Book Review: Charmed by Jen Calonita


Title: Charmed
Series: Fairy Tale Reform School #2
Author: Jen Calonita
Publisher: Sourcebooks Jabberwocky
Date: March 1st, 2016
Pages: 288
Format: eARC
Source: from Publisher for a review


Synopsis (from Goodreads): Charmed is the exciting sequel to the wildly popular Flunked — second in the brand new Fairy Tale Reform School series where the teachers are (former) villains. “Charming fairy-tale fun.” -Sarah Mlynowski, author of the New York Times bestselling Whatever After series.

It takes a (mostly) reformed thief to catch a spy. Which is why Gilly Cobbler, Enchantasia’s most notorious pickpocket, volunteers to stay locked up at Fairy Tale Reform School…indefinitely. Gilly and her friends may have defeated the Evil Queen and become reluctant heroes, but the battle for Enchantasia has just begun.

Alva, aka The Wicked One who cursed Sleeping Beauty, has declared war on the Princesses, and she wants the students of Fairy Tale Reform School to join her. As her criminal classmates give in to temptation, Gilly goes undercover as a Royal Lady in Waiting (don’t laugh) to unmask a spy…before the mole can hand Alva the keys to the kingdom.

Her parents think Gilly the Hero is completely reformed, but sometimes you have to get your hands dirty. Sometimes it’s good to be bad…



Just when you think that there’s no way a cover could ever be prettier then the one for Flunked, Charmed comes out and it blows your mind with it’s gorgeousness.
Just look how pretty it is!
Soooo pretty….

In this, second installment of Fairy Tale Reform School series, we are back in Enchantasia, the land of all the fairytale cratures.
Our main character, Gilly, is still in Fairy Tale Reform School.
The old cast of students and professors is still almost the same and they are still awesome crew to read about.
There are some changes in school though. The new professor came to fill up the empty place and he is, no other then Jack Blackbeard – the most fearsome pirate.

Charmed was such a charming sequel!
It made me laugh so many times and it gave me so much joy, that it was a pleasure to read.

I am in love with this world.
In my own words, this is a bookish version of Shrek the movie, only without Shrek and his friends.
But the setting is very similar, the sense of humor is also similar and in my opinion, if you’re a fan of Shrek, there’s a great chance you’ll like these books too.

Keep in mind that this is a middle grade series, and therefore, it is mainly aimed for middle graders.
However, I as an adult, loved this book as much as I would if I was younger, if not even more (for the sentimental reasons).
In fact, I came to conclusion that, at this moment, this is my favorite on-going series.
I wish I get to see these books translated into my language one day, so my nieces could read them. I know they would love them.

The story in this novel is interesting, but it was a bit weaker then the one in Flunked because it was a bit predictable.
I didn’t mind predictability at some points, but I wish I was more surprised when the big revelation came. I wasn’t, because I saw it chapters ago.

Charmed shows us Gilly changing and becoming more self-centred person.
At some situations she was really selfish and even hypocrtitical and, since this is a series, I wondered if she’s going to realize that or if her friends would make her see that in this book. You see, because this is a middle grade book, I think it is of huge importance that those kind of realizations and „leasons“ need to be revealed  in one book, so kids who read the book learn as much as they can from one book, even if it is a part of the bigger story.
I am happy how it dealt with that aspect.

The novel is written in first person, following Gilly’s point of view.
Between some chapters there are short parts called Happily Ever After Scrolls that are actually newspaper of Enchantasia.
There are also letters that from time to time separate chapters.
At the very end of the book we can read Who’s Who in Enchantasia which explains which fairy tale character has what role in this story.
My only complain is that it would be so much better if that list of characters was at the beggining of the book instead of at the end.

Overall, Charmed was a very good sequel that was just a little behind Flunked quality whise, but it was still a great book.
I think middle graders will enjoy it, but grown ups would also have fun if they give it a try.

The third book in the series, called Tricked, comes out in February 2017 and I can’t wait to grab myself a copy and devour it.


12 thoughts on “Book Review: Charmed by Jen Calonita”

  1. As an adult, reading middle grade books, I find the characters are a bit immature. In reality, some middle grade age are clever, but in books they don’t come across as clever. But I do agree with you, the cover is pretty!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Jasmine, that happens a lot to me too, and in so many ya books too I find characters immature, but then I remember myself that those are kids/teenagers and it is normal that they are immature.
      When I read middle grade, I try to think if book is appropriate for middle graders, is it interesting enough, entertaining enough and will readers get something from it.
      I try not to read book with eyes of an adult (even though I do) and try to read as middle grader wold, but I still search for quality and I always think to myself, would I recommend this book to my nieces or not?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. The Winner’s Series, the main character is 16 or 17 and I feel she’s very mature. I like characters that are clever, like Harry Potter and Hermione Grange. So authors can still make characters smart even at a young age. I like to recommend books with smart characters so the intellectual can rub off to the readers haha Have you able to find any good books for your nieces? I know kids are exposed to much more today than when we were growing up. 😊

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I agree with you for The Winner’s Series, I read the first two, and matureness of the main character makes sense bc she had a lot responsibility since she was little, lived without her mother, had a dad who is who he is and given the time and conditions (after war and prior war), everything made sense when it comes to her.
        But honesty, even though I like when characters are mature, I don’t really like when ya characters behave like they are adults. They are teeagers and I should recognize that from time to time in their behaviour.
        But I will welcome smart characters always, don’t get me wrong.

        As for my nieces, here in my country kids read most of Croatian authors, they are very popular and most of them are good, even though there were some scandals like the women were protesting that certain authors pictures perfect mom as stay home mom and like bad moms are ones that work all the time and have no time for kids,
        but I think it was all taken out of the context.
        From english books, I like Timmy Failure books, and I don’t like Witches my Dahl, but kids like it and I agree that they should read it if it makes them like reading in general.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I don’t read that many middle-grade books, but this one sounds SO GREAT, I’m definitely interested!! And that cover….OOOOOH, that cover!! LOVE it!!

    Your review also helped to get me so interested in reading this novel! I’m adding this one to my Goodreads shelves right away!! Thanks for featuring this book!! : )

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Oh, I’m so glad you liked this one! I enjoyed Flunked, but haven’t picked Charmed up yet. I really wasn’t sure how I felt about the big reveal at the end of Flunked, but I do love a good fairy tale mashup.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Sounds like a fun read. I’m an adult with a teen son but I still read Middle Grade and Young Adult and I watch animations and cartoons. I believe no one is too old to enjoy those things.

    Thanks for introducing us to this series, I will wait for the third book, then get them all! The cover is so pretty, it needs to be in my shelf. 😀


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