My Epic Fairy Tale Fail

( 13 )

Overview

I know what you're thinking: "Can she talk to animals?" Yes, those chatty woodland creatures won't shut up. It's not as cute as you'd think.

What's an Adventurer, You Ask?

An underappreciated girl like me who travels around to magical Kingdoms saving creatures you don't even know exist. And trust me, they need a lot of help.

My new missions is in the Land of Tales (the crazy ...

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Overview

I know what you're thinking: "Can she talk to animals?" Yes, those chatty woodland creatures won't shut up. It's not as cute as you'd think.

What's an Adventurer, You Ask?

An underappreciated girl like me who travels around to magical Kingdoms saving creatures you don't even know exist. And trust me, they need a lot of help.

My new missions is in the Land of Tales (the crazy place all fairy tales come from) to face off with an evil witch and complete Three Impossible Tasks. Easy, right?

Being an adventurer is no fairy tale, but this is one mission I can't fail.

—Jenny the Adventurer

Praise for My Very UnFairy Tale Life:

"A light comic romp...Charming."—Kirkus

"A speedy and amusing ride...will keep readers entertained."—Publishers Weekly

"A magical world that's totally relatable. You'll find yourself wishing you were alongside Jenny fighting against unicorns (who aren't as peaceful as you think) and traveling to fantastical realms."—GirlsLife.com

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Not only a fantasy, but it was also funny. You get the sense it's going to make you laugh right away. " - Literary Rambles

"Staniszewski again keeps her tone light and frothy with plenty of wry humor . . . Middle school friendships offer a nice theme, as does Jenny's casual acceptance of her fantasy life . . . Flippant fantasy fun. " - Kirkus

"Returning with her deliciously droll wit and a brand new mission for her now-thirteen-year-old heroine, Anna delivers another breezy magical romp . . . the joking tone and thoughtful fairy tale play make this a fresh middle-grade read.

" - Horn Book online

School Library Journal
Gr 4–7—As this sequel to My Very Unfairy Tale Life (Sourcebooks, 2011) opens, Jenny is in the midst of a mermaid battle, trying to convince the warring parties to compromise while dodging the putrid fish they are hurling at each other. This trope of showing mythical creatures to be less lovely and well-mannered than readers expect recurs throughout the novel as Jenny, in her official capacity as an adventurer, visits magical lands to complete assignments handed down from a mysterious committee via a friendly, junk-food-crazy gnome. Although Jenny faces many perils (a troll, a sea monster, a witch, etc.), she usually laughs them off, and readers may have trouble caring about her trials and tribulations when the stakes don't feel that high. Jenny's parents were adventurers, too, and their disappearance seven years earlier is tangled up with their daughter's current quest. This plot device should add emotional weight to the story, but due to the lack of character development, it doesn't. The protagonist is a pleasant enough narrator, but she and her friends are not fully realized enough to evoke much interest. Most readers will want to stick with standbys like Gail Carson Levine's Ella Enchanted (HarperCollins, 1998) or Adam Gidwitz's A Tale Dark and Grim (Dutton, 2010) for their dose of fractured fairy tales.—Gesse Stark-Smith, Multnomah County Library, Portland, OR
Kirkus Reviews
Just-turned-13 Jenny continues her adventures in fairyland but finds that she can't always win (My Very UnFairy Tale Life, 2012). Jenny knows she's going on a dangerous mission this time, but she can't bring herself to say no to best friends Trish and Melissa when they insist on coming along. Despite life-threatening dangers, the two friends remain enchanted about visiting the land where fairy tales originate, even though the evil witch Ilda has drained the land of its magic. If she is to restore the magic and save fairyland, Jenny must complete three impossible tasks in only three days. She manages to finish the first two with the help of Trish and Melissa. Jenny has never before encountered failure, but she has to cope with it when she can't complete the final impossible task. But can Jenny really give up? Staniszewski again keeps her tone light and frothy with plenty of wry humor. A polite troll, keeper of the second impossible task, informs the girls, "Incidentally, my name is Irwin. I think we should be properly introduced before I suck the meat off your bones." Middle school friendships offer a nice theme, as does Jenny's casual acceptance of her fantasy life. The humor is balanced with a poignant subplot when Jenny learns that her long-lost parents disappeared from this very place, leading her to believe that she might be able to find them. Flippant fantasy fun. (Fantasy adventure. 9-13)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781402279300
  • Publisher: Sourcebooks, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 3/5/2013
  • Series: My Very UnFairy Tale Life
  • Pages: 224
  • Sales rank: 237,932
  • Age range: 9 - 12 Years
  • Lexile: 660L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 5.20 (w) x 7.40 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Anna Staniszewski lives outside of Boston with her husband and an adorably crazy dog. She was named the Boston Public Library's 2006-2007 Writer-in-Residence and a winner of the 2009 PEN New England Discovery Award. When she's not writing, Anna spends her time teaching, reading, and not cleaning her house. Visit her at www.annastan.com.
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Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

If someone tells you that you're being sent to a magical mermaid land, take my advice and spend the day at the aquarium instead. Then you can have a nice lunch, feed some dolphins, and not get caught in the middle of a merpeople war.

