Young Adult – How to Ditch Your Fairy

Charlie’s friend Rochelle has a fairy that lets her find incredibly flattering clothing for great prices every time she shops. Another friend has a fairy that gets him out of trouble, no matter what he does. And of course there’s the much-hated Fiorenze, with the all-boys-will-like-you fairy. With so many wonderful fairies around, what does Charlie get stuck with? A parking fairy. Charlie’s 14. She can’t drive, and she hates cars. Even more, she hates it that people are always dragging her around from place to place, using her for good parking spots. She is willing to do just about anything to get rid of her fairy, even if it means having to talk to the much-hated Fiorenze.

Justine Larbalestier managed to get the tone just right on this book: it’s funny without being silly, and, if you’re reading for more than just pure enjoyment, a wry commentary on current views of celebrity, and perhaps even a look at the ways in which Americans tend to overlook anything that is not American (or generally [citizens] overlooking anything not from [citizen’s country]. But Americans tend to be particularly ostentatious in this area).

The slang is pitch-perfect: it’s unfamiliar to the reader at first, but is quickly picked up, and always sounds natural in Charlie’s mouth. New-boyfriend (maybe) Stefan is from outside of Charlie’s city, and he uses “regular” slang, generally acting as the outsider viewpoint to Charlie’s assumptions about the world. Like real slang, the words are dropped in occasionally, and never overwhelm the narrative. The reaction is less “what are these people talking about?” and more “I thought I was current on my slang terms, why haven’t I heard these before?”

With lots of humor, plenty of action, interpersonal developments, and personal growth, these book manages to hit every component one could hope for in an excellent young adult novel.

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