Monday, May 2, 2016

Review: THE GIRL WHO NEVER WAS

Hello! As promised, I soldiered through April, made it out alive, and arrived on the other side: May! To kickstart May, I'm reviewing THE GIRL WHO NEVER WAS by Skylar Dorset. You can check out her author website here. She also has a pretty cool Tumblr; I just spent the last twenty minutes scrolling through it.

I'll admit that the cover captured my imagination, and that's the reason I picked this book up at Hicklebee's, my favorite bookstore in the world. Take a look at this awesomeness:


(source: Goodreads)

ISN'T IT GORGEOUS?!

Here's a brief summary (I'm trying to get better at writing these):

Selkie Stewart's family is a little different. First of all, they don't talk about birthdays. Or say birth dates. Ever. She's never met her mother, either. But Selkie never thought they were anything other than ordinary. She certainly never guessed that her family was extraordinary.

When Selkie starts to look for her mother, she learns the truth about the nature of her family...including the fact that her mother is a faerie queen who is set on killing Selkie.

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How was that? In case I missed something (I'm a believer in short-and-sweet summaries), here's the Goodreads perspective:

Goodreads says:

THE GIRL WHO NEVER WAS is the story of Selkie Stewart, who thinks she’s a totally normal teenager growing up in Boston. Sure, her father is in an insane asylum, her mother left her on his doorstep—literally—when she was a baby, and she’s being raised by two ancient aunts who spend their time hunting gnomes in their Beacon Hill townhouse. But other than that her life is totally normal! She’s got an adventurous best friend who’s always got her back and an unrequited crush on an older boy named Ben. Just like any other teenager, right?

When Selkie goes in search of the mother she’s never known, she gets more than she bargained for. It turns out that her mother is faerie royalty, which would make Selkie a faerie princess—except for the part where her father is an ogre, which makes her only half of anything. Even more confusing, there’s a prophecy that Selkie is going to destroy the tyrannical Seelie Court, which is why her mother actually wants to kill her. Selkie has been kept hidden all her life by her adoring aunts, with the help of a Salem wizard named Will. And Ben. Because the boy she thinks she’s in love with turns out to be a faerie whose enchantment has kept her alive, but also kept her in the dark about her own life.

Now, with enchantments dissolved and prophecies swinging into action, Selkie finds herself on a series of mad quests to save the people she’s always loved and a life she’s learning to love. But in a supernatural world of increasingly complex alliances and distressingly complicated deceptions, it’s so hard to know who to trust. Does her mother really wish to kill her? Would Will sacrifice her for the sake of the prophecy? And does Ben really love her or is it all an elaborate ruse? In order to survive, Selkie realizes that the key is learning—and accepting—who she really is.


My review:

THE GIRL WHO NEVER WAS confused me when I first picked it up. So after reading the first chapter, I put it back on my TBR shelf and left it there for a few months.

Flash forward to the end of April. I picked it up again. I didn't expect much, but I wanted to give it another chance.

At the beginning, I felt like there was too much going on and too much to process. The fantasy world was interesting but too complicated, and I felt like I was always playing catch-up. But it didn't stay like that. As I made my way further into the story, the book found its footing, and I started to really enjoy it.

It will take you a little bit of energy to get through the beginning, but it's worth it. The climax is excellent, and the ending left me wanting more. The good news: the second book is out, so no waiting!

I thought Skylar Dorset did a wonderful job crafting the plot. There were a lot of little hints dropped as the story went along. After years of obsessive reading, I catch onto plots pretty fast (it's hard to surprise me), and THE GIRL WHO NEVER WAS didn't manage to catch me unaware. But the plot is deeper than most, and I think it will surprise some readers.

Selkie seemed a little shallow at the beginning of the book, but I grew to like her as the story progressed. That's how it was with most characters. I also liked how Skylar Dorset made Selkie's best friend, Kelsey, her own character. The best friend rarely does anything but sit around and look pretty, but Kelsey held her own.

If you are a fan of lighter books about faeries and willing to move through a slow beginning, I would recommend THE GIRL WHO NEVER WAS.

2 comments:

  1. This sounds like a fascinating book; and, as it happens, this review was just what I need to read tonight to help me with my own project. So, thank you on both fronts! :D

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    Replies
    1. Glad I could help! Let me know what you think. :)

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Thanks! I love comments.