Thank you very much to the lovely Khadija of Black Fingernailed Reviews for today's guest review!
Author: Wendy Delsol
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Source: ARC from Publisher
Teaser: Sixteen-year-old Katla LeBlanc has just moved from Los Angeles to Minnesota. As if it weren’t enough that her trendy fashion sense draws stares, Katla soon finds out that she’s a Stork, a member of a mysterious order of women tasked with a very unique duty. But Katla’s biggest challenge may be finding her flock at a new school. Between being ignored by Wade, the arrogant jock she stupidly fooled around with, and constantly arguing with gorgeous farm boy and editor-in-chief Jack, Katla is relieved when her assignment as the school paper’s fashion columnist brings with it some much-needed friendship. But as Homecoming approaches, Katla uncovers a shocking secret about her past — a secret that binds her fate to Jack’s in a way neither could have ever anticipated. With a nod to Hans Christian Andersen and inspired by Norse lore, Wendy Delsol’s debut novel introduces a hip and witty heroine who finds herself tail-feathers deep in small-town life.
My Review: The first time I read the summery it sparked my interest but not in any 'if I don't read this book I'll die' kinda way. The first chapter in I was feeling like the book would be 'ok' but not anything special. But by the second and third chapters I was hooked and couldn't put the book down until I'd read every last word.
I read several debut novels in 2010, but out of them all, this one surprised me the most. Delsol follows the masses into fantasy but she breaks away from the pack with an idea completely unique and different from any other YA book I've read. It's subtle but Delsol took a risk with this book. Personally, I pretty much loved every minute of it.
The idea of using Norse Lore in a YA novel was a bit odd at first. When you start reading it you're kind of like 'Ok...this is just freaky' but somehow as the story goes along Delsol convinces you that it's just plain amazing. Katla is spunky, interesting and different. Her relationship with her mother and father is usual, her attitude toward moving to a freezing town in the middle of nowhere is understandable, the big red mark on her head? That took me a little time to get used to.
The story is well paced, yet when you finish reading it doesn't seem like you've just read one book because so much happens.
Katla and Jack are probably one of the sweetest and most interesting couples I've ever read about. I absolutely loved the characters, even Wade. Yes i know what you're thinking if you've read the book already: Wade? No I haven't lost my mind, I did love his character. He was an evil little moron that's for sure, but he was a well written evil moron whose plans you don't realize until the very end when they smack you in the face.
So what all of that in short means is that if you're looking for a well written story that is different from any other YA book you've read, you should definitely give this one a try.