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.
Title: Never After: The Thirteenth Fairy (Never After, #1)
Author: Melissa de la Cruz
Publication Date: December 1, 2020
Publisher: Roaring Brook Press
Genre: Middle-Grade, Fantasy
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.
“…what she might love the absolute most (don’t tell her parents) are the books in the Never After series.
And the thirteenth and final book is out today.
THE THIRTEENTH AND FINAL BOOK IS OUT TODAY! (Use megaphone here.)
But she’s cool. She’s not running to the bookstore.”
“Alistair Bartholomew Barnaby, will you please stand up?”
“They’re the famous people of this world. They’re mostly actors, singers, musicians. ‘Stars,’ we call them. Like…instead of the stars we look up to in the sky, they’re the people we look up to.”
Jack raises an eyebrow, finding this odd. “Why would you look up to other people instead of the stars?”
Filomena laughs. “You have a point.”
Gretel puts her hands on her hips. “But just because it’s ready-for-battle-wear doesn’t mean it can’t be on trend, right?”
“We’ll need to take another cab, but I forgot to ask my parents for my allowance,” Filomena tells them.
“Not to worry,” says Gretel, flashing a hint of silver that’s armor of a different kind. “I have a credit card.”
About the Author
Melissa de la Cruz is the #1 New York Times–USA Today–Wall Street Journal–Los Angeles Times-and Publishers Weekly-internationally bestselling author of many critically acclaimed books for readers of all ages, including the Alex & Eliza trilogy and Disney’s Descendants novels.