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The Land of Stories #1

The Wishing Spell

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The first book in Chris Colfer's #1 New York Times bestselling series The Land of Stories about two siblings who fall into a fairy-tale world!

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 wonder and magic where they come face-to-face with fairy tale characters they grew up reading about.

But after a series of encounters with witches, wolves, goblins, and trolls alike, getting back home is going to be harder than they thought.

438 pages, Paperback

First published July 17, 2012

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About the author

Chris Colfer

48 books9,943 followers
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" which is a novelization based on the script he wrote for the film "Struck By Lighting" (Colfer also co-produced and starred in that movie).

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5 stars
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Displaying 1 - 30 of 10,789 reviews
Profile Image for Hailey (Hailey in Bookland).
611 reviews87.5k followers
August 24, 2017

This was SO much fun! Such a quick and engaging read. I loved how all the fairy tales I know and love were incorporated into the story. I actually listened to the audiobook, which is read by Chris Colfer, and it really enhanced my reading experience.
I will admit, I found the writing at times to be a tad lackluster, but that was mostly a problem with showing vs. telling that I think can be attributed to the fact that it's a middle grade novel. I think this is a series I will definitely be continuing!
Profile Image for Jazz.
251 reviews33 followers
August 19, 2022
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 opts to tell you what the characters are feeling as blandly as possible. We don't feel the rush of falling through a book into a magical land. Instead, we get "AAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHH!" and a plethora of adverbs (that get worse as the novel goes on).

Was an editor assigned to this book? I think the editor might have been a cat with narcolepsy.

Had The Wishing Spell been written as a straight up parody of faerie tales, it would have been a successful piece of writing. When the twins meet the witch who tried to eat Hansel & Gretel, they find a way to turn her into vegan. Conner notes that compared to the Pevensie children climbing through a wardrobe, and Dorothy being whisked away to Oz via twister, falling through a book was pretty boring. I had to laugh at the latter because I was thinking the same thing, and the former because it was a clever way to portray how modern children would react to villains from old stories they knew well.

Colfer does not engage with faerie tales in a meaningful way. Alex and Conner debate over the messages of the stories at the start of the novel, but by the book's close they only come to the conclusion that the stories have made people happy for years. They do not recognize it is important for these stories to have multiple interpretations, and that there is no correct meaning.

The original characters are flat archetypes--single mother with a heart of gold, slacker boy, smart uptight girl, the perfect grandma is endlessly supportive and offers financial support. Colfer turns beloved faerie tale characters into ineffectual twits. Even his semi-interesting version of Goldilocks is reduced to petty name calling when she discovers a betrayal. Snow White shouts in the prologue, and it is said that it was the first time she had ever raised her voice. A woman whose stepmother tried to murder her four times never raised her voice before speaking to her stepmother in a dungeon? No. Colfer also paints Snow White as the paragon of virtue. Though he thanks the Brothers Grimm in his acknowledgements, Colfer ignores the ending printed in their stories in which Snow White makes her mother "dance" in red-hot iron shoes at her wedding. Even the good guys can be cruel, which would have been something wise to impart to readers, but he made the disappointing decision to gloss over it.

All of the scrapes Alex and Conner find themselves in are easily solved through helpful adults whom have no problem sacrificing themselves for two annoying kids they just met. This plot device is irritating not only because it is repetitive, but also because Conner feels perfectly comfortable insulting and walking all over the people he meets. As soon as they get to the Land of Stories, he designates a frog-man as Froggy rather than letting the frog-man establish his own identity. Alex waffles between being the responsible one and having no common sense. How does a bookworm manage to climb Rapunzel's tower without any mountain climbing gear? It seems Colfer changed the characters to suit his whims as he went on. The twins mostly storm from kingdom to kingdom telling the monarchs that they suck at being monarchs (unless they're busy being good wives and mothers), and solve simple problems for them that make the faerie tale characters seem like jokes rather than complex figures.

The land of stories is not a Hogwarts, Narnia, or Oz--both terrifying and delightful. It is pretty much just terrifying and miserable. Why would anyone want to go there? Furthermore, why would a child want to read about such an unhappy place?

