G.P. Putnam's Sons, 2010
YA; Fairy Tale; Fantasy
I can't believe I didn't read this sooner after loving Shulman's Enthusiasm. But seeing it on the YA Book Battle Longlist prompted me to pick this up.
I'm so glad I did as its mixture of contemporary with fairy tale was a great deal of fun. Elizabeth Rew is living an almost Cinderella life with thoughtless stepmother and stepsisters, a father who almost completely ignores her now, and no friends. But after writing a paper on the Grimm Brothers, her favorite teacher Mr. Mauskopf recommends her for a job at the New York Circulating Material Repository, like a library but with objects other than just books and containing the Grimm Collection among other priceless treasures.
At the Repository, Elizabeth meets many new people, most notably: Anjali, a sweet girl flirting with Marc, Marc, the basketball star at her school, and Aaron, jealous and cranky that Anjali doesn't like him. They help her learn about the fantastical objects but they also warn her about the dangers. It seems like someone is stealing objects and sapping them of their magic. An atmosphere of distrust builds but the students need to work together to solve the mystery.
Like much of YA, none of the kids tell the adults about what is going on although Elizabeth does want to. They claim that the some of the adults might be involved in the scheme (one is although against his/her will). This irked me because they don't know as much about the collections as the adults do even if they are very determined and smart. However the words of their mentors do help them in times of distress and they do eventually reveal everything to the adults.
Besides the four student pages, there are also siblings! Anjali has an adorable little sister Jaya, whose help proved instrumental and Marc's little brother Andre also helped despite only being three! They sounded so cute. They were also very brave as some bad magic attacks the students. Various items from the Grimm fairy tales also make appearances, such as the twelve dancing princesses' slippers and the cudgel in the sack.
If movies didn't have a tendency to mangle books I love, I would enjoy seeing this as a film.
So while Aaron originally seemed to like Anjali, he ends up liking Elizabeth (and she reciprocates) which is so totally obvious to everyone except for the two of them. It leads to a very Sam-and-Diane from "Cheers" back and forth that was so pleasing to me! I adore Sam and Diane and Aaron and Elizabeth's banter was so cute!
Overall: Although not hardcore fairy tale, the elements are there creating an exciting magical story!
Cover: I actually don't find the darkness very appealing. I love the title font but the tag seems kind of lame to me.
Hosted by Irena at This Miss Loves to Read.