Title: The Thirteenth Fairy (Never After #1)
Author: Melissa de la Cruz
Genre: Middle Grade, Fantasy, Contemporary
Publisher: Roaring Brook Press
Release Date: December 1, 2020
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.
Filomena Jefferson-Cho lives an ordinary life in North Pasadena, but she loves to escape to the world of Never After in her favourite book series. When she gets the disappointing news on the release day that the thirteenth and final book in the series won’t be published, she’s so disappointed. As she walks home, she’s followed by someone who looks like Jack Stalker, the main character in the series. Jack catches up to her and tells her the world of Never After is real and she must go there with him to save it. The world is being taken over by ogres and Filomena has to help Jack and his friend Alistair. Filomena gets to enter her favourite fictional world that is closer to her reality than she can imagine.
As an avid reader since I was a kid, being able to enter my favourite fictional worlds would be a dream come true. It was so fun to read about Filomena being able to enter Never After. There are a few series I would have loved to enter as a kid, so this was such an entertaining premise.
I loved the references to fairy tales throughout the story. There were many fairy tale characters mentioned in passing, such as Goldilocks and the Three Little Pigs. This was a great set up for more books in the series to explore other fairy tale stories.
The Thirteenth Fairy is a fun middle grade fairy tale story!
What to read next:
The Isle of the Lost by Melissa de la Cruz
The School for Good and Evil by Soman Chainani
Have you read The Thirteenth Fairy? What did you think of it?