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Charmed (Fairy Tale Reform School) Hardcover – March 1, 2016

4.3 out of 5 stars 16 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Gr 4–7—The Fairy Tale Reform School is back in session with another adventure featuring the heroic pickpocket Gilly Cobbler. After stopping Alva, the wicked queen whose curse struck Sleeping Beauty, from taking over Enchantasia, Gilly and her friends find themselves back in another precarious situation. A mole has broken into the ranks of The Fairy Tale Reform School and is helping Alva plot another scheme to take over the land. Gilly goes undercover as a Royal Lady in Waiting to uncover who the mole is and hopefully stop the attacks in time. Fans of Colanita's previous book in the series (Flunked) will enjoy this continuation of the story. New readers will be caught up within the first few pages thanks to a blog-scroll ("Happily Ever After Scrolls") that recurs throughout the book. Tweens who are fans of fractured fairy tales like the "Whatever After" series by Sarah Mlynowski and "Once Upon A Time" will have no problem getting into this read.

Review

"Fans of Calonita's previous book in the series (Flunked, 2015) will enjoy this continuation of the story. New readers will be caught up within the first few pages thanks to a blog scroll ("Happily Ever After Scrolls") that recurs throughout the book. Tweens who are fans of fractured fairy tales like the "Whatever After" series by Sarah Mlynowski (Scholastic) will have no problem getting into this read." - School Library Journal

"Gillian remains an appealing, vibrant character, whose first-person narrative, with humorous, dramatic and self-reflective touches, makes for fast-paced, entertaining reading" - Booklist
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Product Details

  • Series: Fairy Tale Reform School (Book 2)
  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Sourcebooks Jabberwocky; First Printing edition (March 1, 2016)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1492604046
  • ISBN-13: 978-1492604044
  • Product Dimensions: 5.7 x 1.3 x 7.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #20,905 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Innovative, creative, complex -- all the adjectives you need to give this series a try even though the story line may sound like something you would otherwise take a pass on. It's worth taking the chance by starting with Flunked, the first book in the series.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Okay, I admit it, I'm an adult and I loved these books. I read the first one and then got this one too. Loved both of them. It's fun to see fairy tales from a different perspective. I recommend the Fairy Tale Reform School books for all ages. It was enjoyable to read them and there wasn't anything I felt was inappropriate for teen readers. Hope they have other books in the series in future.
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Format: Hardcover
"Charmed" the imaginary and exciting sequel to "Flunked" begins with Alva breaking the Evil Queen Professor Harlow out of the dungeon at FTRS (Fairy Tale Reform School). There's never a dull moment as students are encouraged to join Alva's rebellion to take over Enchantasia and destroy the royal court, Headmistress Flora keeps disappearing, and a mole at the school is spilling secrets to "the Wicked One".

Gilly Copper, thief and pickpocket wants to help her friends find and overcome the villain's diabolical plan so she decides to stay at the school and even joins the Royal Ladies-In-Waiting Club under the leadership of Princess Rose (aka Sleeping Beauty) hoping to ferret out vital information. But with everyone thinking of her as a hero and her popularity feeding her ego, Gilly falls prey to the lure of Princess Rose's Club forsaking her friends and determined to find the mole herself. Only with her father's wise words does she regret her behaviour and seek out Maxine, Kayla, Jax and Ollie, knowing that only together can they get to the root of the problem.

Jen Calonita brings to life the magical world of FTRS where escapee Professor Harlow is helping the Wicked One who once cursed Sleeping Beauty and the pirate Bluebeard has not only taken over as coach of her fencing team, but seems to be romancing Madam Cleo. Fast-paced and humorous the mystery mounts in a roller-coaster ride of twist and turns and cryptic clues that keep Gilly and Jax baffled to the identity of the informant. I love this twist on classic fairy tales where the former villains are respected professors, and one of the royal Princesses may have a dark selfish heart.
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Format: Hardcover
Author Jen Calonita needn't worry about the sophomoric blues in her fantasy series for tweens. While I liked Flunked, the first book in the Fairy Tale Reform series I actually liked this newest installment even more which was a welcome surprise. And what about the cover picture? Gah! It is, once again, beautiful and striking artwork. Hats off to the artist.

In Charmed Jen Calonita paints a vivid picture of her fantasy world where misguided kids are sent away to a reform school in which former 'baddies' such as the Big Bad Wolf and various other evil characters are now teachers. While the fantasy elements are strong it's the story and relationships between the characters that take centre stage. In Charmed, Gilly and her gaggle of friends - Jax, Ollie, Maxine and Kayla - once again band together to save Enchantasia and hopefully defeat the evil Alva once and for all.

Gilly remains a spunky character who has a great group of friends and is okay with bending the rules to keep the plot interesting. But this time there's an added issue. After her success at defeating evil in the first book she's let her notoriety and fame of that accomplishment give her a hefty sized ego which causes some issues among her friends. She may not be as likeable this time around but how she handles this issue with her friends gives young readers a good lesson too.

Charmed is charming, fun and magical. I'd highly recommend it for tween-aged kids ages 8-12

My Rating: 4/5 stars

Disclaimer: My sincere thanks to Sourcebooks Jaberwocky and NetGalley for providing me with a complimentary e-book copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.
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Format: Hardcover
It was so wonderful returning to Fairy Tale Reform School! If you haven't read it yet, you really should check out the first book in the series Flunked. You can find my review for it on my blog - Reading is Better With Cupcakes.

That being said, since this is the second book in the series, there may be some minor spoilers for the first book within. So read on at your own risk.

Charmed takes off pretty much where Flunked ended. We are still at the Fairy Tale Reform School and we still have most of the same characters. Blackbeard does join the cast as one of the teachers, and one of the princesses does make quite a few more appearances than before, but our core cast of students is still pretty much the same.

However, in Charmed, Gilly is a bit more stuck on herself than she was in the last book. She has let being a "hero" go to her head and sometimes forgets that her friends helped her with what went down in Flunked. Unfortunately this causes a few issues for her. However, it does let us see her grow as a character which is something I appreciate as a reader and a fan of this series.

All in all, Charmed continued on with the fun wonderful world that Jen Calonita created in the first installment. It is fun and full of adventure. And hopefully Jen will be continuing on with this series in a similar matter. I have grown attached to the fun and quirky cast of characters and I want to see them grow more and to see where their adventures take them.

My Rating
4 Stars

This review is based on an eARC provided by the publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review.
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