{Blog Tour} Spelled by Betsy Schow: Review+Favorite Quote+Excerpt+Giveaway!

May 28, 2015 Blog Tour, Book, Giveaway, Reviews 1

{Blog Tour} Spelled by Betsy Schow: Review+Favorite Quote+Excerpt+Giveaway!

Spelled by Betsy Schow
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Release Date: June 2nd 2015
Rate: 5 stars
Synopsis:
Fairy Tale Survival Rule #32: If you find yourself at the mercy of a wicked witch, sing a romantic ballad and wait for your Prince Charming to save the day.
Yeah, no thanks. Dorthea is completely princed out. Sure being the crown princess of Emerald has its perks—like Glenda Original ball gowns and Hans Christian Louboutin heels. But a forced marriage to the brooding prince Kato is so not what Dorthea had in mind for her enchanted future.
Talk about unhappily ever after.

Trying to fix her prince problem by wishing on a (cursed) star royally backfires, leaving the kingdom in chaos and her parents stuck in some place called “Kansas.” Now it’s up to Dorthea and her pixed off prince to find the mysterious Wizard of Oz and undo the curse…before it releases the wickedest witch of all and spells The End for the world of Story.

Spelled by Betsy Schow was definitely a unique book in it’s overly populated YA Fantasy genre. You see here and there tons of fairy tale smash-ups, twists, retellings, blah blah blah, that it seems to get harder to find a book that takes the tales we’ve grown up with and have that author make it completely their own. Betsy Schow has donde that, and more with this novel.
Dorothea was something special. Without her, this story would have sucked really, really hard. She’s the bad type of character you detest but love at the same time. At first she’s shallow, conceited, a snob of fashion, and completely and utterly annoying with her whining here and there. Completely detestable yet likeable. Hers was a character that went through a complete character development by the ending. She became strong, independent, sacrificing, a loyal and reliable friend, and the master of her own story rather than depend on a fate that was made by the Storymakers. She was also super hilarious with the things she came up with. By the end I was even more in love with her.

This is my favorite quote from the book because it, basically, summarizes the whole theme of the book and shows how much Dorothea has grown from the whiny little princess at the beginning:

Though I still believed in the Storymakers, I’d started to question how much control I had on how this story turned out. Maybe it was me and not the curse that would determine the kind of person I became. The power alone wouldn’t make me evil. It all depended on what I did with it. But that didn’t mean I had to be helpless either, waiting for someone else to solve my problems. Hero or villain–it was up to me to decide.

Prince Kato is a complete darling. I love him! At first he’s like this weird prince who looks super evil with an agenda of his own, I almost detested him. Almost. He later becomes a strange creature, kind of like a puppy, it was completely hilarious. I probably make no sense but I don’t want to give away much. However, as we get to know him more like Dorothea does, he shows his true colors and that he’s not as bad as Dorothea thinks him to be at first. He’s romantic, dedicated, a true leader willing to give his all for his people, and did I mention romantic?

Other than the awesome cast of characters in this story, the other aspect that made this whole thing something amazing was the imagination and creativity the author had with everything. There’s mention of fairy tales such as Rapunzel, Beauty and the Beast, Peter Pan, basically all those. In Spelled we are thrown into this world where Fairy Tales are the norm and every princess in distress has her happy ending with a prince. Except Dorothea doesn’t want this. There are things such as the Storymakers too, which in our reality are writers, who are the ones who create the destinies of these characters, etc. It was mindblowing to see all these twists with a sprinkle of the author’s unique style make this tale memorable. And completely hilarious with fairy tale advice, villains telling their experiences, how to be a ruler, among many more things.

