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My Very UnFairy Tale Life

(My Very UnFairy Tale Life #1)

3.71  ·  Rating details ·  671 ratings  ·  94 reviews
You know all those stories that claim fairies cry sparkle tears and elves travel by rainbow? They're lies. All lies. I've spent my life as an official adventurer. I travel across enchanted kingdoms saving magical creatures and fighting horrible beasts that most of you think are only myths and legends. I've never had a social life. My friends have all forgotten me. And let' ...more
192 pages
Published November 1st 2011 by Sourcebooks Jabberwocky
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 ·  671 ratings  ·  94 reviews

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Jac (For Love and Books)
Oct 29, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
As I read this book, all I could think was that a 4th or 5th grade me would LOVE this book! Real Kingdoms with all the fairytale creatures? Unicorns? Fairy's? Dragons? Talking frogs? Yes Please!! I think the clincher for me was the talking Gnome! (I have an odd place in my heart for Garden Gnomes!)

I think this book had everything a mid grade novel should have! A lovable main character who learns a lesson (the grass isn't always greener on the otherside) and spouts off good sayings (treat others
Oct 16, 2011 rated it it was ok

For years, Jenny has been an adventurer. With the help of her somewhat helpful gnome guide, Jenny has been traveling from world to world, helping to find the lost, rescue the stupid, and solve unsolvable problems.

But after one too many adventures that leave her scarred physically and emotionally, Jenny has had enough. It's quitting time. All she really wants is homework and some friends.

Unfortunately, the adventuring world needs her more than ever. Can she
Veronica Bartles
MY VERY UNFAIRY TALE LIFE is the story of Jenny, a 12-year-old adventurer who spends her free time in one enchanted kingdom after another, helping magical creatures in need. With corny, cliched nuggets of wisdom like "sharing is caring," Jenny saves fairies and elves and teaches unicorns how to share. The job comes with its own unique dangers, and sometimes Jenny has to escape dragons who want to turn her head into a flaming volleyball or unicorns who run her down when she attempts to show them ...more
Dana Atallah
Oct 03, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: wishlist, arc, netgalley
I didnt expect much of this book i was just searching net galley and the title and cover got my attention so i downloaded it and i actually loved this book . It is about this girl jenny she is a teenage adventurer ( she helps magical creatures and worlds ) she lives with her aunt because her parents dissappeared on one of their adventures . The main problem was an evil clown he put this magic silence spell and jenny has to defeat him.

The thing i liked about this book is that jenny is a normal g
Nov 02, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
This review first appeared on my blog at: Thoughts and Pens.

After the fiasco concerning Journey to Rainbow Island, I almost ditched this book. But I was glad that I didn’t. The smile that My Very Unfairy Tale Life brought on my lips really surprised me. If truth be told, I actually went into it expecting another Journey to Rainbow Island and bracing myself for the worst. My Very Unfairy Tale Life is everything that I hoped for in a light, fairy tale Middle Grade book. It’s spunky, straightforwar
Mar 01, 2011 rated it it was ok
I have one word to say: Seriously?
Jan 14, 2014 rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: NO ONE
This is the stupidest book I have ever read do not read it
Amy Layton
May 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
What a funny book!  With unicorns, fairies, and mouthless sheep, Jenny's unfairy tale life is sure to get a laugh out of even the most serious readers.  Through endless twists, turns, and run-ins with the evil clown Klarr, My Very UnFairy Tale Life shows us all how to take what life throws at us and make the best out of it--even when we really, really don't want to.  

And Jenny really, really doesn't want to.

But she does.  And that's what makes it entertaining.  She takes it all, trying to naviga
Amy Holiday
Sep 01, 2017 rated it liked it
Zooming through most of the Middle Grade I have on my shelf because its the end of the year and I'm behind on my reading challenge!

This one is cute. Fun. Younger middle-grade, very fast paced. The "adventurer saving-the-day" bit feels a little careless, but the adventures themselves are pretty unique, as are the villains. Loved the two frogs the best, I think, and the Committee was kind of hilarious! Time to dive into the second!
Hannah Russell
May 18, 2018 rated it did not like it
I accidently read the third of this series first, not realizing that it was a sequel. I attributed all my confusion about plot and premise you the fact that it was the third book.
Unfortunately, it's just because it didn't make sense.

