ARC Review: Spelled by Betsy Schow (Blog Tour + Giveaway)

Title: Spelled
Author: Betsy Schow
Genre: Fairytale Retelling
Source: NetGalley
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Publication Date: June 2nd 2015
Add it to Goodreads / Pre-order it on Amazon

Fairy Tale Survival Rule #32: If you find yourself at the mercy of a wicked witch, sing a romantic ballad and wait for your Prince Charming to save the day. Yeah, no thanks. Dorthea is completely princed out. Sure being the crown princess of Emerald has its perks—like Glenda Original ball gowns and Hans Christian Louboutin heels. But a forced marriage to the brooding prince Kato is so not what Dorthea had in mind for her enchanted future. Talk about unhappily ever after. Trying to fix her prince problem by wishing on a (cursed) star royally backfires, leaving the kingdom in chaos and her parents stuck in some place called "Kansas." Now it's up to Dorthea and her pixed off prince to find the mysterious Wizard of Oz and undo the curse...before it releases the wickedest witch of all and spells The End for the world of Story.

This book is literally so much fun! I feel stupid saying it, but it really is. It's packed with so many laugh out loud moments, awesome (and a bit crazy) characters, and an adventure you will be thinking about for a long time. 

Dorthea starts out as your typical teenage princess, spoiled, never has enough and thinks she is better then everyone else. That is what I loved most about her character. You start off Spelled with one Dorthea and you end the book with another. All through out Spelled she learned to value what she had and her parents, and not everyone has it as easy as she did. Dorthea is snarky, sarcastic, and wickedly smart when she actually thinks things through and doesn't act on a whim. Things she says and her inner monologue will have you out right laughing. Now to throw in Kato, who Dorthea originally thought was the gardener (See the excerpt below) who both hate each other, and now are arranged to be married, things get even funnier. 

The banter between Kato and Dorthea was perfect. They hate each other, they both despise the fact that they are going to be married to each other soon. The romance was really well down. Betsy didn't rush the romance between Kato and Dorthea, it flowed and came to a head at a perfect point with in the story. I am adding Kato to my list of fictional boyfriends though, because he is just super yummy. I just can't explain why. 

Overall I really liked this one! It was open ended so I am hoping for news of a sequel soon. I recommend this one for anyone who is looking for a laugh or just something fun to read on their off time. 


Most of the crowd had dispersed. The final few stragglers looked at me with the all­too-common look of fear mixed with trepidation. Pix ’em. They were just servants. It wasn’t like their opinion mattered.

Only one remained, watching me with open curiosity. He looked to be in his late teens or was magically enhanced to appear so. He could have been a hundred for all I knew. I’d never seen him before in my life. He was handsome enough, for a commoner, even in his worn leather pants and cracked work boots. A foreigner, his hair was unruly and dark auburn, which complemented his tanned but dirt-smudged complexion, though the tall, dark stranger vibe was ruined by his piercing pale blue eyes.

Well, I’d had enough of being a sideshow for the day. “If you’re the new gardener, the hedges are overgrown and in need of a trim.” I pointed in the direction of my father. “While you’re there, you can help the king with the wisps.”

The young man’s expression clouded over, but he didn’t move.

I stamped my foot and pointed more forcefully. “Off with you. Courtyard’s that way. Be sure to clean those awful boots before coming back in.”

“Someone told me I’d find a princess of great worth here. One with the strength to be the hero this realm needs.” He stared at me with those unsettling blue eyes. They were cold, like ice water—made me shiver from head to toe. Then his gaze seemed to search even deeper. Finally, he looked through me, like I was nothing.

In brisk steps, he strode across the marble to the courtyard. But before crossing the threshold, he turned back to glare at me with his lip curled ever so slightly. “It seems she was mistaken.”

Just like that, I had been sifted, weighed, and found wanting.

I felt my own lip curl in response. How rude! Who the Grimm was this peasant to judge me? I was wearing a Glenda original. Original! Not some fairy-godmother knockoff worn by those servant girls turned royal. I was a crown princess, for the love of fairy, and no one dismissed me.

Before I could put the boy in his place—down in the dirt, where he belonged—a clatter came from behind, making me nearly jump out of my shoes. I checked and was relieved that Sterling had simply dropped his sword. By the time I looked back, the gardener was gone.

After stowing his blade, Sterling held up his shield, not in defense of the entrance but so he could look at his reflection. “Clearly he’s blind and doesn’t know what he’s talking about.”

I didn’t ask for Sterling’s opinion, but it made me feel better.

Until he opened his mouth again.

“Worth, pffft. I mean, look around at all the jewels. Your palace has everything you could ever want. Honestly, I don’t know what you’re fussing about. Why would anyone want to leave?”

Because a cage is still a cage, no matter how big or glittering the bars are.

And I would find a way free, no matter the cost.

+ Favorite Quotes 

"It's not really a party until a fight breaks out and all seven dwarfs are passed out underneath the punch bowl." - Excerpt from "How to have a Blast at Your Next Ball" in Fairy Vogue 

"He sat by the log with his head down, like he was hiding something. I looked closer. Were those legs hanging out of his mouth?"

"The Bumpkin turned his back ... and mooned me." 

"The first few bars from Wrong Direction's hit song 'My Spell's What Makes You Beautiful' came from somewhere close by." 

 "Every fairytale comes equipped with a happy ending. You just have to find it." 

 photo addtogoodreadssmall_zpsa2a6cf28.png photo B6096376-6C81-4465-8935-CE890C777EB9-1855-000001A1E900B890_zps5affbed6.jpg

Follow the Spelled by Betsy Schow Blog Tour and don't miss anything! Click on the banner to see the tour schedule.

BETSY SCHOW is the TODAY Show featured author of the non-fiction book, Finished Being Fat; however she’s been mixing up real life and fantasy for as long as she can remember. If someone were to ask about her rundown truck, she’s 100% positive that mechanical gremlins muck up her engine. And the only reason her house is dirty is because the dust bunnies have gone on strike. She lives in Utah with her own knight in geeky armor and their two princesses (that can totally shapeshift into little beasts). When not writing, she acts as the Tournament Director for Odyssey of the Mind and helps teach kids creative thinking (or how to turn their toasters into robots). Her debut novel, Spelled, comes out June 2015 from Sourcebooks. She is represented by Michelle Witte, Mansion Street Literary Agency.



  1. I felt exactly the same – Spelled is super fun! I thought the book would focus more on the romance than the plot but the balance was perfect and I am most definitely a fan of Kato ;) Great review!

    Zareena @ The Slanted Bookshelf

  2. I am really excited for Spelled and am happy to see how much you liked it. Honestly, I was probably going to read this anyway since I can't resist an Oz retelling, but it's always reassuring to read a good review. Thanks for reviewing it.


We want to hear what YOU have to say! Go ahead and share your thoughts and opinions below. :-) (We promise we don't bite!)