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Real life and fairy tales collide in Never After: The Thirteenth Fairy, book one in the new middle-grade Never After series from the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Descendants series, Melissa de la Cruz. Nothing ever happens in Filomena Jefferson-Cho's sleepy little suburban town of North Pasadena. The sun shines every day, the grass is always a perfect green, Real life and fairy tales collide in Never After: The Thirteenth Fairy, book one in the new middle-grade Never After series from the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Descendants series, Melissa de la Cruz. Nothing ever happens in Filomena Jefferson-Cho's sleepy little suburban town of North Pasadena. The sun shines every day, the grass is always a perfect green, and while her progressive school swears there's no such thing as bullying, she still feels bummed out. But one day, when Filomena is walking home on her own, something strange happens. Filomena is being followed by Jack Stalker, one of the heroes in the Thirteenth Fairy, a series of books she loves about a brave girl and her ragtag group of friends who save their world from an evil enchantress. She must be dreaming, or still reading a book. But Jack is insistent--he's real, the stories are real, and Filomena must come with him at once! Soon, Filomena is thrust into the world of evil fairies and beautiful princesses, sorcerers and slayers, where an evil queen drives her ruthless armies to destroy what is left of the Fairy tribes. To save herself and the kingdom of Westphalia, Filomena must find the truth behind the fairytales and set the world back to rights before the cycle of sleep and destruction begins once more.


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Real life and fairy tales collide in Never After: The Thirteenth Fairy, book one in the new middle-grade Never After series from the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Descendants series, Melissa de la Cruz. Nothing ever happens in Filomena Jefferson-Cho's sleepy little suburban town of North Pasadena. The sun shines every day, the grass is always a perfect green, Real life and fairy tales collide in Never After: The Thirteenth Fairy, book one in the new middle-grade Never After series from the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Descendants series, Melissa de la Cruz. Nothing ever happens in Filomena Jefferson-Cho's sleepy little suburban town of North Pasadena. The sun shines every day, the grass is always a perfect green, and while her progressive school swears there's no such thing as bullying, she still feels bummed out. But one day, when Filomena is walking home on her own, something strange happens. Filomena is being followed by Jack Stalker, one of the heroes in the Thirteenth Fairy, a series of books she loves about a brave girl and her ragtag group of friends who save their world from an evil enchantress. She must be dreaming, or still reading a book. But Jack is insistent--he's real, the stories are real, and Filomena must come with him at once! Soon, Filomena is thrust into the world of evil fairies and beautiful princesses, sorcerers and slayers, where an evil queen drives her ruthless armies to destroy what is left of the Fairy tribes. To save herself and the kingdom of Westphalia, Filomena must find the truth behind the fairytales and set the world back to rights before the cycle of sleep and destruction begins once more.

30 review for The Thirteenth Fairy

  1. 4 out of 5

    ♡ jules ♡

    ARC provided by the publisher via Netgalley.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Mac (bookshelfpalace)

    I’ve always been a huge fan of fairy tales my whole life, so this book was right up my alley. It was a super fun and fast read that I couldn’t put down. I absolutely loved the plot, the characters, and I can’t wait for book 2!

  3. 5 out of 5

    Shaye Miller

    What an adventure! Filomena is a reader. She’s eagerly anticipating the last book of a fantasy series that she has read so many times, she cannot count. On the day the last book is scheduled to be released, her parents allow her to travel to the bookstore after school to get her copy. But when she arrives, she learns the book wasn’t released and no one even knows where the author is! While she’s reeling from this news, she notices someone following her around. And when she learns that her stalke What an adventure! Filomena is a reader. She’s eagerly anticipating the last book of a fantasy series that she has read so many times, she cannot count. On the day the last book is scheduled to be released, her parents allow her to travel to the bookstore after school to get her copy. But when she arrives, she learns the book wasn’t released and no one even knows where the author is! While she’s reeling from this news, she notices someone following her around. And when she learns that her stalker is THE Jack Stalker from the favorite book series, she realizes life will never be the same. He desperately urges her to come with him to save his kingdom. Suddenly she’s coming face-to-face with various characters, both good and evil, and realizing her role in saving the world. Wow, does this book pack a lot into a very small space. It’s the first in the series and I’ll definitely be reading book #2 when it’s released! For more children's literature, middle grade literature, and YA literature reviews, feel free to visit my personal blog at The Miller Memo!

