The Fairy Godmother Files: Cinderella Complex by Rebekah L. Purdy
Publisher: Astraea Press
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal, Action/Adventure
Length: Full Length (281 pgs)
Age Recommendation: 12+
Rating: Best Book
Reviewed by Jasmine
Sixteen-year-old Maggie Winters can’t think of anything more exciting than junior year. There’s her first prom to look forward to, she can drive, and most important Connor Prince has finally noticed her. But unfortunately so has the school snob, Katrina Melville, who goes out of her way to make Maggie’s life a living hell. If that’s not enough, Maggie’s grandma has decided to retire, which doesn’t seem like such a big deal. That is until she finds out her grandma is a Fairy Godmother, and not just any Fairy Godmother. The Fairy Godmother, as in Cinderella, pumpkins, and mice. And she has informed Maggie that she’s next in line to become the new Fairy Godmother.
At first Maggie is excited, the whole getting wings, flying (or rather trying not to crash), and a wand that let’s her grant wishes. It’s like being a superhero, without all the action, explosions, and spandex. Then she gets her first assignment, Katrina Melville, her nemesis. And if that doesn’t make her want to poof herself into oblivion, she finds out that part of Katrina’s happily-ever-after is Connor Prince. Life is so unfair. Even worse, she can’t tell her two best friends about any of it and they’re getting sick of her disappearing acts. Then there are the dangerous creatures, called Grimms who will stop at nothing to keep the happy endings from being fulfilled, even if it means destroying the Fairy Godmother responsible. With time running out, Maggie has to make this wish come true or it will ruin the fates of everyone involved, and open the world to darkness beyond imagination. Maggie will soon find out what it truly means to be a Fairy Godmother—and it isn’t all about princes, gowns, and wings, but something much more.
I think every teenager (and some adults) hopes that there is some secret destiny meant only for them, just waiting to be discovered. It may be a secret talent, or maybe you want to be the next “big thing” in the acting or modeling world. Perhaps, for some maybe it’s the life of a spy, or if you really dream big, maybe you are waiting to find out that you are the long, lost princess of a foreign land. I could hazard a guess that not many expect to find out that they are the next Fairy Godmother. Yes, that one. Minus the singing mice (so far). I think few could do it with the absolute hilarity that Maggie Winters does though.
Going to your grandmother’s birthday party, expecting a nice, normal, boring night, only to find out that your grandmother is the Fairy Godmother from all the fairy tales that you’ve grown up reading is shocking enough, but to find out that you are the next in line to inherit the title? That’s complete insanity to a high school girl. If she refuses, the world will be taken over by evil. Talk about pressure! There are some perks though. She gets to learn how to fly and do magic. She even gets her very own Knight in Shining Armor – what more could a girl want? Well, for one thing, maybe for the Knight to not be her brother. At least the boy that she’s been crushing on for years, Connor Prince, is finally noticing her. Except then she finds out that her very first assignment is, Katrina, a classmate that she loathes and her happily ever after is with Connor. Oh and not only is she not allowed to tell anyone but now she has these evil things called Grimms that are trying to kill her. Junior year is so not working out like she thought it would.
The voice of the teenager in this book is so authentic that they could have been standing in front of me narrating it. Ms. Purdy has done an excellent job with the characters in this book. We have the nice girl, the mean girl, the jealous best friend, the annoying brother, the hot guy, the guy best friend that could be more, and the evil stepmother. All of them are well fleshed out and uniquely individual. Maggie is a great heroine. She is her own person, even if she’s not sure for herself who that is yet, the reader can clearly see it. She is compassionate and selfless, insecure and lovestruck and hilariously overwhelmed with her new responsibilities. Jackson is a great older brother, both protective and annoying, as most older brothers are. Seth is sweet, a little bit of a bad boy and very hot. And Taylor is fantastically loyal and protective of her friend while Katrina is guarded and prickly until you get to know the real girl hiding behind the mask. Maggie’s mom and dad, her evil stepmother and the annoying step-sisters are all well drawn out. Even though we don’t see as much of them as the others, we get a clear picture on who they are.
There were a couple of points in the book that confused me a bit. It took me a while to figure out how old Maggie’s brother, Jackson, is. They have the same friends, eat lunch together at school and seem pretty close so, for a while, I wondered if maybe they were twins. This got cleared up but it was quite a ways into the book. I was also confused as to why Maggie’s grandmother just sort of threw her into the position without helping her figure out what she was doing. Especially when there are Grimms whose sole mission is to kill her. Having said that, Maggie not knowing what she is doing leads to several hilarious moments.
This book kept me laughing out loud through the entire thing. I haven’t laughed this much reading a book in a while. If it ever gets picked up for a movie, I will be the first in line. Despite the humor, there is a very valuable lesson that comes across in this book – things, and people, aren’t ever what they seem, whether good or bad. In helping the girl that has been bullying her in school, Maggie soon realizes that Katrina isn’t truly the image she displays at school and that there are reasons for the way she is. In learning this lesson, she gains a new friend.
This is one book, that while I lamented the open ending that left me hanging a bit, I was glad to see that I’ll get to follow more of the adventures of these fun teens. I will be anxiously watching for the next book in this series. I can’t wait! Well written, with a few twists and turns that had me gripping my reader in suspense, and tons of humor, this is a book that I would recommend to anyone, adults and teens alike. If you pass this one up, you will truly be missing out on an excellent story.