Jump to ratings and reviews
Rate this book
Rate this book
Somewhere over the rainbow, all spell is about to break loose…

Fairy Tale Survival Rule No. 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 charming 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.

345 pages, Paperback

First published April 24, 2015

Loading interface...
Loading interface...

About the author

Betsy Schow

9 books429 followers

Ratings & Reviews

What do you think?
Rate this book

Friends & Following

Create a free account to discover what your friends think of this book!

Community Reviews

5 stars
1,771 (25%)
4 stars
2,441 (34%)
3 stars
1,956 (27%)
2 stars
661 (9%)
1 star
253 (3%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 1,283 reviews
June 9, 2015

First, I spit out a mouthful of dirt. Then, I screamed at the sky. “That’s it! I’ve had it! Everything is trying to kill me! All I did was make one stupid wish. Aladdin made three. I’m the hero of this story, so where’s my happy ending, already? It’s not fair.”

Rexi bent over, trying to catch her breath. “You know what’s not fair? Spending Muse Day as a toad just because the kitchen ran out of frog legs. Or being volunteered for this little journey. So build a bridge, then make like a billy goat and get over it already because no one is listening.”

Unpopular opinion time: I liked this book. It's got a 3.6 rating, which is pretty low for an YA book...and while I can understand the criticism, this book was a lot of fun for me. Admittedly, it's really, really kitschy, there are a million silly fairy tale references, like flitter for Twitter, and Hans Christian Louboutin shoes instead of Christian Louboutins. I thought it was cute and silly, but I can understand how others can find it annoying.
“Dear Grimm, we’re not in Emerald anymore.” I started to hyperventilate.

Rexi remained sprawled on her back. She barely opened an eye at my hysterics. “Duh.”
Dorothea is a princess. She's also a spoiled brat. A long time ago some stupid witch put a curse onto her family, but witches are not lawyers, and their curse is full of holes.
Our family became spelled after my ancestor pixed off two evil witch sisters. The witches’ curse was supposed to doom my great- great- great grandmother to turn evil and torch the world— except the spell wasn’t worded right. It didn’t spec-ify which Emerald princess. So ever since, all the girls in the Emerald family have been stuck inside, since there’s no way to know what generation will inherit the curse.
But it totally sucks for Dorothea because she's confined to the castle, Sleeping-Beauty-like. And she's not allowed to go near flames (which sucks, because fires are so much fun!). She spends her days trying to break the wards in the castle that'll let her wander outside and dismissing princes who come competing for her attention. She's angry at being confined, rebellious, and pretty bitchy to everyone, even the hapless (and mysterious!) gardener.
I stamped my foot and pointed more forcefully. “Off with you. Courtyard’s that way. Be sure to clean those awful boots before coming back in.”

“Someone told me I’d find a princess of great worth here.

One with the strength to be the hero this realm needs.” He stared at me with those unsettling blue eyes. They were cold, like ice water— made me shiver from head to toe. Then his gaze seemed to search even deeper. Finally, he looked through me, like I was nothing. “It seems she was mistaken.”
Well, surprise, surprise, that gardener isn't who he seems and she better get over her distaste, because, well, they're engaged! Yay! Happy times all around!
No way. I would rather lick a toad. I would let a wicked old hag bake me into gingerbread before I married this son of a bas-ilisk who had the gall to look amused while I hyperventilated.
It's not like gardener/prince is fond of her either. He thinks, and correctly so, that she's a stupid, selfish, spoiled brat.
“And you are a useless princess who knows absolutely nothing of the real world. You would be the very last person I’d choose to chain myself to. But apparently both our kingdoms— no. The whole realm needs this alliance, so what we want doesn’t matter. I will do what I have to do, regardless of my personal feelings, and you will do the same. So sit down, grow up, and start acting like the kind of princess your people deserve.” He snapped off the last syllable and abruptly let go at the same time so that I stumbled backward.
Desperate to escape the engagement, Dorothea makes a wish (from an orb thingy given to her by a mysterious fairy girl in the garden). Apparently taking things from strangers and wishing upon them is a terrible, terrible idea. Because next thing she knows, all hell breaks loose.
Surely it could not be the same party. It looked like a warzone. The floating chandelier had crashed and shattered on the dance floor, freeing the now- dark floating orbs. People ran madly for the exit. Some were being chased by pickax-wielding dwarves, to say nothing of the ogres. The floor was littered with frogs. Hopefully they weren’t enchanted princes, because some of them were getting squished by the mob.
Our brilliant little princess' wish turned out to be a trick, and now the whole kingdom is doomed because of her. Great job. And her Prince Kato is now...absolutely adorable! Fluffy! Who's a cute wittle kitty?!
“Ow! That…” A little ball of fur chewed on my slippers, not caring that my feet were still inside. I’d never seen another creature like it. It had the auburn- colored body of a lion cub, but it also had nubby horns, wings, and a dragon’s tail. Its little black talons scratched at my leg; then it stared at me with accusa-tory ice- water blue eyes.

“No pixing way! Prince Kato?”
Ok, maybe he still doesn't like her. With good reason. Dorothea fucked up majorly.
“Thank you for cracking open the barrier, by the way. I’ve been meaning to stop by for ages but never had the chance until now. It’s such a shame I have to kill you. You would have made an excellent villain. After all, you’ve caused more damage in one afternoon than most henchmen do in a lifetime. And I didn’t touch your parents. The blame for their loss lies squarely on your shoulders.” She punctuated the your by pointing the mirror in my direction.
And now the fate of her kingdom rests upon her shoulders and the ones of the furry (and adorable!) Prince Kato.

I do have some complaints about this book. Dorothea is spoiled, but she never grates on my nerves. She is more perky and spirited than anything, but I wished that the author would show her development more. It never felt like she matured much internally. The story is also admittedly very confusing and fast-paced.

I did like the fact that there is no overwhelming romance. Kato and Dorothea grew to like each other through their initial first opinion. Kato's pretty fucking sassy too. Our princess may be a spoiled brat, but outside of her kingdom, nobody babies her and spoils her. She's gotta grow up on her own, and she is treated like a normal, stupid human being. She has to earn respect.
He flipped his spiked tail straight into the air in what could only be interpreted as an obscene gesture.

Rexi duplicated it in human form. “Right back atcha.
Overall, a pretty fun read.

Quotes were taken from an uncorrected proof subject to change in the final edition.
Profile Image for Anne.
4,060 reviews69.5k followers
June 10, 2018
I picked this one up while it was a freebie deal on Amazon, so I wasn't expecting much. I try not to grab the freebies, to be honest, because I never seem to find the time to read them. But this one has actually been on my to-read list for a while, and as luck would have it...I was out of comic books. Now, since Dorothy and Oz aren't really my jam, I figured I'd just thumb through this for a few minutes because I was fully expecting it to suck.


It did NOT suck!
And this is from someone who doesn't like the Wizard of Oz movie and has never read the classic book.
Or is it books?


Ok, now I'm not going to say this is the bestest fairytale retelling ever, but it was very cute. The beginning of the book really pulled me in with the bouncy, whimsical feel of the plot and the characters. Plus, all the adorable little swear words!
What the spell?! I'll be glammed! <--awwwww!


