The Land of Stories: The Wishing Spell Read and Discuss thread!

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Re: The Land of Stories: The Wishing Spell Read and Discuss thread!

Post  FunnyLady on 8/17/2012, 5:33 pm

I just finished reading the book. It was amazing and I absolutely love it wub I hope we won´t wait very long for a sequel, because I am desperate to find out what kinds of adventures Chris comes up with for all the characters. But until then....I have to buy my own audiobook.
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Re: The Land of Stories: The Wishing Spell Read and Discuss thread!

Post  bayth on 8/20/2012, 1:56 am

I finished the book a while ago (I really enjoyed it.) and have started listening to the audio book. When he got to the part of the Singing Harp I couldn't stop laughing. His voices are fantastic, but that one made me remember Jo Anne Worley:
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Re: The Land of Stories: The Wishing Spell Read and Discuss thread!

Post  Glorfindel on 8/20/2012, 5:25 am

OMG!!! ohmy That is great! ptdr

And so true: she sounds like the magic harp. moque

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Re: The Land of Stories: The Wishing Spell Read and Discuss thread!

Post  arina on 8/20/2012, 7:14 am

So I finally got to read opinions about the book here. I am glad it was accepted so positively. I personally really enjoyed it as well and the audio book even more. Just one thing, few people here seemed to think that Chris is more like Alex, but I remember Chris's publicist (the blond one) said he is more like Conner :-)

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Re: The Land of Stories: The Wishing Spell Read and Discuss thread!

Post  Glorfindel on 8/20/2012, 10:17 am

arina wrote:So I finally got to read opinions about the book here. I am glad it was accepted so positively. I personally really enjoyed it as well and the audio book even more. Just one thing, few people here seemed to think that Chris is more like Alex, but I remember Chris's publicist (the blond one) said he is more like Conner :-)

I think they are 2 sides of the same coin. neutre

Personally I think that now, as he's popular and more sure of himself, Chris is more like Conner: the kid with the witty one-liners, confident, sarcastic, his upfront....but that when he was younger, back in school, he probably was more like Alex: the bookworm, nerd, lonely kid who was misunderstood by her peers all the time.
OTOH: Conner is misunderstood by his teachers, and I guess that played a part for Chris back in school as well. And now he still wants to be recognized for being a nerd, a writer, someone who's smart.

His Conner side is the more bold and outside one, while the Alex side is the most hurt and inside one, imo.
So yeah: both are him, basically. Razz

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Re: The Land of Stories: The Wishing Spell Read and Discuss thread!

Post  arina on 8/23/2012, 3:21 am

I read on tumblr again some (constructive) criticism on Chris's not so good and too easy writing style. I am bad in english and it's actually the fist book I have read in english and I just don't have sense for that language, so I don't see it so much (well except for repetitive words I personally didn't see any flaws at all :-D).... I LOVED ColferGirl's analysis but I want to ask native speakers who haven't studied it, how much is his flawed writing style obvious to more "ordinary" readers? it's really so glaring?




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Re: The Land of Stories: The Wishing Spell Read and Discuss thread!

Post  tanita_mors on 8/23/2012, 11:44 am

It's not flawed as much as it's rather simple. You can tell he is a beginner, that is that this is his first professional work and that he is rather young. It's very rear for people Chris's age to publish books, even thees days. There is a number of them, but mostly it's people who have been trying to professionally write for years. It's not uncommon for first novels to be written, rewritten and edited for years before they hit the stands. His style needs work and he definitely needs to broaden his vocabulary in creative writing (look at how many times he uses "says, said,...").

Some writers have a much broader prose style (like Stephen King, JK Rowling, J R R Martin, Tolkien, ..) other like for example James Patterson have very short and to the point style. Some publish a book every year, some every 5 years, some every 4 months. You can say one is a better writer then another, but they are all bestsellers. Some people prefer one, other do the other. It's all a matter of taste.

Also, people seam to forget that the intended readers for this novel are 8-12 yo. The style and flow of the story simply can't be to complicated for them to understand and fallow it successfully. The way it's written will appeal to them and I think that is all that matters.

And one other thing. The way the novel is written, leaves me with no doubts that it was written by Chris. Had it been much more sophisticated, I might have wondered, but ever word, sentence, paragraph and chapter just screams Chris Colfer. It is all that truly matters. And I respect him even more for it.

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Re: The Land of Stories: The Wishing Spell Read and Discuss thread!

Post  zuppid on 8/24/2012, 3:53 am

Keep in mind that is a children book...
You can see huge difference in the writing style ,for example, reading Harry Potter 1 and 7


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Re: The Land of Stories: The Wishing Spell Read and Discuss thread!