That's children's literature, and then there are books that could have been thought up by children. This is the latter.
Reader Girl
May 30, 2021 rated it liked it
The theme is pretty bad and the supporting characters even worse, but somehow, it works. I'd probably be more okay with it if I were in the intended audience age range. I imagine making it so farfetched makes it easier for some kids to swallow. It's kind of like afternoon children's TV in book form. ...more
Just saying, the book I borrowed went from 108-136, then from there to 108, then from 108-136, then from the end of the 2nd 136 it went to page 169. So it repeated pages 108-136, and skipped 137-168. )% ( angry face)
Jul 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
I couldn't put this book down except for reasonable reasons. But I mean Jenny is awesome. She sticks up for herself and she is amazing. I wish to be an adventurer like jenny ...more
Scarlet Rose
Sep 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Mar 31, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: first-reads
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Brandy Painter
May 21, 2011 rated it liked it
Originally posted here.

In the acknowledgements for her book My Very UnFairytale Life Anna Staniszewski describes it as her "wacky little book". It is indeed a whacky little book but in a way that is fun and not too ridiculous especially if you are of the age of the intended audience. Elementary school me would have loved this book with a fervent and fierce devotion.

You know all those stories that have fairy godmothers coming into change the lives of ordinary girls? Well this is that in reverse.
Nov 12, 2011 rated it liked it
So so so funny :D

When I saw this on NetGalley I jumped at the chance to read it. The book starts with Jenny being chased by a herd of angry unicorns. I can tell you the imagery had me rolling about the sofa with laughter. The cross-over of the vast variety of fairy-tales used provided terrific imagery.

The third person narrative provides a means of layering the story. Not only was I immersed into Jenny's everyday life, I was able to identify with the fairytale elements and also the mystery of he
Princess Debz
Originally posted on Debz Bookshelf

This was a super quick, fun, and quirky book. I didn’t know anything about it besides it had an awesome title and cover, but that was enough to make me pick it up just in time for Fairy Tale Fortnight!

It was action packed and tons of fun! Jenny is an Adventurer, and as such, has the responsibility to keep peace among the many magical realms. This leads her on many strange quests, which result in things such as being stabbed by a unicorn horn and having her mout
Jan 10, 2012 rated it liked it
My rating: 3/5 stars
Read the review in my blog!

May contain some spoilers
Jenny is a twelve year old girl. And what makes her special? She's an adventurer! She runs around helping magical creatures so everyone would just get along. She's been on the business for few years, originally taking the job because it sounded like fun.

But like many times, having fun may turn to something not-so-fun at some point.

This is a quick and fun read, but probably targeted for younger audience. This book is ful
Sharon Tyler
Jun 18, 2013 rated it really liked it
My Very UnFairy Tale Life is the first book in a series for children and tweens by Anna Staniszewski. Jenny is an adventurer, she travels to enchanted kingdoms and solves the problems of the creatures that live there. A red headed gnome named Anthony is her guide, and her eccentric aunt with more knowledge of animals than children is her guardian since her parent's disappearance. To make things even worse, her friends seem to have forgotten all about her. With all this chaos in her life, Jenny j ...more
Sep 12, 2011 rated it liked it
Things I enjoyed: The premise of this book I found quite enjoyable. A girl who travels to other worlds to help fairy tale like kingdoms solve problems. The situations were definitely unique, not like any others I've ever read. Jenny tendency to quote cliches is amusing, yet rather appropriate. I did enjoy the one world she visited that was ruled by a sheep, which I found ironic, since sheep tend to wander when left to their own devices. The various secondary characters that Jenny interacts with ...more
Oct 03, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: netgalley
I love the concept of this book! I mean, seriously, who didn't dream of being sucked into a fairytale world and helping out magical worlds as a parttime job? I sure did (ok, I'll admit I still do). And to have it then backfire and leave you wishing for a normal life, very interesting! And a good example of the grass is always greener and all that.

I thought Jenny was a good person, if slightly naive and not always reasonable. But hey, she's 12 and she's allowed to be all that. And she apparantly
At First Sight: Jenny is an Adventurer, the person that goes about the magical kingdoms and helps them solve their problems. When she first started to adventure a few years ago, it sounded like loads of fun, but she now realizes that things rarely are what they seem.

