What happens in Enchantasia, a.k.a. Fairy Tale Land, when you get caught for thieving? Sassy 12 year-old Gilly finds out for herself when she gets caught helping her parents (unbeknown to them) making ends meet. After all, one has got to do what one needs to do when one has five little brothers and sisters and lives in a run-down boot, no?
At least that’s what Gilly thought before she was sentenced to three months at Fairy Tale Reform School. All of its teachers are former villains—the Big Bad Wolf and the Evil Queen, for example. And how runs the school? Flora, Cinderella’s formerly Wicked Stepmother, filled with regret and trying to make amends, who dedicated her life to turning the wicked and criminally mischievous into upstanding members of Enchantasia.
Gilly is determined not to enjoy a single second at Fairy Tale Reform School. But when she meets Jax and Kayla, her two fellow students teach her that there is a whole lot more to this school than its heroic mission. Behind its calm façade, there is a battle brewing, making one wonder if a villain can really change.
Fairy Tale Reform School: Flunked is a good book featuring a unique and engaging plot. If the Harry Potter series and the Once Upon A Time television franchise had a child, the Fairy Tale Reform School series would be it. The characters are both interesting and likeable or, as well known heroes and villains, are intriguingly familiar yet uniquely different, as author Jen Calonita managed to appropriate each of these well-known characters just about enough to make them fit in her story while remaining true to themselves.
Concept wise, the story will make readers think about many an important topic. One is that of justice; while Gilly is indeed thieving, the circumstances that encouraged her to do so can make for some very interesting conversations. Similarly, the concept of perception will appear throughout the book; it is difficult to explain why without spoiling the plot, but do keep this question in mind while you read Fairy Tale Reform School: Flunked: how can we differentiate who someone is from who they want to us to think they are?
There were a couple of threads that hopefully will be dug into more deeply in upcoming volumes of the series. For example, the discussion the main characters seeing all her rivals as evil could be a very interesting one indeed. While each character was described enough for readers to get a feel for them, I am hoping that future volumes will dig into their characters a little more so that they acquire some depth.
Fairy Tale Reform School: Flunked is well written and a fast paced story that will whet your appetite for more. I for one am looking forward to the second volume in the series, which I hope will take the time and space to dig in a little more into the characters, iron out the plot, and develop the very important concepts at the core of the story which.
More information about the series is available on Jen Calonita’s website.