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NEXT TOP VILLAIN by Suzanne Selfors


From the Ever After High: A School Story series, volume 1

by Suzanne Selfors

Pub Date: Jan. 6th, 2015
ISBN: 978-0-316-40128-9
Publisher: Little, Brown

The Ever After High franchise begun by Shannon Hale with The Storybook of Legends (2013) continues with a new companion series and new author.

Ever After High student princess Duchess Swan (daughter of the Swan Queen) is proud of her perfect grades and smooth ballet moves, and she is trying to come to terms with the fact that she won't have a “Happily Ever After” life but is destined to become merely a swan, albeit a royal one. Her roommate, fellow princess Lizzie Hearts, is the daughter of the Queen of Hearts of Wonderland. Duchess envies Lizzie her confidence and her future, since her foretold destiny does include a happy ending. What's more, Daring Charming, the ultrahandsome blond prince and crush object of every girl in the school—including Duchess—has an unrequited thing for Lizzie. The actual plot is pushed forward as Lizzie, Duchess and a few more students in General Villainy class battle to reach the honor of becoming the titular “Next Top Villain.” As in the previous books, humor and puns (“What the hex?”) are generously sprinkled like fairy dust throughout the story. Garnering much of the humor here is Sparrow Hood, Robin Hood's laid-back, soul-patched son, who is constantly riffing (both guitar and jokes). Readers will be mystified and perhaps frustrated that Duchess is so gaga over the empty-headed, narcissistic prince, but perhaps she will come to her swan senses in the next installment.

Another clever, comical story filled with fairy-tale characters' teen progeny

. (Fantasy. 8-12)