 “I hate to tell you, but that Jolly Roger has sailed, sunk, and been eaten by ticking crocodiles.”
“Power is a worm that crawls into your heart and eats away your soul. Finally, when there’s nothing left–that’s when the good part starts,” Malevolent, Dungeon Confessions.
I doubt there was ever a moment when I had a straight face while reading this. I would constantly laugh, swoon, gasp, and try to keep guessing what was going to happen next. It was interesting how certain events were woven together by the end and highly entertaining. There wasn’t a moment when it felt dull. I couldn’t stop reading and was very, very desperate when I had to do something instead spending precious time reading. Highly recommend it to everyone who enjoyed fairy tales and is in desperate need of a new something in this saturated genre. Jewels like this are hard to find but highly appreciated once read. I really hope everyone who reads it gets to love it, and I can’t wait for the sequel! Because there better be. I’ll even stalk Sourcebooks Fire to get an eARC again lol.
Rating: 5 stars

Most of the crowd had dispersed. The final few stragglers looked at me with the all­too-common look of fear mixed with trepidation. Pix ’em. They were just servants. It wasn’t like their opinion mattered.

Only one remained, watching me with open curiosity. He looked to be in his late teens or was magically enhanced to appear so. He could have been a hundred for all I knew. I’d never seen him before in my life. He was handsome enough, for a commoner, even in his worn leather pants and cracked work boots. A foreigner, his hair was unruly and dark auburn, which complemented his tanned but dirt-smudged complexion, though the tall, dark stranger vibe was ruined by his piercing pale blue eyes.

Well, I’d had enough of being a sideshow for the day. “If you’re the new gardener, the hedges are overgrown and in need of a trim.” I pointed in the direction of my father. “While you’re there, you can help the king with the wisps.”

The young man’s expression clouded over, but he didn’t move.

I stamped my foot and pointed more forcefully. “Off with you. Courtyard’s that way. Be sure to clean those awful boots before coming back in.”

“Someone told me I’d find a princess of great worth here. One with the strength to be the hero this realm needs.” He stared at me with those unsettling blue eyes. They were cold, like ice water—made me shiver from head to toe. Then his gaze seemed to search even deeper. Finally, he looked through me, like I was nothing.

In brisk steps, he strode across the marble to the courtyard. But before crossing the threshold, he turned back to glare at me with his lip curled ever so slightly. “It seems she was mistaken.”

Just like that, I had been sifted, weighed, and found wanting.

I felt my own lip curl in response. Howrude! Who the Grimm was this peasant to judge me? I was wearing a Glenda original. Original! Not some fairy-godmother knockoff worn by those servant girls turned royal. I was a crown princess, for the love of fairy, and noone dismissed me.

Before I could put the boy in his place—down in the dirt, where he belonged—a clatter came from behind, making me nearly jump out of my shoes. I checked and was relieved that Sterling had simply dropped his sword. By the time I looked back, the gardener was gone.

After stowing his blade, Sterling held up his shield, not in defense of the entrance but so he could look at his reflection. “Clearly he’s blind and doesn’t know what he’s talking about.”

I didn’t ask for Sterling’s opinion, but it made me feel better.

Until he opened his mouth again.

“Worth, pffft. I mean, look around at all the jewels. Your palace has everything you could ever want. Honestly, I don’t know what you’re fussing about. Why would anyone want to leave?”

Because cage is still cage, no matter how big or glittering the bars are.

And I would find a way free, no matter the cost.

Read the first chapters at Wattpad!

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BETSY SCHOW is the TODAY Show featured author of the non-fiction book, Finished Being Fat; however she’s been mixing up real life and fantasy for as long as she can remember. If someone were to ask about her rundown truck, she’s 100% positive that mechanical gremlins muck up her engine. And the only reason her house is dirty is because the dust bunnies have gone on strike. She lives in Utah with her own knight in geeky armor and their two princesses (that can totally shapeshift into little beasts). When not writing, she acts as the Tournament Director for Odyssey of the Mind and helps teach kids creative thinking (or how to turn their toasters into robots).

Her debut novel, Spelled, comes out June 2015 from Sourcebooks. She is represented by Michelle Witte, Mansion Street Literary Agency.

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I'm Jennifer. Addicted reader, and lover of books. I'm a full-time college student majoring in English Liturature and Linguistics & Communication, with aspirations of being a professional editor. Among other things. In the meantime, I obsess over books, history, art, and politics. I believe in freedom of speech and reading whatever you want. Open to discussions about anything and everything 🙂
  • Spelled seems like a great re-telling! But most importantly, it seems unique. Which is something that can be tricky to find with re-tellings. I really hope I can read this soon; I’m sure I will love it!