  4. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer

    This thoroughly enjoyable middle grade novel from Melissa De La Cruz is the great start to a new series (I hope!) Filomena Jefferson-Cho is a HUGE fan of the Never After book series and so she's thrilled that it's finally release day for the 13th and final installment. However, when she gets to the bookstore she, and all the other fans, is crushed to discover that the author of her favorite series actually died years ago and the publisher has been publishing the books posthumously, hoping to find This thoroughly enjoyable middle grade novel from Melissa De La Cruz is the great start to a new series (I hope!) Filomena Jefferson-Cho is a HUGE fan of the Never After book series and so she's thrilled that it's finally release day for the 13th and final installment. However, when she gets to the bookstore she, and all the other fans, is crushed to discover that the author of her favorite series actually died years ago and the publisher has been publishing the books posthumously, hoping to find the 13th one before the publishing date arrived. On her way home from the bookstore she is followed by none other than Jack the Giant Stalker, the dashing hero from the Never After series. Filomena is thrust into a world of fairy tales, ogres, fairies, and magic. Can she find out what happened to the author and how the story ends? Filomena is a strong female protagonist (which I love!), while still being vulnerable and insecure, like every middle school girl. She makes mistakes and tries to learn from them. She finds strength she didn't know she had. She has a functional family and a good relationship with her parents (rare in a lot of middle grade novels). This book has it all - adventure, suspense, friendship, danger, fairy tales, magic, and fun. I highly recommend it! Disclaimer: I received a free electronic copy of this book from the publisher through Edelweiss.com in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Toya (the reading chemist)

    Imagine being 12 years old and rushing to the bookstore on release day to FINALLY get the final book in your favorite series only to find out the book mysteriously wasn’t published. And on your way home, you’re almost killed by one of the creatures from that same series. Oh that’s just the life of Filomena in Never After by Melissa De La Cruz. This is such an incredible story. You have the examination of middle school life where Filomena is bullied for her multi ethnic background coupled with bei Imagine being 12 years old and rushing to the bookstore on release day to FINALLY get the final book in your favorite series only to find out the book mysteriously wasn’t published. And on your way home, you’re almost killed by one of the creatures from that same series. Oh that’s just the life of Filomena in Never After by Melissa De La Cruz. This is such an incredible story. You have the examination of middle school life where Filomena is bullied for her multi ethnic background coupled with being an adoptee. This is contrasted with the magical world of Westphalia where Filomena is the strong and independent heroine who bands together with her beloved characters and friends to save the day Thank you to Macmillan Audio for providing a review copy. This did not influence my review. All opinions are my own.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Ariel

    I loved this book!!! It was witty, exciting, and everything a middle-grade book should be! First, I wanted to make sure I pointed out how funny this book was! I think that's what initially caught my attention from page one. The author uses jokes that can be appealing to both adults and children and make the book enjoyable for all. There were multiple times were I laughed out loud so now I'm going to have to read more de la Cruz books to experience her humor once more. Also, the voice of Filomena, I loved this book!!! It was witty, exciting, and everything a middle-grade book should be! First, I wanted to make sure I pointed out how funny this book was! I think that's what initially caught my attention from page one. The author uses jokes that can be appealing to both adults and children and make the book enjoyable for all. There were multiple times were I laughed out loud so now I'm going to have to read more de la Cruz books to experience her humor once more. Also, the voice of Filomena, the main character, is strong and unique. She has already experienced some hardship in her life (a lot of bullying), but she carries herself so well. She's kind, thoughtful, a bit adventurous, and ever curious. I'm eager to learn more about her in the coming books in the series. As I briefly mentioned above, this book covers the topic of bullying a little bit. It doesn't focus on it too much, but it's a large enough theme to help those who may have previously or may currently be struggling with this issue. The bullies in this book are dealt with in a humorous and justified way, but I suspect this topic will return in later books. We get to meet so many fun and interesting characters in this book as we follow Filomena on her journey to discover the world of Never After. By the end, we have a whole posse of friends that I can't wait to go on more adventures with. They all add something different to the group, be it humor, strength, knowledge, fashion (I'm looking right at you Gretel), etc. For so many reasons, only a few of which are mentioned above, this book is a 5/5 for me. It was a great beginning to a new series and I can't wait to get more of it!! I'm officially a STAN of Melissa de la Cruz. Disclaimer: I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own. Blog | Instagram | Twitter

  7. 4 out of 5

    Kav

    Really quite brilliant! I picked this up from my library's audible line up and listened to it in a day because it was just so entertaining. Funny and exciting and all the fairy tale and story book characters reimagined kept me grinning all the way through. A fast paced, page-turning (or compulsive listening) wonder. Really quite brilliant! I picked this up from my library's audible line up and listened to it in a day because it was just so entertaining. Funny and exciting and all the fairy tale and story book characters reimagined kept me grinning all the way through. A fast paced, page-turning (or compulsive listening) wonder.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Michelle Kenneth - PerfectionistWannabe.com

