Friday, March 20, 2015

Blog Tour Review, Excerpt & Giveaway- Flunked: Fairy Tale Reform School by Jen Calonita!

Title: Flunked: Fairy Tale Reform School
Author: Jen Calonita
Format: egalley
Pub. Date: March 3rd 2015
Source: Sourcebooks Jabberwocky

Advanced Praise:

“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

About the Book:



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?


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.”


You've read the excerpt now take the 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.

Click here!

My results:

Professor Wolfington!

Professor Wolfington (formerly known at The Wolf) is the professor of history and a student favorite at Fairy Tale Reform School. He's more than happy to help you reform, but DON'T mention Granny.

Name: Xavier Wolfington

Occupation: Professor of history

Likes: Peace, quite, and spin class

Dislikes: Talk of his former life

Enter the world of Enchantasia at

And don't miss Fairy Tale Reform School: Flunked, coming from Sourcebooks Jabberwocky in March 2015!

Buy It Now!:

Amazon | B&N | BAM | Indigo | IndieBound

About 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 or keep the fairy tale going at
Website | Goodreads | Facebook | Twitter



I was first drawn into the cover for Flunked. I mean, look at how pretty it is! Plus, it's no secret that I have a deep-seeded love for all things fairy tale and fantasy. I knew I had to read this one, and I'm so glad I did.

Prepare to get swept into the land of storybook legends, where gnomes and fairies and humans live together in (general) harmony. The princesses that we all know and love rule over the kingdom, the commoners live in anything from cottages to giant boots (Just ask Gilly!), and the day's news is magically transmitted to your scroll so that you never miss a beat. Part of this harmony is caused by the Fairy Tale Reform School: a boarding school run by Cinderella's (previously) wicked stepmother and a few other baddies we know- Snow White's mom and the big bad wolf among them. Their goal is to take young hooligans and teach the villainy out of them to make them upstanding citizens of Enchantasia. After getting caught on her third offense of petty theft to help feed her starving family, it's hear that Gilly is shipped.

The reform school is like if you took the castle from the Magic Kingdom and combined it with Hogwarts. You can ride pegasi, get lost as the hallways keep changing, and take cool classes like sword-fighting. I really liked the world that Calonita was able to create. By taking familiar stories from childhood and adding this new twist, it makes for a very cool setting that I was eager to learn about over the course of the book.

Gilly is fascinated too- until she starts noticing some sinister and shady behavior happening at the school, especially as it prepares for its five year anniversary ball, which all the Royals will be attending. Soon she and her friends find herself going against the villains that they've only heard about in legends in order to save the school, the Royals, and themselves.

The action is well paced and Gilly is a character that we can all look up to. She's determined and strong, and even though she was placed into a reform school in order to redeem herself of her wicked ways, she has a heart of gold and learns just what exactly she's prepared to fight for, even if it means making some pretty tough decisions along the way. She's a hero you'll cheer for time and time again, alongside her new cast of friends.

I really hope that this is the start to a series. I would love to see what happens next and live more of Gilly and her friend's adventures. I think this is a great book that middle grade kids (and even younger kids) and lovers of fairy tales will both enjoy. Thanks so much to Sourcebooks Jabberwocky for my copy in exchange for my honest review.


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  1. Gilly sounds like a character easy to like and follow

  2. I'm starting to get lightly salted over these excerpts that end right at the best parts and hook me into wanting the books. Mlem. But I suppose that's a good thing, and a sign of good writing I think. I'd love for Professor Wolfington to be my mentor, but that comes to the shock of no one now, does it :)