Verdict: Don't read this. Watch Fushigi Yuugi instead.
Profile Image for Nicole.
293 reviews20 followers
September 13, 2012
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 describes them only by saying: "Their armor was clean and shiny." OK...
Colfer puts most of his story in the dialogue and the narration seems to be just a means to link those speaking parts together. He misses the beauty that can go into a well written narrative. A story should not leave its reader breaking away from the flow to consider how awkwardly written it is. Truly though, I could go on and on, and that would be too harsh. So, here are a few things that bothered me in a (sort of) list:

The extreme overuse of poor similes:
"Mrs. Peters was staring at her as if she had just witnessed a gruesome rural animal give birth."
(I couldn't think of a gruesome rural animal...pig, cow, mouse. Dunno.)
"Alex clambered up the tree faster than any animal she had ever seen in a documentary."
(Doesn't that just flow off the lips.)
Compares the witch with the gingerbread house to: "...staring at her as if she were a rabid Tyranosaurus rex about to pounce on them at any moment."
(#1 rabid T-rex. #2 would pounce be the best word to describe the movement of a T-rex? #3 the word rabies makes, I believe, 3 appearances. At least one more I flagged when the twins come upon some unicorns. )
The similes go on and on and on and on...

Lack of revision.
If Colfer spent any time at all revising this novel we would not see the following phrase appear so often:
"Steam was practically coming out of the teacher's ears and nostrils." pg.75
"Steam was practically coming out of their nostrils." pg. 361
"...Conner said. Steam was practically coming from his ears." pg. 164

Some of the writing just simply strikes me the wrong way. Like when Conner sees the gingerbread house on page 112. "'Whoa,' Conner said. 'I feel like I might get diabetes from just looking at that place."

Overall, the story is so horribly written that I BEG Colfer's editor to help him make the next book in the series a bit smoother. The plot of the book doesn't bother me. I can fall into the most fantastical storyline and believe every line of it. But that is where the hard work on the author's part comes in. Colfer must read more to become a better writer. This is not a script, it is a novel.

Go on, tell me I'm wrong. I can take it.

See review on my blog: http://bluestockingthinking.blogspot....
Profile Image for Vanessa.
377 reviews73 followers
August 1, 2012
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 first book in what will become a series of novels about twins Alex and Conner Bailey.

For their twelfth birthday the twins' grandmother gives them a book that has been in the family for a long time - a collection of fairytales called "The Land of Stories". But as Conner and Alex soon find out - this is no ordinary book! When Alex accidentally falls into the book and Conner jumps after her, the twins find themselves in a world that is at once familiar and foreign - familiar, because they've grown up reading stories about the kingdoms of this fairytale world; and foreign because suddenly they are faced with the aftermath of "Happily Ever After": Goldilocks is a wanted fugitive; the big bad wolf may be dead but his pack is very much alive and hellbent on revenge; and the evil queen that almost succeeded in murdering Snow White has escaped from her prison.

Desperately trying to find their way home the twins start gathering a number of magical items in the hopes of successfully performing "The Wishing Spell". On their journey they meet many of the characters they've known since childhood along with numerous magical creatures. But Alex and Conner are not the only ones looking for the ingredients for the Wishing Spell, and what started out as a kind of scavenger hunt quickly turns into a race against time ...

Chris Colfer has a very vivid and descriptive style of writing that I personally liked very much. Whether he was describing castles, quaint villages or the dungeons of the Troll and Goblin Territory - it all came to life right before my eyes, and I could see every scene like a movie in my mind.

Conner and Alex were both likable and endearing lead characters. Where Alex is a too-smart-for-her-own-good bookworm, Conner is full of sarcasm. Despite their differences and their constant bickering and bantering - which makes for quite a few funny moments - it is clear that they have a close relationship and would never leave the other behind. But the twins are really just two out of a very large cast of characters, many of whom are of course already known to us from various fairytales. Personally, I have to admit I really liked Goldilocks - the girl kicked ass, so to speak ... ;o)

Children will absolutely love this book - in fact, they might want to live in it! - but that doesn't mean that it is only suitable for children. If you enjoy imaginative and fantastical stories full of magic, humor and adventure then you will probably adore TLOS! It really is a wonderful story for anyone who has ever loved fairytales ... and everyone who has remained young at heart!

Reading this book reminded me of how much I loved escaping into the world of books as a kid! Back then I would forget everything around me and just dive into different worlds to have amazing adventures. I could be a princess, a pirate or a rebel; I could travel the world, discover hidden treasures, or solve huge mysteries. In short - I could do or be anything I wanted!

I still love reading books but somehow I now often find it much harder to lose myself completely in a story like I used to do. But this particular book gave me back that feeling I remembered from my childhood - a sense of something magical! It would hold a special place in my heart for that alone, even if it wasn't as good as it actually is!

