Friday, January 30, 2009

How to Ditch Your Fairy (by Justine Larbalestier)

A very cute YA book that I put on my wish list when John Scalzi mentioned it on his blog, and I subsequently got for Christmas. I loved the central concept (everyone has a personal, invisible fairy that brings them a very specific type of good luck, like the ability to find loose change), the main character, and the inventiveness of the storyline.

But... the subplot where Charlie gets "kidnapped" repeatedly by Danders Anders is really distressing to me. She doesn't want to get in this guy's car, and he physically forces her into his car. Then she doesn't report him, and keeps going along with it (at least SIXTEEN times) because he's bigger than she is, and because she thinks the school will protect him. And there's another guy there, who doesn't do anything about it either, and in fact is Danders's accomplice. I get the feeling that it's supposed to be lighthearted, but the subtext felt so deeply wrong to me. If a guy tries to force you to do something you don't want to do, YOU RAISE FUCKING HELL. Or, if you don't (not blaming the victim here), the author needs to make it clear that this behavior on Anders's part is evil.  As it stands, that is not a message I am comfortable with, at all. And I kept waiting for something to happen that would underline how deeply wrong it is, but nothing really did.

I had other minor nitpicks and felt like many of the plotlines didn't quite get resolved at the end. (Also, the school and New Avalon society are clearly draconian and insane but there's no fallout from that either.) I guess I wished she had gone in a different direction with the plot point mentioned above, and maybe fleshed out the end a little bit. It was very likeable, though. Which is probably not at all how this review reads. But it was!

2 Comments:

Blogger ladydisdain said...

I was not a fan of this book, both for the made-up slang (which really got in the way to me) and for that exact plot point, which bugged the crap out of me. I wasn't able to finish it. Also, the slutty cover turned me off completely.

1:45 PM  
Blogger mo pie said...

The made up slang was off putting at first but I got over it. I just kept reading to think they would HAVE to resolve that plot point, and yet they didn't. I think it would be really irresponsible to give this book to a teenage girl for that very reason.

1:52 PM  

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