Flunked (Fairy Tale Reform School #1) by Jen Calonita (review)

August 30, 2015 All Reviews, Fantasy, Humor, YA 0 ★★★½

Flunked (Fairy Tale Reform School #1) by Jen Calonita (review)Flunked (Fairy Tale Reform School, #1) by Jen Calonita
Narrator: Kristin Condon
Series: Fairy Tale Reform School
Published by Sourcebooks Jabberwocky on March 3rd 2015
Number of Pages: 256
Genres: Adventure, Fairy Tale, Fantasy, Humor, Middle Grade
Source: Library
Format: AudioBook
Purchase: At Amazon

Would you send a villain to do a hero's job? An exciting new twisted fairy tale series from award-winning author Jen Calonita.

Full of regret, Cinderella's wicked stepmother, Flora, has founded the Fairy Tale Reform School with the mission of turning the wicked and criminally mischievous into upstanding members of Enchantasia.

Impish, sassy 12-year-old Gilly has a history of petty theft and she's not too sorry about it. When she lifts a hair clip, she gets tossed in reform school-for at least three months. But when she meets fellow students Jax and Kayla, she learns there's more to this school than its sweet mission. There's a battle brewing and she starts to wonder: can a villain really change?

“Never send a hero to do a villains job.”


So I’ve never listened to an audio book before this one. I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to pay enough attention to it while doing other things. But the girl who narrates this one does voices for all the characters, and her voice itself was super-expressive. Just the right amount of snark in the right places, and sadness, and all the other emotions the characters felt.

Gilly wasn’t super-likable at first. I mean, she’s stealing things in order to be able to afford to buy food for her 5 siblings. And that’s understandable. But the level of hatred she has for the Royals for most of the book was almost excessive at times. Towards the end, she finally starts to realize that not all Royals are as bad as she thought they were.

There didn’t seem to be a lot of character development, especially for the secondary characters. I hope they get fleshed out more in the next book. Especially Gilly’s siblings and parents. I really liked Jax (or Jaks? not having a physical book makes spelling of names harder… oops?) he was a fun and interesting character even before the twist near the end. I hope he plays a big role in the next book as well.

You don’t really meet the Royals in this book, they show up twice but they’re more like background characters. Most of the book focused on Gilly, Jax, Kayla, Cinderella’s Step-Mother, the Evil Queen from Snow White, and Jocelyn (the Evil Queen’s little sister).

There were adds for various magazines and things at the end of each chapter. It might have been cute to read them in a physical or e-book copy, but listening to the book as an audio book, was a bit jarring. You’d go from the story, to suddenly having a commercial break, and then the next chapter.

There’s a lot of humor and jokes sprinkled through the book. Like the sign on the Archery classroom that says “Don’t lose an eye! Announce yourself before entering.” I’ll be picking up the next book in the series once it’s out, and if you haven’t read this book yet, I recommend you try it.


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