Blog Tour Review, Excerpt, & Giveaway: Flunked by Jen Calonita


Flunked (Fairy Tale Reform School)Flunked
(Fairy Tale Reform School #1)
by Jen Calonita
MG Fantasy
Hardcover, 256 Pages
March 3rd 2015 by Sourcebooks Jabberwocky

Summary

OUR MISSION:
To turn WICKED DELINQUENTS
and FORMER VILLAINS
into FUTURE HEROES

Gilly wouldn’t call herself wicked exactly…but when you have five little brothers and sisters and live in a run- down boot, you have to get creative to make ends meet. Gilly’s a pretty good thief (if she does say so herself).

Until she gets caught.

Gilly’s sentenced to three months at Fairy Tale Reform School- where all of the teachers are former (super-scary) villains like the Big Bad Wolf, the Evil Queen, and Cinderella’s Wicked Stepmother. Harsh. But when she meets fellow students Jax and Kayla, she learns there’s more to this school than its heroic mission. There’s a battle brewing and Gilly has to wonder: can a villain really change?


     Indigo Chapters

Advance Praise for Flunked: Fairy Tale Reform School

“Charming fairy-tale fun.” –Sarah Mlynowski, author of the Whatever After series.
Flunked is spellbinding and wickedly clever. Gilly is smart, spunky, and a hilarious narrator!” –Leslie Margolis, author of the Annabelle Unleashed and the Maggie Brooklyn mysteries.
Flunked is a fresh and funny take on the enchanted world. (And who hasn’t always wanted to know what happened to Cinderella’s stepmother?”)” -Julie DeVillers, author of the Trading Faces identical twin series and Emma Emmets, Playground Matchmaker.
“A reform school where all the teachers are former villains. Kinda writes itself, right?” -Betsy Bird’s Librarian Preview

My Review

Flunked above all was a great mesh up of various fairy tales all put together in a very fun and enjoyable way. There were extraneous circumstances that immediately made you want to cheer on and root for these characters. Throw in Cinderella's step-mother and a slue of "former" villains and the plot thickens.

What I really loved was all the nods to various fairy tales and the wit and sarcasm of the dialogue. I also loved how Gilly was drawn towards others at the school and they formed a sort of team. They each had their own voice and characteristics making them easy to tell apart and bringing so much more to the story. Compound that by not knowing which reformed villains could be trusted and you had one great ride.

Flunked was one book that kept a smile on my face the whole way through while I cracked up at different spots and enjoyed the ride the story took me on. I'd definitely recommend it to middle-grade readers, tweens, and teens. This is a book I will be buying as gifts for my nieces for sure. I'm looking forward to seeing what the villain has in store for these characters in the next book!

Content: Clean

Source: I received a complimentary copy from the publisher through NetGalley, which did not affect my review in any way.

Excerpt

There’s a boy up there, standing on the crystal chandelier! He has slightly curly blond hair and is wearing a uniform—­a navy sweater vest over a white shirt with khaki pants—­but his boots are muddy. He’s stepping on priceless crystals with cruddy boots? Is he insane?
“Jax! What are you doing up there?” Kayla whispers heatedly.
“I’m cleaning the crystal for Flora,” Jax says and rolls his eyes. “What does it look like I’m doing? I’m making
a break for it.”
Kayla applauds. “Yay! This time I know you can do it.”
I shade my eyes from the light bursting through the stained-­glass window next to the chandelier Jax is perched on. “Busting out? Why?” I ask Kayla. “I thought you said this place was cool.”
Jax laughs loudly and looks at me. I feel slightly stunned. I’ve never seen violet eyes before. “FTRS was fun for a while, but strange things have started happening and I don’t want to be here when something bad goes down.”
Strange things? What kind of strange things? Why does Kayla suddenly look pale?
“He’s exaggerating,” Kayla tells me, but she doesn’t sound convincing.
Drip. Whatever Jax is holding is leaking. Kayla and I move out of the way so we don’t get wet. “Grease,” Jax explains to me. “It lubes the window.” He swings the chandelier, and as it nears the window, he uses a fork to try to pry the window open. “A few more tries and I’ll have it.”
“Then what are you going to do, genius?” I ask. “You’re two stories up.”
Jax’s eyes gleam. “I’ve jumped from higher spots before.”
“It’s true,” Kayla says to me. “Jax once jumped from the gym to the dining hall turret. That was three stories up. We call him the Escape Artist. One time he even managed to break into Azalea and Dahlia’s rooms and borrowed their keys to the indoor pool so the whole dorm could take a midnight swim.”
“Impressive,” I tell him. “And I thought I was good at tricking obnoxious royals.”
“She stole a dragon’s tooth clip from one this morning,” Kayla fills him in.
“Nice,” Jax says. “Your first pull?”
“No, I’ve been doing it for a while,” I brag.
“Me too,” Jax says. “My father is a farmer. You can only get so far trading vegetables. I needed to kick things up a notch.”
For some reason, I don’t think any of us are going to make the transformation Headmistress Flora is looking for. “Why do you want to break out so bad?”
“I’ve got places to see, and Enchantasia isn’t one of them.” Jax swings the chandelier so hard the crystals clang together. The window latch pops open, and I watch Jax leap from the chandelier to the tiny window ledge. I’m in awe. Jax looks down at us smugly before pushing open the window. “Are you sure you two don’t want to join me?”
“There’s no time for us,” Kayla says. “Get out of here. Wait!” Her eyes widen. “You deactivated the alarm on the window, right?”
“There isn’t one,” Jax insists. “If there was, I wouldn’t be able to do this.” But when Jax lifts the window, we hear:
EEEEEE! EEEE! EEEE! Unauthorized exit! Unauthorized exit!
The shrieking sound is so intense that Kayla and I cover our ears. Within seconds, Flora is out of her office and running toward us.
Swoosh!
I feel something brush past me and I whirl around. When I look up at Jax again, a large, muscular man with a long mane of hair is hanging on to the window ledge, his furry hands pulling Jax back by his shirt. How did the man get up there without a ladder?
“Mr. Jax,” the man says in a low growl, “we really must stop meeting like this.”


