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 Review: The Wishing Spell is an enchanting book, a story that will take you away to the fairy tale lands that you often escaped to during your childhood. It has the fairy tale element of the The Sisters Grimm series, the fantasy escapism of the Harry Potter series, and the humor and adventure of the Percy Jackson series. It is by no means perfect---but it gets pretty close, in my book.
Chris Colfer is apparently an actor on the show Glee, and that was the reason so many people initially read the book---but not me. I don't watch Glee and nor do I ever wish to. The thing that lured me in was the actual premise of the book: two kids fall into their favorite book. Come on, admit it: we ALL wanted that to happen when we were kids. And a lot of still want that.
Alex and Conner were very solid characters, in my mind. Alex was more bookish and sort of reminiscent of a young Hermione Granger---the Hermione that loved books and facts and was scandalized by the idea of letting people down or breaking rules (okay, that was an elder Hermione as well). Conner was funny and sarcastic and very easy-going. Together, they balanced each other out very well and made for a great pair of companions. The love they had for each other was shown very well; you could tell they cared about each other, but you also could tell that they bickered and argued like any pair of siblings (and their bickering was hilarious!).
Chris Colfer re-imagined our favorite fairy tales in pretty creative ways, fast-forwarding to their futures and answering all of our What next...? questions we had about our favorite characters and stories. Cinderella was very charming (and almost made me cry, like Alex did!) and Red Riding Hood was very funny and lovably annoying. Goldilocks was undeniably bad-ass and the Evil Queen was VERY intriguing! I love the depth Colfer added to her character. Tons of famous fairy tale heroes and foes are missing, but The Land Of Stories is going to be a series, so I'm sure they'll all pop in at some point or another!
The adventure was well-paced and I was very invested in Alex and Conner's fate. I liked the humor in the book, even though it only elicited chuckles and not full on laughing fits (the way the Percy Jackson books do!). I liked Conner's sass! And Alex was very lovable. Sometimes Chris Colfer TOLD us what was happening rather than actually painting a vivid picture in our head, and this was where the weakness of the book was. It needed a bit stronger writing and it needed to be edited a few more times, tweaked a few more times. Had that been done, the book would have been flawless!
Nonetheless, I loved this book and I am VERY excited for the rest of the series!
Cover: Can't even describe HOW MUCH I LOVE IT. I just love when MG books have painted, cartoon-y covers! It takes me back to the days of the Harry Potter books and Percy Jackson and The Sisters Grimm, and all those other lovely series! The colors are bright and fun and the image is just amazing itself, what with the castle and everything else!
Overall Grade: A+