I liked that this wasn't a reenactment of the Wizard of Oz, but more of a retelling that included bits and pieces of the book's lore and a few references to stuff that even a non-fan like myself could recognize. So, as a bonus, you're getting an entirely different story.


Now, the last part of the book sort of...petered out a bit. For me, anyway. I did want to see how it ended, but all of the craziness of the story was just kind of lost on me, and I wanted it to be over already. And apparently, these are not stand-alone retellings, but all part of a series about the characters in this book.
So. Keep that in mind.


Overall, though? This was way better than I thought it would be, so if you have it sitting on your Kindle, give it a shot.
Profile Image for Aj the Ravenous Reader.
1,051 reviews1,050 followers
September 23, 2015
3.5 stars

You atta know this review ain’t gonna be comprehensive. It’s mainly gonna be me mimickin’ my favorite gal named Hydra in da story and girl goes talkin’ like dis and all which is totally cool coz’ I ain’t really got a latta say. But I ain’t gonna hide da fact dat I enjoyed diz amusing story of a princess pixin’ da fairytale world…

"...time to use the skills that every princess was born with-begging, pleading and whining..."

...and I ain’t stoppin’ her because what da spell?! She’d be causin’ a ridiculously cute n’ funny story of adventure n’ magic. Fa Grimm’s sake, I ain’t gonna tell ya how many times I be laughin’ so hard at dem references- fairytale or not like "Wrong Direction" singin’ “My Spell’s What Makes You Beautiful.” (Ya be singin’ dat fa sure. Lol!) Ya alsa gatta be saprised characters be readin’ ebooks...as in enchanted books. Bahahaha!

Ya be learnin’ stuff about love too from Bobbleandrophous (chucklin’ hard at da name), a chimera.

"True love is like a stalactite meeting a stalagmite. Completely opposites, but with time, calcium, and a healthy drip system, they meet in the middle. Or one crushes the other."

He be havin’ a point ya know?! Lol.

Thank Grimm, my friend Tamara, encouraged me ta read diz coz I’ll go gnome nuts if I didn’t meet deez pixin’ awesome characters reinvented n’ recreated from familiar fairytales but mostly from "Wizard of Oz." Dat’s abut da sum of it. I be lettin’ ya decide whether ta read diz or not but I’m guessin’ ya will coz I spilled nothin’ ‘bout da story and by now I be sure you gotta be dyin’ ta know what it iz about.

Lookin’ for a proper review? Check out, Tamara's.
Profile Image for Kelly (and the Book Boar).
2,483 reviews7,781 followers
April 2, 2015
Find all of my reviews at: http://52bookminimum.blogspot.com/

3.5 Stars

“Rule #1: Every fairy tale comes equipped with a happy ending. You just have to find it.”

Dorthea is not your typical princess. Well, okay she kinda is. I mean she lives in the Emerald Castle, which she can never leave until her Prince Charming comes and slays a dragon in her honor due to a spell cast upon it by an evil witch and the only self-defense course she ever took was “How to Give an Open-Handed Slap.” The difference is, Dorthea doesn’t like it. When confronted at the annual Muse Day celebration by Kato, a man she’d never met but she finds out is soon to be her husband, Dorthea loses a bit of her shit and wishes for a change. And boy oh boy does she ever get one. All of the royalty of the various magic kingdoms begin revealing their true selves . . .

Dallas Commercial Photography

Okay, maybe not that kind of revealing – more like Beauty has become a beast and Dorthea’s fiancé is looking more like a baby chimera. Not to mention the fact that her parents are missing and Dorthea has become the target of an evil witch . . .

Dallas Commercial Photography

Who has an army of flying . . . puppies (?????) willing to do her bidding . . .

Dallas Commercial Photography

You’re probably thinking, “evil puppies – how scary is that?” Well, just look at the guy above. Those adorable furballs already ate his entire face of off.

After making a quick escape with her servant girl, Rexi, and her furry little suitor courtesy of the magic Dust Devil, the trio find themselves caught up in a storm and deposited in unknown territory at the far end of the kingdom . . .

Dallas Commercial Photography

It is there the real challenges for Dorthea begin – like how to find her parents, how to make her way back home, how to deal with power she never knew she had, how to come to terms that she was pretty much a vapid shallow PITA before the evil witch came along and rocked her world, and how to handle her impending nuptials. Are her parents correct that love for someone you didn’t even really like at first truly develop?

Dallas Commercial Photography

(Assuming he can become human again)

Or should she marry a person like the Wizard, who is super attractive - even if he’s been putting off more than a bit of a creeper vibe.. . .

Dallas Commercial Photography

How a girl like me can grow up HATING the movie The Wizard of Oz (I know, I’m a monster - I probably pinch babies when you guys aren’t around), but somehow become addicted to tales of any and all things having to do with the Emerald City as an adult is beyond me. The good news for all of you who don’t suffer from this affliction is that you might enjoy Spelled too. If you’re looking for a fun-filled retelling of a fairytale story - this one’s a winner. Tons of action, ZERO instalove, a great sidekick, and a refreshing tongue-in-cheek approach to all things magical:

“There’s really nothing to fear but fear itself. And trolls. Fear and trolls. Oh, and I guess gigans and dragons too. And can’t forget wicked witches. Yeah, I guess there really is a lot to fear.”

There’s even a shout-out to my favorite evil prince of all time . . .

Dallas Commercial Photography

My only two complaints? Number one, that Dorthea had an internal struggle about using her powers. Heck to the nah. I’d be blowing up evil witches all over the place . . .

Dallas Commercial Photography

And number two, that even though this has no “Book #1” notation after it, Spelled was TOTALLY open-ended and me no likey books in a series so this loses half a star.

ARC provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you, NetGalley!
Profile Image for Robin (Bridge Four).
1,643 reviews1,512 followers
May 4, 2018
Sale Alert: Amazon daily deal 04May18 for $2.99

3.75 “An ill-worded wish is worse than a curse...” Stars

Spelled is pretty funny. I think you might have to be in the right mindset for it since it isn’t really a traditional fairytale retelling and most of the time it is just making fun of itself, which I was totally in the mood for but I think had I hit it at a different time I might have thought it was too cheesy. But since I love me some Cheetos and I needed some lighter reading material this totally fit the bill.

Initially I saw the show on the cover and I was like score, Cinderella retelling but it isn’t. It is a very lose retelling of The Wizard of Oz. I was less excited since that really falls close to the bottom fairytales I like, let alone want to be retold but actually due to the way it is done I didn’t mind at all.

Things that are great

❶ - The rules and quotes that open each chapter are a ton of fun. I love fairytales and so seeing stuff from make-believe books within a fairytale world even better.
“Rule #23: If you keep a storybook villain talking long enough, they will never fail to spill all the details of their evil plan. Some might even draw you a diagram.”
—Definitive Fairy-Tale Survival Guide, Volume 2: Villains

I found most of them to be a bit hilarious especially since now all the normal rules of fairytale land have been broken.

