Posted by Izzy G. on Thursday, July 15, 2010
Details: "The Blue Girl" by Charles de Lint, 384 pages, 4.5 stars on Amazon, 3.86 on Goodreads
My Thoughts: I originally picked this up because I heard of Charles de Lint on someone's blog. I know, I know, how did I not find out who Charles de Lint is before? You know, I'm wondering the exact same question. In any case, I was utterly blown away by it.
The blurb made me wary at first. A tough girl from the streets who wants to reform herself? A nerdy girl with no friends? That weird cheerleaders-date-football-team thing where they're all evil bullies? A ghost? And... faeries? Despite my less-than-high expectations, this was an incredible book. What really impressed me was how well-developed the characters were.
Imogene is a spunky, strong female protagonist, and I am such a sucker for those. She's tough and rebellious, and when she moves to Newford, she decides to bury her less-than-pristine past (it involves knives) and, without changing her punk image, wants to be a little tamer. I admired her strength countless times throughout the book; she was fearless in the face of both the bullies and the faeries, yet still unflawed.
Maxine was interesting, too. At first sight, she's a demure nerd, but Imogene befriends her and finds out her mother is incredibly controlling. For instance, Maxine isn't allowed to wear shirts that go below the collarbone (really), and she can't wear... are you ready?... pants. However, some of Maxine's "goodness" rubs off on Imogene, just as some of Imogene's independence rubs off on Maxine, and both end up the better for it.
And then, of course, there's Adrian: a lonely ghost who was bullied in high school. He develops a crush on Imogene (one that, thankfully, does not blossom into a passionate romance) and finally reveals himself to her. When she believes in him but not the faeries... well, that's when things start to go bad.
The only thing I really would complain about is that de Lint mentions Imogene gets a boyfriend, who does later help her with the faeries and everything, but it just happened really suddenly. We never even got to meet the guy until she abruptly becomes his girlfriend.
All in all, this was a spectacular book. I would recommend it to everyone who likes urban fantasy, and also those who don't! Five smilies out of five!