18 November 2011

My Very Un-Fairy Tale Life by Anna Staniszewski

"You know all those stories that claim fairies cry sparkle tears and elves travel by rainbow? They're lies. All lies."—Twelve-year-old Jenny has spent the last two years as an adventurer helping magical kingdoms around the universe. But it's a thankless job, leaving her no time for school or friends. She'd almost rather take a math test than rescue yet another magical creature! When Jenny is sent on yet another mission, she has a tough choice to make: quit and have her normal life back, or fulfill her promise and go into a battle she doesn't think she can win.

This is a cute book. It is perhaps a bit younger-directed than the books I usually read, being aimed at what I suspect is the 8-12 crowd. It’s not long, due to that, but it is a good story. Jenny is a great character, and she will be relatable to children and pre-teens. The fantastic setting is a great plot twist, with just enough explanation to things that it’s fantasy without making it too complicated. It’s a great author that knows just how much to explain the magical workings without going into so much detail that the reader is lost. The twists and turns on Jenny’s journey are wonderful, and the author has crafted an adventure that highlights the strengths and weaknesses of her lead without making her jump through too many hoops or do things that seem out of character or too overpowered. Her helper, Anthony, is a delightful character as well, with just enough sarcasm to lighten the tone when it’s needed. The villain is truly villainous, and what he lacks the magic council makes up for! In all, this is a delightful quick read, and I rather hope Jenny’s adventures become a series so I can read more about her and her world!

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