One thing I also liked was that Chris managed to tuck a few valuable lessons into his story, and he did so in a subtle way that never comes across as preachy. The message that he wants to give his readers is simple and yet so important: There is nothing wrong with just being yourself; don't try to mold yourself into something you're not comfortable with just to please other people; and don't disregard your own talents and capabilities just because they might not be the same as those of others.

Is TLOS a perfect book? No. Nor is it the best book I have ever read. But what it is is a wonderfully imaginative and fast-paced adventure that is very entertaining and definitely fun to read. It is a book that I thoroughly enjoyed, and will certainly pick up and read again. The story has a good flow to it, I was never bored for even a moment, and I chuckled to myself (or even laughed out loud) more often than I can count. Yes, some of the scenes could have been elaborated a bit or fleshed out more, and yes - there were a few moments where I felt like the twins got away a little bit too easily, but those are just the little bumps that almost any novel by a first-time author has.

As for predictability - well, sure ... there were a few things that I guessed at pretty early on, but I have to say that there were quite a few surprising twists and turns in the final chapters that I definitely did not see coming! In fact, I think the last 100 or so pages were my favorite part of the book, and it felt like Chris really hit his stride as a writer the further into the story he got - something that certainly makes me excited for the sequel ... :o)

This book definitely proves that Chris Colfer is indeed a talented writer with a wonderful imagination whose storytelling ability will most likely only get better with age, and I for one cannot wait for all the other stories that will surely come out of his creative mind in the coming years!

So to sum this up .... what did I love most about TLOS? Well, I'd say its unique story and humor, the interesting characters - and the magical feeling it left me with ... :o)

Last but not least, one note about the audiobook:

It is read by Chris Colfer himself, and what a treat that is! He really has a unique voice - both literally and figuratively speaking - and his narrative is utterly engaging. He truly manages to give every character their own voice and personality (and that's no small feat considering the large number of characters in this book!), and I must say that I almost loved the audiobook a bit more than the actual printed book (which I read first) - and that means a lot coming from me since I'm not normally a fan of audiobooks at all ....!

Profile Image for Johara Almogbel.
Author 1 book52 followers
August 4, 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 that the girl twin, Alex, was annoying enough I wanted shut her smug annoying face up. Everything tied too neatly, the characters weren't defined as well, the fairytales felt like an afterthought, and it sort of felt like I was reading the Magic Tree House. The only character I enjoyed reading about was Goldilocks. I could easily see a book where her adventures feature through. But, that's about it.

Mind you, I'm still giving it to my brother. Seriously. Have you read Diary of a Wimpy Kid?
Profile Image for Melodee.
206 reviews6 followers
November 20, 2014
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 dangerous and difficult task the twin children were supposed to be doing, but they got along pretty easily, with an extraordinary amount of luck. And though they learned something about their parents along the way, I didn't feel as if they learned anything about themselves, or changed after having gone through their journey. Too many questions left unanswered, but not interesting enough to make me care enough to find out. I think what bothered me the most, was the hypocrisy of the author, and I don't think he even realized he was this way. He makes such an effort at the beginning of the book to point out that stories, fairy tales in particular, are meant to teach us a lesson. And then his own book does nothing to teach us a lesson. Unless the lesson is to go ahead and break rules of society if it strengthens your bond with your siblings. That just grated on me. The smart sister fills in answers for her brother on a test so he won't get in trouble for another bad grade. And in the book it says "she did the right thing. As a sister." Sorry. It's not right to cheat on a test. Ever. And then it's never brought up again, no mentioned at all. Why even bring it up? Other than to show that sometimes its ok to bend the rules? Not the lesson I want my children to learn. I'm not impressed. Too bad, too. Because the idea of the story had such promise. I was hoping to enjoy seeing what he imagined the world of fairy land to be like, and how our favorite characters got along after "Happily Ever After." But there just wasn't enough depth, thought or interest.
Profile Image for Rachel  L.
1,830 reviews2,188 followers
May 29, 2018


I have to say, I've been very skeptical about this book because to me, one of the kids from Glee wrote it. But now I have to say, I am totally impressed! Chris Colfer is a great author!

I decided to pick up this book because there is not a day that goes by at my job that I am not asked for a book in this series (seriously, everyday they want The Land of Stories, second only to Harry Potter and Dog Man). That and a recommendation from a friend had me purchasing this from a local independent bookstore.