Post  Divalicious on 9/5/2012, 11:36 am

I finished the book on my trip, and I enjoyed it very much. While the writing is simplistic, what Chris wrote drew good pictures of his characters, what they were doing, why they did what they did. I could really see this as a family film, that everyone would enjoy. While I like his book being a book, I would like to see what these characters look like on a big screen. It was lovely the way he showed the family bickering between siblings, but strongly underlying that was the love. These weren't annoying one dimensional kids, they were real little kids, and I liked them very much. Even the little bits they had of the queens made them interesting, and for the most part they remained admirable people. Chris' love of royal families is showing wub

Running errands today, and having family over for dinner tomorrow, to thank them for caring for my animals while I was gone. But I hope before my vacation ends to enjoy the rest of the audiobooks, at least I'll know what the characters sound like in Chris' mind.

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Re: The Land of Stories: The Wishing Spell Read and Discuss thread!

Post  MoviesAreLife on 2/6/2013, 8:05 pm

I'm glad that it reads like a children's book, and not like something that a highly mature, overly intelligent 22 year old young man would write! fanny2 He didn't sail far over the heads of the intended readers. I liked the book, and I admire Chris' good intentions on needing to create an escape for some people, seeing as he and Hannah badly needed one while growing up...and now he wants to give that peice of magic to others. He wants to inspire others to believe in magic again. It's very sweet and honorable for an overly cynical world...

The book cut my age in half while I was reading, and took me back to when I was the twins' age. I do identify more with the Carson Phillips Journal, because it is geared toward young adults and it is based in reality, not fantasy...but I still enjoyed TLOS very much! Alex and Conner were so cute!

Something just occured to me. Chris made up two of his very own fairy tales, didn't he? The Walking Fish and The Curvy Tree! That's amazing! What an imagination! I wouldn't even know where to begin if I had to make up a fairy tale...

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Re: The Land of Stories: The Wishing Spell Read and Discuss thread!

Post  Glorfindel on 3/16/2013, 3:26 pm

^Yes, Chris made up his own fairy tales, and also the rhymes describing the objects needed for the wishing spell.

When I heard Chris' and Oliver's Downtown Abbey impressions in Glee I couldn't stop thinking that I had heard Chris talk like that before. I knew there is a little video of him talking British-like during one of the very first photoshoots of Glee, but that wasn't what triggered my memory.
And then yesterday, completely accidentally, I was listening to the audiobook of TLoS (during a day in a sauna/spa), and I remembered: Chris used several British sounding accents for some of his characters in TLoS.
The bridge-troll has a sort of Scottish/Irish accent (I'm not that familiar with all the different British accents). Little Red Riding Hood's maiden and one of the cart drivers have an English accent, and several other characters too.
That was what I had heard before, but couldn't remember. neutre


I never have been that amused and captured by an audiobook before: Chris is a very entertaining reader/storyteller.
It's not hard to understand how he won so many awards for Speech and Debate. wub

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Re: The Land of Stories: The Wishing Spell Read and Discuss thread!

Post  MoviesAreLife on 3/16/2013, 4:25 pm

Yes, the rhymes! And don't forget his poems for the literary magazine in the SBL book! He says that he can't write poems, but I disagree.

I love that! He probably picked up all of the UK accents by being a BBC addict! Wink

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The Land of Stories: The Wishing Spell Read and Discuss thread!

Post  Lottie2303 on 3/25/2013, 6:49 am

Upps, wrong thread. I got confused Smile . I was talking about the Aslyum movie.

I am also excited for LoS, even though I had some problems with the ending of the first book. I disagreed with Chris a bit about certain parts. (but to be fair, I listened to the audio book and I figured out the hard way that I really am not a good listener at all. I probably missed half the book anyway)
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Re: The Land of Stories: The Wishing Spell Read and Discuss thread!

Post  MoviesAreLife on 3/25/2013, 2:01 pm

But which movie does Chris' new film remind you of? If I haven't already seen it, now I want to watch it! I'm just curious. Smile Or are you saying that Chris' new film sounds like the kind of film you'd love to see? Oops! I think I misread your original post! Sorry! ooppss

What didn't you like about the ending of TLOS?

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Re: The Land of Stories: The Wishing Spell Read and Discuss thread!

Post  Lottie2303 on 3/25/2013, 2:23 pm

Okay, I will repeat what I already said: I listened to the audio book (Chris did a good job!) but I really am not suited for those. So, I may make some assumptions now that are not necessarily true, because I forgot half the text. I also did fall asleep five times trying to listen to the end. I have to buy the book one day, as I still haven't managed to listen to it entirely...

Overall, I thought it was a great, creative and fantastical debut novel and Chris captured the essence of the story really well. I also liked that the book was suited for all generations, which is incredible difficult to manage. I also like that no character was purely evil or good. But with the evil queen, he defended her a bit too much. So she had a sad life and lost her first love. So what? She still is a mass murderer and tried to kill Snow White. I just didn't understand why SW would let her leave. Especially because it resulted in her hunting down the twins. While I find the psychological aspect of villains interesting as well, I still judge people based on their actions. And I really saw no reasons at all why the lose of your childhood love gives any sort of understanding why she developed in a mass murdering, vindictive queen trying to kill a teenager for her vanity.

