(Review) The Land of Stories – The Wishing Spell

Title: The Land of Stories – The Wishing Spell (book 1)
Author: Chris Colfer
Pub Date: July 2012
Publisher: Little Brown Books
Pages: 448

Source: I received an ARC (signed) copy when I attend BEA this year and then I went out an bought a finished copy when it was released.

About the book:
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.


I have to admit that I am a huge Glee fan. I watch the show weekly  and buy the cds when they come out. I was super excited when I found out that Chris was writing a book and even more excited when I heard that he was going to be at the Children’s Author Breakfast that was happening during BEA. I quickly bought my ticket for the breakfast when they announced it. There was no way I was going to miss out on that event.

As soon as the breakfast was over I quickly made a beeline for the Little Brown booth to find out when the signing was happening. I was quickly informed that there was an “unofficial” line starting so I got in line asap. I had gotten a number ( I think it was 55 or so) and the above picture is what I took as he was signing my book. I was basically gushing telling him how much I loved Kurt and that he was doing an awesome job and that I was dying to read his book.

For taking part in the breakfast I was able to get an advance readers copy of Chris’s book and this awesome tote bag which I love to pieces.

I loved how the arc was presented as it wasn’t  just a book but it was in a cute packaging.

Just before I get into my review I will be adding other pictures to this post that are involved with the book.

I have been wanting to read this book since I got it but held off because I knew that if I loved it, I would be gushing about it non stop and that wouldn’t be far to my friends and family who happen to enjoy Chris and would want to read the book because there would be no way I would lend out my signed copy to anyone.

When I began the book I swore that this wasn’t going to be one of those books I would zip through because I wanted to savour every moment and every word. I think I did really well and read it within a week and limiting myself to reading it just at night.

All I can say is that I loved the book and this is something that I have told Michael he should read one day soon. I loved the idea behind the book and wondered how it would all play out and Chris did a fantastic job.

I loved the cover.

This is the finished copy as you probably already know. I actually love the cover more in person.

This was Chris’s version when he was 10 years old. Some similar items in them both.

Then on the inside cover there is a map:

As you can see Chris’s version and the final version once again very similar and I think that is awesome that the illustator would do that.

Quite honestly I wasn’t sure what to expect and if I would even love the book. I was nervous because I had high hopes for the book and I am so happy that it lived up to my expectations of it. I loved it and honestly I would reread this again.

If your like me when you were little reading those fantastic fairy tales you probably wondered what would happen after the happily ever after right?  Well Chris takes us to that place and we discover what happens and not everything is hunky doory so to speak and that good and evil still interact.

One of the reason I wanted to have a finished copy of the book was because of the map so I could follow along on the journey Alex and Conner were going to take since there was no map in the ARC. I think having that map was useful for me and adds to the book.

Alex and Conner are twins (brother and sister) and their grandmother has given them this book to look after and its all the fairy tales that they knew and loved since they were little. When one day strange things begin to happen and they are sucked into the book landing in a fairy tale. In order to get back to their normal life the kids have to set out on a journey to recover items to make a spell to go back. While they succeed or be stuck in the fairy tale world? What they discover will surprise them.

I loved how there was just enough action going on to keep you interested and I am sure middle graders would love this kind of book.

I thought Chris did an excellent job on his first book and I would read his next book because he did a great job with the storyline, the characters, describing it all perfectly and staying true to the original fairy tale.

I should also mention that Chris has another book coming out in November (2012) called Struck By Lightening: The Carson Phillips Journal (about the book: Struck By Lightning: The Carson Phillips Journal follows the story of outcast high school senior Carson Phillips who blackmails the most popular students in his school into contributing to his literary journal to bolster his college application; his goal in life is to get into Northwestern and eventually become the editor of The New Yorker.

At once laugh-out-loud funny, deliciously dark, and remarkably smart, Struck By Lightning unearths the dirt that lies just below the surface of high school.

The film Stuck By Lightning is set to be released by Tribeca Film later this year and features Colfer’s own original screenplay. Colfer also stars in the film alongside Allison Janney, Christina Hendricks, Dermot Mulroney, Sarah Hyland, and Polly Bergen.)

Just a reminder the Season Premier is on tonight. I will be watching, will you?

copyright 2010, Cindy (Cindy’s Love Of Books)
If you are reading this on a blog or website other than Cindy’s Love Of Books or via a feedreader, this content has been stolen and used without permission.

(Review) Wacko Academy (book 1)

Title: Wacko Academy (book 1)
Author: Faith Wilkins
Publisher: Arundel Publishing
Pages: 198
Pub Date: April 2012

Source: I received a copy of Wacko Academy from the Publisher for my honest and sincere review. I then obtained a signed copy at BEA 2012.

About the book:
You think your school is bad? Eighth grader Lily Mason has enough hassles dealing with siblings, cranky teachers and the cute new guy in school. But when she’s kidnapped and brought to the elite Wackerson (Wacko) Academy, it will take all of her smarts and courage to outwit the school’s treacherous owner – even if it means teaming up with his infuriating and unnecessarily handsome son. At once funny, harrowing and romantic, Wacko Academy is a book that will enthrall and entertain adult and young adult readers alike!


Wacko Academy is Faith Wilkins debut novel. When I was offered this book I knew I wanted to read it because I love supporting debut authors and ones who are young. Faith Wilkins is fifteen years old.

I was really impressed at how well written it was. Not once did I think that this was written by a fifteen year old. Faith did an excellent job with her first book because I literally read it in one sitting. I did pass it around to a few people and they all said the same thing that this was an excellent book and this author has a promising career.

Wacko Academy is the first in a middle grade series called “Wacko Academy”. The second book in the series is Camp Wacko: The Drones of Summer and its schedule to come out in September 2012.

As the book begins we meet Lily Mason who is an incredibly intelligent eighth grader with friends and a fairly normal life. She is basically you girl next door.

No story would be complete without a handsome young boy (even in middle grade books) and so enters Dustin. I’m not sure how I felt about Dustin at first because for some reason I knew something was up when he started to pay close attention to Lily. I was wondering what it was and how quickly would it be revealed.

The two soon became friends. After that we quickly realize that there was more to Dustin then meets the eye and sadly Lily doesn’t see what Dustin is really like but she will soon find out.

Dustin’s dad wants Lily and the plan is to kidnap her and the plan is set into motion although I don’t think it was going fast enough for Dustin’s dad. Once Lily realizes she has been kidnapped, her entire world turns upside down. She quickly realizes that there is more the Wacko Academy that meets the eye. Wacko is like a prison because once you are in you are never leaving.

Lily makes it known to everyone that she doesn’t want to be there and more so when she witnesses more then anyone should. Will Lily be able to get out alive or is she there for life?

I am so excited to read Camp Wacko and I am anxiously awaiting its release.

While I was at BEA I had the chance to meet Faith and she was super sweet and I totally gushed about her book.

I want to send a thank you to Arundel Publishing for sending me a copy of this book to read and review. I loved the book and plan on sharing with my son’s school. I look forward to the second book coming out this fall.

Thank you Faith for writing such a great middle grade book. I wish you all the success in the world.

copyright 2010, Cindy (Cindy’s Love Of Books)
If you are reading this on a blog or website other than Cindy’s Love Of Books or via a feedreader, this content has been stolen and used without permission.