The Wishing Spell is about a pair of 12 year old twins Alex and Conner who after a recent family tragedy are having a hard time coping with their new life. When their grandmother comes to visit them, she gives them her fairy tales book The Land of Stories. But what happens later is crazy, the twins fall into the book and find themselves amongst famous fairy tale characters! They must find a way home, and the only way is to get the wishing spell.

I really enjoyed this, I thought it was really cute. I love retellings of stories we all know because I love to see what authors do with the stories and the characters. Colfer has a great sense of humor and a very good voice (by this I mean his writing). He effectively created a cool fairy tale realm with characters we love and made them his own. He could have done a better job with the more action type scenes but this is his first book and I'll cut him a break.

If you have a child in your life, give this to them. Or you can be like me and just read it for yourself with no shame just cause ya want to.

Follow me on ♥ FacebookBlogInstagramTwitter
Profile Image for Molly.
90 reviews3 followers
September 25, 2014
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 analysis. While yes, with the surge of literary fairy tales in the 18th and 19th centuries, many tales were appropriated for children and given clear morals, there's no way to say that the stories were intended to be viewed this way. That whole lesson at the beginning of the book just had me shaking my head. So no, I won't be finishing this one. It's a good attempt at a first novel but there are many issues (such as the dumbing down for children and the very clear exposition) that make me wonder if the book would have gotten published by an unknown author. Kids aren't stupid. If they read your book they can figure out a lot more than you're giving them credit for. It felt like a book written for 8 year olds, yet it was much longer than I would expect for that age group. I don't think I'll be giving this one another try.
Profile Image for  Li'l Owl.
398 reviews232 followers
August 6, 2019
Charming and highly entertaining!
Witty and fun, with a dash of danger this book comes!

Twins, Alex and Connor Bailey, are just like other children their age. Thier father owns a bookstore, their mother is a pediatric cancer nurse, and they've grown up with among the fairy tales that were read to them by their grandmother.
Then, two days before the twins' eleventh birthday, their dad is killed in a car accident.
Thier father's loss hits them all very hard and their mom must work double shifts to support them. The following year hasn't been easy but they're a close family and they find comfort in that.
Alex and Connor get a surprise when their Grandmother comes for a visit on their twelfth birthday. After a home-made dinner and they've opened all their gifts they get one more surprise.

"I almost forgot. I have one more present for you. Grandma said, and jumped up and skipped into the next room. She returned carrying a large, old book with a dark emerald cover titled The Land of Stories in gold writing. "

Alex gently takes the book, her brother looking over her shoulder.
In her hands was a world unlike the one she lived in. It was a world unaltered by political corruption or technology, a world where good things came to good people, and a world she wanted to be part of with all her being.

Okay, I'm just going to say it because it's what everyone is already thinking!

⁣Be careful what you wish for!

The Wishing Spell by Chris Colfer is a delightful book that will send you back to your childhood fairy tales with a delightful twist and plenty of surprises along the way.

The 400+ pages seems very long but I found it to be a fast read from cover to cover. I quickly found myself spellbound, lost in a world full fairy tale characters, completely caught up in an exciting and perilous journey with twelve-year-old brother and sister twins, Connor and Alex, as they try to navigate through a strange, yet familiar world in search of a way back home. In what felt like a moment I had reached the end of the story, well this story anyway, as there are more stories to come in the upcoming volumes in the The Land of Stories series. I enjoyed it immensely and have already ordered the next book The Enchantress Returns!

Note to self. Read dates June 9-12, 2018
Profile Image for Erica.
Author 7 books134 followers
January 15, 2020
This story was filled with so much. Magic. Unbreakable sibling relationship. Danger. Escapes. Adventure. Love. Compassion. Forgiveness. This book had everything and I can't wait to continue with the series. 5 stars. I definitely recommend this series to everyone.
Profile Image for Franzi Bücherseelen.
91 reviews332 followers
December 27, 2020
Ein wirklich tolles Buch, mit einer wunderschönen Märchenwelt, liebenswerten Charakteren und ganz viel Humor
Profile Image for Therese.
655 reviews158 followers
December 9, 2014
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 when she rolled her eyes at the girl, I just...argh. I want to be a teacher one day. And as an aspiring teacher, I want to say right now: If you ever catch me rolling my eyes "all the way back into the head" because of a young student who was unsure of something, fire me on the spot.
* Really simple writing. I get that this is for kids, but Chris could use some "show don't tell" lessons.
* Predictable.

