Bad Hair Day (Whatever After #5) Review
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Unabridged Digital Audiobook
Runtime: 3 hours, 21 minutes
Read by Emily Eiden

In their first four adventures, the adventure-loving stars of author Sarah Mlynowski’s Whatever After novels have come to the rescue of some of their favorite fairy tale princesses. They’ve baked with Cinderella and eaten stew with Snow White and her friends. And now, in the audio edition of the fifth installment, Bad Hair Day, they climb up Rapunzel’s long hair and end up in one hairy situation.

The story opens after 10-year-old Abby suffers a painful loss: after two years as spelling bee champion in her old school, she comes in ninth at her new school in Smithville. The last thing she wants is to travel through the magic mirror in the basement to visit another fairy tale, but her little brother, Jonah, tricks her into another adventure. They soon find themselves at Rapunzel’s tower—and when they accidentally ruin Rapunzel’s gorgeous long hair, they’re forced to find another way to help her escape evil Frau Gothel and find her happy ending.

Abby and Jonah have already been on all kinds of magical adventures in fairy tale land—but the one in Bad Hair Day is quite possibly their most action-packed and perilous yet. As they set out to fix their mistakes and find happiness for poor, short-haired Rapunzel, they race around the kingdom, trying to come up with the best new ending for this fractured fairy tale. They visit the palace, search for Rapunzel’s long-lost parents, and end up meeting some surprising creatures in Frau Gothel’s magical garden. It’s all rather hectic—and a little haphazard—but it also ensures that there’s never a dull moment in the story.

At the same time, though, this story is also surprisingly scary. While the kids have faced evil stepsisters and wicked queens in the past, none of them have been quite as terrifying as Frau Gothel, the creepy gardener (and sorceress) who keeps Rapunzel locked away. The more Abby and Jonah encounter Frau and her strange collection of pets, the scarier the story becomes—and the kids and their new friends end up facing giant tarantulas, strange mixed-up beasts, and more. And while Rapunzel’s story does, of course, find its way to a new happy ending—while teaching another valuable lesson in the process—you might want to brace yourself (and your young readers) for some rather terrifying twists and turns along the way.

Bad Hair Day is another fun-filled and action-packed fairy tale adventure. But if your little ones are prone to nightmares, you might want to fast-forward through some of the chapters toward the end and skip ahead to the happy ending.

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