Never After -- Review of a New Fantasy Middle Grades Novel


Disclosure: I was sent a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

Hazel's favorite genre is fantasy or magical and fairy tale and today's book fits right in. It asks what if fairy tales were real and goes from there. I'll be honest I was excited to get this book because I know it is one Hazel will want. It is written by Melissa de la Cruz who also wrote The Descendants Series which is one of Hazel's favorites (both books and movies) right now. The truth is I thought Hazel would review this one for me except she received so many books for Christmas and her birthday and she has not had the time to check it out yet, but wants to. The book is the first in a new series. It is Never After: The Thirteenth Fairy

In this tale we meet a young girl who doesn't have many friends and doesn't seem to really fit in. Her parents are overprotective of her and are always worried she will be kidnapped by fairies or ogres. Her name is Filomena Jefferson-Cho and she lives in North Pasadena, California. Her parents grant her permission to go to the bookstore after school by herself to get the newest book of her favorite series that claims to tell the true stories of the fairy tales. When she gets there she is disappointed to find out the book doesn't exist. On her way home she meets a strange boy who is dressed like the main character from the book. She slowly learns that he is Jack the Giant Slayer and he needs her to come back to the fairy tale world immediately. The adventure begins and the mystery of the missing author and the missing book gets solved and Filomena learns more about herself. 

This book is so fun! I really enjoyed reading it. It begins with the typical life of a girl in middle school and then adds the magical twists starting with her own imagination and favorite book series, Never After. Then the adventure of the attacks by ogres and Filomena trying some of the spells from the book and having them actually work. Plus I love that we have all the fairy tales wrong. For example Cinderella is not nice. Time is also very different in the fairy tale world and our world. The story is full of action as well as mystery and magic. It is a page turner and full of fun. I know most middle grade readers will enjoy this and I can't wait to read the second book when it comes out. I hope you will check it out!