of Stories (5 books)
  • The Enchantress Returns (The Land of Stories, #2)
  • A Grimm Warning (The Land of Stories, #3)
  • Beyond the Kingdoms (The Land of Stories, #4)
  • An Author's Odyssey (The Land of Stories, #5)

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