Monday, January 31, 2011
Genre: YA/Urban Fantasy.
Publisher: Viking, 2007.
Favorite character: Elizabeth.
Favorite quote: “Remember, just because you haven’t experienced something that doesn’t mean it’s not real.” T.J.
All in all: The story is about gaining confidence in yourself and personal “growth,” no pun intended.
Synopsis: Imagine Mary Norton's quirky Borrowers as twenty-first-century Goth teens bent on discovering their true genealogy. De Lint has crafted a delightfully edgy fantasy that will lead teens to his popular adult series of Newford books, where magic and fantasy thrive in a seemingly ordinary community. Fourteen-year-old T. J.'s family has been forced to move to a suburb, leaving behind their family farm and T. J.'s beloved horse. Shy and awkward, T. J. has trouble finding a niche in her new school, and she misses her old friends desperately. Enter Elizabeth Wood, a 16-year-old "Little" who is six inches tall and all punky attitude (four-letter words abound). T. J. and Elizabeth are both fascinated and sometimes disgusted by each other, and they form a tight, complicated friendship that sees them through a slew of adventures in both the quotidian and magical worlds. ~Amazon.com
Thoughts: In de Lint’s world of Newford, help and friendship come unbidden, when you most need it and when you least expect it.
I really enjoyed this book and especially the relationship between T.J. and Elizabeth. They have a sibling-esque dynamic and they play well off each other. Even though Elizabeth is only six inches tall, she is fierce, independent, sassy and wants more than being a Little has to offer. She encourages (almost berates) T.J. to take chances and to take advantage of being a “Big”, because after all, T.J. can wear cool clothes and do what she wants. Although T.J. admires Elizabeth for her bravado, she is timid and feels awkward and is not quite ready to do everything that her friend encourages her to do. But a series of events separate them and they each have to go through their own personal growth, so to speak, where they have to rely on their wits to see them through.
T.J. is trying to find Elizabeth and at the same time discover more information about Littles. Elizabeth is trying to discover if an old wives tale about her kind is true. There were a few parts that seemed a bit convoluted and one or two scenes that didn’t work for me but in the end it all tied together. As in all Charles de Lint books the mundane and magical mix and here it blended in a clever and enchanting way. I think that since T.J. is 14 and Elizabeth is 17 it could appeal to a variety of ages as well as so called “adults” like me.
To separate the two viewpoints of Elizabeth and T.J., de Lint used a first person viewpoint for Elizabeth and a third person point of view for T.J. I felt much more connected to Elizabeth and honestly at times, T.J.’s behavior bothered me. However, the very actions that I thought were immature led to more events that helped her own self discovery.
I had to ask myself when I finished this book if I would have liked it as much if it wasn’t written by Charles de Lint, because I am a little biased. Although I do admit that it is not my favorite Charles de Lint book, I do feel that he built tension and the plot had enough surprises to keep my interest. This is a book I would give a young reader to introduce them to one of my favorite authors.
4 out of 5 Stars.
Posted by Midnyte Reader at 11:02 AM