Flunked by Jen Calonita

June 4, 2015 Reviews 13

I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Flunked by Jen CalonitaFlunked by Jen Calonita
Series: Fairy Tale Reform School #1
Published by Sourcebooks Jabberwocky on March 3, 2015
Genres: Fantasy, Middle Grade
Pages: 256
Length: 5 hours 17 minutes
Format: eARC
Source: Publisher

Would you send a villain to do a hero's job? An exciting new twisted fairy tale series from award-winning author Jen Calonita.

Full of regret, Cinderella's wicked stepmother, Flora, has founded the Fairy Tale Reform School with the mission of turning the wicked and criminally mischievous into upstanding members of Enchantasia.

Impish, sassy 12-year-old Gilly has a history of petty theft and she's not too sorry about it. When she lifts a hair clip, she gets tossed in reform school-for at least three months. But when she meets fellow students Jax and Kayla, she learns there's more to this school than its sweet mission. There's a battle brewing and she starts to wonder: can a villain really change?

I remember when I broke my oath to stay away from NetGalley for a while to pick up Flunked. I saw it on Michelle’s Sunday Post and I had to have it – I mean, look at that cover! Although I did enjoy it, I’m afraid I didn’t love Flunked like I thought I would.

I think the principal reason I didn’t love it was that I was the wrong audience. I think I went into expecting a YA and I got a Middle Grade. I think it’s probably entirely my fault – looking at the details now, I realize it wasn’t marketed as a YA. I should have paid more attention.

But, it’s not like being an MG is a deal breaker. Harry Potter started off MG (I feel it grew into YA), and I ate that up (still do). Flunked actually had several similarities to Harry Potter, particularly in the Howards-esque Fairy tale Reform School and the brave students/troublemakers. I enjoyed these elements, because – while they felt familiar – they still bore their own unique stamps.

I liked the characters and the concept – take the villains of fairy tales and show them on the course to redemption, while they teach youngsters who are in danger of becoming villains on their own to pick a better course. And Flunked had several messages about how to make good decisions, despite disappointments, disadvantages, and setbacks.

Flunked was entertaining and I’m thinking it might be a great book to make available to my 5th graders. I just would have preferred the YA version for myself, I think.

3.5 stars pretty good

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About Berls
Berls has been a book lover her whole life. She reads pretty much every genre and is currently working hard at making her childhood dream of becoming an author come true. She loves sharing her thoughts about books, blogging, and just random fun stuff. She's a challenge and read-a-thon junkie, so it's no wonder that she loves co-hosting the COYER reading challenge. Leave a comment, Berls is always happy to chat!

13 Responses to “Flunked by Jen Calonita”

  1. Lola

    When I saw this book I was reminded of Michelle posting about it. Sounds like it was a good book to break your netgalley ban for. I can’t stay away from netgalley. I just got approved for 3 new books yesterday, oops.
    It can be hard if you expect the book to be for another age category as it can influence how you go into the book. I have enjoyed a few MG books, but it is nice to know they are MG before you start reading. It sounds like a cute and fun read. It’s too bad you didn’t love it as much as you did, but it still sounds like a decent read.
    Lola recently posted…Lola’s Ramblings: A moodreader participating in reading challengesMy Profile

    • Berls

      It was worth breaking my NetGalley ban 🙂 Even though I didn’t love it as much as I wanted to, I’m glad I read it. It’s a good story, solid characters and an interesting world. I think the fact I didn’t know what I was getting into was a lot of the problem.

  2. Ramona

    Sorry, ducks – if it’s any consolation, I made similar mistakes, many times. Covers are misleading – I think I’m going to tattoo that on the back of my arm, lol. MG is too young for me too. On the bright side though, great review 😀
    Ramona recently posted…Answering Blog CommentsMy Profile

    • Berls

      Lol thanks Ramona! Yeah, that’s what happens when you go for a book based on the cover. It really is a solid story and cute world, so I’m glad I read it – if only to pass on to younger readers.

    • Berls

      I think it’s a good start to a MG series, I think little girls and boys alike will enjoy it. Like you said, it’s just isn’t typically for me.

    • Berls

      I hope you try it – I think it’s a good book, even if it didn’t blow me away like I wanted it to.

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