Impossible, by Nancy Werlin

impossible_bookHow do I even begin to describe this book without giving anything away? Um…Lucy Scarborough is a seventeen year old girl with two wonderful, loving foster parents and a real mom who is completely crazy and who shows up randomly sometimes. Each time she comes, she sings a version of Scarborough Fair, which she’s dubbed The Elfin Knight. Through a series of events I’m not going to talk about at all, Lucy begins to pay more attention to the ballad. She needs to unravel the puzzle her mother has given her. Her life and sanity depend on it.

I read Heather’s review months ago, but I must not have remembered much from it, because the content of this book came as a total shock to me. In a good way. I sat down to read this one afternoon and couldn’t put it down until I finished near midnight. I’ve had a couple bad experiences with YA lately, books with shallow premises or flimsy plots, but this was nothing like that. The characterization was solid and thick. The plot was slow enough to let me languish over it but also wasn’t dull. I could never guess what was going to happen – in fact, I thought I had much of the puzzle figured out and turned out to be completely wrong. There’s actually one place I wish I’d been right, but I can’t talk about it for spoiler’s sake. Agh! Good thing this is my YA book club selection this month so I’ll be able to discuss it in depth soon. 🙂

I really don’t want to give anything away, but let me just say that while this has fantasy elements to it, it is grounded in reality as well. It deals with some tough subjects, particularly among teens, and does justice to them. At the same time, it delves into old folk legends and mythologies and weaves them into real life. It was beautiful.

No, it wasn’t perfect. There were a couple places that felt contrived, like Werlin was trying to stuff in some backstory and didn’t know how to do it. I felt that particularly when it came to Lucy reading her mom’s diary (the diary format really doesn’t work for me unless it’s extremely well done and believable). But other than these little snatches of forced exposition, the prose is delightful, easy to read, and a lot of fun.

What else can I say? Go read it. It’s a good one! 🙂

PS – If you know the Simon and Garfunkel version of Scarborough Fair, you’re likely to have it in your head all day after reading this. I certainly did. Good thing I like the song!

About Amanda

Writing. Family. Books. Crochet. Fitness. Fashion. Fun. Not necessarily in that order. Note: agender (she/her).
This entry was posted in 2010, Prose, Young Adult and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

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