Goodreads: Goldilocks Breaks In
Series: Grimmtastic Girls #6
Published: April 2015
Goldilocks has attended Grimm Academy for three months but still has no friends, so when E.V.I.L. approaches her with an offer to apply to membership, she’s thrilled. Is this her chance to prove to everyone that she’s a hero?
Though I love the messages embedded in the Grimmtastic Girls series–the importance of girls supporting girls, the celebration of different talents and races, etc.–I have found myself perplexed in the past by the confusing world building. The place of villains in Grimmlandia and other characters’ feelings about them remained in doubt, as did the strategy of the forces fighting E.V.I.L. Goldilocks Breaks In makes strides in answering these questions, though many more remain.
Goldilocks Breaks In is indeed an appropriate choice for discussing the nature of villainy as well as the need for villains in stories, since Goldlilocks herself seems to occupy a shady space between good and evil. No villain opposes her in her story. Instead, she is the one who, others remind her, breaks into someone else’s house and steals their food. But does this really make her a villain? This questions hangs over the protagonist throughout the story, despite her desperation to fight the forces of E.V.I.L. and the villains who compose it (though we might note that her motives in so doing are to gain acceptance from the school community and a little bit of hero worship–perhaps not very worthy motivations).
Through Goldilocks’s searching, readers come to understand that the Grimm brothers created Grimmlandia for all characters and, thus, villains are protected. Whether this explains the slowness of their opposition in beating them remains in doubt. Indeed, the continued blindness of the characters continues to astound. Ms. Wicked is supposedly a well-known member of E.V.I.L. at this point, yet the school board makes her acting principal with the sudden disappearance of Rumplestiltskin. And as she creates a list of Umbridge-like rules, they ignore her suspicious actions. She gets the closest she’s ever gotten to harming a student and still they do nothing. The rest of the school remains equally oblivious.
This all makes Goldilocks a truly refreshing character. She is clever and quickly realizes everything it took five books for other characters to discern (though maybe this is just a way for the authors to provide a recap without boring readers). She uses her wits to do something and take an active stance against E.V.I.L. She does not just sit around and wait for the absent adults to fix her world.
The book ends with something of a deus ex machina, but maybe the authors feared making the series too dark. On the other hand, the emergence of this “savior” figure does not amount to much, in all probability, when one considers that most of the work against E.V.I.L. has thus far been accomplished by tween girls. So going forward no doubt we can expect much the same fare as we have received so far. Something a tad bit adventurous and just a little bit sparkly.