{Review/Excerpt/Giveaway} FLUNKED: FAIRY TALE REFORM SCHOOL by Jen Calonita

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Love fairy tales and mythology?
Fans of mermaids, dragons, unicorns, and other mythical creatures?
Enjoy when a beloved classic tale is retold?
A Twist in the Tail Thursdays features all this and more!

O P E N I N G   L I N E:

   SOMETIMES SPYING ON low-level royals can be so boring.
   They're easy to spot the minute they leave their precious royal world behind. With their pricy clothes, made-up faces, and clouds of perfume wafting behind them, girls like that stick out like sore thumbs when they get dropped off in town in their flashy carriages.

(pgs 11, 15, US E-ARC edition)

Would you send a villain to do a hero's job?

FLUNKED is the first book in the Fairy Tale Reform School series by Jen Calonita. It's fun and super cute for all ages. While I've seen a lot of "boarding school"-style fairy tale novels lately, none of them are quite like this. For one thing, the headmistress is Cinderella's evil stepmother, now reformed and helping save the kingdom from evil. She created and runs a school to help citizens in danger of becoming evil stay on a good path in order to help keep the peace.

Gillian Cobbler's family is very poor. Even though her father invented the fashionable glass slipper, when the fairy godmother stole his idea to help Cinderella discover her Happily Every After, everyone started commissioning her to make them shoes instead of the true inventor. Gilly steals from the Royals in order to help make ends meet. Upon being caught for the third time, she's forced out of the family boot and into reform school. Gilly hates being sent away because her family needs her in order to survive. When she discovers something amiss at Fairy Tale Reform School, she has to make a tough choice. But which decision will help her family more?

This new series is perfect for kids, and fun for fairy tale lovers of all ages. It explores family and friendship, as well as the plight of being a new student in a school you never wanted to attend in the first place.  It also turns preconceptions upside down and keeps readers guessing. What is evil and what is good? Can villains change their nature? As Gilly learns, "True power is learning how to put others first and not judge a book by its cover, so to speak" (pg. 254, US E-ARC Edition).


 If you get sentenced to Fairy Tale Reform School, it will help to have an ally. 

Here's an excerpt from 
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.
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.”


Content Ratings: highlight between ( ) for details

Romance: -- 
Language: --
Violence: G ( Only the glossed over non-violent battles you might see in an animated movie )
Other: --
C O V E R   D E S I G N:

I love the cover! There's a Frog Prince, a poison apple, a snip of Rapunzel's hair, a glass slipper, and so much more! Plus she's sitting on books. BOOKS. Beautiful, old, elegant books! And there's a skull, hinting at danger.  And a wand, hinting at magic! I love the ribbon banner with the series title at the top and the fun font on the title, especially the way the N and the K come out and frame everything so well. So much enjoyment of this cover!
O F F I C I A   I N F O:

Title: Flunked: Fairy Tale Reform School
Author: Jen Calonita
Release Date: March 3, 2015
Publisher: Sourcebooks Jabberwocky
Received: For Review
Buy Links:
Amazon | B&N | BAM!ndigoIndieBound



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?
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/
Author Links:


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