Review: Flunked (Fairy Tale Reform School #1) by Jen Calonita

Received egalley for review from Netgalley.
Publisher: Sourcebooks Jabberwocky
Published: March 3, 2015
Series: Fairy Tale Reform School #1
Amazon - Goodreads

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?

The main character, Gilly, is the daughter of a shoe maker. You know, that fairy tale of the family that lives in a shoe? Yep, that's Gilly's family. After getting caught stealing to feed her family Gilly is sent to the Fairy Tale Reform School in order to stop her from continuing down the path towards becoming a villain. The school is run by reformed villains: Flora a.k.a. Cinderella's Evil Stepmother is headmistress and the teachers are other well-known villains like the Evil Queen, the Big Bad Wolf and the Evil Sea Witch.

I absolutely loved the concept of a villains reform school, but I felt like it just didn't go all the way for me. It took almost until the end of the book before the story really grabbed my attention. It is the first book in a series, so maybe it'll be easier to get into the next book more quickly than this one.


Flunked is a middle grade book, but it almost felt like it should have been young adult during some places. In a way it reminded me of the television show Once Upon A Time and the young adult book Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins. It was like a hybrid of those two, but for a younger audience.


**I received this book for review through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.

6 comments

  1. I love the cover and premise of this one. Oh, and that you think it's a hybrid of Once Upon a Time (which I watched for about 3 seasons) and Hex Hall (which I really liked). Since I don't read much MG, I'm going to keep this one in mind as a recommendation to someone looking for a MG read.

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    1. I completely agree! I definitely think I'll be doing the same and recommending this one to my younger family members.
      Thank you! :)

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  2. How awesome does this book sound, I really do like the cover of it - it sounds like it might be a teaser for the rest of the series. I do want to check it out for myself though, thank you for the heads up :) <3 Benish | Feminist Reflections

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    1. I hope you're right that it's just a teaser for the rest of the series because I adore the concept! I seriously hope you love it! I can't wait to see what you think! :)

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  3. The concept sounds nice but sad to hear that it didn't fit into an audience

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