❷ - Kato a.k.a. the prince and our Toto of the story was kind of funny in a broody sarcastic way and then he was a little adorable later. Sure some of this is a little instalovey but I expect that in a fairytale retelling, I’m actually more surprised when it isn’t instalovey. Still there are some bumps since the initial meeting didn’t go particularly well. But overall I liked Kato and Dorthea’s journey from distain for each other to something fluffier.
“What are you doing? Did you just die?”
“No,” he growled and turned his face up, pursing his lips in total seriousness. “I’ve recently been advised that you might find the cute and fuzzy approach much less threatening. Supposedly it’s also more endearing.”
“I hate to tell you, but that Jolly Roger has sailed, sunk, and been eaten by ticking crocodiles.” I tried to stifle a laugh, but it was too large to contain. Kato really had zero skill at manipulation, but at least he was honest.

❸ - All the fairytale references, or fairy equivalent to something in the real world. I thought they were fun and funny most of the time. Like limited edition silver Hans Christian Louboutin slippers or Flitter (there version of twitter) and they even had a cloud that was actually clouds. I really enjoy stuff like that while reading.

❹ - The actual story. Dorthea makes a wish that unmakes all the rules of Story and so nothing is guaranteed anymore even her happily ever after. So off she goes since there is an evil witch trying to kill her and she need to find a way to take her wish back or else the villains might really win this one. So she is off to see the Wizard in a really convoluted roundabout way that she didn’t realize she was taking in the beginning.

❺ - The sidekick Rexi. She was snarky and I liked that she didn’t take any of Dorthea’s crap or let her be broody. She represents the cowardly lion but it isn’t obvious. She is a survivor and she will survive anyway she can, even if it means traveling with the girl who started this entire mess. I think she is the more human of all the characters and so I was pretty excited to see that she is the focus of the next book.
“First, I spit out a mouthful of dirt. Then, I screamed at the sky. “That’s it! I’ve had it! Everything is trying to kill me! All I did was make one stupid wish. Aladdin made three. I’m the hero of this story, so where’s my happy ending, already? It’s not fair.”

Rexi bent over, trying to catch her breath. “You know what’s not fair? Spending Muse Day as a toad just because the kitchen ran out of frog legs. Or being volunteered for this little journey. So build a bridge, then make like a billy goat and get over it already because no one is listening.”

The little things that went a little wrong

It took me a little time to warm up to our Heroine. She has lived a really sheltered life so she was a bit of a brat when we first meet her. But no worries so becomes tolerable soon enough and even likeable by the end.

Sometimes the flow felt a little jumpy. Like a bunch of kinda cool scenes written and then patchworked together. It wasn’t necessarily bad it was just a little a.d.d. on a few occasions.


If you are looking for something light and silly that is just going to be fun and quirky then maybe this is for you. But you have to like Fairytales and you have to be willing to give the MC some time to grow on you.
Profile Image for Paula M.
553 reviews638 followers
June 1, 2015

"Maybe I wasn't the hero. Maybe I was the villain"

Reading Spelled was such an adventure! This book is definitely a page turner. You never know what or who will you encounter in every page. You never know what your emotions will be either. Betsy Schow keeps surprising me in every page. I believe no one will argue with me if I say that retellings of The Wizard of OZ is all over the YA-sphere. A lot are turned into a way that will make you sob and some are written to creep you out. Its so refreshing to read a retelling that instead of tears, it brought me laughter. Lots of it.

Dorthea or Dot is not someone you'll like immediately. She's a girl ....and she's very serious about being one. We're talking about branded shoes hoarding and stomping your feet when you're angry kind of girl. Obviously, she needs to learn a lot of things. Especially when it comes to Princess duties. And don't worry, she did learn! It may not be in the easiest way, but the most important thing is she did learn. She grew up. She developed as a main character as the story progresses and I just caught myself rooting for her and her crew. And they were a weird and hilarious crew,

Betsy Schow's characters are solid. Give me one sentence from the book and I can tell you who said it. They have their own tones and the characterization are just superb! Even those characters who showed up and disappeared instantly were memorable. Memorable is absolutely the right word for Spelled.

And if you think you won't swoon at this book, think again. A boy named Kato just turned me into a puddle and I honestly can't get enough. It was slow... and I feel like there should be more but despite that, I'm not complaining. Romance that started from hate at first sight needs to be handled carefully to be made believable... and yes, Betsy just made me believe in these two, I SHIP IT, Ka-Dot forevs.

Spelled is definitely one of my favorite book this year. I want-- okay, I NEED MORE. This hilarious and creative novel is the answer to our sad and hurting fangirl hearts. While reading Spelled, I can't help but feel like I went through an adventure myself! I highly recommend it!

Profile Image for Dear Faye.
492 reviews2,125 followers
June 17, 2015
POLL: Which fairy tale character are you? Princess, Prince, Godparent, Sidekick, or Inanimate Object? VOTE HERE!

Well, this was a very clever fairytale retelling.

I have a confession to make: I have never read or watched the original "Wizard of Oz". I do know the song sung by Judy Garland, Over the Rainbow (I mean, who doesn't?) and I am familiar with the three principal characters appearance-wise, but aside from these things, I know zilch. Nada. That's why I went into this book with no expectations whatsoever, with absolutely nothing to compare it to.

And man, was it fun.

One thing consistent about this book is that it IS over-the-top. There is no denying it. It's full of jokes, slapstick comedy, nicely-timed and ill-timed puns. It is a mash-up of other fairy tales and fairy tale clichés, mocking and making fun of them while utilizing them to make the story even more entertaining. It will make you laugh. It will make you roll your eyes, too. And there may be times you may want to strangle someone because you can't strangle the book. This is a story with a premise and with a cast of characters that I don't think you're supposed to take too seriously. Especially if you have a spoilt brat of a princess for a heroine.

Meet Dorthea, the princess of the Emerald kingdom. When I say spoiled, I mean freaking spoiled. She thinks everybody owes her shit, she looks down on people based on their appearances, cares more about her shoes and her gowns, doesn't want to take responsibility of her actions, and she's just... really, really unlikeable. She's so selfish that she wishes irresponsibly on a wishing star that comes true... in the worst way possible. The fairy tale realm becomes whacked, the rules get all messed-up, and it's up to Dot and her unlikely "friends" to save the day.

And that's not even counting the curse that was placed upon Emerald princesses in which one of them would be destined to become the most villainous villain of all time.

Which would probably mean her. I mean, she already made the realm go out-of-control with her crazy-ass wish.


But, don't let that fool you because Dorthea isn't annoying to the reader at all.  She's selfish and irresponsible and the rest of the characters around her lets her know it every chance they get. Even though she's a ditz and says things that miiight make you want to faceplant yourself onto a wall, she's a rootable character. You will sympathize. You will cheer her on. And it's astounding when an author makes an unlikeable character do that to you. 

Does she undergo character development? Yes, she does - because through this experience, she grows up from her sheltered life. She will meet people from all walks of life, discover there is more to the world than gowns and dresses, and that some things are worth fighting and giving up your life for. It was fun seeing her mature, because even though she left her superficiality behind, she still retained her snark and sass and funny jokes.

PLUS, THE INTERNAL STRUGGLE! This book portrayed "good vs evil" in a really interesting way, and how we are who we are because we choose to be that way. With her powers and curse, Dorthea had every opportunity to be a villain, but there were always factors that made her stop from tipping over the edge every time, and I loved that. It really shows how circumstances in life help shape us be the individuals we become.