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. [Disclosure: I received a copy of this book from the publisher via Netgalley.] For those who love fairy tales, but think it could have had a better retelling that's more positive, this is the book for you. In this book, we have some of the most notable literary characters coming to life in Never After. From Scheherazade to Ali Baba, Jack (from Jack and the Beanstalk), Little Red Riding Hood, Jack Be Nimble, Aladdin's Lamp, this story retells their adventures in a new light. Maybe the bad guys in t [Disclosure: I received a copy of this book from the publisher via Netgalley.] For those who love fairy tales, but think it could have had a better retelling that's more positive, this is the book for you. In this book, we have some of the most notable literary characters coming to life in Never After. From Scheherazade to Ali Baba, Jack (from Jack and the Beanstalk), Little Red Riding Hood, Jack Be Nimble, Aladdin's Lamp, this story retells their adventures in a new light. Maybe the bad guys in those stories aren't really the bad guys. Their stories are just twisted for the mortal world. Sprinkle some ogres and trolls on top of this book, along with a princess with a curse from the 13th fairy, and we have this new series from Melissa de la Cruz. Now, I've seen The Descendants on Disney. I've seen all of the movies, actually. This book is very much like The Descendants, including the ending. What I mean by the latter is that we go through this whole adventure and we get to the ending and there's supposed to be some epic ending and then it's just Disneyfied so the villain gets one last word in before giving up and retreating. In this one, it's like the villain broke her nail and called the battle off. I literally thought, "That's it?" This epic battle turned into this? In other words, the epic battle was not epic. It was a little hissy fight and nothing more. I've read a lot of Middle Grade books and I've read far better fight scenes in the formulaic YA/middle grade stories. You won't see Rick Riordan or Rick Riordan Presents having such a boring epic battle conclusion. Once again, it was just too Disney, too Descendants. It's formula writing and frankly, it's stuff like this that explains why they say YA is dying. This ending could have been written better. It's like she was rushed and tried to tie it all up at the end. Besides that battle conclusion getting a thumbs down from me, the rest of the story was great. I loved what Melissa was doing all throughout this book. She was redefining these fairy tales in a wonderful way. I think she could expand more on this in future books (which I'm looking forward to reading), just so long as she creates better epic battle conclusions at the end of her book. OR maybe just throw the whole YA/middle grade formula out and really throw the A-game into this series. Create a new formula that's not so predictable or Disneyfied.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Mrs Mommy Booknerd http://mrsmommybooknerd.blogspot.com

    #FirstLine - Once upon a time in the days of old, eleven fairies gathered at court before a child to hold. I loved this book so much. I loved the nod to so many beloved characters from nursery rhymes and other stories I adore from childhood. I loved the adventure and fantasy. I loved the story with so many important themes for young readers; being proud of who you are and where you come from, being brave and taking on challenges, the importance of reading, the fact that friendship is earned not #FirstLine - Once upon a time in the days of old, eleven fairies gathered at court before a child to hold. I loved this book so much. I loved the nod to so many beloved characters from nursery rhymes and other stories I adore from childhood. I loved the adventure and fantasy. I loved the story with so many important themes for young readers; being proud of who you are and where you come from, being brave and taking on challenges, the importance of reading, the fact that friendship is earned not blindly given, that things are not always as they appear and so much more. I am really hoping that another book is being written for this series, as the ending seemed to leave it open. (Addition: I looked it up and and this story is book one in a new series. This news pleases me to no end!!) I truly want more. This would be a great book to read together as a family because everyone from young reader to adults will love it. I highly recommend this book!!!!

  10. 5 out of 5

    Courtney Renee

    Very cute!

