Monday, April 9, 2012

H: How To Ditch Your Fairy & Hounded

This may say more about my reading habits than about what’s actually available, but today’s books have concepts I haven’t seen some version of a million times…

How To Ditch Your Fairy by Justine Larbalestier
Genre: MG/YA fantasy



Charlie (short for Charlotte) goes to a sports high school, and has a personal fairy, like most people she knows. Unlike Freedom's good-skin fairy, or Rochelle's clothes-shopping fairy (the perfect outfit's always on sale), fourteen-year-old Charlie has a parking fairy. Page 17 quote:


I'm always being borrowed by Mom, or one of her sisters, or her best friend, or Jan, or Nana and Papa, or just about everyone in our neighborhood, whenever they're going to the doctor's, or grocery shopping, or anywhere that parking might be a problem. Every single day of my life someone asks me to get in their doxhead car. I hate cars. I hate drivers. I hate their little squeals of joy when they find a parking spot. But mostly I hate my benighted parking fairy.

Each chapter begins with stats: how many days since she's been in a car, the number of demerits she's racked up for being late now that she's trying to walk everywhere, the public service hours she's done to work off her demerits, how many times she's spoken to Steffan (the hot new guy with a get-away-with-anything fairy). But when Charlie teams up with Fiorenze (every-boy-will-like-you fairy) who is also on a quest to get rid of her fairy, she finds herself in far more trouble than before.

I like this lighthearted book. It's out-of-the-box, but still within range of why-didn’t-I-think-of-that. I love that it’s set in our current world, but on a continent that doesn’t currently exist. Frankly, I’m surprised there isn’t tons of fantasy like this. After all, we have alternate histories. We have portal stories. We’ve told stories about Atlantis for at least a couple thousand years. I’d love to see more fantasy set in current times, but not having to fit itself into the way currently-existing places have actually developed.

Hounded by Kevin Hearne
Genre: urban fantasy



I usually write my own summaries because too often whatever the publisher decides to put on the back cover seems to have little to do with the actual plot. But in this case, I think the publishers came up with the best possible description of the book, so I’ll quote it:

“Atticus O’Sullivan, last of the Druids, lives peacefully in Arizona, running an occult bookshop and shape-shifting in his spare time to hunt with his Irish wolfhound. His neighbors and customers think that this handsome, tattooed Irish dude is about twenty-one years old—when in actuality, he’s twenty-one centuries old. Not to mention: He draws his power from the earth, possesses a sharp wit, and wields an even sharper magical sword known as Fragarach, the Answerer.

Unfortunately, a very angry Celtic god wants that sword, and he’s hounded Atticus for centuries. Now the determined deity has tracked him down, and Atticus will need all his power—plus the help of a seductive goddess of death, his vampire and werewolf team of attorneys, a sexy bartender possessed by a Hindu witch, and some good old-fashioned luck of the Irish—to kick some Celtic arse and deliver himself from evil.

This is probably the first story I’ve read where the protagonist is pretty much perfect and invincible (he’s witty, he’s cute, women of all ages fall for him, he wins most fights, he adores his dog, etc) and it actually makes sense. Usually irresistible, all-powerful fictional men who can do no wrong make me roll my eyes. But in this case, with twenty one centuries of experience behind him, as a druid who draws his power from the earth, it would just be silly not to make him pretty close to unbeatable, and it makes his weak moments that much more powerful. I think the author handled that extremely well. And it’s funny. Good stuff all round.

14 comments:

  1. I give you credit for writing your own summaries, I think it helps form our own opinion of a book and provides for a better review! I haven't heard of Hounded but it sounds cool.

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    1. I was really impressed with Hounded. Great voice. And hilarious. I read it shortly after it came out - probably time to catch up with the rest of the series...

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  2. I have to say, based on the title alone I wouldn't have picked up How to Ditch Your Fairy... but now I'm intrigued. Sounds like a cute, light read. I love that the purpose of your blog is just to gush about books you love. Why didn't I think of that? ;)

    Thanks for stopping by my blog - glad to have found you through A to Z!

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    1. OMG, I laughed so hard at your Expectations vs Reality post. And the bathing hairless kitty...I had to watch that twice. :)

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  3. Hounded has been on my TBR list for a while...I really should move it up to the top. The Fairy book also sounds hilarious and heartwarming.

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    1. They're both really great. Hounded was Kevin Hearne's debut - I couldn't believe it when I found that out.

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  4. I haven't read either of these yet. I'll have to check them out.

    New follower here. I’m enjoying reading my fellow “A to Z”ers. I look forward to visiting again.

    Sylvia
    http://www.writinginwonderland.blogspot.com/

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    1. Thanks for following - LOVE that hat!

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  5. OMGosh, I LOVE the idea for How to Ditch Your Fairy! Absolutely love it! I have to read that. Thank you for sharing about it, as I hadn't heard of it before.

    PS - Thanks so much for buying GUARDIAN :-)

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    1. The really dark, iron-fearing Fae dominating stories right now are cool, but these kinds of fairies are the ones I've loved since I was little.

      Finished Guardian yesterday. :) Nice work!

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  6. Ooh, Hounded sounds fab! And that cover is yummy!

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    1. Yeah, it was the cover that drew me in first. :)

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  7. I love Justine Larbalestier, but I've never read that one. I'll have to put it on my to-read list! Thanks for the rec!


    Aurora Celeste
    yasff.blogspot.com
    dramaticthreads.com

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    1. She's pretty amazing. I've read Liar and Magic or Madness, and I'm anxiously waiting for Team Human (cowritten with Sarah Rees Brennan). But How To Ditch Your Fairy is (so far) my favorite of her books.

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