There's also no insta-love from what I read. I'm not really sure if it is really slow-paced, because to be honest, there really aren't any great moments between them that show a gradual attraction to each other. It did feel pretty random to me, but hey, a great chunk of this book has both of them bickering like cats and dogs and it was fun.

Overall, this book was a pretty entertaining read. It's not perfect, but it made me laugh and it has an unlikeable heroine who you can't help but root for, which is a good deal to me.
Profile Image for Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin.
3,535 reviews9,956 followers
August 29, 2015

I freaking loved this book! It was outrageous and over-the-top and I loved it!!

First off, I love the cover of the book! I actually did judge a book by it's cover because I never really read totally what it was about, which didn't seem to make any difference because it kept me laughing and that's what I want in a book at times.

Just the commentary alone of Dot, Kato and Rexi are enough to keep you in stitches, but throw in hydra's, monkey's, evil witches, wacked-out princes, and so many beings it makes for a great comedy in a magical land.

There is not so much going on that it makes the book overwhelming like many can, it makes it just right! And I love the little quotes at the beginning of each chapter from a book in the land of Fairy-tale :)

They author also left it open for another book and I so hope this is the case!

I would recommend this to anyone that loves this type of fantasy book and just wants a nice little laugh. There is plenty of smart@ssness to go around in the book!
Profile Image for Rachel E. Carter.
Author 9 books3,513 followers
January 27, 2023
Adorable. Simply adorable!!! I recommend this to anyone who is a fan of Ella Enchanted or the Shrek movies. Can't believe it took me so long to get around to this one (I think it's because I'm not usually a Dorothy fan -of the Yellow Brick Road variety). Underrated and more people should discover this gem:D
Shelved as 'want'
March 31, 2015
Update 31/3/15


*defeated sigh* I guess I'll just go sit in that corner and...wait :'(



September 4, 2020
So Good!

I loved this retelling of the “The Wizard of Oz”, though I guess I am biased. The Wizard of Oz is my all time favorite movie. This one has Dorthea as the princess of Emerald who may or may not be cursed and she is forced to get engaged against her will. So she makes a wish on star that has an evil spell on it and everything goes from bad to worse from there.

“Rule #23: If you keep a storybook villain talking long enough, they will never fail to spill all the details of their evil plan. Some might even draw you a diagram.”

I have always loved everything to do with The Wizard of Oz, so I enjoyed the nostalgia with a twist of stories like this.

Profile Image for Fafa's Book Corner.
513 reviews305 followers
May 8, 2017
Mini review:

Loads of fun! Really liked the characters and their interactions with one-another. Especially loved Dorthea's subtle growth.

Highly recommend if you want a fun series!
Profile Image for Masooma.
69 reviews132 followers
August 23, 2015
2.5 stars

Girl of Emerald no man can tame. Burn down the world, consumed by flames.

Spelled was a story of a ticking fire-bomb, who was haunted by a curse after she made a preposterous wish in all her naivety. She only realized that an ill-worded wish is worse than a curse when all spell broke loose and everything dear to her turned to pixie dust in the chaos. Initially, the novel reminded me of the movie Into The Woods and I couldn't find a single shred of encouragement to urge me to read on until finally the roots of the curse were revealed. It was the part where I felt the story was well thought-out. Anyways, let's cut to the chase:

-A “Fairy-farting pox-ridden princess” in the words of one of Dot's (Dorthea's) opponents. To me the princess was nothing more than this. She literally pixed me a lot with her IQ of a toddler. Let me demonstrate:

Maybe the curse had tainted her. Maybe she had always been destined to be evil. I understood a little bit about loss and pain, about pushing and fighting against your destiny. But to take it out on everyday people...”What kind of villain does that?”

Reply in a chorus, 'EVERY SINGLE ONE' And almost every time, she fell straight into the arms of trouble. If this is how a princess's brain cells function, than I'd rather hang myself. Dot never thought, she only stressed her chocolate-stuffed mind toward the end of the book! From my side, she can absolutely have the Grimm's award for 'The Whiniest of the Whiny' in the story world since she gathered nothing but these from me:


-A fur ball for a prince. Meet Kato:


But wait, Kato? Seriously? Was there some sort of a shortage in the names closet in the hex-ridden fairy world? Anyways back to the character. Kato was a fur ball who kept enlarging until he turned into a full beast. And for the sake of romance, he also turned into human so that he could kiss the princess and return back to his beast self afterward. So a sarcastic round of applause for that. Other than that his duty and character were good but I liked him much better when he didn't have a soft corner for Dot.

-Rexi, the kitchen girl was loud-mouthed and arrogant for no reason. I don't think it is natural for a slave to showcase such rude language and demeanor the moment she sees the palace crumble down. For the rest of the novel, she switched between the good guys' team and the bad guys' team. Rexi also had some sort of brain malfunction since she frequently shifted between cowardice and bravado. Nonetheless, her character added some good to the novel, of course because of her unexpected shifting of sides

-While I found nothing especial in the narrative, I felt these were the best treats Spelled had to offer before the opening of each chapter:

True love can overcome anything. Even fish breath.
—The Little Mermaid, from Pea Soup for the Fairy-Tale Love's Soul.

“Rule #43: Beware of strangers bearing gifts—especially little old ladies and cute kids.”
—Definitive Fairy-Tale Survival Guide,Volume 1

“Rule #23: If you keep a storybook villain talking long enough, they will never fail to spill all the details of their evil plan. Some might even draw you a diagram.”
—Definitive Fairy-Tale Survival Guide, Volume 2: Villains

-There were several outlandish creatures to which I was anticipating a reaction no short of 'what in the name of spell was that?' To my dismay, no such reaction arose. They all just appeared cute and nothing close to horrific from any perspective. There was one though, hydra, who rocked the entire hexed-up novel.

-“Sorry, wrong numba. Der be no Ozma here”
That was Hydra, the creature I enjoyed most in the novel for her distinct chatty-style and her flair for multiple personalities and ambitions with a popping change of her head, something like this:


She also had a few wise words to offer to the little damsel in distress.

-The fairy world was average or maybe I wasn't able to enjoy it because of the serious lack of emotions. Dot wasn't able to strike an emotional chord or two so when I was supposed to be scared in her aura, I wasn't because I couldn't feel her fear at all.

-Swearing around in Dot's world was definitely a plus point. It had an effective impact on the world building.

So to get to the happily ever-after of this review, Spelled is a light, good read for anyone who either has a lot of love for fairy tales or has a patience for very whiny heroines.

PS: I never intended foo dis review to be thes long, I guess it might be a hex or somethin'.
Profile Image for Mel (Epic Reading).
917 reviews283 followers
April 19, 2018
I finished reading this book about 3 days ago and I already feel like I've forgotten and don't care about more than half of what happened in it... so I’ve dropped from 3 to 2 stars.
It wasn't a total disaster... so let's start with the good and work up to the not so good.

