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Zach's YA Reviews

A guy's perspective on YA literature

Book Review: The Wishing Spell (The Land of Stories #1)

The Land of Stories: The Wishing Spell - Chris Colfer


Protagonists: Alex and Connor Bailey start out this book as the cliched "twins who couldn't be more different." While Alex is studious and tries very hard to be the teacher's pet, Connor can't seem to keep himself awake half the time. However, once they, quite literally, fall into the Land of Stories their differences seem to almost disappear... almost. From time to time they'll disagree or handle things differently, but for the most part they just seemed to be siblings who worked together to find a way home. In terms of individuals I really enjoyed reading about Alex and Connor, they are strong kids who will do whatever they can to return to those they love, which is a trait I greatly admire in a character.

World-Building: While the world of fairy tales is nothing new what the author does with it is rather amazing. He shows what happens after happily ever after, and while this is also not something new the way he does it just brings the whole book to life. I have to admit that prior to entering The Land of Stories I was a bit bored, but once I entered the world with the twins everything came alive and it was so fantastic. The world reminded me a bit of a much lighter version of one of my favorite mini-series The 10th Kingdom, if you haven't seen it yet and you love fairy tale retellings, I highly recommend it. I loved how this series doesn't go very far beyond the happily ever afters we all know and love but instead takes place about a decade or perhaps a little more beyond which is the perfect setting for this story as we still get to see our beloved fairy tale characters, but enough time has passed that we get a good look at the world and these stories' impact on it.

Predictability: You know, I can honestly say that there wasn't too much of this book that I could outright predict, sure I had theories on what would happen and what I would discover the further I read, however I never really had a definitive answer until just before said moment was revealed. Of course there were times that I could fairly easily guess a mystery that was meant to stump a middle grader, but for the most part I can honestly say that I enjoyed the refreshing air of mystery that this book exudes. I enjoyed debating with myself over the various theories I had developed and trying to connect the unseen dots in my head.

Ending: The ending held just enough mystery to know that there was going to be a sequel if not a whole blown series stemming from this book. That being said this book is a contained story and if the series did not continue, which it totally does, I would feel content that I learned everything I needed to. The ending itself was sweet and really tied the book together perfectly with it's nostalgic and sentimental feel. I liked that there was no cliffhanger, it just well ended and while I am happy that the series continues I'm glad that if it didn't there wouldn't have been a horrific cliffhanger to torture the readers and fans of this book.


This book is purely amazing, and while it isn't perfect I loved nearly every minute of reading it. I'm nearly halfway through the second one as I'm writing this and it just keeps getting better and better. I will admit I was a bit apprehensive about reading this book because it was written by a celebrity, whose could just get a book deal due to how famous they are and not really by talent, yet I was completely wrong and I'm so happy I was. I can't wait to finish the sequel and I hope to read more adventures in The Land of Stories for years to come.

Source: http://www.zachsyareviews.com/2013/10/book-review-wishing-spell-land-of.html