Book Review: The Wishing Spell by Chris Colfer

The Wishing Spell (The Land of Stories #1) by Chris Colfer
Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

Synopsis: 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 fairy tales. 
"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 is a fantastic adventure, woven with the magical characters we've all heard about (Snow White, Little Red Riding Hood, Cinderella, etc.). I recommend this book for children in the 4th-6th grade level (give or take a bit), or for a read-a-loud before bed for your kids. The idea was interesting enough, but the writing was a bit simplistic. I did enjoyed Connor's dry sense of humor, it kept his character a little more realistic. Alex had an enthusiastic imagination and a unlimited supply of hope, which kept the book light and enchanting. My biggest complaint about The Wishing Spell, was that, while "the twins" had to face various beasts and trials along their journey, the solutions seemed extremely easy and were completed without any real consequences. But, again, I think this book would be a great read for a younger audience, who don't necessarily need or understand extreme depth with regards to trials and consequences. 

The Wishing Spell had a few great messages that I'd like to relay though. One in particular stood out to me, as it applied to my personal studies and struggles with ADD and dyslexia. The message reads, "sometimes we forget about our own advantages because we focus on what we don't have. Just because you have to work a little harder at something that seems easier to others doesn't mean you're without your own talents," (page 50). With so much focus on social media and what other people are doing and achieving, there is an insane (yes, I really think insane is an appropriate word here) amount of comparison going on between ourselves and others. I am guilty too. It was a great reminder that, while you may have our own issues, you should not compare yourself to others--they have issues too, whether you see them or not. No one is perfect, and no one should expect to be. I might have to take extra time to read a scientific article in order to comprehend it, but that does not mean I am any less intelligent than the speed-reader. Some people are witty, some are not; some are athletically blessed, some are artistically blessed. Some are beautiful on the inside, beautiful on the outside, social, anti-social, democratic, republican, straight, gay, poor, rich, religious, atheist, married, divorced, happy, depressed, to-may-to, to-mah-to, and everything far and between. But everyone, everyone, has something to offer. "I've never met a person I didn't learn something from! Even the most monotonous people will surprise you," (page 56). Everyone has something to offer. How boring would it be if we were all the same? 



*Synopsis provided by Goodreads.com

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