The ok things
1) The absolute best part was not part of the story at all! They are these little snippets of cheeky quotes from well-known fairy tale characters (like Jack or Jill, Little Red Riding Hood, Cinderella, etc.) in biography style or self-help fairy tale books. They are really witty and clever in many cases.
For example: "The Rule of Apology: Being royal means never having to say you're sorry." - Thomason's Tips to Ruthless Ruling
"If it looks too good to be true, it probably is.” - Gretel from Candy Kills: A True Story

2) There are a couple clever takes on fairy tale characters and stories in Spelled. Betsy Schow has clearly read ALL the stories we all love. She even references a few obscure stories that I really appreciated!

3) It’s witty. If you want to hear crazy witty comebacks or the driest of all sarcasm then you've come to the right place!

The meh things
1) The overall storyline was just okay. It wasn't that it was bad; but it just wasn't compelling enough (more on this in bad things below).

2) Our lead gal is a bit naive. And while I can accept that this is meant to be a 'coming of age' novel for her (and that she's never left the castle) it feels a bit too forced for me.

The ugh things
Here's the long list...
1) This story should be interesting... but instead it's just so boring. I mean sooo boring. From approximately page 75 or so forward I just didn't care anymore. By the end they could have all blown up and I wouldn't have minded. Just nothing to connect me to the characters or their plight.

2) Speaking of personalities... when everyone is the same type of witty, snarky, sarcastic character it gets old, fast. I realize that the prince was perhaps not as bad as the others but he still didn't charm me like I think he should have.

3) The annoying fairy, pet, thing that hangs out with our lead gal is just that, annoying. Give me Toto back please (he certainly talked a lot less and was a lot cuter).

4) Swearing. I know it seems cute to replace god with Grimm and hell with spell; but when your characters use the terms a lot it just gets tiresome. Maybe if Dorthea didn't say "What in the spell" every two chapters I would have been okay; but it's appeal got old fast.

5) An overdose of cuteness. When the writing tone wasn’t sassy it was overly cute and cliche. I’d compare it to the type of eye-roll drama and lame lines you expect when you read paranormal romance. Just because your genre is connected to a cliche does not mean you should write just like that cliche.

6) The writing was sub-par. I had to force myself to pick this book up and pretend to care. I honestly should have DNF'd it; but I kept waiting for the amazingness that so many have raved about. I just didn't find it (except in the chapter quotes).

My ultimate pet-peeve
7) It seems that 95% of the fairy tales referenced (before it all gets cursed) are the versions we all know. Belle and the Beast, Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, etc. So how come the story of Oz is all messed up! I never understood how our lead gal, Dorthea, could in anyway be Dorothy or was connected to Dorothy except for her shoe obsession (roll eyes) and the fact that she’s sheltered. And it’s not just her, every Oz character was seemingly turned into someone else and named. Like Schow didn't have to actually develop a new character or come up with unique names if she ripped them all off. As a big Wizard of Oz fan this really bugged me. Although... at least a house did fall on someone.

I definitely wouldn't re-read Spelled and I think there's just so much better 'updated' or 'pseudo' fairy tale writing out there for teens.

Book 2 sounds like a lot more of the same boring characters and crap so I'm definitely skipping it. However... Book 3 has a different premise (our lead gal) Dorthea ends up in our world... maybe there is some merit there and maybe Schow got better at writing by her third book? I’m not going to hold my breath...

For this and more of my reviews please visit my blog at: Epic Reading
Profile Image for Veronica Morfi.
Author 3 books401 followers
October 19, 2016
Rating: 4.5/5

This was such an enjoyable read. I love Dorthea, the main character and how much she grew from being a spoiled princess to an amazing, kick-ass fire-girl! I also loved the humour in this book. It had me laughing almost every other page. But still it managed to break my heart at times with what was going on. I can't wait for the next one.
February 6, 2016
When I first saw this book I thought that it was going to be better. I like retellings but I didn't like this one that much. Dorthea, who is supposed to be Dorothy, seemed to be very annoying to me. I know that that is part of her changing for the better through out the book, but she still seemed kind of weak at the end. I think that it would have been better if she had been a stronger character. There wasn't much romance between Kato and her and that was a bit of a let down. Kato, I thought was going to be a major character, wasn't talked about that much. Neither Dorthea nor Kato (or any character mentioned) were well developed so that was kind of annoying to me. There was some action but in small portions that were in the later half of the book. This caused reading the book to get kind of boring leading me to have to skim through parts. I'm not sure if there was supposed to be another book but there was a hint of another book.
Profile Image for Tamara.
684 reviews202 followers
July 10, 2015
"Every fairytale comes equipped with a happy ending. You just have to find it."

Things you need to know before reading this:
- This is a The Wizard of Oz fairytale retelling with a clever twist.

- It can be a bit campy. And cheesy. This is something you guys gonna either love because of cuteness or dislike because of cheesiness. There is no in between.

- It's a fluffy read.

- It has lots and lots of seriously intense puns and parodies. It's a hotspot of corny jokes and I had a field day with it but sometimes they also could be little forceful *sigh*

For example;
“The first few bars from Wrong Direction's hit song 'My Spell's What Makes You Beautiful' came from somewhere close by."
Ummm, ok. Isnt it a bit too much?

- This is shelved as YA, but it feels more like MG to be honest.

- Oh it's also really hilarious most of the time.

Meet Dorthea and her a fairy tale that gone wrong.

A wise naive princess once said;

...but what if even though your intentions are pure, your heart isnt?

In the beginning, Dorthea is one of the most spoiled brats I've seen. She is snobby and self-absorbed but at the same time she is a really likeable character. She is so naive. Since she is princess, she thinks her Happily Ever After is written in stone and going be achieved so easily. After all of the rules say
“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.”

It sounds so easy. Except this isnt your ordinary fairytale and Dorthea isnt your ordinary princess.

So back to the beginning; Dorthea is very spoiled. Money, shoes, jewelery you name it she has it but the only thing she truly wants is what she can never have:Freedom. Because of a curse that was put on her family, Dorthea is not allowed to go outside of their castle. That is until the day her parent arrange her a marriage of course.

Suddenly facing with a forced marriage with the brooding prince Kato disgusts Dorthea. So to escape such a horrid arrangement, she wishes upon a star that turns out to be cursed and as a result she makes the rules of magic fall apart. When the world she knows careens out of whack, first; Dorthea decides to wait to be rescued. She is a princess so surely somebody is going to come and rescue her, right?

NOOOO. Remember me telling all the rules of magic falling apart.


The stupid wish is biting Dorthea in the ass. Everything is changed now.

Eventually, Dorthea realizes if she wants to fix her world she gotta do that all herself. Which wont be easy. At all.

...which brings me the reason why I give this one 4 stars: TOO MANY FUCKING TWISTS.

Most you kinda see coming, the others are a bit 'meh' and some of them just annoyes me. The plot takes so many turns that I felt like I was lost within specially the first fifty pages. I was just getting started with this world but suddenly there were flames, trolls, dragons, evil puppies, wizards, marriage, magical slippers, and I’m like 'take it easy jeez'. The world building was so rushed.

Another problem I had: Dorthea’s tendency to get on my nerves with her whining was one thing, hey at least I liked her she wasnt annoying, but maaan, I hated Rexi. I wanted her to go away so much cause she was sooo pointless and too rude and whinny and annoyed the hell out of me.

