As I mentioned in my last post I was a little behind on writing my book intros and reviews so I am combining the two. This book was really an impulse selection at the library. I was in the young adult
section and saw the neat book cover so I went with it. At first I really was unsure about this book but I was pleasantly surprised. Before I get ahead of myself check out some of the book information. My review of the book will be at the bottom.
Author: Holly Black # of Pages: 352
Goodreads synopsis: “Hazel lives with her brother, Ben, in the strange town of Fairfold where humans and fae exist side by side. The faeries’ seemingly harmless magic attracts tourists, but Hazel knows how dangerous they can be, and she knows how to stop them. Or she did, once.
At the center of it all, there is a glass coffin in the woods. It rests right on the ground and in it sleeps a boy with horns on his head and ears as pointed as knives. Hazel and Ben were both in love with him as children. The boy has slept there for generations, never waking. Until one day, he does…”
Star Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
So where do I begin? Well, at first the main character Hazel kind of rubbed me the wrong way. She seemed a bit shallow and boy crazy. I mean at one point of the book she even make reference to not leaving any boy unkissed. I really disliked her and didn’t think she was that great of a character. Thankfully the story itself and the town was written so well that it kept me interested which is good because Hazel redeems herself.
So let’s begin with the town of Fairfold. They live along side of the Fae and believe themselves to be safe because of their agreement. Yes, tourists end up disappearing but they do not seem too bothered by it. They believe that since they belong to the town they are safe. There was even a boy with horns in a glass coffin in the woods, but that wasn’t weird to them. In fact the teenagers of the town would normally hang out at this coffin in hopes that they boy would wake up. (This is the norm for generations) Everything seems normal until the day that the coffin is empty and the horned boy is gone.
This makes Hazel and her brother try to find out where he went so that they can help him. Ever since they were children they believed that this fairy prince belonged to them. So that is where the story starts picking up. Hazel finds her way to the fairy court so that she can get some information about the prince and is shocked to find out that the bargain she made as a child was being collected in an unexpected way. You see when she was younger she made a trade with the fairy king…7 years of her life in exchange for her brother to be able to go away to music school. She thought that she would just die 7 years earlier, but it turned out that the King was already collecting her debt by taking her nights from her and erasing her memory. At night she was trained to be a fairy knight and was doing his bidding without knowledge of it. Which meant that her day self and night self were two different people…this made for a very interesting story.
Now, I do not want to give too much away of this story, but let’s just say it was a decent YA read. There was magic of sorts, a monster who brings nothing but sorrow, and a girl who realizes that she is so much more than she thought she was. It was a fun and light read. I would definitely read other books by this author.
- The world that was created for this book was great. The author really did a wonderful job explaining how the town came to be and what the towns people did to protect themselves from the fae.
- Hazel becomes much more than a girl who likes to use boys. You find out that she wants to be more but is afraid to become more. Her character development was well done.
- There is LGBT representation in the book. I enjoy it when books have a diverse set of characters and they are written well. It adds a little more realism to the book for me. You didn’t get the horned boy falling in love with Hazel. You got something that felt a little more organic.
- Hazel was very annoying in the beginning.
- I wish that the book was longer so that we could have found out more about the town as well as the fae.
I was pleasantly surprised with this book! At first I honestly thought I made a mistake because Hazel seemed to be such a shallow character but I am glad that I held on. The characters were well written and so was the town lore. I really ended up enjoying the book and didn’t want to put it down at the end. The story developed in such a natural way and I really enjoyed it. I would absolutely read other books by this author if I needed something light to read.