Brett Axel's Reviews > The Wishing Spell

The Wishing Spell by Chris Colfer
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's review
Jun 11, 2012

it was ok
bookshelves: didn-t-finish

What if C S Lewis, instead of honing his writing skills, watched lots of Shrek and Hoodwinked movies? I think you would end up with a book with Amazing potential that falls well short of the mark, which is exactly what The Land of Stories: The Wishing Spell is.

I could not read beyond, "She had a huge, caring heart and loved her kids more than anything else in the world." on page 36. It wasn't the first time I almost put it down for its poor editing. I almost did a few pages earlier then the reader is told that the children's mother lost her husband as if it were new information, because we could not have made that leap on our own simply from reading in the previous chapter that the children's father had died.

The children themselves are stereotypes. The girl is a book worm that pays attention in class, the boy sleeps in class, doesn't care about school, but by the sheer power of his being male, he has it all over his sister when it comes to getting the right answers or creative inturpretation.

It looks like no fact checking was done, The children are in a high enough grade to all be expected to read chapters from their text, and talk about subtext and metaphor, but they are studying fairy tales (Pre-K to Kindergarden). And the class (all but the one girl) suffer through it like hard school work.

If it was bad writing throughout I wouldn't bother talking about it. But the story-telling overall is very good. It is well paced, it keeps you engaged and has all of the potential for being a great book, had someone with a little experience gone over it with a red pen and helped the young author revise and clean it up.

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Reading Progress

09/17 marked as: read

Comments (showing 1-10 of 10) (10 new)

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Vanessa Considering that the book is not being released for almost another month I have to assume that the book you read was an ARC - and therefore unedited. You do realize that ARCs usually have typos and examples of "poor editing"? I don't think you can judge the editing based on an ARC ...!

Brett Axel Yes, it is an ARC and I'll revise my review if the final book comes out with these things corrected. But these are not, for the most part, nearly final draft issues.

message 3: by Catherine (new)

Catherine Meade You also have to consider this book isn't going to be Game of Thrones, it was written for ten year olds.

Brett Axel I have not seen Game of thrones. I don't think it is something I would be very interested in. I read to a very smart 6 year old. We are, in fact, currently 2/3 through The Great Unexpected by Sharon Creech (also coming out soon) and loving it.

message 5: by Catherine (new)

Catherine Meade I was referring to the GoT book series, not the television show, which is a bit of a different ballgame. Also, I am jealous of your advanced copies!

Susie Not right to rate it without even finishing it. I wish I could flag your review.

message 7: by Brett (last edited Aug 10, 2012 05:16AM) (new) - rated it 2 stars

Brett Axel Finishing a book is in itself, a testament to its quality. Say what you will about the story, but if it was well written enough that you finished it, it wasn't that bad a book. When I give a book that I have not finished a low rating, I explain why I feel the book deserves that rating. You can judge for yourself if the things I pointed out would or would not take so much away from a book to make it unworthy of finishing.

Alina Kirichuk "What if C S Lewis, instead of honing his writing skills, watched lots of Shrek and Hoodwinked movies?" I think I will quote this for the rest of my life.

Patricialogan8 Ok this goes out to whoever wants to criticize Chris Colfer's
writing.wheb you all have 6 novels by age 26 you can criticize

Emily Quantity is not the same as quality. Just because you write a lot in a short amount of time, it does not mean you write well.

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