I like Chris Colfer as an actor and as a person (AND I FEEL BAD ABOUT NOT LIKING THIS), and this is not a horrible book. But when I find myself cringing at parts, there is something wrong.
Profile Image for Becky.
810 reviews78 followers
December 25, 2012
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 everywhere, and cliches coming out of every hole. The characters are only just there, all of them are very flat. There is a very childish representation of all emotions, but especially grief and love. There is also a very convenient morality present: it ends in a very preachy manner, and yet it's okay to lie if you "know your audience." Similarly, a fall that the evil character has no chance of surviving is cheerfully limped away from by a good character. There is also a problem of time, which Colfer tried to conveniently fix at the end, but forgot about the parents: it took the dad a long time in fairy-time to get back, so their mother would have been old by the time he made it. There are no shortage of similar sloppy holes present in the narrative.
The thing that annoyed me the most is Colfer's claims about fairy tales at the beginning. He throws around terms like "correct interpretation" and "the original Grimm story" both of which are oxymoronic statements. Both Alex and the teacher act like fairy tale experts, but they run into walls at every turn as they chase down the "correct morals" that need to be brought out of a text. I just want to buy Colfer a book of Frye and Propp. ANY research on his part would have prevented him from making these kinds of mistakes. For all his condemnation of modern fairy tales, his fairies could have walked right out of the new Disney Tinker Bell movies. His whole understanding of fairy tales reeks of modernity, and yet he slams the kids at the beginning of the book for that very fault.

Having said all that, Colfer has time to improve. He's young, he has the drive, and I do believe he loves stories. He needs a strong editor in the worst way, or maybe just some writer's training. If he keeps reading and keeps writing he could very well come up with something worth reading. At best, this book is "cute." It had a decent plot arc and if he had waited and put some proper editing into it it could have been very good. So while I wouldn't waste my time on this one, I'm interested to see how his writing evolves (and hopefully it does).
Profile Image for LyraFirefly.
79 reviews22 followers
March 25, 2021
Right off the bat, this book captivated me. After years and years of my sister begging me to read this, I picked it up and I was SHOOK.

This would seem like the stereotypical fairytale book, but I really like the plot building, and the way the twins made their choices. And the plot twist I did see coming, after the author made it super obvious. It seems so obvious in hindsight, and currently, I am waiting to get the second book in his second series. I love the way the story twists and turns, and I love that parts of it were also written from the villain's point of view. It makes the whole story more mysterious and entertaining.

“A villain is just a victim whose story hasn’t been told.”

I especially enjoy books where the author kind of adds their own twist to these things, especially when the original stories are kind of set in stone and bland, but use their meaning to make a masterpiece.

I have high expectations for his books to come, and I can't wait to read them.

Though I have to say, in the series, the 5th book was the best, and I hope my review has inspired someone else to pick it up. This is a truly amazing book, and it is still really special to me after reading this 4 years ago.
Profile Image for Mrs. Sencen (Keefe is MINE).
36 reviews12 followers
January 3, 2023
Felt quite young, but well written. I do feel like this would be a great book for middle school. It was very entertaining, and i loved how it incorporated all of my favorite fairy tales into one book.
1 review2 followers
August 10, 2012
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 imagination. This is a novel, but oddly the writing is so basic that it reads like a screenplay instead.

3) The characters were stereotypes are poorly developed and are all far too saccharine.

4) The twins escaped dangerous situations far too easily, again, the plot lacking imagination.

I will not waste my time going into more detail. Overall, this book was extremely rushed, sloppy and terribly written and I hope Colfer can improve vastly, for his own sake.
He definitely needs to develop some proper writing skills before publishing a sequel, and should not have published something so bad so quickly.

In all honesty, I do not particularly appreciate celebrities using their fame to publish bad material just because they can. Chris Colfer is not a writer. Not yet by any means.

If he was giving the money to charity, sure? But that's it.
Profile Image for alittlelifeofmel.
884 reviews343 followers
August 26, 2017
The Land of Stories book one follows two twins, Alex and Connor Bailey, who one day after hearing so much about a world full of fairytales, end up in that world.

I really enjoyed this! It took me a very long time to read. For some reason, despite reading quickly and the story going by smoothly, every time I looked at my page numbers I felt like I had only read 10 pages. I think that's because so much happens in these pages and none of the events themselves were particularly long, so it went by "slow" in terms of page numbers.

