The Wishing Spell by Chris Colfer
Alex and Conner have had a difficult time of things since their father died. They’re twins. They both go to the same class. Their mother is always working, but their grandmother comes by to see them every once in a while. It’s their birthday, but their mom has to work. Their grandmother comes in and helps them celebrate. She gives them a book of fairy tales; it’s a family book.
Conner starts hearing strange noises coming from his sister’s room in the night. She’s not getting a lot of sleep. She doesn’t know the answers in class. Conner finally discovers what the problem is; it’s the book. The book lights up and vibrates. What’s more, Alex has been pushing things into the book–pencils, dirty socks, other books. The things go in, but they don’t come out.
After a particularly upsetting day at school, Alex wants to see if her hand will go into the book, and if it will come back out. She’s in the middle of the experiment when Conner barges into the room. She loses her balance and ends up falling, head first, into a book of fairy tales. Conner jumps in after her. They find themselves in a land they thought couldn’t be real. Goldilocks is an outlaw there. Red Riding Hood is real. Sleeping Beauty is real. The big bad wolf is real. It’s all real. Not everyone is good and not everyone is how one would expect from the traditional fairy tales. Some of the bad guys aren’t actually as bad as you might think.
Conner and Alex learn that there is a way to get out of the land of stories, but they must gather a specific set of items in order to make a wish. The catch is that the wish has already been used once and it can only be used once more. All of this would be fine if Conner and Alex were the only ones looking for the wish items, but they’re not. Someone else is right on their tail.
What I liked
One of my friends really likes this book series so I thought I would give it a shot. It is enjoyable. I love fairy tales, if you haven’t figured that out from reading with me for a while. I do like non-traditional takes on traditional tales. I mean, really, what if the wicked witch really wasn’t all that bad? I’ve already pointed out that the chances of Snow White becoming a well-adjusted human being are pretty slim because she was only valued for her beauty, just like her evil step-mother. Once that beauty goes away, or someone surpasses you, what are you supposed to be valued for? Think about it. All things considered, Snow White may have eventually ended up in the same darn place the evil queen was, resorting the murder and evil in order to maintain that one thing that set you apart from everyone else, because people insisted on only valuing you for that one thing.
I like the idea of a fantasy world and a real world colliding. I think it’s great. Wouldn’t it be so neat to find out that these fairy tale things were real? It would certainly make life more interesting.
I thought some of Conner’s summations about fairy tales were pretty funny.
What I didn’t like
I quite enjoyed this book, so there’s not a whole lot I didn’t like.
Ok, I did find some of it a bit predictable. So the bad guy wasn’t all bad–you don’t say. Astounding, simply astounding.
I want to fall into a book, specifically The Lord of the Rings, in a passage with Aragorn, preferably one where he’s not wearing all of his clothes.
Aragorn, it’s ok, we’ll have that sword to rights in no time. * wink, wink*
What book would you fall into?
If you found a fairy tale was real, how would it shape your current life?