The Land of Stories by Chris Colfer
The Wishing Spell

63%

22 Critic Reviews

Conner, upon learning that he is part fairy (grandmother = fairy godmother), "sarcastically" opines that “[t]he guys at school can never hear about this.” Cardboard characters and awkwardly episodic situations result in a poorly manufactured tale.
-Kirkus

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.
 

About Chris Colfer

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Chris Colfer is a Golden Globe-winning actor best known for his role as "Kurt Hummel" on Glee. He was recently honored as a member of the 2011 TIME 100, Time magazine's annual list of the one hundred most influential people in the world. The Land of Stories: The Wishing Spell was his first novel.
 
Published July 17, 2012 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers. 455 pages
Genres: Science Fiction & Fantasy, Children's Books, Action & Adventure. Fiction
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Critic reviews for The Land of Stories
All: 22 | Positive: 12 | Negative: 10

Kirkus

Below average
on May 30 2012

Conner, upon learning that he is part fairy (grandmother = fairy godmother), "sarcastically" opines that “[t]he guys at school can never hear about this.” Cardboard characters and awkwardly episodic situations result in a poorly manufactured tale.

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Publishers Weekly

Good
on Feb 11 2017

The nifty ending ties the plot’s multiple strands up while leaving room for further fairy tale adventures.

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NY Times

Good
Reviewed by Troy Patterson on Jul 13 2012

...it will hit big with its combination of earnestness and playful poise. Heigh-ho, Porridge, away.

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AV Club

Above average
Reviewed by Tasha Robinson on Sep 03 2012

And while plenty of other people have explored the idea that there’s grist for the story mill after “happily ever after,” Colfer finds poignancy in Cinderella trying to come to terms with a populace that doesn’t want a serving girl as their queen, or a Red Riding Hood more focused on her personal agenda than her magical past.

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AV Club

Above average
Reviewed by Tasha Robinson on Sep 03 2012

Ultimately, The Land Of Stories: The Wishing Spell may be aimed strictly at an audience of Chris Colfers: Young, smart, ultra-precocious readers who are ready to break with their youth, but are still close enough to easily spot it in the rear-view mirror.

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USA Today

Above average
Reviewed by Bob Minzesheimer on Jul 23 2012

At 438 pages, the novel could have used tighter editing. The ending comes as no surprise but leaves room for a sequel. As Alex says farewell, she wipes away tears but can't help smiling, "because she knew in her heart it wasn't ready good-bye." In fairy tales, is it ever?

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Open Book Society

Good
Reviewed by Karolina Avalon on Aug 08 2012

Even if this book was not written by Chris Colfer, I would adore its’ humour, its’ sass, its’ twists and turns and its’ beauty.

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KidsReads

Good
Reviewed by Sarah Hannah Gomez on Jul 25 2012

There are also layers of humor that make THE WISHING SPELL a fun read for families, who at any age can find different things to laugh at. For those who can’t get enough of fairy tales, Colfer’s debut novel will feed your insatiable fantasy appetite.

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The Daily Fig

Good
Reviewed by Milan L. on Aug 27 2012

The Land of Stories: The Wishing Spell is a book written for younger audiences that can easily be read by older people. It’s a book you can dive into and a story that will live in your imagination forever.

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Hypable

Below average
Reviewed by JEN LAMOUREUX on Jul 09 2012

Chris Colfer definitely has talent beyond singing and acting and The Land of Stories is proof of that. This story will definitely appeal to a broad audience but older readers will most likely recognize the minor flaws in plot and pacing.

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Booking Mama

Above average
Reviewed by Julie P. on Sep 01 2012

As a mom, I wouldn't hesitate to recommend this book to other parents and their children...Having said that, I did have a few slight issues with the story. First of all, I thought it was a little long.

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Before It's News

Above average
on Oct 10 2012

All in all I found this a fairly uplifting book which has plenty of sparkle and Glee type moments – and yes, I may be an adult, but I do love Glee, it’s a great day brightener...

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Story Snoops

Good
Reviewed by Jen on Feb 11 2017

heir grief is referenced but in an age-appropriate way. With only a bit of mild fantasy violence and a few loving embraces between paramours, this wholesome fantasy adventure would make an excellent read-aloud at home or in the classroom.

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Kidsmomo

Above average
Reviewed by Karen on Jul 26 2012

If you want to know what happens, I definitely recommend that you read The Land of Stories: The Wishing Spell. You won’t enter a wholly original world like Narnia, Hogwarts, Oz, etc. but it’s a fun read that constantly keeps you wondering what’s up next!

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Novel Novice

Above average
Reviewed by AMANDALEIGHF on Nov 05 2012

Many reviewers have suggested this book has “televisual” potential stamped all over it. And I agree. It’s thematic, character driven and ripe with dialogue begging for audible utterance. I liked it. I think you will too.

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A Glass of Wine

Above average
Reviewed by KATHY on Jul 17 2012

While it’s not a perfect novel, there is a lot of potential and promise here. I predict that young children and parents will delight over this charming read at bedtime. It’s one I can’t wait to share with the young ones in my family.

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Literally Jen

Good
on Aug 25 2013

I was absolutely impressed with this novel; I’m pretty familiar with everything Colfer has done in his career thus far, and his range and depth is incredible.

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Children's Atheneum

Below average
Reviewed by Venus on Sep 23 2012

If Colfer had decided to write an entire story from the perspective of Goldilocks, I think it could have been good, because she was the only character with anything deep...Colfer may not be a good enough author to see it. His editor should have, but then celebrity authors often get away with far too much than your "regular" authors...

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Wandering Librarians

Below average
Reviewed by Anna Jorgensen on Jul 17 2012

It was solid. I would recommend it to kids I know, but it probably won't be the first title to pop into my head. It's not that I wouldn't want to recommend it, just that I might not remember to recommend it.

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Wastepaper Prose

Above average
Reviewed by Jessica on Jul 06 2012

I know this book is a long time coming for Colfer, which is another reason I gave it a chance. I’m glad I spent the time in The Land of Stories: The Wishing Spell, despite my reservations about the writing.

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Nori's Closet

Above average
Reviewed by Nori on Feb 26 2013

...it was a little too predictable for me...Overall though, this was an amazing adventure! I read it in one sitting. I loved the characters.

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http://tsukibooks.blogspot.com

Below average
Reviewed by Tsuki Mew on Aug 18 2012

Overall I gave the book 2/5 stars. It got two for the potential and enjoyable reading but in the end it wasn't developed enough to give it more.

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Reader Rating for The Land of Stories
90%

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