book review: Impossible by Nancy Werlin
As part of the YA Book Blogger’s Cookbook, I moved this book review earlier than I originally had it scheduled. Enjoy!
“IMPOSSIBLE is a beautiful novel that doesn’t shy away from the darker side of reality, while blending it intricately with elements of fantasy. The love story felt solid and real, and gave me something I’d been looking for in a teen romance: two strong characters who work together to overcome life’s obstacles, as hard as they may be.”
Chersti Nieveen at Literary Life Notes
Werlin, Nancy. Impossible. Dial Books; 2008.
Similar books: Wicked Lovely by Melissa Marr; Stolen by Lucy Christopher; Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater
Synopsis and Snippet
Lucy has only nine months in which to break an ancient curse.
Lucy Scarborough is seventeen when she discovers that the women of her family have been cursed through the generations, forced to attempt three seemingly impossible tasks or to fall into madness upon their child’s birth. How can Lucy succeed when all of her ancestors have tried and failed? But Lucy is the first girl who won’t be alone as she tackles the list. She has her fiercely protective foster parents beside her. And she has Zach, whose strength amazes her more each day. Do they have enough love and resolve to overcome an age-old evil?
Finally he spoke… “I’m still mad. It’s all going to be so much harder now for you than it ought to be. Finishing high school. Going to college. And, well, you know. Boys. Having a life.”
“Oh,” said Lucy quietly. “I know. Believe me. I’m not living in some fantasy land… That’s why I need you for my friend.”
“I am your friend,” Zach said.
This story is based is inspired by the ballad “Scarborough Fair,” and intricately weaves romance, suspense and fantasy into a fantastic story. Impossible goes beyond the typical young adult genre stories by addressing the darker side of reality while blending it with fantasy. It tastefully deals with issues such as rape and mental illness, though putting both in a form that the character can overcome these hardships (though still having to deal with the consequences).
One thing that drew me to this story was the strong relationship between the two protagonists. Not only does the male have a solid point of view, their love goes deeper than a high school romance. Both characters unselfishly work to help each other, and work to overcome the curse together (as much as is allowed).
The villain of the story is daunting and keeps raising the stakes for Lucy as the novel progresses. I also enjoyed how Lucy had a family to rally around and help her, which is so rare in YA fiction and so refreshing. At moments, the story lulled into slow pacing, but the strong ending made the push through worth it.
While teen girls will love this story, it can also resonate with adults. With a courageous protagonist, this story shows that a person can control their own destiny.
Companion books: Extraordinary
Book Trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zNjavMx1Jlw
Reader Age: Young Adult age 15+ (This book deals with strong issues, such as rape, teen pregnancy and teen marriage, and insanity)