The Wishing Spell (The Land of Stories #1)
"The Land of Stories" tells the tale of twins Alex and Conner. Through the mysterious powers of a cherished book of stories, they leave their world behind and find themselves in a foreign land full of wonder and magic where they come face-to-face with the fairy tale characters they grew up reading about.
But after a series of encounters with witches, wolves, goblins, and trolls alike, getting back home is going to be harder than they thought.
My favorite aspect of the story was the setting. It was fun to explore The Land of Stories and meet all the fairy-tale characters. I really liked that all the side characters had their own unique personalities, especially the most famous ones. I mean, we have Goldilocks the fugitive with a smart mouth and then the self-centered Little Red Riding. The main characters, though, were pretty one-dimensional. It felt like Alex was always embarrassed of her brother and Conner was always grumpy. I wanted a little ore from them.
The pacing didn't work for me either. Often there were no transitions and we'd go from looking at the forest up ahead to suddenly being in the forest on the next sentence. It was too abrupt and made it feel a little bit like stop-motion. It really pulled me out of the story and didn't let me get pulled in for very long.
I didn't find any of the “big reveals” surprising, either. In fact, I figured many of them out WAY ahead of time and found myself rolling my eyes whenever Conner and Alex would be confounded by this or that. I did, however, really like the Evil Queen's backstory.
The Nutshell: The Land of Stories: The Wishing Spell had a lot of really good elements, but it just didn't work for me. The journey and setting is fun, but the twists, main characters, and pacing really bogged down the story. I'm hoping for some more growth with Conner and Alex in the sequel and maybe a little more of their mom, as well.
I was a bit skeptical of it at first, the fact that it is a middle-grade book and all, but it was such a good book. From the beginning, I was captivated by the mystical land that is The Land of Stories. I fell in love with the world.
I did have a few issues with it, while reading. I can't handle the naivety of 12 year olds. They would say something extremely childish or just start crying, and my eyes would immediately start to roll. I love the book, I honestly do, but I just was having a hard time dealing with the characters sometimes.
The development of all of the characters, though, was AMAZING. I LOVE Goldilocks, Snow White, and all of the other characters. Chris Colfer created a world that I want to visit, something that hasn't happened to me since Harry Potter.
I will definitely have to read the book again, and soon. It's such a light and entertaining read. Great job, Chris Colfer!