Post number nineteen is for Nancy Werlin’s Impossible, which is another required reading assignment for YA Lit. This week’s books focus on supernatural aspects, so they are right up my alley. I really liked this book; it was unexpected and included problem solving, true love and faerie magic. Fun stuff, yes?
Slight spoilers follow.
So the book revolves around Lucy, a high school junior who is being raised by her adoptive parents, Soledad and Leo. Lucy has a friend from next door, Zach, who stays with them during the summer, since his own parents have moved to Arizona. The book opens with Lucy preparing for prom, which she’s going attend with Gray Spencer, a “band geek” (Zach’s words) from her school. However, Lucy also has a secret: her mother is mentally ill and walks around town as a bag lady. No one outside of Zach, Leo and Soledad know the truth, as her mother – Miranda – doesn’t usually show up anywhere except Leo and Soledad’s home. However, when Lucy is raped by Gray at prom, her strange family history starts to become clearer: it turns out that Lucy and all her ancestors (all female) have been cursed by the Elfin Knight, who wants them as his lover as revenge upon Lucy’s ancestress, Fenella, who turned down a chance at immortality. The curse involves the Scarborough women all becoming pregnant at 18. They must complete three “impossible” tasks, which are outlined in the poem/song “Scarborough Fair” (which is used brilliantly in this book). If they cannot complete the tasks, as soon as they give birth to the baby, they succumb to madness. However, unlike her ancestors, Lucy has help with the tasks: Soledad and Leo, and also Zach, who she realizes she’s in love with, and he with her.
The book is mostly told from Lucy’s pov, but we also get some chapters from Zach’s pov and also the Elfin Knight’s. The book was really engaging and I found it hard to put down; I felt like Lucy had to succeed in her tasks, but didn’t know how she’d manage. The tasks – create a shirt without needle or seams, find an acre of land between the sea and sea strand, and plow the field with a goat’s horn and sow it with one grain of corn – sound impossible, and yet, Lucy never loses hope, even when the situation seems hopeless.
I especially liked reading about the evolving relationship between Lucy and Zach. Their love story was pretty fantastic, and as they both realized exactly what was going on, and what Lucy’s family history was, it just drew them closer together.
All in all this may be my favorite book of the semester, or at least the one I found the most unable to stop reading. I’m glad it was a slow day in the library the last two days, because it gave me ample time to read! I can only hope that the next book for Monday’s class – Blood and Chocolate – is equally engaging.