  11. 5 out of 5

    Paige Green

    Disclaimer: I received a finished hardback of this book from the publisher for Turn The Pages tours. Thanks! All opinions are my own. Book: Never After: The Thirteenth Fairy Author: Melissa de la Cruz Book Series: Standalone?? Diversity: Half Asian MC and characters Rating: 4/5 Recommended For...: Mg, fantasy, story in a story Publication Date: December 1, 2020 Publisher: Roaring Book Press Pages: 336 Recommended Age: 10+ (death, slight gore and violence, some scary moments). Synopsis: Nothing ever happens Disclaimer: I received a finished hardback of this book from the publisher for Turn The Pages tours. Thanks! All opinions are my own. Book: Never After: The Thirteenth Fairy Author: Melissa de la Cruz Book Series: Standalone?? Diversity: Half Asian MC and characters Rating: 4/5 Recommended For...: Mg, fantasy, story in a story Publication Date: December 1, 2020 Publisher: Roaring Book Press Pages: 336 Recommended Age: 10+ (death, slight gore and violence, some scary moments). Synopsis: Nothing ever happens in Filomena Jefferson-Cho’s sleepy little suburban town of North Pasadena. The sun shines every day, the grass is always a perfect green, and while her progressive school swears there’s no such thing as bullying, she still feels bummed out. But one day, when Filomena is walking home on her own, something strange happens. Filomena is being followed by Jack Stalker, one of the heroes in the Thirteenth Fairy, a series of books she loves about a brave girl and her ragtag group of friends who save their world from an evil enchantress. She must be dreaming, or still reading a book. But Jack is insistent—he’s real, the stories are real, and Filomena must come with him at once! Soon, Filomena is thrust into the world of evil fairies and beautiful princesses, sorcerers and slayers, where an evil queen drives her ruthless armies to destroy what is left of the Fairy tribes. To save herself and the kingdom of Westphalia, Filomena must find the truth behind the fairytales and set the world back to rights before the cycle of sleep and destruction begins once more. Review: For the most part the book was pretty good. I thought the character building was excellent and the world building was very well done. The book has a inkheart feel to it and I think children and adults or anyone who likes reading middle grade books would really enjoy this. feeling complaints I had were that the book was really fast paced and it took a bit for me to get into the story because of how fast paced it was. it felt like the author wanted to get to the point of the story more than she did want to explain what was going on in the book but once we got to the point of the story then things started to be more explained. Verdict: I recommend it for any inkheart fans or anyone who just likes fantasy books.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Stephanie Rivera

    For Filomena Jefferson-Cho nothing ever happens in the sleepy suburban town of North Pasadena where she has lived all her life. Her parents are writers who are super overprotective of her. She doesn’t get to go out by herself so she mostly stays at home and she is bullied at school so doesn’t have any friends. The only thing she has is her favorite books series Never After which is about Jack Stalker and his friends that are trying to save their land from an evil enchantress. When she gets to wa For Filomena Jefferson-Cho nothing ever happens in the sleepy suburban town of North Pasadena where she has lived all her life. Her parents are writers who are super overprotective of her. She doesn’t get to go out by herself so she mostly stays at home and she is bullied at school so doesn’t have any friends. The only thing she has is her favorite books series Never After which is about Jack Stalker and his friends that are trying to save their land from an evil enchantress. When she gets to walk alone to the bookstore to pick up the 13th and final book in the Never After series which turns out to never have been published she ends up being followed by Jack stalker the hero in her book series. She saves them from an ogre attack but she doesn’t believe that it is real, she thinks it is a stunt for the book launch meant to appease fans because they didn’t have the last book. She goes home and tries to forget what happened but when she gets to school the next day her bullies start harassing her and jack saves her. Jack and his friend Alistair who escaped to this world through a portal need help to get back to Never After which is a real place and the books are based on the real accounts of the fairy tales. I really enjoyed this book and it was a great read. I love that our versions of the fairy tales are the twisted versions and what is shown in Never After are the real versions. I like that Filomena turns into a hero and she helps rescue the land from Queen Olga who has been terrorizing all the kingdoms while trying to take everything over. And that she finally gets a great group of friends and finds out where she belongs. So just super cute and the ending sets it up for the next book in the series and there next adventure in Never After. Thanks to Macmillan/Roaring Book Press and Netgalley for the complimentary copy of this book in e-book form. All opinions in this review are my own.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Eileen

    This was a really fun retelling of the fairy tales where the Never After series tells the real truth of what happened in the fairy tales. So the bad guys may not actually be the bad guys and the heroes are sometimes less than stellar. Filomena Jefferson Cho is a girl living in California who was adopted as a baby. She knows nothing about her birth parents, but she loves the people who raised her. They are a bit overprotective, but she appreciates them anyway, especially because she doesn't have This was a really fun retelling of the fairy tales where the Never After series tells the real truth of what happened in the fairy tales. So the bad guys may not actually be the bad guys and the heroes are sometimes less than stellar. Filomena Jefferson Cho is a girl living in California who was adopted as a baby. She knows nothing about her birth parents, but she loves the people who raised her. They are a bit overprotective, but she appreciates them anyway, especially because she doesn't have any friends in or out of school. In fact, she seems to be the target of bullies, and teachers and administrators basically look away. So she survives in her world of books, especially her favorite series, the Never After stories. As she waits for the final book to come out, she is sucked into the world of the Never After, and there our story truly begins. I love the slow development of the prologue, which was sprinkled throughout the book as more of the story developed. And while some of the main plot was predictable, it was still an enjoyable adventure. I loved how the real truth of the original fairy tales would come out--some of them made me laugh. I think this story would be perfect for middle school readers of fantasy books, but I also enjoyed it as an adult. The book is not listed as being part of a series, but it ends in such a way that the author leaves it open for many adventures to come, and I really hope she does so! I would love to go back and see Filomena, Jack, Gretel, and Allistair in future adventures! I received an advance review copy for free, and I am leaving this review voluntarily.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Talie