So, feel free to correct me for missing information.

(P.S. I was talking about the Asylum movie, as it sounds exactly like my cup of tea).
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Re: The Land of Stories: The Wishing Spell Read and Discuss thread!

Post  MoviesAreLife on 3/25/2013, 2:36 pm

Lottie2303 wrote:Okay, I will repeat what I already said: I listened to the audio book (Chris did a good job!) but I really am not suited for those. So, I may make some assumptions now that are not necessarily true, because I forgot half the text. I also did fall asleep five times trying to listen to the end. I have to buy the book one day, as I still haven't managed to listen to it entirely...

Overall, I thought it was a great, creative and fantastical debut novel and Chris captured the essence of the story really well. I also liked that the book was suited for all generations, which is incredible difficult to manage. I also like that no character was purely evil or good. But with the evil queen, he defended her a bit too much. So she had a sad life and lost her first love. So what? She still is a mass murderer and tried to kill Snow White. I just didn't understand why SW would let her leave. Especially because it resulted in her hunting down the twins. While I find the psychological aspect of villains interesting as well, I still judge people based on their actions. And I really saw no reasons at all why the lose of your childhood love gives any sort of understanding why she developed in a mass murdering, vindictive queen trying to kill a teenager for her vanity.

So, feel free to correct me for missing information.

(P.S. I was talking about the Asylum movie, as it sounds exactly like my cup of tea).

Perhaps Snow White has taken a chapter from the gospel of Kurt Hummel when it comes to forgivness! Wink

Actually, I agree with everything you said about the Evil Queen (Evly). I do appreciate how he depicted the psychological reasoning behind her madness...it is interesting! But I don't think that the stuff she went through excuses her actions. She became one of the worst things a human being can become: a murderer. And worse, she took her rage out on an innocent girl (Snow White) who had done nothing wrong other than remind Evly and Mirra of the young, beautiful and kind maiden she had once been. Lots of people go through hard times and they have a choice. A fork in the road. You can rise above it and become a stronger, better person for it (Kurt) or you can let it crush your character and turn you into a twisted monster.

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Re: The Land of Stories: The Wishing Spell Read and Discuss thread!

Post  Glorfindel on 3/25/2013, 3:50 pm

Although I agree that Snowwhite should have never set the Evil Queen free, as she was bound to do more bad, and I also agree that a murderer deserves no pardon, I think what people are missing in her story is the importance of her stone heart.

Evly was hurting so badly (and she had several reasons to rightfully feel betrayed) after they took away her parents and love that she had her heart removed by magic, so she would feel nothing anymore: no pain, but also no remorse or sympathy for others.
What's important here is that she had her heart removed before she became evil and did her gruwesome sins like murder. Not that she was not accountable for her actions because of having no heart, but it is an explanation why she crossed the lines and became such an evil monster.

And I think that is the story Chris wanted to tell: that a person who rejects his or her feelings just to make the pain go away is not human anymore. That removing your heart (or in real life: become heartless and cold) does more damage to you than the damage that was done to you which caused you to become heartless.
It is better to feel and hurt than to not feel at all. I think that was the intented message.

And this is true for many real villains in history: they were too once human and some of them had great hardship while growing up or before they became powerful. Again: this is not dismissing or justifying their actions as the dictators and murderers they were, but it's an explanation why, and in a way they can be pitied for having gone through things that made them choose the evil path.
Of course this is not true for all villains, but for a good amount of them it is (like child abusers who were abused as a child themselves). Not everyone is so strong that they can stay pure and good when they've gone through a lot, and not everyone has people around them supporting them.

Personally I can never understand why people who have been hurt themselves can then deliberately go hurt someone else, and I could never forgive them, nor really pity them. But their choice to become heartless because it would stop them from hurting makes sense, even if it's the wrong choice to take.
Many people walk that fine line between good and evil, and it's our feelings for ourselves and others that keep us on the right path. Call it morals, if you may.
I think Struck by Lightning's Carson and his mom are also examples of becoming heartless because they felt so much initially and wanted it to stop (and that's why Carson's mom stunned her feelings with drugs: to become stone-hearted), although Carson only strayed a bit on the wrong side of the path and was on the way back when he died, because the stories for his literary magazine made him more aware of his peers' feelings (so he felt for them: no stone heart anymore).

I think that is what Chris was trying to say in the story of the Evil Queen and her stone heart.

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Re: The Land of Stories: The Wishing Spell Read and Discuss thread!

Post  Lottie2303 on 3/25/2013, 4:13 pm

I agree with your assessment and also think it is a rather fascinating field why people do evil things and what are the reasons that lead people to such vicious actions (even though, the most disturbing people to me are those who have no 'legitimate' reason at all and only do it for the sake of it). I completely forgot about the stone heart, so that is another good tidbit about the characterization from Evly. Overall, she is a great villain and fascinating character and I like all her layers.

