Wanted by Betsy Schow
Release date: February 1, 2017
*ARC provided by Netgalley and Sourcebooks Fire – who is on fire with me lately.*
As you might remember from my What Am I Reading?! Books of 2016 post, Spelled by Betsy Schow made the top of the list. It was quirky, outlandish, kind of insane at parts, but it was fun – so much fun. It was such an entertaining book, and even though I couldn’t believe what I was reading at parts, I couldn’t stop reading it because it was such an easy and entertaining read.
What didn’t change from the original story was the ability to binge read it easily. I sped through this book in a matter of two days, and I was still astounded by the creativity that Schow presents in this book. She comes up with the quirkiest and coolest ideas, and while some of them are laugh out loud strange, it works and I love them all.
But there were still a lot of issues I had with this followup, and I really didn’t know what to do with it.
Let’s start off with the basics, though: Rexi Hood is that person in the story – the sidekick. Yes, the dreaded sidekick that falls in the background, only meant to add in snarky comments every once in a while but meant to be Forgotten in the long run. She’s not meant to be the hero of this story – that belongs to Dorothea, the new Storymaker of land of Story who brought the Emerald Curse (on accident of course) but now wields some of the most powerful magic in all of Oz…I mean, Story. Oh, yeah, and Rexi also happens to be magically linked to her – which is helpful whenever Rexi dies (yeah, a total of 3 times and counting) but not so happens when she starts to feel Dorothea’s feelings and her memories. Will Rexi manage to become the hero of this story when Camelot comes to the land of Oz or…become the villain?
Okay, what I wrote up there in the summary sounds amazing. I was completely and utterly sold by this premise, and I had enjoyed Rexi a lot in the first novel. She was sassy, spunky, and she was 100% over all of the drama. I knew she was going to make an amazing narrator, and I was so pumped to hear her story. How many times does the cliche sidekick get to become the narrator of the story?
However, there were a few things that got lost in this amazing premise, and instead of being excited about it, I just started to get sad about the execution of this book.
For the most part of the novel, I was confused. When I was reading Spelled, I had no clue what was going on some of the time, but it was in the fun way – if that even makes sense. There would be all of this random, outlandish things going on, but it worked in a way that was entertaining. For this book, I was just confused. Things would jump around quickly and I totally lost the plot of the story quite a few times in the book. I literally couldn’t follow what was supposed to be happening, and every time I thought I found the missing plot, something new would happen and I would be confused again. I can’t even tell you most of the major events that tied it all together.
Another issue became the connection with Dorothea. In the first novel, Dorothea brought Rexi back from the dead with her emerald powers. This led them to somehow become magically connected – which was an interesting premise. This led to some confusion and an unnecessary plot twist…aka a super unnecessary love triangle. It came sort of halfway through the book that all of a sudden Rexi was now in love with Dorothea’s love interest, which felt super forced and weird. Like, where did that come from and why did it have to happen? I was also confused about most of their interactions from then out because I couldn’t tell if Kato actually had feeling for her as well because it would act supremely awkward around her for some odd reason and then it was never developed. Again, I was confused…which seems to be a major theme here. It was the most unnecessary thing ever, and truthfully, Rexi had more chemistry with Mordred even when he was trying to kill her with his ax every two seconds.
Those two major issues really brought down the novel for me. I couldn’t figure out what was going on for a majority of the read, and I was upset with the new and super unnecessary plot drama llama…I mean development. The ending was also super duper confusing, and I just kind of blinked at my iPad at the end and went, “Well, okay then. That’s that? Maybe? What the book heck?” Or as they would say in Story, I was pixed.
Man, that is so catching on for me. Do you think we could make that happen? It could be the next YOLO or something. No? Okay.
However, there were so good parts of the novel. The creativity was still amazing as ever, and I did enjoy Rexi for the most part as a narrator. She was sassy, fun, and she didn’t have “oh poor me” feeling for most of the novel. The premise was also super fun, and I enjoyed the addition of Camelot. Schow also has this way of writing that just feels like it’s a breeze, and it’s so easy to devour one of her books.
Truthfully, I didn’t know quite what to do with this book, and I’m super sad that it didn’t turn out quite how I wanted it to be. It seems like they are leaving it open for a third book, and if they are going the direction that I think it is, it’s going to be so much fun. This book definitely didn’t make me give up on the series, but it definitely made me a bit upset with it. I would definitely still recommend reading Spelled…but go into Wanted prepared to not love it nearly as much or maybe it’s worth skipping altogether.
Two crowns for this read, and another ironic Princess rating – it’s Cinderella since shoes are so very important to both of these novels and it fit my feelings for this particular Disney Princess.
Check it out:
What do you think? Have you read it or read Spelled? Have you read a book in a series that changed so drastically from the first? Let’s discuss in the comments below!
4 thoughts on “Wanted by Betsy Schow (ARC Review)”
Wonderful and thorough review!
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Thanks so much! 😀