- Age Range: 12 and up
- Grade Level: 7 - 9
- Hardcover: 400 pages
- Publisher: Dial Books; First Edition edition (September 12, 2013)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 9780803733732
- ISBN-13: 978-0803733732
- ASIN: 0803733739
- Product Dimensions: 5.9 x 1.2 x 8.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 10 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #499,858 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Unthinkable Hardcover – September 12, 2013
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From School Library Journal
Gr 7 Up–Lucy Scarborough has ended the curse that haunted the women of her family for 400 years and is settling into a happy life after the events of Impossible (Dial, 2008). But Fenella, with whom the curse began, isn't at peace. After being trapped in Faerie for centuries, all she wants is to die, so she strikes a deal with the Faerie queen: if she destroys her family, she can end her own life. She shows up on Lucy's doorstep to begin her three tasks of destruction (the inverse of Lucy's three tasks of creation). However, despite her tortured past, it is difficult to sympathize with Fenella's cruel intentions. Readers who rooted for Lucy's success may struggle with this novel, especially since Lucy's spirit and determination, so much a part of her character in Impossible, are largely absent here so that Fenella can take center stage. They will also have a hard time believing Lucy's family's acceptance of Fenella, even after she begins to destroy their security and love. Mention is made of their suspicions, but Fenella is never asked to leave, and while the ending is somewhat open-ended, it's still more hopeful than seems likely. Even with its flaws and heavy reliance on a suspension of disbelief, Unthinkable may still find an audience among fans of Impossible who liked the blending of real-world and fantasy, the focus on family, and the tale of a young woman overcoming what seem like incredible odds.–Gretchen Kolderup, New York Public Libraryα(c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
*Starred Review* In this stand-alone sequel to Impossible (2008), Werlin presents a heroic character who has three tasks: to destroy her family’s home, their love, and their hope. The destroyer is Fenella, who has been trapped in the faerie realm for hundreds of years. Like Impossible’s Lucy, she is a Scarborough; Lucy broke the family curse that killed generations of girls; Fenella was the first to be cursed by the despicable Padraig. The only way for Fenella to find release, according to the Faerie Queen, is to destroy, and she agrees before she’s told it is Lucy, her husband, daughter, foster parents, and tormented mother, Miranda, who must be the targets. Werlin pulls off quite a feat, making us care deeply for a character driven by selfish needs, intent on betrayal. The irresistably plotted book, also raises large questions about the nature of security and whether destruction is tied to creation. The tension is palpable as Fenella ponders possibilities for accomplishing her unforgivable tasks, and the reader, though horrified, can’t walk away from her, nor can her love interest, Walker. Fenella’s feline companion, Ryland, the feisty brother of the Faerie Queen, adds some levity to a unique and unforgettable quest. Though the destruction is handled almost philosophically, at its heart, this is a story about the many different levels of love. Grades 9-12. --Edie Ching
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I prefer the original story with Lucy, simply because it's about hope and creating and not destruction. I see what the author was going for, but I also wish it could have been different. I did, however, really enjoy the way things worked out in the end, so if it were possible, I'd give it 3.5 stars.
I think fans of the previous two books will likely feel the same as me, liking how it all ties together while also being dismayed at how things transpire in the book. I think they will enjoy the new characters and the returning ones.
Fenella was cursed. There was no way around it. She was taken into Faerie and has lived there for hundreds of years as a captive to the "Mud creature" Padraig. Essentially a slave, she demands her right to die and her freedom from the Faerie Queen. One thing about faeries...nothing comes without a price and that is one thing Fenella should have learned. When she is told that to die she must perform three acts of destruction, she agrees blindly. Not until it is too late is she informed that the very lives she sought to protect will be the ones in jeopardy. If she performs the tasks, she will be free to die. If she does not, she returns to Padraig, a slave once again. The Faery Queen councils her to live out her life and forget about her need to die but Fenella is set on her path, and it very well might cost her more than she ever thought possible.
This book is a continuation of Impossible. Coming into it not having read the first book, I was a bit lost at first. Who were these strange tree creatures and why was this odd girl trying to kill herself and not doing a very good job at it either? As I read, I realized that it was completely readable without the backstory and settled in for a ride through faery trickery and betrayals. I was not disappointed in that regard. Full of twists and turns I found myself wondering at the theme of destruction that permeated the book. There is an element of romance that got a little close to the scorching edge of what constitutes normal in young adult these days.
One of the hardest things for me about this book was the main character. Fairy tales, I love. Fenella I really did not like. Her reactions were a bit off for someone who had been alive for four hundred years or so. If the character is going to be a teen, then great. If they are mentally four hundred than you expect a level of maturity (or at least I did) that was not there. Some of the choices she made in the series of trials were questionable and that kind of soured my feeling about the book in general. My suspension of disbelief was not working in this particular case.
While I love a great faery story and appreciate the overall quest for the impossible that this book had going for it, when you can't identify with the main character it makes the book a tough read. I wanted to like this girl who stood up to the Faery Queen and her captor but I just could not connect with her. The opening message with the goal being to kill one's self as the goal of the story was a little off, too. The imagery and the author's style of writing were thought-provoking, as was Ryland and his snarky cat comments. How interesting that destruction was used as a theme in this book, but in the end there were some good things that rose up from the ashes if you will.
Overall, if you enjoy a story about insurmountable odds and the things you are willing to do to set yourself free than this book may be for you.
Originally posted at Long and Short Reviews