A lot of this wasn't super memorable but I really enjoyed it nonetheless. I liked the fairytale aspect especially, particularly the fact that some stories kept true to the real fairy tale and not the movie versions of them. This wasn't the case for them all, but most of them. I think the fairytale aspect and the world itself were the most memorable parts to me. The characters, while enjoyable, did not leave a lasting effect on me, but that's alright.

The end is why I gave it 4 stars. I was going to settle for 3.5 but I loved the ending and how sweet it was and the events that unfolded made me want to read on in the series so I bumped it to 4 stars for causing that reaction from me.
Profile Image for Bianca.
146 reviews8 followers
July 21, 2012
“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 that was the very first book I read when I was little. I've read plenty of books in between, and many of them I truly loved and treasured, but when I read The Land of Stories a feeling came back that I didn't think I could still feel, being a twenty-something and all.

I was feeling young again. Not that feeling of being young, where you are feeling overly excited about something like when it was Christmas. But truly young, back at the age when you lived in the fairy tale world. When you were begging everyone at your house to read to you, or when you learned reading before you even went to school only because you wanted to read all those wonderful stories all by yourself.

When you wanted to have all those characters for yourself and imagined what their "happily ever after" was actually like. You imagined what happened to all the princes and princesses after they got married? What happened to that kingdom after it woke up from 100 years of sleep? What could have possibly made the Evil Queen so evil?

I'm a twenty-something now, and I haven't really thought much about fairy tales lately. Things happen when you grow up and you stop believing in them, or stop seeing them in the way you did back when you were little. Discovering them again thanks to Chris Colfer was one of the best things that could have ever happened, and I could almost hate myself for forgetting how much fairy tales helped me grow and be the person I am today.

""Conner," Alex whispered close to him. "Look around this place! It's like we're having our own Lucy and Mr. Tumnus moment!"
Connor looked around and saw what she meant. "If he offers us Turkish delight, I don't care what you say: We're getting out of here.""

And Chris didn't just help me remember about fairy tales. He also painted a wonderful picture of "The Land of Stories" of the big "what happened after happily ever after" question that every passionate reader of fairy tales carries in their heart since they were a child.

His imagination of the kingdoms and the land, how they fit together and what all of the fairy tale characters have grown into over the years is more beautiful then anything I could have ever imagined as a child and the twins Conner and Alex (who get lost in the fairy tale world) are just the cherry on top of it all. All of the characters are really magnificent and even if you never imagined them to be like Chris has written them, you will have an unforgettable time travelling through the world of Chris' imagination.

You know some books you read in one night, because they are so intense, interesting or funny, you can't put them down. It took me a little over a week to finish "The Land of Stories", not because it wasn't intense, interesting or funny, it is all of those things. But because I didn't want the book to end.

I didn't want to say goodbye to Alex and Conner. I wanted to stay on the journey with them, meet more interesting people, see more of the wonderful Land of Stories. After a couple of chapters I always felt like I had to give my head a little time to digest what I had just read; walk through it again in my imagination; make up my own little picture of the kingdoms, the landscape, the people, remember how my younger self sometimes imagined all of these things to be.

I know, some might not be as passionate about this book as I am, but that's probably because they never experienced fairy tales the way I did when I was little.
All I can say to "The Land of Stories" is: Thank you Chris Colfer, for bringing fairy tales back into a world and into a generation that truly needs them. Thank you for letting us wander around your imagination.

I hope everyone picks up this book, not because I said so or because it's the "Chris Colfer", but because you loved fairy tales as a kid. Because you know the characters like Snow White and the Prince Charmings and Cinderella…., because you miss them and want to have another adventure with them. Even if you are a twenty-something like me.

"Do you think it was magic?"
Profile Image for Tina ➹ Woman, Life, Freedom.
396 reviews399 followers
September 24, 2020
3 Silver Stars
With Golden Sparks

Thank goodness! It was way better than A Tale Dark & Grimm. Because of that awful experience, I was so afraid to read this, another middle grade with fairytale vibes. I opened this book with cautious & fear, but the moment I’ve read the prologue & the first few sentences of the first chapter, I got absorbed into this lovely cute story with these great funny characters.

Cute, fun & simple

I felt like it was kind of a retelling in a different way, because actually it was not! Hehehe, I might get you confused, let me explain… the whole story was new & not a retelling of the same old famous fairytales, but about the two children somehow tripped into the Land of Stories they were growing up reading it & *squeals* meeting the characters (which probably is every book lover’s dream!)… so the premise & the characters were familiar, but the story was different & new.
& I liked how the Author told it, intertwined the fairytales to our world & to themselves, the Kingdoms & the characters lived in there.
I don’t know if it’s just me, but the whole scenery in my imagination was actually cartoon-like!

