Friday, June 24, 2011
Candlewick Press, 2010
YA; Folktales; Paranormal
I was really liking this book and then I got to the ending, which disappointed me. But first let's look at the beginning. Katla has just moved with her divorced mother to Minnesota from sunny LA. She hates just about everything there: from the cold to the backward fashion to the unfriendly kids at school. Then one night she starts scratching her head and discovers that she is part of an ancient Icelandic order known as the Storks who choose vessels to have babies. Katla is understandably shocked but she bears up well. Additionally she starts to make friends with Penny, do-gooder and super involved in school, and Jack Snjosson, the guy she's inexplicably drawn to. As Katla juggles her Stork duties with her schoolwork and social life, she also faces possible threats from someone who doesn't want her to be a Stork.
I was unsure about this book at first but I was drawn in immediately by Katla's narration and great personality. She's upset about being in Minnesota for her junior year without friends but she seems determined to make it through. She also handles the knowledge about the Storks pretty well, attempting to learn more instead of freaking out-I admire the way she could just roll with the punches throughout the story.
Of course there's also a bit of romance. Although Jack had some mood changes, he was overall a pretty nice well-rounded guy (editor-in-chief of the school newspaper AND first-string quarterback of the football team). He also has his own mystery that he reveals at the end; I was fine with that revelation.
I figured that the ending would have something shocking (it does-the reveal of a Raven who wants to harm Katla) but before that it has something that shocked me even more. Jack reveals his belief that he and Katla are destined to be and that he's basically been in love with her since they were twelve. Although she lived in California, he maintained his belief that she would return and so he kept patiently waiting. Although Katla loved hearing this, I was kind of creeped out. Then the ending with the reveal of the Raven and the showdown were over much too quick.
The book as a whole was pretty good and I do still want to read the sequel, Frost, out later this year.
Overall: A page-turning contemporary with fascinating mythology and good characters.
Cover: I think the cover icked me out with that girl just staring at me-why is she doing that?!