Fairy Tale Reform School Quiz

If you get sentenced to Fairy Tale Reform School, it will help to have an ally. Take the quiz and find out who your mentor would be. Check out the quiz HERE.

Jen CalonitaAbout the Author

Jen Calonita is the author of the Secrets of My Hollywood Life series and other books like Sleepaway Girls and Summer State of Mind, but Fairy Tale Reform School is her first middle grade series. She rules Long Island, New York with husband Mike, princes Tyler and Dylan, and Chihuahua Captain Jack Sparrow, but the only castle she’d ever want to live in is Cinderella’s at Disney World. She’d love for you to drop her a line at jencalonitaonline.com or keep the fairy tale going at http://books.sourcebooks.com/enchantasia/.


Tour-Wide Giveaway

5 Print Copies of Flunked: Fairy Tale Reform School
Ends 3/31
a Rafflecopter giveaway

18 comments

  1. Salisa Waheed3/4/15, 8:40 AM

    I love the cover and the whole plot or the theme. I got to say I would pick the stepmother from Cinderella for reform school

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  2. Rook sounds interesting. If you get to read them I hope you enjoy them. :)

    Stormi

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  3. Oh I aslo can't wait for The Girl At Midnight -- such a gorgeous cover!!


    My
    WoW
    !

    ReplyDelete
  4. Lisa Mandina3/4/15, 12:07 PM

    Rook is one I can't wait on either! Love the cover of The Girl at Midnight, but not sure it's my type of book.
    Check out my WOW

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  5. Both of these sound good, especially Rook. I hope you enjoy them. I'll be adding Rook to my list, I think. Thanks! Great picks! My WOW.

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  6. This sounds like a cute series! I think I want to check them out :)

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  7. Thanks for the review and the excerpt! I added this to my TBR pile. It look good! Plus, the cover is awesome too :)

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  8. You always find the most interesting looking books!

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  9. Glenda Hefty3/4/15, 2:55 PM

    What a fun read this would be! Maybe the Snow Queen for mentor...

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  10. The evil queen from Snow White.

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  11. I can't wait for this one because a futuristic Paris just sounds so amazing!

    Krystianna @ Downright Dystopian

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  12. Alicia Batista3/4/15, 8:14 PM

    YES, YESSS, YESSSSSSS!!! I am so excited for both of these. I actually do have them for review, and I can't wait to finaaly start them both soon! I hope you enjoy them!!

    Thanks for stopping by my STS @ Addicted Readers! :)

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  13. Bonnie Hilligoss3/4/15, 10:01 PM

    The quiz says Professor Wolfington would be my mentor.

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  14. I love everything about the review of the story down to the cover. I thing I would choose the Cinderella step mothe.

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  15. Yikes, I don't know, maybe the queen from Snow White, this just sounds like a book my daughter would love!!

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  16. Rook sounds so good, I can't wait for that one. And Girl at Midnight was sooooo good! I read it super early but I couldn't resist. Great picks! ~Pam

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  17. Tracy Renee Snyder3/7/15, 4:01 PM

    Book sounds cool. I always thought my teachers were villains. Now there is a book that really proves what I thought when I was young. Big Bad wolf Hee! Hee!

    ReplyDelete

I love comments! I try to read and reply to them all. Feel free to agree or disagree and generally share your thoughts with me.

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