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Unthinkable Hardcover – September 12, 2013

4.2 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews
Book 2 of 2 in the Impossible Series

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Editorial Reviews

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.

From Booklist

*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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Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 and up
  • Grade Level: 7 and up
  • Hardcover: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Dial Books (September 12, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0803733739
  • ISBN-13: 978-0803733732
  • Product Dimensions: 5.9 x 1.2 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,101,599 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
I enjoyed Nancy Werlin's Impossible, so I was happy to get a copy of Unthinkable for review from the publisher through Goodreads.

Unthinkable is Fenella's story. Fenella was the original Scarborough girl, the one who began the curse on the Scarborough family that her descendant Lucy broke in Impossible. Fenella expected to die when the curse was broken, but instead, she finds out that she will live for several hundred more years. Weighed down by her guilt over the deaths of all her "daughters", she simply wants to die. In order to do so, however, she must complete three acts of destruction. Only after she agrees to these terms does she learn that her destructive acts must target Lucy and the other members of her family. The Faerie queen Kethalia sends her brother Ryland (characters from Werlin's Extraordinary) in the form of a cat to assist Fenella in her destruction. Trying to avoid following his advice, Fenella is left to puzzle out whether there is a way for her to achieve her goal of death without doing irreparable harm to her family.

Even though I liked Impossible, looking back on it, I think the story worked out a little too easily; Lucy's family and boyfriend were maybe too understanding, and her acts of creation came fairly easily. The conflict here was much deeper, because in some ways the stakes are higher. Fenella has to be destructive toward the family she would like to protect (and Werlin writes in a twist that really gives her no option). So her choices here are confined to choosing the least worst option, which is fairly agonizing for her.

I empathized with Fenella.
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Format: Hardcover
Okay, I have to say, Unthinkable is not *quite* as good as the first book Impossible, but it's still a pretty brilliant sequel. What I love is how inventive it is. The idea and plot for this sequel is amazing! It would be perfect if only I could've liked the main character more.

I think the main problem people will have with this book is the main character Fenella. She's quite difficult to like, simply because she's trying to hurt her own family. Sure, she doesn't want to, and yes, it does bring some interesting conflict and tension to the story that had me turning pages, but in the end I just didn't like her. She causes so much destruction and pain, and I got a little annoyed with her woe-is-me attitude. Plus, I didn't like how naïve she was in the modern world. It's part of her character, of course - she's hundreds of years old and has never lived in modern times - but it's just another aspect of her character that frustrated me.

All problems with Fenella aside, this book is just fantastic. The supporting characters, new and old, are all perfect. It was so good to read more about Lucy again and see her through Fenella's eyes. I adored Lucy's character in Impossible and still loved her in Unthinkable. She's much like Lucy from the Narnia books - they both have that same sweet and innocent spirit.

And Ryland. Oh my word. I think he has to be my favorite character besides Lucy. He's turned into a cat in this book and is sort of a guide or companion to help Fenella. He just cracks me up. Not to mention the fact that he and Fenella can read each other's minds. Let's just say there was lots of giggling over his thoughts and reactions to being a cat. He definitely had the best lines!
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By AKJusth on November 23, 2015
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Girlfriend really enjoyed this book.
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