Unthinkable by Nancy Werlin

ImpossibleCindy: I’ve been waiting for Unthinkable (Dial Sept., 2013) for a couple of reasons. First, I liked Impossible (2008), an interesting blend of faerie and edgy teen novel based on the Scarborough Fair folk song,  a lot. In that book Lucy is raped on prom night and becomes pregnant and discovers that she is one in a long line of women in her family under a curse. To break it and spare her daughter the same fate, she must complete three impossible tasks. None of the women before her has been successful. Spoiler: she succeeds. We know this of course, but the journey there keeps the pages turning.

In the new book, Unthinkable, Lucy and her extended family are visited by Fenella, the first of the Scarborough girls to be cursed centuries ago. Fenella has been trapped in the faerie realm and strikes a bargain with the Faerie Queen to win her freedom (it is her wish to be allowed to die…she does not wish immortality). Her tasks? They are different from Lucy’s three tasks that called for impossible creation. No, Fenella must complete three acts of destruction and they must be enacted on her family. The first is to destroy their safety. Dealing with faeries and striking bargains is dangerous stuff. Fenella has her work cut out for her. As in the first book, there is a nice blend of fantasy and realistic fiction and the reader can’t help but attempt to predict and worry over the tasks and how they can be satisfied without unthinkable destruction to the family members she loves.

The other reason I love this book? A few years ago I won a Friends of YALSA fundraiser silent auction to get my name used in a Nancy Werlin book. This is that book. It was great fun to hit page 65 and to meet Walker Dobrez. Turns out he is the romantic lead, a hunky young apprentice veterinarian who drives a red pick up truck.  I fared better than the co-winner of the bidding war. Priscille Dando bid to have her daughter immortalized in Nancy’s book as well and Nancy gallantly agreed to let us both donate to Friends of YALSA and she’d use both names. Later in the book you can meet Dando the donkey! Nancy promised to use our names in the book, but she didn’t promise we could pick the character! :) I think there’s a bit of fairie in Ms. Werlin as well. Oh, and the cat…wait until you meet the cat! You’ll have to wait until September to purchase this, but fans of Impossible will want to read this companion novel and those new to Werlin’s fairie world can start here and work their way back.

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About the Author:

Cindy Dobrez and Lynn Rutan are Booklist reviewers and middle-school librarians who have chaired both ALA’s Best Books for Young Adults and the Michael L. Printz Award for YA Literature committees.

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