At one point I was like; Dear Rexi, I hate you so fucking much I'll not only murder you but..

What an pointless character. Double all the UGHs.

What made this book a fun ride:

- Dorthea’s snarky sense of humor.

- All the fairy tale survival rules and references to Emerald’s bestselling novels ^_^

- Dorthea’s character development -from shallow and selfish to savior. It's not a severe change, which is what makes it interesting. Plus, she wasnt the only character that was well-developed and underwent changes

- The balance between the romance and the plot was perfect.

- Kato was a likeable love interest. He was frustrating and a bit rude in the beginning but he got so much better when this 'wishing accident' happened.

- The story was inspired from the Wizard of Oz, but it's certainly not the story you're used to. At all. Instead of just trying to re-imagine a classic or tell it from a new perspective, the author just pulles a few elements from here and there and then makes her own entire reality out of it. There are shadows of and allusions to Oz, but this is a whole different fairy tale.


The ending was insane. The book ended on a super crazy ridiculous cliff-hanger. Somebody give me the second book. I need it bad cause too many things were left unresolved!!
Profile Image for Erin.
114 reviews2 followers
April 16, 2015
I received an ARC copy of this novel via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review

When I saw the cover of this novel I knew I had to read it. When I found out it was a fairytale retelling of the Wizard of Oz, I had to read it even faster. Unfortunately, this book started out strong only to fizzle and lose its spark completely. The author is very character oriented to the point where the description of the land and whats happening gets muddled and I often got confused. Whatsmore, I didn't feel like there was an real character development for Dorothea. She was a total brat who became slightly less bratty when her life was in danger and she realized the prince was in love with her.

At first I really enjoyed the references to other fairytales and puns (aka the Hans Christian Louboutin shoes) That being said I started to find it annoying and like the author was piling every possible reference into the book regardless of it being clever or not. I still enjoyed the "rules" that were at the beginning of each chapter; one of my personal favorites being "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:.

This novel had so much potential, it had wit, a semi-original idea plot wise and good classic villains to focus on. Sadly after a couple of chapters the puns fall flat, Dorothea is still annoying and you don't really care if she reaches her happy ending or not.
Profile Image for High Lady of The Night Court.
135 reviews5,082 followers
August 25, 2017
I absolutely LOVED this book. The whole fairy tale like concept was done very well. I just loved the little quotes/advice/rules/statements in the beginning of the chapter. Most of them were hilarious and related to their respective stories.
The plot was pretty straight forward but it still grabbed my attention and the overall story was great. Dorthea is kinda shallow in the beginning and I would have generally hated reading from even a little shallow person's perspective- but this was somehow totally different it was more like she was blocked from the outside world which she kind of was(you'll understand what I mean if you read the book).
The plot starts off pretty fast and had my attention the whole time. The characters are amazing and I feel like I understood the characters quite a lot even though it's a stand alone.
Profile Image for Cee (The Mistress Case).
253 reviews161 followers
April 6, 2015
Somewhere over the rainbow . . . Dorthea brought hell to the kingdom.

No, not that side. The other side.

In Emerald; where one unlucky Princess of the many generations inhabiting the Emerald Palace will be cursed.

The lucky winner is Dorthea!

Oh man, she is a piece of work. She is selfish, shallow, haughty, childish, spoiled, and useless. She is an embarrassment to her kingdom and doesn’t deserve to be a princess. To put it in one word, she’s a bitch.

Even when everyone is hexed and there is chaos in the ballroom, she cares solely about her fate and is eager to show her parents that the prince is unwed-able. That is until she sees the King and Queen are gone. The only trace of them is the crowns they left behind.

Then when Dorthea has to escape and save herself, do her survival instincts kick in?


“I’m not going to die so you can stuff a few extra jewels down your corset.”
“That would be a dumb place to put . . .” Rexi couldn’t hear me; she was already halfway down the hall— a prime example of why I don’t like to hang out with other people.

Little princess, you got it the wrong way around. People don’t want to hang out with you. You’re self-centered and stupid with no survival skills whatsoever. Again, I repeat: useless. So, dear Dorthea, you can imagine my pleasure when I applauded and hooted for Prince Kato, your mother, and the servant Rexi when they gave you a putdown.

My point is the author did a good job of making me dislike the heroine and still want to root for her later on.

As the story continued, I understood why Dorthea is defiant and disloyal. Her rebellious nature can’t be suppressed due to the curse: “Girl of Emerald, no man can tame. Burn down the world, consumed by flame.” However, on her journey, Dorthea begins to show empathy. Now she must decide her fate since the storytelling rules no longer apply to her world. Stay good? Or go dark side?

With great power comes great responsibility, right?

I really like the opening quotations of every chapter. Some are comical. Some are eye-opening. Some are pitiful.

“All the trouble stemmed from my body image issues. I just couldn’t escape the mirror. It lied; the reflection I saw of myself was horrifying.”
-Wicked Queen, Shatter Reflections.

“Power is a worm that crawls into your heart and eats away your soul. Finally, when there’s nothing left— that’s when the good part starts.”
-Malevolent, Dungeon Confessions

Villains are vulnerable and insecure too, even when they act all high and mighty.

Being a villain is a choice. Not the Storymaker's.

In the world Betsy Schow creates, our childhood fairy tales are tied together and scattered throughout the characters' quest— Wizard of Oz (the obvious), Alice in Wonderland (one of my favorites), Beauty and the Beast, Jack and the Beanstalk, etc. There is even a subtle reference to Frozen, which I caught on immediately, as well as a witty reference to pop culture.

“The first few bars from the Wrong Direction’s hit song ‘My Spell’s What Makes You Beautiful,’ came from somewhere close by.”

While some fairy tales are cleverly woven in and many of the puns are genuinely funny, I feel the book drags on because the author attempts to write as many as she can without giving a care that she’s trying too hard to impress readers. There were times when I was at lost about what was happening.

I’m going to contradict myself: At the same time, it feels like time flew past without anything really happening in the book. I didn’t get a chance to know the characters or enjoy the world building because the characters would swiftly be thrown into another dilemma and jokes would come rolling around the corner.

The characters are weak and there is a lack of solid character development throughout the book.

The only character I truly like is Rexi. (I'm disappointed she isn't mentioned in the synopsis.) Her snide remarks and sensible head saved the book for me. I think I love this girl. Somebody who keeps it real, isn’t afraid to speak her mind, and can be inappropriate.

“So . . . love, huh?”
High up on the ladder, Rexi reached for the jar of newt nuts but couldn’t resist getting in jab. “She’s been hit on the head multiple times and drugged. Her judgment is clearly impaired.”

That’s my girl!

And oh yeah, about that romance. I don't fall for it, even if it is cute.

If you enjoy retellings, if you like Wizard of Oz, if you can overlook a bad heroine because people aren’t perfect, if you can ignore the lack of character development, then Spelled may be for you.

I believe there will be a sequel. Even though I’m not excited about a series, curiosity might drive me to pick up the next possible book, especially if Rexi is the main character.