However, it still does not explain why Snow White let her go and I really could not understand that decision. I thought and still think that Chris Colfer was too lenient and tried a bit too hard to explain good/evil that I got the impression he almost apologized her crimes. I know it wasn't his intention and overall he did a great job with the book, but that part bothered me and I disagree with his idea.
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Re: The Land of Stories: The Wishing Spell Read and Discuss thread!

Post  MoviesAreLife on 3/25/2013, 4:50 pm

Glorfindel wrote:Although I agree that Snowwhite should have never set the Evil Queen free, as she was bound to do more bad, and I also agree that a murderer deserves no pardon, I think what people are missing in her story is the importance of her stone heart.

Evly was hurting so badly (and she had several reasons to rightfully feel betrayed) after they took away her parents and love that she had her heart removed by magic, so she would feel nothing anymore: no pain, but also no remorse or sympathy for others.
What's important here is that she had her heart removed before she became evil and did her gruwesome sins like murder. Not that she was not accountable for her actions because of having no heart, but it is an explanation why she crossed the lines and became such an evil monster.


And I think that is the story Chris wanted to tell: that a person who rejects his or her feelings just to make the pain go away is not human anymore. That removing your heart (or in real life: become heartless and cold) does more damage to you than the damage that was done to you which caused you to become heartless.
It is better to feel and hurt than to not feel at all.
I think that was the intented message.

And this is true for many real villains in history: they were too once human and some of them had great hardship while growing up or before they became powerful. Again: this is not dismissing or justifying their actions as the dictators and murderers they were, but it's an explanation why, and in a way they can be pitied for having gone through things that made them choose the evil path.
Of course this is not true for all villains, but for a good amount of them it is (like child abusers who were abused as a child themselves). Not everyone is so strong that they can stay pure and good when they've gone through a lot, and not everyone has people around them supporting them.

Personally I can never understand why people who have been hurt themselves can then deliberately go hurt someone else, and I could never forgive them, nor really pity them. But their choice to become heartless because it would stop them from hurting makes sense, even if it's the wrong choice to take.
Many people walk that fine line between good and evil, and it's our feelings for ourselves and others that keep us on the right path. Call it morals, if you may.
I think Struck by Lightning's Carson and his mom are also examples of becoming heartless because they felt so much initially and wanted it to stop (and that's why Carson's mom stunned her feelings with drugs: to become stone-hearted), although Carson only strayed a bit on the wrong side of the path and was on the way back when he died, because the stories for his literary magazine made him more aware of his peers' feelings (so he felt for them: no stone heart anymore).

I think that is what Chris was trying to say in the story of the Evil Queen and her stone heart.

Very good points. I actually forgot about her heart of stone. ooppss There is a saying that hurt people like to hurt others. You'd think they'd have the compassion to NOT go down that path of hurting others if they know what it feels like, but I guess it's the mentality of "sharing the pain". Those who were hurt by someone felt helpless in their own situation, so they turn around and do it to someone else in order to "reclaim their power". It's a very stupid mentality and makes no logical sense.

As for the heart of stone, it's really a defense mechanism. There is only so much abuse one can take before they turn a switch off inside them and become "heartless" in order to cope with the pain. Well, some do that.

I don't think Carson was anywhere near heartless, though. He had a heart underneath that hard, prickly shell. tonguue

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Re: The Land of Stories: The Wishing Spell Read and Discuss thread!

Post  Glorfindel on 3/25/2013, 6:14 pm

Lottie2303 wrote:I agree with your assessment and also think it is a rather fascinating field why people do evil things and what are the reasons that lead people to such vicious actions (even though, the most disturbing people to me are those who have no 'legitimate' reason at all and only do it for the sake of it). I completely forgot about the stone heart, so that is another good tidbit about the characterization from Evly. Overall, she is a great villain and fascinating character and I like all her layers.

However, it still does not explain why Snow White let her go and I really could not understand that decision. I thought and still think that Chris Colfer was too lenient and tried a bit too hard to explain good/evil that I got the impression he almost apologized her crimes. I know it wasn't his intention and overall he did a great job with the book, but that part bothered me and I disagree with his idea.
Yes, I disagree with some of it too, but I don't think Chris apologized her crimes, but that he made her someone others could have pity upon instead of only thinking bad of her.
The monologue of the Evil Queen herself (when the twins were captured) was a bit too much in 'apologizing' and trying to get sympathy for her and her crimes, but that's alright imo, because it was the Evil Queen herself saying it, and of course she would excuse herself. But although the twins were moved by what she said they still wanted to fight her and stop her from using the wishing spell.

As for Snow White: I think she was wrong in letting the Evil Queen go. However, the Evil Queen was the only parent she had known, and although her stepmom never treated her right Snow White still loved her and wanted desperately for the queen to love her back. She also wanted to understand why her love was rejected and why the queen did what she did.
Therefore in a way Snow White was in a weak and influenceable position when she came to visit her stepmom in the dungeon. And Chris made it very clear that the Evil Queen had the magical power of persuasion and suggestion. It wouldn't have taken much for her to talk Snow White into letting her go, and even give her the idea that she thought of that herself.

