Author: Nancy Werlin
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Synopsis: Lucy Scarborough is only 17, but she carries the burden of a curse that has already struck down several women in her family. Each of her afflicted ancestors failed at completing three seemingly impossible tasks, and each succumbed to madness at the birth of her first child. Facing this tragic fate, Lucy braces herself for a losing battle. Mercifully, she has allies in her struggle: intensely sympathetic foster parents and her loyal childhood friend Zach.
Why did I pick it up?: I saw this on a Teen table at Barnes & Noble. I love the cover, and the dress. I read enough of the description to learn that it was inspired by a Simon & Garfunkel song and I added it to my pile without a second thought.
My Favorite Line: "We formed the Fellowship of the Ring when we should've all just gone on medication."
My Review: A great example of a book that blends fantasy with real life. Lucy is a relatable and practical teenager who lives with her foster parents because her mother is a crazy bag lady. Sometimes Lucy's birth mother shows up singing an old folk ballad and pushing a grocery cart full of trash. Soon Lucy learns the truth about her family and she wouldn't believe it if it weren't for the otherwise unexplainable coincidences.
She accepts the truth, as ridiculous as it sounds to say a demonic elf put a curse on the women of the Scarborough family. In order to break the curse of madness upon birth of her first child Lucy must perform the three impossible tasks mentioned in the song "Scarborough Fair" by Simon & Garfunkel.
Lucy, her foster parents, and her friend Zach struggle with whether or not to buy into the idea of the curse. After all it is completely insane. They approach the tasks practically, first trying to find proof that there is a curse. Then tackling each task in turn.
My only complaint is about the antagonist, the demonic elf. He's the only elf in the book and he's evil. In fact he's the only fantasy creature mentioned at all.
My YA Fantasy has elves and they are divided into good, bad and all the combinations in between, just like human beings. Part of elf-loving Monica was hoping for there to be a mention of the other elves and how the one antagonist ruining the lives of the Scarborough women is not indicative of the race. Unfortunately, there is only one elf and the possibility of good ones is not discussed. Despite this oversight, I enjoyed the book.
Next Week: Beastly by Alex Finn