The Wishing Spell by Chris Colfer
The Land of Stories #1
Release Date: July 17th, 2012
Number of Pages: 448
Publisher: Little Brown Young Readers
Alex and Conner Bailey's world is about to change, in this fast-paced adventure that uniquely combines our modern day world with the enchanting realm of classic fairytales. 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.
The Wishing Spell was one of those books I probably wouldn’t have picked up if I hadn’t heard Chris Colfer talk about it at BEA. I don’t really read Middle Grade usually, but I really wanted to see how the book was, since I received a copy at the Children Author Breakfast. I have to say I was both impressed and disappointed in the book. Impressed that Chris Colfer can do so many things, but disappointed that this book wasn’t that original.
Characters are always something that matters immensely when I’m reading a book, and I have to say that I didn’t really get interested that much in Alex and Conner. I felt them to be slightly stereotypical, and I didn’t find them that captivating. Even the supporting characters didn’t impress me much, missing some kind of nuance in their personality.
Another flaw this book got is the writing. It’s not that it is incredibly bad. I just felt that Chris Colfer was sometime trying too hard to make it sounds poetic and take the language to a kind of higher level, which only brought for me strange similes and metaphors. The thing is, this didn’t really add anything to the book. Quite the opposite. It made the book heavier, and I felt that it probably wasn’t the best idea for a Middle Grade book of already over 400 pages. I do hope some editing will be done before the final release, so that some of this will be corrected.
Plot wise, I thought it was a cute story that will interest many younger reader. I still think the twins got things easy in the book, as everyone and his neighbor seems to be dying to help them get back home.
Overall, it may not have been love, but I’m really curious to see if this book, written by an actor well loved, will get children to read more. If it does, I can’t really complain. Still, I have to say it won’t be a book that I will be really recommending the young readers around me looking for some books to read. The Wishing Spell wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t amazing. I’m still curious to see if there will be a sequel, and if there is one, what it will be about.