This I admire greatly in Chris's writing: for the most part it is quite solid in the 'canon', without too many plot holes when looking back to previous chapters in the book.

MoviesAreLife wrote:I don't think Carson was anywhere near heartless, though. He had a heart underneath that hard, prickly shell. tonguue
Carson was not heartless, but he build a big solid brick wall around his heart, and this wall only came down for his grandmother, and later in his story for his peers when he read their attributions for his literary magazine.
A brick wall is not the same thing as a stone heart, but it's close, and if he had not 'seen the light', or if his grandmother had died let's say 5-10 years before, so Carson did not have even her to lower his defences for, that wall would never come down anymore.

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Re: The Land of Stories: The Wishing Spell Read and Discuss thread!

Post  MoviesAreLife on 3/25/2013, 7:55 pm

^ Now a brick wall, I'd totally agree with. Funny how Carson had a brick wall around his heart, whereas Kurt seemed to have a wall made of ice around his heart at the start of Glee. Anyway, I'd argue that we saw multiple chinks in Carson's wall throughout the movie: mostly with his grandma, but with Malerie also. Even with his mom, and eventually with his other peers. I don't think his wall was as thick as he wanted it to be.

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Re: The Land of Stories: The Wishing Spell Read and Discuss thread!

Post  Lottie2303 on 3/26/2013, 3:23 am

Correct me if I am wrong, but Snow White never regretted helping the Evil Queen, did she? That is an irk of mine, next to the monologue of the Evil Queen, as it was clearly implied we are supposed to feel sorry (the twins were crying and all) and to understand her motives. But I really like your train of thoughts about the situation. Even though I remain firm that Chris got too lenient with the actions of the Queen. But overall, he did a nice job and being 26 (I am so, so old!) I really enjoyed a children book.

I actually think that Carson wanted to have brick walls and still cared too much for his own liking. He clearly is affected by the peers around him, but chooses to ignore getting bothered. But Malerie, for instance shows that with a bit of effort you can reach him and tear down his walls. But I also only listened to the audio book, absolutely loved it and still fell asleep. I am still somewhere stuck 3/4 in the audio book. Such a shame, as he does an amazing job as Carson.


Last edited by Lottie2303 on 3/26/2013, 5:57 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Grammar *urgh*)
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Re: The Land of Stories: The Wishing Spell Read and Discuss thread!

Post  Glorfindel on 3/26/2013, 10:41 am

Lottie2303 wrote:Correct me if I am wrong, but Snow White never regretted helping the Evil Queen, did she? That is an irk of mine, next to the monologue of the Evil Queen, as it was clearly implied we are supposed to feel sorry (the twins were crying and all) and to understand her motives. But I really like your train of thoughts about the situation. Even though I remain firm that Chris got too lenient with the actions of the Queen. But overall, he did a nice job and being 26 (I am so, so old!) I really enjoyed a children book.
Direct quote from the book:
"What?" Alex asked. "You helped her escape?"
"No way!" connor said.
"Yes," Snow White said. She showed no remorse with her confession. "I sat in her cell for hours and listened to her story. It broke my heart. So, in a final attempt to please her, I arranged for her and her mirror to be taken up the river and into the next kingdom so she could continue her work."
(---)
"All these years, I wondered why she didn't love me, and then I finally understood it - it was because she couldn't," Snow White said. "I thought a heart as broken as hers was punishment enough for her crimes against me."
(---)
"I think what I've learned from all of this is that villains are mostly just people villainized by circumstance," Alex said.
Snow White showed no remorse, that's true, but I'm not sure if we are to take from that that she was right to have done what she did because the Evil Queen was just a victim of circumstance.
Snow White set her free for her own personal reasons: because she still wanted to please her stepmom so she might love her back. And when she understood why her stepmom could not love her back she tried to give the Evil Queen the means to become human again, freeing her so Evly could free her lover.
Snow White set the Evil Queen free because of her own longing for her stepmom to love her, become human again, so she could finally love Snow White back.
And Snow White was so wrapped up in her own dealings with the Evil Queen that she made it all about what the Evil Queen had done to her personally (instead of her parents and the kingdom in general), and she thought that the Evil Queen was punished enough for her crimes against Snow White herself, while not considering the Evil Queen's crimes against everyone else in the kingdom.

To be honest: I'm not a fan of Snow White because of this, but at least when she found out that the Evil Queen was after the items for the wishing spell, just like Alex and Connor, she warned them against the Evil Queen and told them not to cross her path.
Snow White could not know that in order to help Mira escape the mirror the Evil Queen would go after the wishing spell items and therefore she would be willing to kill 2 innocent children who got in her way.
(Of course: Snow White was too naive in this, but still..... that's why a book has characters with their own POV who are not omnipotent: to move the plot forward.)