    Thank you to MacMillan Audio for the complimentary advanced listening copy of this book. Never After by Melissa de la Cruz is a rollicking adventure perfect for the middle grade reader who loves fairytales. In this book Melissa de la Cruz takes the idea of fairy tales and manipulates it in all kinds of directions to create a story that will put a smile on your face. The book starts with 12 year old Filomena Jefferson-Cho who is living an ordinary life in North Pasadena with two over protective pa Thank you to MacMillan Audio for the complimentary advanced listening copy of this book. Never After by Melissa de la Cruz is a rollicking adventure perfect for the middle grade reader who loves fairytales. In this book Melissa de la Cruz takes the idea of fairy tales and manipulates it in all kinds of directions to create a story that will put a smile on your face. The book starts with 12 year old Filomena Jefferson-Cho who is living an ordinary life in North Pasadena with two over protective parents, middle grade bullies, and an absolute love affair with the Never After series of books. One day Filomena's life is turned on end when she finds herself being stalked by the hero of her favorite novels! What follows is a really fun adventure into a land of fairytales. This book has some wonderful characters as well as at times a lyrical feel. The book switches back and forth in time between current day and "The Prologue". The Prologue part of the book often feels as though you are reading a fairytale you've never quite heard before. This would be the perfect book for the middle grade kiddos in your life who love fairy tales or movies like Shrek. Oh heck who am I kidding, I loved the book and I am far from middle grade aged. NARRATION: The narrator does a fabulous job with this book. The production quality is top notch and you'll find yourself instantly transported into this fun world.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Kim McGee

    A delightful zig zag romp through familiar fairytales centering on Sleeping Beauty. We all know that the evil fairy cursed the castle and baby beauty because she was left off the party guest list. What if she didn't curse the baby but instead saved her by taking her to a safe location far away? Filomena is the Never After book series biggest fan so it shouldn't come as a surprise when one of the characters finds her in the real world begging her for help. Her almost perfect recall of the books w A delightful zig zag romp through familiar fairytales centering on Sleeping Beauty. We all know that the evil fairy cursed the castle and baby beauty because she was left off the party guest list. What if she didn't curse the baby but instead saved her by taking her to a safe location far away? Filomena is the Never After book series biggest fan so it shouldn't come as a surprise when one of the characters finds her in the real world begging her for help. Her almost perfect recall of the books will come in handy as they navigate the very real problems in Never After. One thing is certain - like any great fairy tale there is danger, adventure, bravery and a fun time. This is the first of a new series from an author who never disappoints. Middle schoolers and their parents will enjoy reading this together and will be next to me eagerly waiting for the next installment. Fans of LAND OF STORIES, Rick Riordan Presents mythological adventures and De La Cruz's other fairytale redos will devour this. My thanks to the publisher for the advance copy.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Trisha Perry

    Filomena has been watched her whole life, she has never walked home from school, never gone out to play in the neighborhood. Her parent have a alarm system on the house and six deadbolts on the front door. Filomena always thought this was normal until she got to go to others birthday parties and saw only one lock and security systems that were never set. But she loves her author parents and just rolls with it, But when her favorite books series has a new book coming out and no one can take her Filomena has been watched her whole life, she has never walked home from school, never gone out to play in the neighborhood. Her parent have a alarm system on the house and six deadbolts on the front door. Filomena always thought this was normal until she got to go to others birthday parties and saw only one lock and security systems that were never set. But she loves her author parents and just rolls with it, But when her favorite books series has a new book coming out and no one can take her she convinces her parent to let her go by herself. When she arrives at her favorite book store she finds the book she has been waiting for has not been published and no one know anything more about it. As Filomena walks home her life changes drastically when she meets Jack. And that is all I can say without giving all the good parts away. This book was so wonderful it had me hooked from the start and I really could not put it down until I was finished, now I am eagerly awaiting the next book. It has so much action and not everything is always what it seems. If you like fairy tales this does reference some, and maybe you will find out what really happened in those tales as well as what happens with Filomena to change her life and now she has friends, real friends, that is something she has never had.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Oscar

    This book was such a fun read for me I thought. I loved the new magical retelling of the fairy tales very much and it felt like its own version of retelling the traditional fairy tales. I loved watching Filomena grow as a person and see her become more confident about herself. I thought the world building was very nicely done. The pacing was also done very well never felt to slow or to fast. My only problem with the book was the over arching mystery we had was really easy t solve and very obviou This book was such a fun read for me I thought. I loved the new magical retelling of the fairy tales very much and it felt like its own version of retelling the traditional fairy tales. I loved watching Filomena grow as a person and see her become more confident about herself. I thought the world building was very nicely done. The pacing was also done very well never felt to slow or to fast. My only problem with the book was the over arching mystery we had was really easy t solve and very obvious. Over all this was a really fun read for me and my final ratting would 4/5 stars.

