This review can also be found on my blog
I'm a Gleek. Let's just throw that out there right now. That being said, I'm normally a little hesitant on picking up books written by actors/musicians. I feel like sometimes they piggyback on the success of their TV show, movies, or music, and the books end up being on the not-so-great shelf. But when I saw that Chris Colfer was writing a book about fairytales, I was intrigued. Especially since it was all the fairytales in one book. And, ya know, it's Chris Colfer. I'm a Gleek. It was kind of a given that I'd be reading this at some point.
Alex and Conner are twelve year old twins who live with their mother after their father dies. Alex is unhappy and a bit of a "teacher's pet." Conner on the other hand, is popular, lazy, and would rather sleep through school than pay attention. On their birthday, their grandmother comes to visit, and gives Alex a book of fairytales that was read to them when they were younger. But when the book starts glowing, Alex becomes curious about what the book really is.
Eventually, Alex's curiosity gets the best of her. She leans too far over the book, and falls in. Conner sees her go, and follows. They wind up in The Land of Stories, where all the fairytales are real, and the characters actually exist. But how are they going to get home?
For some reason, I'm on a retelling kick right now. Mythology, fairytales, anything. I love seeing the stories that I know, twisted into a newer version. But I haven't read one yet where all the characters interact with each other, and Colfer did that perfectly here.
The Land of Stories was divided up into sections based on different fairytales - Cinderella, Snow White, Rapunzel, trolls and goblins, etc. I loved traveling through all of them with Alex and Conner.
One of the things I liked the best about The Land of Stories was the way Colfer continued the fairy tale. The Evil Queen (from Snow White) is in jail, Snow White is happily married. Cinderella is pregnant and has a beautiful castle with Prince Charming. And of course, not all the endings were happy - Goldilocks is a fugitive. That story line had me cracking up.
This was a really solid debut novel, and I can't wait for the rest of the series.