The bolded that Alex said ("I think what I've learned from all of this is that [b]villains are mostly just people villainized by circumstance") is I think the essence and message of the Evil Queen's story. At first glance it seems to excuse villains, but it really doesn't: it just states that a lot of villains weren't born villains, but resorted to that after they were mistreated/victims themselves. Never once in the book did Chris state that the path villains resorted to (becoming villains) is an acceptable or justifiable choice, it just for some villains why they make that choice.

Oh, and I remembered yesterday: the monologue of the Evil Queen towards the twins. That was the closest Chris got to 'justifying' the Evil Queen's actions, but as I said in my previous post she literally speaks for herself at that moment, so of course she excuses her own actions.
But I remembered there's more to it, as she deliberately told the twins her sad story to make Alex cry, so the Evil Queen could collect the fairy tear from her.


I actually think that Carson wanted to have brick walls and still cared too much for his own liking. He clearly is affected by the peers around him, but chooses to ignore getting bothered. But Malerie, for instance shows that with a bit of effort you can reach him and tear down his walls. But I also only listened to the audio book, absolutely loved it and still fell asleep. I am still somewhere stuck 3/4 in the audio book. Such a shame, as he does an amazing job as Carson.
Carson was still young and therefore not rotten through and through yet because of his experiences. The fact that he still was compassionate on some level indicates he had a good heart inside of him, as children can get very damaged from the things Carson had to live through. But he build a wall around his heart.
I'd even say Carson felt too much, too passionate. He reigned in his heart and emotions because he cared too much about some things, and his feelings mostly came out as sarcasm and cynism, and sometimes angry outbursts.
Because Carson cared so much he got himself in trouble numerous times and got nothing for it in return, so he tried not to care anymore and then started the blackmail. But he still cared in the end.

Carson and the Evil Queen cannot be paralleled directly, but what they have in common is struggling with too many feelings, too much hurt, and they both tried to ignore that part of their being: they fought it. But Carson's story is of course completely different from Evly's.

I think Carson's mom's story is more like Evly's: she got hurt too much too, so she resorted to booz and pills to numb her feelings, and she was so selfish that she hurt others (Carson) in order to keep her own status quo in the deal she herself made with life.
The Evil Queen was mad at and jealous of Snow White because Myra (the man in the mirror) mistook her for his old lover, and it made the Evil Queen realize that the Myra she knew and cried over was gone. But the Evil Queen did not want to let go of her old heartbreak. She would rather destroy Snow White than admit that the reason she became what she had become was gone forgood and in the past.
Sheryl (Carson's mom) was jealous of Carson's success and the world who would take Carson away from her. Plus she was so frightened he would get the same heartbreaks as she had had (the heartbreaks she still was wallowing in and using as an excuse to be a drug addict), that she would rather destroy Carson's dreams than let him prove that there can be a way out of misery caused by circumstance (in this case: Clover).
Snow White and Carson were the ones who were the most threatening to the Evil Queen and Sheryl because by them being young, hopeful, resilient and succesful where Evly and Sheryl failed, they showed that the 'villains' (Evly's and Sheryl's) misery was partly self inflicted and certainly selfmaintained.


Oops, long post: I love discussing about characters and their motives. blushh


Last edited by Glorfindel on 4/3/2013, 8:59 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : misspelled some names)

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Re: The Land of Stories: The Wishing Spell Read and Discuss thread!

Post  Lottie2303 on 3/26/2013, 1:00 pm

Okay, I really love your deception of the characters and you basically gave me valid reasons that I dislike Snow White even more. So she was basically selfish, naive and really immature. Also by releasing the Queen, she knew that she might endanger other people (not just the twins, but basically everyone passing her way. She has proven that she will commit murder to achieve her goals. She also only warned the twins superficially. Everyone knew that they shouldn’t pass her way. She should have been more insistent and detailed in her warnings). But nonetheless, she stood in front of the twins and basically expected them to understand her motives. And the twins did. They were crying and as you quoted, Alex concluded that villains are mostly people due to circumstances. But for me it was not clear enough that the queen still committed horrible crimes and deserved her punishment in prison. Let’s not forget this book was written to children who do not necessarily spend the time and effort to analyze and deconstruct the actions of the characters. I love it when characters have different layers and I really appreciate it that Chris did not give the queen some superficial reasons why she agreed to a heart of stone, but he still was too lenient with her motives. I strongly believe he did not intent to apologize it, I do not think that for a second, but he still somehow did by not pointing out well enough that the Evil Queen was at the end still an evil person who committed horrible crimes and deserved to spend the rest of her life in prison. Seriously, I would have slapped Snow White in her face if I would have been one of the twins (okay, let’s forget for a second they are children). Okay, they are children, but they have no mad reaction at all towards the fact the Snow White let the Queen free and therefore endangered the life of many people including their own. If someone would try to kill me and my siblings, I wouldn’t care a second for their sad life. Maybe that is just me. So, yeah at the end it is too much of a pity party for the Evil Queen and not enough focus on her crimes. I think it needed to spelled out more, especially for children who do not spend the time and effort analysing the book, as we do. And I do not like that and personally it lessened the quality of book a tiny bit.