  18. 4 out of 5

    USOM

    (Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.) Never After: The Thirteenth Fairy gave me serious Ella Enchanted vibes! It's a charming middle grade about fairies, fairy tales, and the importance of stories. For anyone who has been looking for more books that would fit into the Rick Riordan family, this is the perfect addition to your library. Not only is Filomena adopted, but I enjoyed the representation so much. Her parents (Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.) Never After: The Thirteenth Fairy gave me serious Ella Enchanted vibes! It's a charming middle grade about fairies, fairy tales, and the importance of stories. For anyone who has been looking for more books that would fit into the Rick Riordan family, this is the perfect addition to your library. Not only is Filomena adopted, but I enjoyed the representation so much. Her parents are honest with her, loving, and the resolution of this story line made me tear up. Filomena was a precious and quirky character. It's hard not to love her enthusiasm and vulnerability. How we can empathize with her feelings of sadness and frustration when her favorite series isn't finished. Or the vulnerability she feels with the bullying at school (which broke my heart). And then, in a magical turn of events, Filomena is submerged into her favorite fantasy world of ogres and fairies. Never After: The Thirteenth Fairy is very much one of those "everything we know about the fairy tales are wrong" and I am here for it! full review: https://utopia-state-of-mind.com/revi...

  19. 5 out of 5

    Patience

    Imaginative!!! Wow! What a story. Fast paced and action packed. I did not know what to expect but I took on the challenge and loved it! I think a young teen will fall in love with this story. Not your average fall into a fairytale story but it all connected! Very light hearted and fun!

  20. 5 out of 5

    Carolyn

    Fairly tales meet real life. Great middle school read!

  21. 4 out of 5

    Sarah Gilbert

    Really cute book.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Cassie Zuniga

    3.5 Very cute story.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

    I was recently gifted this title from the publisher via Netgalley! Interesting fairy tale retellings never get old and this is very apparent in this new story by Melissa de la Cruz. Filomena Jefferson-Cho lives in North Pasadina California with her adoptive parents. Both of her parents are writers and she herself is an avid reader who is obsessed with the popular Never After series. She is very sheltered by her parents as they are very over protective and she unfortunately doesn't have a lot of f I was recently gifted this title from the publisher via Netgalley! Interesting fairy tale retellings never get old and this is very apparent in this new story by Melissa de la Cruz. Filomena Jefferson-Cho lives in North Pasadina California with her adoptive parents. Both of her parents are writers and she herself is an avid reader who is obsessed with the popular Never After series. She is very sheltered by her parents as they are very over protective and she unfortunately doesn't have a lot of friends. The Never After series are her escape and these books act as her friends. Little does she know that those books are about to change her life completely and become more real than she ever realized. What I loved most about this story is that it was a true middle grade story. Our main character was in middle school, dealing with relatable conflicts that many middle schoolers deal with. There are a lot of stories that say middle grade but either the characters are dealing with more young adult aspects or are actual teens. I also feel that Filomena is a relatable character, even if at times the way she spoke came off a little too forced. Meaning trying to sound around that age. I certainly depicted what the outcome of the story would be but nevertheless I devoured this story and enjoyed every aspect of this fantasy adventure. I do hope that there are possible other stories as I would love to hear more about their adventures, but this was a great stand alone.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Katie Adams

    The plot is cute, but I hated the writing style. The rhymes were bad and the narration, written in the present tense, was cumbersome. It completely pulled me out of the story every time the author switched from large chunks of dialogue, written in the past tense, to narration, written in the present. I was also annoyed that the author kept calling the interwoven flashbacks “prologue” even though they were in the middle of the story.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Sacha

    Thanks to NetGalley and Roaring Brook Press for this arc, which I received in exchange for an honest review. I’ll post that review upon publication. Updated 12/8/20 4 stars Filomena Jefferson-Cho is a smart, less-than-popular, incredibly charming middle schooler who *loves* the _Never After_ series. These books are a kind of adventure/fairy tale mashup, and when the novel begins, she's off to pick up the latest installment. But from there, nothing goes as expected for Filomena. There is so much to Thanks to NetGalley and Roaring Brook Press for this arc, which I received in exchange for an honest review. I’ll post that review upon publication. Updated 12/8/20 4 stars Filomena Jefferson-Cho is a smart, less-than-popular, incredibly charming middle schooler who *loves* the _Never After_ series. These books are a kind of adventure/fairy tale mashup, and when the novel begins, she's off to pick up the latest installment. But from there, nothing goes as expected for Filomena. There is so much to love about this book. Filomena is such an endearing m.c., and de la Cruz accomplishes something magical here: a character who is quite atypical in the most relatable packaging. Filomena struggles with bullying, with not quite knowing how to interact with her overprotective parents at times, with believing her best opportunity for friendship is her Pomeranian, and with crawling into a world of books: a friendlier place than reality. But Filomena is so much more than that in every sense. The pacing is excellent. This is a quick read with an ideal balance of adventure, play with popular fairy tale motifs, and the most appealing m.c. I really enjoyed this, will absolutely recommend it to students, and will be on the lookout for what I hope will be more installments in this series.