ARC provided through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Quotes were taken out of an early ARC and are subjected to change in the final edition.
Profile Image for nick (the infinite limits of love).
2,120 reviews1,365 followers
May 30, 2015

Spelled was one of my Waiting on Wednesday books a few months ago. As soon as I saw that fun cover and read the blurb, I knew I wanted to check this book out. I'm so grateful I did because Spelled turned out to be one fun and hilarious read, perfect for readers looking for a lighter more humorous fantasy novel.

Dorthea, the protagonist of Spelled, a princess of Emerald, was an absolute riot. She was one spunky heroine who had me giggling like crazy throughout the book. I loved how this girl basically had no filter and was super awkward. All of it made her so endearing and being inside her head was just so much fun. At the start of the book, she was a little naive and selfish, which causes her to unleash a spell that ruins her kingdom, but we watch as she goes on this epic adventure to save her kingdom, growing in the process of it all. Her love interest and betrothed, Kato, also provided for some humorous scenes throughout the book. Her dynamics with him was very entertaining because she started off with hating him. They bond together as they Dorthea, attempts to fix her mistakes. It was especially funny because he was stuck in the form of a chimera. Still though, I loved how they grew to care for each other throughout the book and by the end, I was certainly rooting for them as a couple. Dorthea also had an awesome spitfire of a side kick in the form of Rexi, who also added to the fun of the book. She and Dorthea also had a rough start because of she think Dorthea is spoiled, but they do grow an interesting friendship throughout the book. The world in Spelled was just a medley of fun. I loved how Betsy Schow blended together fairy tales to craft this story. On Dorthea's adventure we meet all sorts of creatures, which made for an entertaining ride of a book. I was also under the impression that this was a stand-alone, but while things ended well with our heroine, there were things left open that could be further explored in a sequel. I, for one, would whole-heartedly pick up a sequel if it becomes available.

There's not much more I have to say about Spelled other than it's a book that is perfect for those of you just looking for a light, relaxing and hilarious adventure book. This is definitely worth picking up.
Profile Image for Shelby.
258 reviews
May 29, 2017
5 incredible stars
It is really hard to describe this book. This is really incredible book to read. I wasn't sure what to except of Betsy Schow because I have never read any of her books before but after reading this book I do not regret reading this book one bit. I loved everything about this book from the beginning to the end form the setting, the storyline, to the characters and the writing of the whole book. I also like the magic part of the whole book and everything. I thought the magic part of the book was really different from other fantasy books that I have read before. I really really loved this book and I don't regret reading this book one bit.
Profile Image for Jess at Such a Novel Idea.
597 reviews178 followers
May 31, 2015
This review was originally posted on Such a Novel Idea.

I received a copy of this book via Sourcebooks Fire in exchange for an honest review. This did not affect my opinion in any way.

THIS IS THE WIZARD OF OZ RETELLING I’VE BEEN WAITING FOR ALL MY LIFE. Seriously, I shouted that in all caps because I actually shouted that in my head when I hit the final page of the book. Wizard of Oz is my absolute favorite classic fairy tale and I will read just about any retelling. And I’ve had some I’ve like and some not so much, but this is the first one that really grabbed ahold of me and made me want to put the book in the hands of every person I see. Seriously, my favorite childhood story flipped on its head and turned into sassy perfection. Betsy Schow and Tellulah Darling need to meet up and make something fabulous together because I’m pretty sure that would make my life complete. (Also, note the overuse of the word seriously. I hope the point is coming across).

This book may be about Dorthea (aka Dorothy), but the entire story incorporates the world of fairy tales. If you’ve got a young daughter like I do, you may be familiar with Ever After High (don’t judge). I am kind of addicted to watching new episodes of this with my six-year-old, so I’m used to the cutesy play on words and for Grimm’s sakes. Even so, Betsy Schow put SO MUCH WORK into weaving these stories and this new language into this book. To make everything work together the way it does must have taken so much time and dedication. I mean, this work is beyond the plot of the book — it is all world-building that took words on the page and turned them into a beautiful moving picture in my mind. I could really see this playing out as a series or movie of some sort. It’s that good.

Sassy is the one word I’d use to describe Spelled. Our main character is the embodiment of this, a princess who spent her entire life inside a castle. She starts out this girl who knows nothing beyond fashion, shopping, and snacks (seriously though, I loved her from the star). But she transforms into this powerful, empathetic ruler. She learns what it means to take care of your people and to take responsibility for your mistakes. If you look past the cute and fun fairy tales, there is a great message to this book.

I love that like Dorthea, it takes time for the romance to develop. And friendships. And nothing overpowers — all the elements of this book were just enough to make the story. If you don’t like romance in your books, this is a great one to choose. And if you do, there is just enough for you to giggle and hug your book. You’ll definitely root for this ship.

Spelled would have been a five-star read, but I had some trouble moving through the vernacular of the book. The play on words and cute puns were fun, but Schow really committed to it, and sometimes that made my head hurt. It was physically hard for me to consume the words I was reading, which meant I had to reread a lot of passages. This slowed me down and took me out of the story. What should have been a quick and fun read, ended up taking several days. However, I don’t think this should deter anyone. Just know it might be a book you read in spurts.

I do think things ended well, with just enough wiggle room for another story. I liked that everything in this fairy tale didn’t have a nice, neat little bow on the happily ever after. Things were still messy and complicated, kinda like real life. I’m happy with how things turned out, but of course I’ll be giddy if there are more where this book came from. Never the less, Betsy Schow is now on my auto-buy list; a highly coveted position few ever obtain.



Seriously, my favorite childhood story flipped on its head and turned into sassy perfection. Betsy Schow and Tellulah Darling need to meet up and make something fabulous together because I'm pretty sure that would make my life complete.

Review TOMORROW on the tour, but seriously, go pre-order this one!
Profile Image for Dianne.
6,773 reviews574 followers
May 9, 2015
Remember all of those fairytales you heard when you were younger? How about the Wizard of Oz? Welcome to a twisted tale where everyone from frogs to wizards, witches and beast kings make a at least a brief appearance! Spelled by Betsy Schow is going to take every single thing you thought you knew about fantasy, princesses and curses and run them through a kaleidoscope so everything takes on a surreal appearance and kind of jumble into each other on one spoiled princess’ journey to learn how to care about and for others in her world.

Dorthea made a selfish and childish wish, and the ramifications were devastating. It’s up to her to fix it, but how? Betsy Schow can write snark and attitude with the best of them! She is an expert playing on words, and blurring the lines of make-believe with reality. Providing one chuckle after another, this journey is full of surprises and tongue-in-cheek dialogue, not to mention a cast of characters that reads like a smalltown phonebook. Cute, ditzy, and very different, it makes a nice fluffy read to kick back and re-visit with old friends and new, but be sure to share with your tweens and teens!

I received an ARC edition from in exchange for my honest review.

Publication Date: June 2, 2015
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Genre: Fantasy/Humor
Age Level: 12 - 17 | Grade Level: 6 - 12
Print Length: 352 pages
Available from: Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Reviewed for: http://tometender.blogspot.com

Profile Image for Beth.
3,130 reviews270 followers
May 20, 2015
One childish wish, that is all it took to throw the entire balance of Dorthea’s world upside down…and not in a good way. Her wish has given evil the upper hand and even worse… Dorthea is cursed with the doom of her world.