(btw: it is really interesting to discuss the book with you!)



I personally see no parallel at all between Carson and the Evil Queen. I see Carson as someone who cares, has a rather direct approach of life (which I can relate to, as I have similar tendencies, and a lot of people to not appreciate it. There is a large number of people I met during my entire life who either loved or hated me), is ambitious and frankly too intelligent for his town. I guess Chris added the last part from his own life, as I can see him as someone with a too big of a character for a small, narrow-minded city. I also think the biggest difference between Carson and the Evil Queen is that Carson accepted the circumstances and did everything in his power to change his life. He despised those around him, but always knew only his own intelligence, ambition and drive will help him to achieve his dreams. He despised his peers but did not really blame them. He accepted it, pointed constantly out their flaws in a rather mean manner but never expected that someone would respond. He only relied on himself.

Unfortunately, a lot of people did not spend the same sentiments (which is partly understandable because he most certainly did not do it in a sincere, well mannered way) and he constantly got disappointed again by the people around him (parents, teacher, class mates etc.). You can only be pushed so far until you build up a wall to protect yourself, especially when you have big dreams and the drive to achieve those no matter what. His grandmother was the only one he always opened up too. But still, he had his moments with his mother and ultimately he wanted to have a good relationship with her but always got disappointed again. You could see that he had those moments of hope, when he was for instance sitting with her on the terrace. His entire behavior towards his father is much more telling, as he truly rightfully gave up any hope to ever have a decent relationship with him. You could see it as we was extremely cold and straight forward with him. Malerie is a great example who just continued talking to him and eventually he started to like and appreciate her. If he wouldn’t have died he probably would have learnt the valuable lesson not to judge a book by its cover. At the end, he was only a lonely teenager full with flaws himself. That makes him so interesting and likable, as he felt like a fully fleshed out character, which I sincerely cared for. It was so hard to watch him die, as you knew he would have succeeded in life and never got the chance (let’s just forget that he is fictional and never was alive in the first place). I said once, in real life I either would have hated him or he would have been my best friend.

One thing I really liked about SBL in contrast to LoF is that Chris Colfer didn’t hesitate to show depth, flaws and wrong decisions but they did not get apologized in the context. They were present but also acknowledged. Carson and the other characters had so many layers and they were all deeply flawed, but he never treated those traits as apologies. They were just present, there were reasons for those behaviors, nothing was superficial and you could still understand the motives without apologizing them. That did not necesarilly happen in LoS. That is one of the reasons why I enjoyed the movie so much and I am so looking forward to the Asylum movie, as I believe we will get to know a completely different side from Chris.

(now, I wrote the novel...)
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Re: The Land of Stories: The Wishing Spell Read and Discuss thread!

Post  MoviesAreLife on 3/26/2013, 6:23 pm

Glorfindel wrote:
Lottie2303 wrote:Correct me if I am wrong, but Snow White never regretted helping the Evil Queen, did she? That is an irk of mine, next to the monologue of the Evil Queen, as it was clearly implied we are supposed to feel sorry (the twins were crying and all) and to understand her motives. But I really like your train of thoughts about the situation. Even though I remain firm that Chris got too lenient with the actions of the Queen. But overall, he did a nice job and being 26 (I am so, so old!) I really enjoyed a children book.
Direct quote from the book:
"What?" Alex asked. "You helped her escape?"
"No way!" connor said.
"Yes," Snow White said. She showed no remorse with her confession. "I sat in her cell for hours and listened to her story. It broke my heart. So, in a final attempt to please her, I arranged for her and her mirror to be taken up the river and into the next kingdom so she could continue her work."
(---)
"All these years, I wondered why she didn't love me, and then I finally understood it - it was because she couldn't," Snow White said. "I thought a heart as broken as hers was punishment enough for her crimes against me."
(---)
"I think what I've learned from all of this is that villains are mostly just people villainized by circumstance," Alex said.
Snow White showed no remorse, that's true, but I'm not sure if we are to take from that that she was right to have done what she did because the Evil Queen was just a victim of circumstance.
Snow White set her free for her own personal reasons: because she still wanted to please her stepmom so she might love her back. And when she understood why her stepmom could not love her back she tried to give the Evil Queen the means to become human again, freeing her so Evly could free her lover.
Snow White set the Evil Queen free because of her own longing for her stepmom to love her, become human again, so she could finally love Snow White back.
And Snow White was so wrapped up in her own dealings with the Evil Queen that she made it all about what the Evil Queen had done to her personally (instead of her parents and the kingdom in general), and she thought that the Evil Queen was punished enough for her crimes against Snow White herself, while not considering the Evil Queen's crimes against everyone else in the kingdom.