Mermaids are nothing like the gorgeous girls you see in movies. In reality, they're bitter creatures who hate the water because it turns their skin pruney. Even though their tails don't transform into legs, that doesn't stop them from desperately wanting to live on land so they can spend their days basking in the sun. Which is why the Green Tails and the Blue Tails were ?ghting over an island the size of a school bus. And why I, Jenny the Adventurer, had been sent to stop them.

To be honest, I wasn't doing a very good job so far. If I'd been on this mission alone, things probably would have been ?ne. But my bosses-the all-powerful and all-annoying Committee-didn't trust me after I'd threatened to quit being an adventurer, so they'd found me a baby-sitter: Jasmine, the wimpiest girl in the universe.

"Jenny," she said as the two of us huddled behind a sand dune. The mermaid armies were lined up on the beach, on opposite sides of the tiny island, balanced on their tails like trained seals. "I think our current position is overly exposed. Maybe we should relocate?"

We were right in between the two merpeople clans, but since the island only had three sand dunes and one puny palm tree, there was nowhere else for us to go.

"Relocate to where?" I made sure to keep my nose covered with my T-shirt as I spoke. Fun fact about mermaids: they smell like a bucket of old ?sh.

Before Jasmine could answer, a shout rang out among the Blue Tails: "Load the catapult!"

A second later, a bunch of sea sponges shot through the air.

Jasmine shrieked and covered her head. "I think this situation is getting too dangerous! We should call for our guides."

I stared at her. Jasmine was only a couple years older than me, but she acted like a little old lady. Was she really afraid of some flying sponges? "Jasmine, we only just got here. And we can't abandon an assignment."

"Spray!" one of the Green Tails yelled. A shower of star?sh sailed over our heads.

"There's no shame in walking away from an adventure and trying again another day," said Jasmine. "Better safe than sorry." We adventurers sure love our cheesy sayings.

I guess I couldn't blame Jasmine for being so cautious. Thanks to Klarr, the evil clown sorcerer, she'd spent days as a bear statue. Even now, weeks after I'd managed to defeat the crazy clown, Jasmine claimed that dust came out of her nose whenever she sneezed.

"We can ?gure this out," I said over the dolphin-like war cries of the nearby clan. "Where there's a will, there's a way, right?"

Jasmine's dark eyes narrowed. "Are you sure you're not putting us in unnecessary danger so you'll have a better story to share with your friends?"

I almost laughed thinking of how Trish and Melissa, my regular-life friends, would react when I told them what merpeople were really like. My friends couldn't get enough of hearing about my adventures. Trish was even doing a huge English paper on magic, which meant she asked me about a hundred questions a day.

"Reload the catapult!" Something flew past that looked suspiciously like a flailing octopus. Okay, this was getting ridiculous.

"I have an idea." I pulled off my sock and poured a handful of sand into it. Hey, if my plan failed, I could always stun the merpeople with foot odor.

"What are you doing?" said Jasmine, staring at me in horror. "You might get some type of foot fungus in a place like this!"

I resisted the urge to smack her with my sock. Instead, I jumped up and yelled, "Fish! Get your delicious ?sh! Whoever stops ?ghting ?rst gets this super-amazing, tasty treat." I waved my sock around like there was a ?shy delicacy inside.

The ?ghting stopped and all mermaid eyes swung toward me. I couldn't help smiling. Finally, I'd gotten their attention.

"What kind of ?sh?" one of the Blue Tails asked, snif?ng the air.

"Not so fast." I hid the sock behind my back. "First, we need to get you guys to stop ?ghting. Let's sit down-er, I mean, float around, and talk about this. There has to be a way to work things out."

"The only way is for the Green Tails to leave our land!" cried one of the mermaids.

"Your land?" demanded a blue-tailed merman as he shimmied forward, snake-like. "We saw it ?rst."

"Prove it, tuna breath!"

"No, you prove it, shark face!"

A chorus of chirps and clicks erupted, followed by sea-lion-like howls.

"Hey!" I yelled, swinging my sock over my head, but no one was listening to me anymore. Soon rocks and seaweed and shell?sh were flying through the air again. I managed to duck to avoid getting hit in the eye with an oyster.

"Now can we go?" said Jasmine.

I opened my mouth to tell her we weren't going anywhere until we ?gured out a way to settle this mess, but I was interrupted by a loud Pop! I turned just as my magical guide, Anthony the Gnome, materialized next to me.