Now her two former best friends seem to have forgotten her all together, her Aunt is more interested in animals than on her and she's tired of being chased by unicorns and having an unreliable gnome named Arthur for guide. And most o
Reading Vacation
Dec 10, 2011 rated it really liked it
Jenny is a 12-year-old adventurer who has learned that the magical dimensions are not all they are cracked up to be, and not all fairytale creatures are cute and cuddly. Saving unicorns and talking frogs all the time has left her zip time for friends and family, and she wants out. Now, Jenny’s already wavering confidence is shattered by a creepy clown-wizard who has a problem with talking animals. QUIRKY!

Girly book lovers of all ages will enjoy Jenny’s adventures and the lessons she learns. Jenn
Tiffany (About to Read)
Feb 22, 2013 rated it really liked it
My Very Unfairytale Life is an action-packed middle grade novel. While I wouldn’t classify this as a YA cross-over, I found myself being sucked into Anna Staniszewski’s story. Jenny was a bit young for me, but she was still funny and I liked her bravery. The writing, however, is what really steals the shows.

Staniszewski does an amazing job at creating suspense. She ends her chapters on the most intense notes, and you just have to keep reading to see where the story is going to go—it’s almost imp
Brad Sells
Feb 25, 2013 rated it liked it
My Very UnFairy Tale Life is definitely a fun and light read, but unfortunately, was a bit too juvenile for my tastes. But still, this definitely put some fun into my reading life!

Jenny was such a great protagonist! I loved getting to go on her adventures with her, and the author definitely did a great job at making the adventures epic and interesting for the MG crowd. I'm a big fairy tale fan, so getting to see some fairy tales interwoven throughout the story really appealed to me. Plus, there'
Aurora Celeste
This is a cute book. It is perhaps a bit younger-directed than the books I usually read, being aimed at what I suspect is the 8-12 crowd. It’s not long, due to that, but it is a good story. Jenny is a great character, and she will be relatable to children and pre-teens. The fantastic setting is a great plot twist, with just enough explanation to things that it’s fantasy without making it too complicated. It’s a great author that knows just how much to explain the magical workings without going i ...more
Mar 29, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: middle-grade
I had mixed feelings about this book. It was...bizarre, to say the least. But even so, I found it entertaining!

This was definitely a fluff read. The fact that I could read this without problems on only five hours of sleep says a LOT. However, despite all my problems with this book, I managed to enjoy it. Maybe not 'read the sequel NOW' enjoyment, but an 'aww, that's cute' enjoyment. Unicorns learn to share? Cute. Gnomes who like chocolate? Cute! Lamb princes who needs rescuing? Very cute!

I have
Jan 17, 2011 rated it it was amazing
4.5 stars

My Very Unfairy Tale Life by Anna Staniszewski was such an adorable book. I absolutely loved it - and what a fun take on fairy tales and their outcomes! I cannot wait for book 2 to hear more of Jenny's fun story.

This was such a clever book - I loved the idea of adventurers helping all the magical creatures along to make decisions and make sure the outcome of the stories is what people want to see. It was so fun to learn about Jenny's world. I loved the focus on friendship and family th
Jessica Harrison
Feb 11, 2012 rated it really liked it
Review via Cracking the Cover
In “My Very UnFairy Tale Life,” Anna Staniszewski has created a magical world of unicorns, fairies and dragons. But she doesn’t stop there. Talking frogs, a kidnapped lamb and a garden gnome guide help round out a cast of unexpected but beautifully believable characters.

Jenny is the epitome of a plucky heroine — she’s engaging and witty with an adventurous spirit and just the right mix of imagination and independence. By making Jenny the narrator, Anna has not only p
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Anna Staniszewski lives in the Boston area and teaches in the MFA Writing for Children Program at Simmons College. She's the author of several tween novels, including THE DIRT DIARY and SECONDHAND WISHES, and the picture books POWER DOWN, LITTLE ROBOT and DOGOSAURUS REX. You can visit Anna at or follow her on Twitter at ...more

Other books in the series

My Very UnFairy Tale Life (3 books)
  • My Epic Fairy Tale Fail (My Very UnFairy Tale Life, #2)
  • My Sort of Fairy Tale Ending (My Very UnFairy Tale Life, #3)

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“If I ever figured out how to go back in time, I'd tell my nine-year-old self to run the other way when a gnome showed up in her room promising a life of magic and adventure.” 3 likes
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