To be honest: I'm not a fan of Snow White because of this, but at least when she found out that the Evil Queen was after the items for the wishing spell, just like Alex and Connor, she warned them against the Evil Queen and told them not to cross her path.
Snow White could not know that in order to help Myra escape the mirror the Evil Queen would go after the wishing spell items and therefore she would be willing to kill 2 innocent children who got in her way.
(Of course: Snow White was too naive in this, but still..... that's why a book has characters with their own POV who are not omnipotent: to move the plot forward.)

The bolded that Alex said ("I think what I've learned from all of this is that [b]villains are mostly just people villainized by circumstance") is I think the essence and message of the Evil Queen's story. At first glance it seems to excuse villains, but it really doesn't: it just states that a lot of villains weren't born villains, but resorted to that after they were mistreated/victims themselves. Never once in the book did Chris state that the path villains resorted to (becoming villains) is an acceptable or justifiable choice, it just for some villains why they make that choice.

Oh, and I remembered yesterday: the monologue of the Evil Queen towards the twins. That was the closest Chris got to 'justifying' the Evil Queen's actions, but as I said in my previous post she literally speaks for herself at that moment, so of course she excuses her own actions.
But I remembered there's more to it, as she deliberately told the twins her sad story to make Alex cry, so the Evil Queen could collect the fairy tear from her.


I actually think that Carson wanted to have brick walls and still cared too much for his own liking. He clearly is affected by the peers around him, but chooses to ignore getting bothered. But Malerie, for instance shows that with a bit of effort you can reach him and tear down his walls. But I also only listened to the audio book, absolutely loved it and still fell asleep. I am still somewhere stuck 3/4 in the audio book. Such a shame, as he does an amazing job as Carson.
Carson was still young and therefore not rotten through and through yet because of his experiences. The fact that he still was compassionate on some level indicates he had a good heart inside of him, as children can get very damaged from the things Carson had to live through. But he build a wall around his heart.
I'd even say Carson felt too much, too passionate. He reigned in his heart and emotions because he cared too much about some things, and his feelings mostly came out as sarcasm and cynism, and sometimes angry outbursts.
Because Carson cared so much he got himself in trouble numerous times and got nothing for it in return, so he tried not to care anymore and then started the blackmail. But he still cared in the end.

Carson and the Evil Queen cannot be paralleled directly, but what they have in common is struggling with too many feelings, too much hurt, and they both tried to ignore that part of their being: they fought it. But Carson's story is of course completely different from Evly's.

I think Carson's mom's story is more like Evly's: she got hurt too much too, so she resorted to booz and pills to numb her feelings, and she was so selfish that she hurt others (Carson) in order to keep her own status quo in the deal she herself made with life.
The Evil Queen was mad at and jealous of Snow White because Myra (the man in the mirror) mistook her for his old lover, and it made the Evil Queen realize that the Myra she knew and cried over was gone. But the Evil Queen did not want to let go of her old heartbreak. She would rather destroy Snow White than admit that the reason she became what she had become was gone forgood and in the past.
Sheryll (Carson's mom) was jealous of Carson's success and the world who would take Carson away from her. Plus she was so frightened he would get the same heartbreaks as she had had (the heartbrreaks she still was wallowing in and using as an excuse to be a drug addict), that she would rather destroy Carson's dreams than let him prove that there can be a way out of misery caused by circumstance (in this case: Clover).
Snow White and Carson were the ones who were the most threatening to the Evil Queen and Sheryll because by them being young, hopeful, resilient and succesful where Evly and Sheryll failed, they showed that the 'villains' (Evly's and Sheryll's) misery was partly self inflicted and certainly selfmaintained.


Oops, long post: I love discussing about characters and their motives. blushh

I don't quite agree with the line "Villians are just victims whose story hasn't been told" that he had in his book. When people are being demonized without deserving it? Yes. But the Evil Queen ceased being a "victim" once she decided to act out and harm/kill others without remorse. I'd cut her some slack if her aggression was against the witch who killed her parents, trapped Mirra in the mirror, and enslaved Evly herself in the first place. But her other crimes against everyone else? Uncalled for.

The thing about Sheryl is so true. To be honest, I felt she wanted to keep Carson in Clover with her for two reasons. A.) to trap him into taking care of her forever because she didn't want to be "abandoned" and B.) Bitter jealousy. Yeah, a part of her might have wanted to "save" him from the pain of having his dreams crushed just as she did. But I think that there is a secret attitude among more parents that anyone previously thought. They'll never admit to this, but I think there are some parents out there who have been bittery disappointed with their lives and how their own dreams never came to be. They always say "I want my kids to do better than I never did" but I think that's a lie for some people. I truly think that some parents have the thought process of "I never succeeded, so I'll be damned if I let my own kid succeed and accomplish their dreams where I failed. It's too painful for me. It'll show me up." Carson would've succeeded and Sheryl knew it, and it would've highlighted the fact that, no, she didn't have to become the sad sack she became. That she has no one to blame but herself and her lack of strength for the fact that she was so unhappy. She didn't have to give up or turn to drugs, and Carson becoming a success would have blown holes in her "poor me" theory.

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