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

Ngl, I totally picked up this book based on its cover, after my library website algorithms decided it was a good recommendation. I mean, honestly, just look at that cover! So charming! So irresistible!

Flunked (Fairy Tale Reform School #1) by Jen CalonitaThe novel itself is slight and targeted towards middle-grade readers. It’s alright. The world-building is mild: essentially, a bunch of fairy tale villains decide not only to reform themselves but also offer their services in reforming young delinquents in Enchantasia, a realm now ruled by a coalition of four princesses: Snow White, [Cinder]Ella, Sleeping Beauty and Rapunzel. But not all the villains have abandoned their evil ways, and are rumored to be lurking in the shadows, waiting for the right time to strike.

Gilly is the 12 year-old daughter of a cobbler, whose family are so poor they live in a shoe. She steals from the rich in order to feed her family, to the chagrin of her parents. When she’s busted after her latest heist, she’s carted off to Fairy Tale Reform School, where she soon discovers that things may be even more sinister than they seem.

It’s a cute tale of what happens after Happily Ever After, incorporating a sassy and relatable teenaged heroine, and shedding a new light on familiar characters. I’m not sure if I’ll continue reading this series however, based on this first book. It’s not a long read at all, which would be a point in its favor, but while I enjoy the concept of a female protagonist in a magical school, it lacks the depth that can make books like these appeal to more than its narrow target demographic. Still, if someone recommends the rest of the series, I wouldn’t mind giving it another shot.

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