Monday, March 29, 2010

Impossible by Nancy Werlin

“Are you going to Scarborough Fair…” The folk song popularized by Simon and Garfunkel is the catalyst for Nancy Werlin’s Impossible. This contemporary young adult novel caught my eye when I read that it was based on an English myth. Werlin’s careful treatment of such sensitive subjects as date rape, teen pregnancy and mental illness are expertly interwoven with the timeless theme of love conquers all.

Food to eat while reading: Scarborough Shortbread
Read the synopsis here.
The author found the premise of her story when she researched the folk song and found that it was based on an English myth which told of a woman who does battle with an elvin knight.  The story really took off for Nancy when she realized that she could create a heart-throbbing hero who could still be a “good guy”.

What I Liked:

I just love the fact that this book is crafted around a song that I grew up singing, and not only that, it’s a romance for young adults, and it’s a fantasy. What a delicious combination!

Nancy introduces some weighty teen issues in the novel. I am impressed with the sensitive manner in which the author addresses the character’s conflicts.

With all of the bad-boy heroes we see in young adult fiction, I am so happy to fall in love with a good-boy that teens can actually use as a basis for finding their own real-life love. Zach is the boy from next door whom Lucy has known since childhood. He loves her fiercely and fights for her with a loyalty worthy of any girl’s adoration.

One of the themes centers on the idea that love is powerful. In the book love actually is a power, one that can overcome manipulative magic. How true it is that, even in real life, love is a power worth fighting for. 

I love Lucy's foster parents and the loyalty and togetherness they, along with Zach, have as a mis-matched jumbled up family. 

What I would have changed:

Even though the book is intended for teens ages 12 and older, the content is more appropriate for older teens. I would recommend reading and discussing this book with your teen.

I am thin-skinned when it comes to such issues as rape and sexuality in the books that I read. Because of this, I will often put a book down in the middle and leave it. I mention this only because I want others who read the book to know of the sensitive issues that are involved. I will say that the author dealt with the issues tastefully and I never felt the need to quit reading the book.

Because I love fantasy, I wanted to see more of the fantastic. At times the book felt like two separate stories, the elvin knight vs. the maiden and the contemporary Lucy. At the end of the book Lucy wonders what else might be out there and where magic might be found. I felt that this was an easy way for the author to skirt around an explanation of the mythical world of the elvin knight.

A few things were unbelievable for me. I couldn’t believe that Lucy recovered from an early incident as quickly and completely as she did, and I didn’t buy the fact that her family accepted so readily that she was under a curse.

I wish Lucy would have focused more on her love for Zach as the book progressed. I just wasn’t convinced that he was her “true love”. Her love for him should have become so fierce that the climax should have torn me to pieces.

I gave this book 4/5 stars.

Find out more at Nancy's website

Check out the book trailer:

Purchase: Amazon, Barnes and Noble

Genre: Fiction, Young Adult, Fantasy.

Publisher: August 6th 2009 by Speak (first published 2008),

Paperback, 365 pages

Where I got the book: Barnes and Noble store

1 comment:

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