This is a very unusual but entertaining take on a twisted fairy tale. Schow brings highly atypical fairy tale characters, Dorthea being case and point. She is the princess, but she is also cursed and has the pension for evil. Fairy princess or evil villian, only she can decide. Fighting her conflicting urges toward evil, Dorthea must decide what is most important, make choices that will create irreparable changes and face her new dawning reality. You might say it’s a book with bite.

Written for the younger reader or young at heart reader it’s not all "the moral to this story". Spelled also provides a good dose of wit, snark and humor.

I found Spelled Enchantingly Entertaining!

I received this ARC copy of Spelled from SOURCEBOOKS Fire in exchange for a honest review. This book is set for publication June 2, 2015.

Age Range: 12 - 17 years
Grade Level: 6 - 12
Paperback: 352 pages
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Publication date: June 2, 2015
Rating: 4 Stars
ISBN-10: 1492608718
ISBN-13: 978-1492608714
Find this book on: Amazon | Barnes & Noble

For Reviews and More Check out: http://tometender.blogspot.com

Profile Image for Lauren.
260 reviews25 followers
April 1, 2015
Seriously, I almost peed my pants cracking up at this one. What. The. Spell. I can’t even. I was pixed off that I finished it in one night.

Some of my favorite things from the book:
“It’s like that bedtime story ‘If You Give A Princess Some Tea, She’ll Ask For A Cookie to Go With It'”
“The first few bars from Wrong Direction’s hit song, “My Spell’s What Makes You Beautiful,” came on from somewhere close by.”

Basically, the puns and plays on real life and fairytales. Also, not only does Dorthea have a freaking hand bag the size of a novel that can contain a storage unit, her freaking ballgown is self-adjusting so she can park it at the buffet all night. What the spell.

So, it’s hilarious. We’ve covered that. Funniness aside, I didn’t think that the writing was anything awe-inspiring or poetic. But you know what? It was cute and funny and I was happy with that. That being said, it was occasionally TOO cute and clever—it was almost a little bit too much at times. Once you get used to that style it flows better, though.

The character building was decent—I liked how Dorthea was completely unlikeable at the beginning and morphed throughout the story. The other characters fell pretty flat in the character development department, though.

The worldbuilding was rushed but fun. There are different storybook lands—King Midas, Oz, etc—and the characters are retold and brought to life, which made it interesting.

Overall, it was an enjoyable, easy, quick read. If you like fairytale retellings, you’ll like this. I rated it a 3/5.

Big thank you to NetGalley and Sourcebooks Fire for giving me a free copy of this ARC to check out in exchange for an honest review. Spelled will be released on June 2nd.
Profile Image for ♛ Garima ♛.
911 reviews181 followers
February 6, 2023
Oh my God! This is book is just awful.

I've seen this book on netgalley ages ago but never requested it because cover looked so cheesy and I was so right not wanting to review it.

But after reading good reviews for this one and received a copy as present, I decided to give it a go. Only 1 word – disappointment! No make it two – Huge disappointment.

What I expected –

What it turned out –

Dorthea is annoying character (a true princess brat) and guess what, the story is told from her POV so we are basically in her head all the time (or she is in your head all the time- take your pick).

Maybe she has some redeeming qualities and she might grow as mature character and considerate of others as story progress but I’m not going to stick around to find out because if I spent one more minute in her head, I am just going to throw my kindle away!

If I want fairy tales retelling in awful way - I’ll watch Shrek at least it is ogre’s story and Shrek has many good qualities as oppose to Dorthea.

This book didn’t pass my 10% test – it is basically I should be hooked by 10% otherwise I’m not going to finish it and hence ended up DNF@10% .
Profile Image for Karen.
129 reviews52 followers
November 16, 2015
I actually enjoyed this book. Dorthea (or Dot as Kato liked to call her) was a rich spoiled princess who didn't get insta-love and had to actually deal with the consequences of her actions. I also liked that she didn't immediately change into a different person in one chapter, or as mentioned above Kato didn't love her on site regardless of all her obvious flaws. I also liked the little quotes at the beginning of each chapter such as Chapter 11

"The Rule of Diplomacy: A royal should never get their hands dirty. If you can't reach a compromise, use an assassin. It's called diplomacy." -Thomason's Tips to Ruthless Ruling

The only think that got a bit annoying was too much of the fake cursing by way of words like Holy Grimm and I didn't know what the spell she was talking about.

Overall it was a fun read.
Profile Image for ~Tina~.
1,092 reviews159 followers
February 26, 2016
I've read my fair share of fairytale retelling but I don't think I've read anything that came close to making me laugh.out.loud the way this book did. The sheer wit, banter, sarcasm and humor bouncing off these pages was so enjoyable and compelling I just couldn't seem to get enough. But it's not just the laughs that won me over, this book is chalked full of fast paced action and non-stop adventure. I couldn't flip the pages fast enough to see what wickedly strange thing would happen next. So much fun!

My gawd, I'm so in love with Betsy Schow writing! It's smart, cunning and incredible from a line-up of mixed fairytale characters, to the outrageous setting and a wonderful twist on words and objects laced throughout the book, every little thing was so well crafted, rich and vividly detailed making this escape so impressive, absorbing and unique. Even the chapter title names and the little quip-tips at each chapter gave it the perfect little touch to make this such a joy to experience.

I really loved all these characters, they are all so animated and amazing, but it's the three leads that made this book shine.
I really loved Dorthea, she has such a spark in her attitude that I found fierce and infectious. At first she's painted as the spoiled and shallow princess that cares about nothing but her clothes, shoes and jewellery. But really, what else is a girl suppose to do for the last 17 years since she isn't allowed in the real world due to the curse that plagued her family for generations. I think this was a wonderful self discovery story as we see Dorthea grow from spoiled to spectacular. From the moment she wished on the wrong star and every rule in fairy went crazy, Dorthea really owned up to her mistakes and does everything in her power to make it right again. I think she's always been this capable and strong girl inside, she just needed the opportunity to prove it to herself.
Rexi is another great character but she wasn't always easy to love. She's a negative and bitter little thing that tends to be a little to honest from time to time, but I don't think I'd have her any other way. This little klepto has a great personality and I loved her quick wit comebacks.
And as for Kato? I absolutely adored him. Given the two scenes he had as Prince Kato (human) left me infuriated but intrigued, I wasn't sure how to feel when Kato turned into a Chimera (who doesn't talk at first) but my doubts all but vanished within minutes. The way he was written into the story was absolutely brilliant. It was comical and adorable and probably my favorite part.
The romance is rather light in this one, but the moments we did get was very awe-worthy. I'm also thinking sequel which would be amazing since there is still a lot of mess that needs cleaning up and yeah, I wouldn't mind seeing more Dorthea and Kato love.

Bottom line, Spelled really surprised me in the best way possible. The writing is remarkable, the tone and flow of the story was always moving in wonderment and these characters are completely remarkable. Charming, imaginative and crazy fun from the first page till it's gripping conclusion. I can't wait for more!!!! An instant favorite!
Displaying 1 - 30 of 1,283 reviews

Can't find what you're looking for?

Get help and learn more about the design.