"Hey there, Jenny-girl!" he said. "I have great news!"

"You know a way to stop these crazies from battling each other?" I said, emptying my sandy sock and pulling it back on. I really hoped Jasmine was wrong about the dangers of foot fungus.

Anthony's smile faltered. "Oh. No, I have no idea how to ?x that. It's probably hopeless. In fact, you're both being taken off this assignment."

"What? Says who?" I asked, just as Jasmine let out a loud sigh of relief beside me.

"Says the Committee," said Anthony, tugging on his bright orange beard. "This mission is being put on hold."

That was weird. The Committee never let adventurers give up on missions. It was in our contract. "Why? What's going on?" I asked.

"Well-" Anthony began.

A broken oar sliced into the sand next to me like a javelin, causing Jasmine to let out an I'm-being-murdered scream.

"On second thought," I said, "Anthony, how about taking us back to my house before you tell me about it?"

The merpeople sounded deafening battle cries and started furiously slithering toward each other. Apparently, they were done throwing things. Now it was time for hair-pulling and tail-slapping. There was no way Jasmine could handle that without having a total meltdown.

"Anthony!" I said. "Get us out of here!"

He harrumphed to himself. "Always being ordered around," he said. "That's the life of a gnome." Then he snapped his ?ngers, and with a Pop!, we were out of there.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 13 )
Rating Distribution

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Sort by: Showing all of 13 Customer Reviews
  • Posted April 15, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    3.5 Stars 'My Epic Fairy Tale Fail' is the second book in a fun

    3.5 Stars

    'My Epic Fairy Tale Fail' is the second book in a fun young adult series that shows us that fairy tales may be true, but they are far from perfect. Our leading lady, Jenny the Adventurer, is back this time and off to the Land of Tales - the place where all the fairy tales in the world came from. All she needs to do when she gets there is defeat an evil witch and complete three impossible and crazy tasks, without getting eaten by monsters, of course. If she's able to do all these things, Jenny might finally get some answers about what happened to her parents. She really can't afford to fail this time. Will she be able to do what needs to be done to save her parents?

    This is a really light and fun second installment in a fairy tale themed young adult series. Jenny is a great lead character - she has a great attitude and personality and also doesn't give up - even though all the odds are against her. The setting of the book was really fascinating and I loved reading about the Land of Tales. It was another great setting for the adventures that Jenny goes on and I hope the next book has another great place for us to visit. The writing was well done and fast paced, so it keeps the reader engaged in the story and eagerly turning the pages to see what will happen next. This is a wonderful story and a fun and easy read - highly recommended for younger readers and YA fans who like fantasy and fairy tales.

    Disclosure: I received a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.

    9 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 17, 2013

    Mya B.

    U all like this book? Good! Try Harry Potter! ;) I LOVE HARRY POTTER!
    GET THIS BOOK! IF U LIKE THIS BOOK GET HARRY POTTER 2!!!

    3 out of 12 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted April 17, 2013

    Like the first book, MY VERY UNFAIRY TALE LIFE, this continuatio

    Like the first book, MY VERY UNFAIRY TALE LIFE, this continuation is full of the same fun characters (plus new ones), the same quirky and perfect touches of humor, and the same playful tone. Jenny is the perfect character. She is strong and spunky and far from perfect. She faces her share of disappointments and failures and unexpected victories, while maintaining a good heart and unwavering determination. Her adventures are not only hilarious, but also full of life lessons and powerful friendships.

    While written for a young adult audience, my 8 year old daughter has read and loved both books just as much as I do--after all, fairy tales are ageless! I also purchased copies of the first book for my niece and God-daughter, and they both LOVED it. I will be sending them copies of My Epic Fairy Tale Fail for sure. I highly recommend both books for readers of all ages.

    3 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 16, 2013

    Perfect

    Great book

    3 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 3, 2013

    COOL

    iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii looooooooooooooove thiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiis boooooooooook
    sooooooooooooooo muuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuch

    3 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 7, 2013

    No ones posted

    I looooooovvvvvvvvveeeeeeee it ssssssssssoooooooooooo much

    2 out of 12 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 5, 2013

    I love love love this book

    The My epic fairy tale book was super awesome and i want to read it over and over. The reasom i gave it four stars was it was kind of short. They could have gome imto the story a little bit more and then stopped

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 30, 2013

    This book is aisome to me it's a#1book

    Dont you love this book

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 15, 2013

    Haystacks

    I like the book a lot it is so cool

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 25, 2013

    WOW!

    I loooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooove this book!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 25, 2013

    Dear mya b

    I love harry potter too.

    0 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 9, 2013

    books

    I LOVE IT!!!!!!!!!5STARS

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 8, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

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