After the fiasco concerning Journey to Rainbow Island, I almost ditched this book. But I was glad that I didn’t. The smile that My Very Unfairy Tale Life brought on my lips really surprised me. If truth be told, I actually went into it expecting another Journey to Rainbow Island and bracing myself for the worst. My Very Unfairy Tale Life is everything that I hoped for in a light, fairy tale Middle Grade book. It’s spunky, straightforward and hilarious.
My Very Unfairy Tale Life narrates the story of ordinary school girl, Jennifer. What makes her life extraordinary is the fact that the Committee assigned her as a fairy tale adventurer. Instead of discovering new jungles, Jennifer is sent to the world of fairy tales to help fairy tale citizens with their concerns. Apparently, fairy tale characters aren’t as perfect as they’re depicted in our usual fairy tale stories. Even with magic, they still need the help of an eleven year old non-magic girl.
My Very Unfairy Tale Life is a refreshing take on fairy tale stories wherein the heroine is far from your usual damsel in distress. Instead of waiting for princes to slay dragons for her, Jennifer rushes ahead and solve her problems the best way she can even if most of the time, she has to use a lot of cheesy sayings. I must say that the most unforgettable thing about this book is the MC. Jennifer has the right amount of boldness and humour that surely had me impressed. I also adored how Anna portrayed her as an eleven year old. Her flaws, her doubts, her impulsiveness and time to time selfishness were very believable for her age.
Even the secondary characters of My Very Unfairy Tale Life, though slightly lacking in development, still managed to make me laugh. In a way, they reminded of Roald Dahl’s characters… nothing too serious but you still enjoy them because they’ve got that rare appeal.
While the characters were really cool, I can’t say the same thing for the plot. Don’t get me wrong, My Very Unfairy Tale Life’s storyline was solid and interesting but it was too simplistic for my taste. Of course, it was understandable given the shortness of the book but still, Anna could have chosen to tell more. I would certainly appreciate reading about how Jenny was recruited as an adventurer and how did the fairy tale worlds exist.
The world building of My Very Unfairy Tale Life did nothing to ease my frustration. Anna is already there but it’s like the stage is already set and all yet the actual ceremony was postponed. Sure, I managed to paint a picture of the Land of Speak in my head but it wasn’t enough as the half portion of my body is still on Earth.
Nevertheless, I am still giving My Very Unfairy Tale Life a four star rating for being one of the best Middle grade books I’ve read this year. There were disappointments but the humor and the adorable MC certainly compensated for those. xD