The writing style was mostly fun & simple. I specifically liked those made-up words. But sometimes I was confused as (I guess) it was omniscient.

& I liked how it has references to the original Grimm’s tales.
also some references to other stories too, which I was delighted!

I liked the characters. Connor & Alex were funny!
With the hilarious events happened to them & sometimes dumb luck, but still good to read.
The beginning was GREAT but after a while it turned ordinary & repetitive, wandering around the world to find items, until near the end.
It was fast-paced & cute. But at some points it made me bored, as it was fairytale middle grade-ish without any horror, with simple descriptions.
I almost guessed some parts where the story would go but when it happened it was lovely.
The end was cute!

In general, it’s not a regardless of age middle-grade, it’s probably best for 10-14 years old, but still I enjoyed it. I recommend if you have an active inner child & enjoy cute & simple fairytale stories.
Did I mention it was cute!?

World building: ★★★★/5
Characters: ★★★★/5
Written style: ★★★(★)/5
Plot: ★★★/5
General idea: ★★★/5
Profile Image for Mimi 'Pans' Herondale .
187 reviews71 followers
September 22, 2019
This is one of my #1 favorite series of all time, I am now ashamed to say that I didn't even want to read this book at first. I disgust myself. But now I have up for that and read those books so many times that its hard to count. Sadly, I do not own these books so I got them from the library. This is my dream: to own the entire series some day. I wish that the Land of Stories could be real, it would be so AMAZING! In the series my favorite characters are: (WARNING: get ready to sit here for an hour!)
Connor Bailey
Queen Red Riding Hood (commonly known as Red)
Fairy Godmother
Old Mother Goose (OMG)
Cyborg Queen
Captain Auburn Sally
Alex Bailey
(And so many more that it would bore you if I listed all of them!)

Ok, and I am just adding, I would totally recommend this book to ANYONE.
Profile Image for Maria Espadinha.
1,016 reviews364 followers
February 25, 2018
Os Gémeos da Fantasia

Alex é uma jovem solitária, "demasiado esperta para seu próprio bem".

Connor é sarcástico, dissonante, rebelde...

Dois Gémeos sem mundo, descobrem o Mundo em Terras de Fantasia!

Não é esse o poder encantador das estórias?!
Mergulham-nos em mundos não nossos, onde nos encontramos e perdemos deliciosamente!!!

“There is this idea that you either read to escape or you read to find yourself.”
I believe that both things happen ;)
A leitura é um voo exterior, rumo à verdade interior!

"O Feitiço Dos Desejos" é uma viagem arrebatadora por Terras de Fantasia :)
Profile Image for Avada Kaddavra.
295 reviews48 followers
August 31, 2021
Naja... Es ist zwar ein Kinderbuch, also erwartet man jetzt vielleicht keine Quantenphysik, aber ein bisschen ausgefuchster habe ich mir die Geschichte dann schon vorgestellt. Mit dem wunderschönen Cover und den tollen Illustrationen catched es auf den ersten Blick natürlich sehr, aber die Story ist doch recht einfach gehalten. Ich wurde mit den Charakteren nicht richtig warm, hab nicht verstanden, warum den Zwillingen jeder helfen wollte und auch die Probleme lösten sich allesamt sehr schnell und ohne große Mühen...
Weiß noch nicht ob ich die Reihe weiter verfolgen werde...😕
Profile Image for Peyton Reads.
174 reviews1,938 followers
July 3, 2016
Profile Image for Danny Phanton.
254 reviews84 followers
June 25, 2019
Reseña completa en el blog: La cueva de Danny.

No importa cuánto te han herido o cuánto estás sufriendo, lo que verdaderamente importa es lo que haces con el dolor. Podrías llorar por años y con razón, o podrías elegir aprender de él y crecer.

Es la segunda vez que lo leo y me gustó igual que la primera, super entretenido de principio a fin y todo el tiempo pasa algo, la verdad esta completamente recomendado.

¡Me ha encantado! El libro es bastante entretenido y rápido de leer, con muchas aventuras, cuentos de hadas, grandes personajes, un mundo maravilloso, me sorprendió en varias partes y fue más de lo que esperaba, la verdad, próximamente reseña completa en el blog. ¡Solo leeanlo!
Profile Image for Lilian.
84 reviews72 followers
October 12, 2012
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 "the twins" when that wasn't even necessary.

