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.
A few days ago, a surprise finished copy of Never After: The Thirteenth Fairy arrived on my doorstep. I made the mistake of showing it to my 10-year-old daughter who promptly took it out of my hands and locked herself in her room so she could get to reading right away. That’s what happens in my household when Melissa de la Cruz releases a new book because she never disappoints!
Thankfully, I was able to retrieve the book from my daughter and read it for myself in time for publication day today. Never After is a fun twist on the fairy-tales-that-come-to-life theme that seems to be everywhere these days. As an adult reading a middle-grade novel, I still had a wonderful time getting to know the characters and see what twists de la Cruz would add to the plot.
Filomena Jefferson-Cho, the book’s main character, is especially likeable. I love that she is a fangirl and doesn’t back down about her love for the Never After books, even when she is bullied about them. Her character arc is fun to experience and I look forward to reading more with her in future installments of this series.
What a fun start to Melissa de la Cruz’s latest middle grade series! No matter what age group she is writing for, I will always read what this author produces.