  26. 4 out of 5

    S Tondra

    Never After: The Thirteenth Fairy is the first in a new middle grade fantasy series. The fairy tales that we know and love are wrong and this adventure sets us straight. Filomena lives a pretty normal boring life in North Pasadena but when her favorite book of all times comes to the real world what she thought she knew is no longer true. Filomena sets off to try and help save the kingdom of Wesphalia. I enjoyed the story and I think 5th grade-middle school will have a great time reading this adv Never After: The Thirteenth Fairy is the first in a new middle grade fantasy series. The fairy tales that we know and love are wrong and this adventure sets us straight. Filomena lives a pretty normal boring life in North Pasadena but when her favorite book of all times comes to the real world what she thought she knew is no longer true. Filomena sets off to try and help save the kingdom of Wesphalia. I enjoyed the story and I think 5th grade-middle school will have a great time reading this adventure. I was provided with an electronic ARC through NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Escape Into Fiction

    Read as a Digital ARC From the first chapter I was impressed by Melissa's use of diverse characters and how she brought the subject of different types of families into a middle aged read. Not only was she adopted, but both of her parents had different heritages as well. I laughed multiple times as I watched Filomena act and react just like many adults do when a new and eagerly anticipated book comes out, and in this case Doesn't come out! She is definitely a character we avid readers can all rela Read as a Digital ARC From the first chapter I was impressed by Melissa's use of diverse characters and how she brought the subject of different types of families into a middle aged read. Not only was she adopted, but both of her parents had different heritages as well. I laughed multiple times as I watched Filomena act and react just like many adults do when a new and eagerly anticipated book comes out, and in this case Doesn't come out! She is definitely a character we avid readers can all relate too!

  28. 5 out of 5

    Olivia

    NEVER AFTER is a completely charming middle grade fantasy. We are introduced to Filomena Jefferson-Cho, a young girl who is an avid reader and a fan of the Never After books. These books were planned to be a series of 13 and tell of the adventures in the world of Never After, where fairytales are turned around and retold. When the planned release for the 13th book is cancelled and said to not exist, Filomena is distraught - this fictional world has meant so much to her, and she knows the books i NEVER AFTER is a completely charming middle grade fantasy. We are introduced to Filomena Jefferson-Cho, a young girl who is an avid reader and a fan of the Never After books. These books were planned to be a series of 13 and tell of the adventures in the world of Never After, where fairytales are turned around and retold. When the planned release for the 13th book is cancelled and said to not exist, Filomena is distraught - this fictional world has meant so much to her, and she knows the books inside and out. When she runs into one of the main characters, Jack Stalker, she can hardly believe her eyes. But then, she finds that she is able to cast the spells from the books, and then, after a series of unfortunate events, ends up in Never After - the world she never thought could be real. She later learns that she may have an unexpected and critical role to play in it all. Interspersed amongst Filomena's story is that of Caraboose, the thirteenth fairy, in a prologue that is divided throughout the book. Seeing it all come together was absolutely thrilling. What I loved: Filomena is an excellent main character, and she experiences a lot that would be typical of the age group experience, such as feeling like she does not fit in, trying to find her place, and figure out who she is. In addition, there is a great background theme about family and what makes a family - Filomena is adopted and looks like neither of her parents, who also do not look like each other, but they still share so much love and connection, which is the true measure of family. This is an important message for young readers. There are also some interesting themes about morality, such as if someone does a bad thing for a good reason, where would that fall on the scale, as well as the twisting/shaping of history by the person who is doing the telling, where some events may occur differently in the retelling than the actual facts. These themes are woven throughout, and I found them very intriguing and highly compelling. The book has a lot of humor with fairytale creatures in the human world, trying to find their way, such as hunting for a thing called cheeseburgers. This kind of humor was delightfully throughout the book, and reminiscent of THE TENTH KINGDOM and/or ELLA ENCHANTED. Completely charming and giggle-worthy. As a note, this one does complete the story but leave a clear opening for the next book with a new mission. I would definitely want to check out the next, and I think this is a great start to a really fun series. Final Verdict: A charming read with compelling characters and giggle-worthy storylines, NEVER AFTER is a middle grade fantasy that is definitely worth adding to your collection. Please note that I received an ARC from the publisher. All opinions are my own.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Michelle