This book just felt like it was preaching to me: Disney renditions of fairy tales are silly! The originals are the best! The originals teach us so much...blah blah blah.
While I am thinking in the back of my head "Actually, the originals were pretty disturbing stuff, complete with cannibalism and rape. Thank god Disney gave you happy endings, or we would have crying kids."
Although I liked Connor for his dry humor, I often wanting to slap him for being mr.smarty pants. Poor Alex just faded into the background while Connor wouldn't keep his mouth shut.
I know Alex didn't have any friends, but her eagerness to stay in the magic realm made me wince. Seriously? You would throw away your mother and grandma just so you could play with magic all day?

Lastly,the plot twists weren't particularly surprising. I didn't even think some of them made sense.
Profile Image for Cheryl.
9,331 reviews399 followers
March 20, 2018
Well-intentioned but clumsy. So many little things bothered me, and would totally have bothered me when I was young, too. What did the twins eat? Why were there so many castles and so few villages? How did a maiden give birth (maybe her name was Mary)? Otoh, many good messages about courage, honor, respect, second chances, alternative points of view. Not for jaded & impatient me, but good for some.

Oh, a little confusion about the intended age of the child reader. It's written as if for age 6 & up, but is very long, and has a bit of mature content that would bother the most sensitive of the under 10s. I see someone read it to their 5 yo... I think it's too complex for that age, that stage of a child's development. The twins are, after all, 11.

I imagine the writer becomes more skillful as he writes more. I hope he gets a more active editor (not proofreader, but editor not afraid to ask for significant changes) too.
Profile Image for Ruth.
666 reviews263 followers
January 5, 2022
4 Sterne (= Hörgenuss des Monats, gelesen von Rufus Beck eine echte Freude)

Conner und Alex geraten durch ein magisches Märchenbuch in eine fantastische Welt. Um heimkehren zu können, müssen sie diverse zauberhafte Dinge einsammeln. Auf der Suche kreuzen sich nicht nur die Wege bekannter Märchenfiguren, sondern auch die eines düsteren Gegenspielers.

Ich fands unfassbar gemütlich, durch Anspielungen auf bestehende Märchenfiguren wunderbar verlässlich erzählt, auch wenn es das Rad nicht neu erfindet.
Profile Image for charlottewitch.
21 reviews
April 21, 2021
"Fairy tales are so much more than silly bedtime stories"

The Wishing spell is about twins, Alex and Conner, who fall into a book of fairytales. Sounds great right? ...except they have no idea how to get back to their world. They meet someone who tells them about the wishing spell. Basically all they need to do it collect all the items, and then they can get one wish. However, it can only be used once more because someone had all ready used it. So it's bad news when the realize someone else is trying to obtain the items too.

This is one of my go-to fluffy reads, when I'm not sure what else to read, and it was one of the books that really got me into reading. I love the way the author gave more backstory to classic fairytales like snow white, Goldilocks, and red riding hood.

Alex -
The classic teacher's pet. I found her a little annoying at times because she kept trying to do things her way, even though there was a much more simpler way to do it.

Conner -
Conner is introduced as the kid who never does homework, falls asleep in class, and gets detention a lot. However later in the book we get to see that he's actually pretty smart. I think he deserves more credit, because he literally saves himself and Alex like 584895034389 times.

Froggy -
Such a cinnamon roll :) His backstory ties into the other fairytales really well.

Goldilocks -
I love how they made her so badass, and all her drama with Red riding hood was amusing :))

Places where I loved how they tied stories together:

Some quotes I liked:
- "If you're going to live in a house made of candy, don't move next door to a couple of obese kids, a lot of these fairy tale characters are missing common sense!"

- "Even when it seems no one in the world appreciates you, as long as you have hope, everything can get better."

- "Sometimes we forget about our own advantages because we focus on what we don't have."

- "The more people embrace their disadvantages, the less disadvantaged they become!"

- "No matter what you do, you can never please everyone."

- "I suppose that's why the wishing spell always intrigued me, it's proof that if someone wants something enough, and they're willing to work for it, they can achieve great things."

- "Courage is the one thing no one can ever take away from you."

- "I would give up everything to spend every minute of every day with you."

- "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."

Overall, I think I mainly just love this book for all the memories that it brings back to me while reading. :)

I hope you all have a wonderful day, and happy reading!
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