Author: Jen Calonita
304 Pages–10-13 years
Published by: Sourcebooks Jabberwocky on 06 March 2018
Things at Fairy Tale Reform School are great. Rumpelstiltskin has been ousted, and everyone is buzzing about the fact that Beauty and Prince Sebastian (aka the Beast) have joined the teaching staff. Everyone, that is, except Gilly, who can’t seem to focus on anything but Anna. How is it that her beloved sister somehow went bad and joined up with Rump? And why doesn’t anyone seem to care? Sure, the Royal Court says they’re working on it, but they’ve got exactly nothing to show for it.
But when new-kid Jack joins FTRS with tales of his own family being snatched by Rump, Gilly knows she’s in good company. Jack wants answers, just like Gilly. And if the Royal Court can’t get the job done, then maybe it’s time to break some rules…
I was under the impression that this was the last book in the series, mostly because the author is releasing a new book in October of this year (October 2, 2018), but with the way this one ended I highly doubt this is the end.
I can’t say I liked Gilly in this one either, but, for once, I can sympathize with her problem. Losing a member of your family is difficult especially losing them to the dark side (so to speak). Still, I wasn’t a fan of all the whining Gilly did about Anna. And speaking of Anna, I dislike her almost as much as I dislike Gilly. Honestly, at this point, it may be more.
I didn’t like the fact that Gilly’s supposed true love for her sister was what made the harp play. I don’t like how Gilly doesn’t give even the slightest distrust for her sister. I know Gilly wants to believe the best in Anna, but it gets tiring especially when I, as a reader, don’t believe in Anna.
And I can’t believe Anna claims to love Gilly but would use her in such a way. But I guess that’s not much different then what Gilly was trying to do to Anna. Gilly wanted to force Anna to do what Gilly believed was right and Anna forced Gilly to do what Anna believed was right. Still, I didn’t like what Anna forced Gilly to do. It was so harsh I don’t know how Gilly will ever be able to trust Anna again (when Anna comes back to the good side, which she probably will…at the very end).
Jocelyn didn’t play much of a big role in this story, which is unfortunate. This book was definitely a Gilly story. The other characters are, of course, present but Gilly, Alice Grace, and Kayla take center stage. Jax also has a pretty large role, mostly because of his intense dislike for Jack. Which reminds me, Jax and Jack are two really easy names to get mixed up. While I was reading there were many times when they are in the same scene that I would mix them up.
I had high hopes for Jack. Most of the group distrusts him and I, as a reader, knew he was hiding something, but I was hoping that he would redeem himself in the end. Something along the lines of he was assigned to lead Gilly to Rumpelstiltskin but at the last minute he decides to help Gilly & Co defeat the bad guys. Although, I did kind of know that was hoping for too much. It was especially painful to watch Gilly’s friends blindly trusting Gilly when she blindly trusted Jack while everyone, except Gilly, thought he was suspicious. Gilly seems not to listen to anyone else but herself. And, despite being a horrible judge of character, as evident by her track record, her friends STILL blindly trust her. I just don’t get it. Although, at this point, I think I’m just incredibly bias against Gilly.
I know this is a book intended for kids so they have to tiptoe around the subject of death, but I feel I must point out that a major part of their problem would be solved if they had gotten rid of Alva the first time around. Also, I would say that once Kayla’s mother told everyone that Rumpelstiltskin wants the Golden Harp and you need true love to play it and Alva was his true love I feel like the obvious leap in conclusion would be that he was going to try to break Alva out. Of course, they shouldn’t put all their energy into protecting Alva, but I at least think there should have been some precautions like they did with Kayla’s mother. But, if the characters could foresee everything there wouldn’t really be much of a story, so I’m going to choose the overlook these things…mostly.
In the end, I can say I am relatively curious to see how this story will conclude and if there are more books published under this series I’ll probably read them eventually. If this happens to be the last Fairy Tale Reform School book and the story continues in Misfits (Royal Academy Rebels) then I’ll eventually pick up those books. Regardless, I’m not anxiously awaiting the continuation, I must admit I hate unfinished stories so I do hope I can read more from that world.