    Never After: The Thirteenth Fairy is a middle grade fantasy by Melissa de la Cruz.  This book was so much fun! I loved the characters, the world and the adventure that we get to go on. I am really hoping that this is the start of a fun filled middle grade series. (I think it will be a series, but I am not 100% sure.) Never After grabbed my attention right from the start with an adorable, lovable main character and a whimsical story and world. I was instantly transported alongside of Filomena. If Never After: The Thirteenth Fairy is a middle grade fantasy by Melissa de la Cruz.  This book was so much fun! I loved the characters, the world and the adventure that we get to go on. I am really hoping that this is the start of a fun filled middle grade series. (I think it will be a series, but I am not 100% sure.) Never After grabbed my attention right from the start with an adorable, lovable main character and a whimsical story and world. I was instantly transported alongside of Filomena. If you are a fan of middle grade fantasies, Never After is a book you will not want to miss. I think this is great for middle grade readers and older readers alike. In Never After: The Thirteenth Fairy, we meet our main character Filomena. Filomena grew up in a small town and I took an immediate liking to her. She cracked me up right off the bat when she described the popular kids at her school as the fettuccini alfredo's, because they always order fancy pasta as take out food for lunch. I knew then and there that the writing style in this book was going to be something I enjoyed. And I was right. Melissa De La Cruz is such a versatile author. I love her middle grade series and young adult series, and I love how easily she is able to write engaging books in both age groups. Filomena is such a relatable young lady to me. She starts out the book super excited because today is release day for the 13th (and last!) installment in her favorite series of all time- the Never After Book series. When she gets to the bookstore, she finds out that the book is not being publisher after all...because the author actually died years ago and her estate has not been able to find a completely 13th book. What a tragedy! On her way home things start to get even weirder for Filomena. She runs into someone who she thinks is a very believable cosplayer dressed up as the main character from the Never After series. But once she saves Jack from an Ogre attack she is whisked away to the magical land from her books, and the real adventure starts. I loved every second of this story. If you are a fan of fairy tales, then this is a fantastic book for you to check out. I loved how we got to see some familiar tales and characters, but here they were a warped and twisted version because of everything happening in their land. And so Filomenia goes on her journey to save the kingdom of Westphalia from the evil enchantress! This book was a complete delight!

  30. 4 out of 5

    Ms. Yingling

    E ARC provided by Edelweiss Plus Filomena Jefferson-Cho is a huge fan of the Never After books and goes to her local book store to get the last book in the series. Unfortunately, the book is not there, and it turns out that the author, Casseiopia Valle Croix, died years ago and the estate has released the titles. There never was a 13th book; not even notes. Crushed, she is surprised when a boys dressed as two of the characters, Jack and Allistair, accosts her. They have come into Filomena's dime E ARC provided by Edelweiss Plus Filomena Jefferson-Cho is a huge fan of the Never After books and goes to her local book store to get the last book in the series. Unfortunately, the book is not there, and it turns out that the author, Casseiopia Valle Croix, died years ago and the estate has released the titles. There never was a 13th book; not even notes. Crushed, she is surprised when a boys dressed as two of the characters, Jack and Allistair, accosts her. They have come into Filomena's dimension to escape Queen Olga, and are looking for an object that Olga might want to use to secure her power. They invite her to come to Never After because she knows so much about the stories, and she gladly obliges, especially since her best friend Maggie has been hanging out with the popular girls, dubbed "the fettucine Alfredos" because they often have this dish delivered for their lunch from a local restaurant. In order to get to Never After, they have to travel back through the Heart Tree portal, which is unlocked by the theme song to the movies. Thrilled to be inside the pages of her favorite story, Filomena tries to solve the problem, and learns surprising things about herself in the meantime. Strengths: What avid reader doesn't want to travel into their favorite story? Not only travel into it, but to help write it? Never After is exactly the sort of fantasy books that attracts readers who memorizes all of the intricacies of the story, and Filomena is fearless in embracing this opportunity. I loved that even though the Never After story was a Tolkien-y, Celtic-ish tale, Filomena and the cast were more diverse. The back story about her adoption was clever. I can see this being popular with readers of Chris Colfer's books or James' The Book Wanderers. Weaknesses: I absolutely loved this author's Blue Bloods (2006), which was an enormous hit during the days when Twilight was popular. She does a fantastic YA novel, but her middle grade books have a few missteps in tone for me. This is very common, and won't be noticed by avid fantasy readers at whom this series, and a series like The Desendants, is aimed. What I really think: Since I haven't had a strong core of fantasy readers for a while, and because I have to replace so many books lost in the pandemic, I won't buy this one. Fifteen years ago, I probably would have bought two copies.

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