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Impossible Paperback – August 11, 2009
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From School Library Journal
Starred Review. Grade 9 Up—Werlin combines magic, romance, and a family curse in this 21st-century fairy tale based on the ballad "Scarborough Fair." On the night of her prom, Lucy, 17, is raped by her date and becomes pregnant. She decides to keep the child, and she is supported by her foster parents and Zach, her childhood friend whose love for Lucy changes from platonic to romantic as the story progresses. The teen discovers the curse on the women in her family when she reads her birth mother's diary. Lucy is destined for madness at 18 unless she can perform the three impossible tasks described in the song and break the curse of the Elfin Knight. She is determined to rid herself and her unborn child of the curse, and her family and Zach help her as she works to solve the riddles. This unique story flows smoothly and evenly, and the well-drawn characters and subtle hints of magic early on allow readers to enter willingly into the world of fantasy. As in The Rules of Survival (Dial, 2006), Werlin addresses tough topics. Rape, teen pregnancy, and family madness set the story in motion, but the strength of Lucy's character and the love of her family and friends allow her to deal with such difficult matters and take on the impossible. Teens, especially young women, will enjoy this romantic fairy tale with modern trappings.—Jennifer D. Montgomery, Western Kentucky University, Bowling Green
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
*Starred Review* Date rape, a pregnant teen, and a shotgun wedding (of sorts)—must be a YA problem novel circa 1985, right? Not really. From a hidden letter, 17-year-old Lucy Scarborough learns “all sorts of melodramatic, ridiculous, but true things” about the circumstances surrounding her rape on prom night, her subsequent pregnancy, and why therapy and her signature pragmatism won’t be much help against an ancient fairy’s curse. By the Edgar Award–winning novelist whose thrillers include The Rules of Survival (2006), this tale, inspired by the song “Scarborough Fair,” showcases the author’s finesse at melding genres. Although it’s perhaps overly rosy that Lucy’s devoted foster parents take the curse in stride, Werlin earns high marks for the tale’s graceful interplay between wild magic and contemporary reality—from the evil fairy lord disguised as a charismatic social worker to the main players’ skepticism as they attempt to solve the curse’s three archaic puzzles (“We’ve formed the Fellowship of the Ring when really we should’ve all just gone on medication”). Meantime, Lucy’s marriage to childhood pal Zach, a development unusual in YA fiction but convincing in context, underlies the catapulting suspense with a notion that will be deeply gratifying to many teens: no destiny is unalterable, especially not when faced with tender love magic, “weird and hilarious and sweeter than Lucy ever dreamed,” worked by truly mated souls. Grades 7-11. --Jennifer Mattson --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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And over a year after reading this book from the library, I knew I had to own it. Im not a person that reads a book more than once, but it's such a treasure that I had to just own it, so that I wouldn't forget this book.
Being a book collector, it made me cringe to see the black marker line on the underneath part of the book, but you couldn't find a flawless book unless you went to a book store and examined it. The back of the book shows a sticker mark that wasn't cleaned off well, and even some scuff marks. But I bought the hard cover for a reason! I didn't want to order a papercover book and receive it bent in the mail. So I think the hard cover was worth the extra few dollars.
The story of Lucy and her family curse is enchanting and magnetic. You'll find yourself trying to solve the mysteries to breaking the curse. Even when your not reading it. Sitting at work thinking "how do you make a seamless shirt?" lolz
The characters are well rounded and likable but the book jumps ahead ALOT. This is where the 3 stars comes to play. I loved this story but I felt that the pace just sucked some of the luster out of it. There where times when I tought my heart was breaking, but then you flip the page and it's like "two month ago bla bla bla" and we were off to something new. Maybe it is just me but it just felt really rushed. Sort of like someone said " write this story but you only have X number of pages to do it in."
Sorry if I'm not making any sense. I warned you this was going to be hard for me. I think this would have been a solid 5 stars if there was say like 200 more pages?!
Please don't let me detour you from reading this. It is an amazing store of a families survival through a teen crisis. How anything is possible when your family bands together and the amount of love is outstanding.
Until next time....Read, Review, Repeat!