Date Read: December 31, 2016
After the slog of An Ember in the Ashes I needed something short and sweet and I found Flunked to perfectly suit me. Being Kids' Lit, it did get a bit preachy at times, but for the most part it was a delightfully subtle commentary on what defines right and wrong. The main character is perfectly depicted as a morally mystified 12-year-old, flipping with believe-able inconstancy between thinking of herself as a villain and as doing what was necessary. It made me think of the moral turmoil within Marie Lu's the Young Elites, and honestly, I think it was done better here.
The Fairy Tale aspects are delightfully consistent, and presented with a wonderful quirkiness that keeps the playfulness of kids lit alive. The characters are all very well fleshed out and each of them develops and presents new sides of themselves to the reader throughout the story. It's a very well done novel for any age, and its delightfully sophisticated for a middle-grade audience. There's nothing in it that will go over the kids' heads, but it's not so simple so as to bore an older reader.
Over all, it is an EXCELLENT read!