Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Review: How to Ditch Your Fairy by Justine Larbalestier

In Charlie's world, people have invisible little creatures that help them in ordinary ways. Like the never being late fairy, the loose change finding fairy, and the never getting lost fairy. Charlie is 14, and she has a parking fairy. Any car she is in will always find the perfect parking spot, no matter what. This might be useful, if she could drive, but certain aspects of it are down-right torturous. Like the fact she's always being "borrowed" by friends and relatives, or that she always smells faintly of gasoline. But worst of all is one of the biggest bullies in school kidnaps her repeatedly and forces her sit in the car so he can drive around all night and get good parking spots wherever he wants. Why couldn't Charlie have been blessed with a shopping fairy like her best friend Rochelle?

Enter Fiorenze. Her fairy? Every-boy-will-like-you. It's hard to have gentle feelings toward the girl who attracts every boy at their elite sports oriented school, but when Fio starts strutting around with the new kid, Stefan, on her arm, things get ugly. Did I mention Stefan is Charlie's crush?

Unfortunately, Fio's parents are world-renowned fairy experts. If Charlie has any hope of getting rid of her fairy, she'll have to work with the enemy. At first it seems like teeming up with Fio is going to be as bad as being kidnapped and enduring hours of parking. But soon Charlie finds she and Fio have a lot in common.

This was a fun, quick read. I fully expected it to be a middle-grade read, but I was surprised that it was more mature (simply because the characters acted like miniature adults). The school Charlie and her friends attend is strictly sports oriented. Even though I am not a sports fan at all, I found it very easy to relate to the characters and care about the struggles they dealt with. How to Ditch Your Fairy is set at some point in the not-entirely-distant future, so there are some technological aspects that were mentioned, but not really explained. I understand that going into tech details may have distracted from the book, but a few explanations wouldn't have hurt either.

I felt like the teen characters were level headed and deep thinkers. It was refreshing not to read a novel that centered on drugs and alcohol and sleeping around. There is no "real" swearing in this book, but a lot of light, made-up curses. Just be careful, you might end up using doxy and torpid without meaning to.

(For your convenience, there is a guide at the back of the book with a list of known fairies, as well as translations for words like doos, astral, and hoick.)

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Maggie said...

What a fun idea. I might have to check out this book. Congratulations on The Gifted and thanks for stopping by my blog. I'm now a "follower" on yours. I'm all for helping other authors out.

Good luck with your release.

vvb32 reads said...

this was a fun one to read. and i like this hilarious cover.