Plot/Idea: Pereira's middle grade novel is quick and steadily paced. Skylar's quest to figure out who stole the Gem of Fairy Tales is also filled with surprises, which will keep readers engaged.
Prose: Pereira's writing is detailed and clear, providing readers with the appropriate tools to be immersed in her fairytale spin-off.
Originality: Stories of children who are descendants of fairy tale characters are familiar, but Pereira's spin on this concept is unique and holds its own.
Character/Execution: The relationships that grow between the young teenagers are all notable and enjoyable. Another thing to note is the shift in the way Skylar feels about both her powers and her mother. However, not all of these things feel fleshed out, perhaps due to the length of the novel.
Date Submitted: August 26, 2023
Pereira blends growing-up worries into the classic quest narrative, as the kids must face dangers fantastical—a cursed sword, Frostine’s wrath, a deadly dragon—and relatable, including family pressure, mutual distrust, and their own traumas. Skylar, meanwhile, endures a wrenching experience and thinks “I just wanted to be normal, accepted, and loved like everyone else.” It’s a thrilling tale that builds to a sweet finale, as the friends find the courage to save the day and follow their dreams but also to face Skylar and Naomi’s strained relationships with their mothers, material that may upset some young readers. Frostine abandons her family and later threatens her daughter and her friends if she doesn’t receive the gem, while Snow White, under constant pressure to be perfect herself, even rebuffs Naomi’s attempt to hug her, which in Pereira’s sensitive handling proves equally heartbreaking.
The fast-paced story at times moves too quickly, with not enough time spent on the riddle of the thief’s identity, and the round-robin narrative perspectives will challenge readers to stay on their toes. The romances and friendships among Skylar’s circle are heartwarming, especially between Carter and Skylar, whose discovery of an unexpected connection is a highlight.
Takeaway: The children of fairy-tale heroes brave a fun quest—and the trials of family.
Comparable Titles: Chris Colfer’s The Land of Stories series, Liesl Shurtliff’s Red: The (Fairly) True Tale of Red Riding Hood.
Design and typography: A-
Marketing copy: A