Fairy Tale Book Poster Image

Fairy Tale

(i)

 

Occasionally amusing but flat supernatural romance.

What parents need to know

Educational value
Not applicable
Positive messages

Some unheathy views of love. Morgan can't imagine life without her boyfriend. Pip, who loves Morgan, will do anything she asks without question, even if it will ruin his life. Emphasis on physical attractiveness, with little sense any other reasons for the love.

Positive role models

The author presents a very superficial view of love, very much tied to appearance. Much discussion of how handsome and muscular Morgan's boyfriend is and, though she says she will continue to love him as he loses that appearance, in fact she starts falling in love with Pip as he gets handsomer and more muscular.

Violence

A boy is pummeled, kicked, and strangled almost to death. He also has scars, presumably from whipping.

Sex

A character is presumed to be gay. There's some kissing, mildly erotic dreams, references to porn sites, thinking about sex, fornicating, a hickey.

Language

"Ass,"  "hell," "bitch," "damn" all used infrequently.

Consumerism

A whole department store of commercial references: candy, car, clothing, shoe, skin care, electronics, snack, cereal, pain reliever, hair care, cookie, ice cream, fast food, soda, clothing store, perfume, frozen food, video game, orange juice, coffee machine, breakfast food, supermarket brands all mentioned, mostly approvingly.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

References to crack, meth, drinking into a stupor.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that the author seems unable to mention an object, food, or place without attaching a brand name to it, which, of course, will date this book very quickly. There's also some mild swearing, violence, and sexual references.

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What's the story?

Morgan and her boyfriend Cam have been joined at the hip since they were very small. But as they approach their mutual sixteenth birthday, Cam begins to change. It turns out he's actually a fairy changeling, and on his birthday he will have to switch places with the human boy he was exchanged with -- Pip -- and take up his rightful role as heir to the throne of the fairy world. But Morgan can't imagine life without him, and conspires with Pip to keep Cam in our world.

Is it any good?

QUALITY

This has a few things going for it: an amusingly sardonic narrator, a few interesting tweaks of the formula, and a writing style that keeps the pages turning even when there's little happening. The supernatural teen romance, a genre that barely existed for young adults just a few years ago, is now hugely popular, as authors and publishers hope to produce the next Twilight. The same phenomenon happened a few years earlier, and continues today, with Harry Potter and the fantasy genre. 

But there's not much involvement here. The characters are rather flat and superficial, the emotions distant, the ending all-too predictable. As Morgan's self-centeredness becomes increasingly dangerous to both Cam and Pip, readers may grow impatient for her to reach the obvious conclusion. There's not much chemistry between Morgan and Cam beyond her frequent professions of love (that mostly amount to her not being able to imagine what she'll do without him in her life, a dubious model of love). She and Pip have a bit more, but it's spoiled by her frequent observations of how hunky he's becoming. A pleasantly entertaining novel that won't stick in the mind much past the final page.

From the Book:
I know that probably makes me sound like a total snob, but it's simple fact. Since freshman year, I've correctly predicted the futures of dozens of students at Stevens. It all started way before that, though, in junior high, when I correctly guessed who would win the million-dollar prize on every reality-TV show out there. At times I would have to think, really think, to know the answer, but sometimes I would just wake up and, clear as day, the face of the winner would pop into my mind. Soon, I started testing my abilities out on my friends, and my friends' friends, and before long, every other person at school wanted my services. Seriously, being a psychic will do more for your reputation than a driver's license or a head-to-toe Marc Jacobs wardrobe.

Sierra tosses her frizzed-out, corn-husk-blond spirals over her shoulder and straightens. "Well, maybe you saw someone else. Someone who looked like me. Isn't that possible?"

Actually, it isn't possible at all. Sierra has a totally warped sense of style, like Andy Warhol on crack. Everyday things lying around the house do not always make attractive accessories. I shrug, though, since I don't feel like explaining that hell would have a ski resort before two people on the face of this earth would think it was okay to tie their ponytail up in a Twizzler, and crane my neck toward the refreshment stand. I'm starving. Where are my French fries?

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the current popularity of supernatural teen romance. Why do you think this genre has become so popular recently? What about it appeals to you? 

  • What is the appeal of fairies, vampires, werewolves? Do you wish you knew one? Were one? Do you think they exist? Why are creatures that in the past were portrayed as monsters now seen as attractive, even sexy?

  • Why do you think there are so many products mentioned in this book?

  • What do you think of the way love is portrayed here? Do Morgan and Cam have a real connection? What about Morgan and Pip? Morgan repeatedly says she can't imagine life without Cam -- is that a healthy love?

  • What do you think of the way Pip acts. Is he selfless or a pushover?

Book details

Author:Cyn Balog
Genre:Fantasy
Book type:Fiction
Publisher:Delacorte Press
Publication date:June 1, 2009
Number of pages:248

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Kid, 12 years old July 10, 2011

Good Book!

I loved this book!! The ending was sad though, it was not what I expected. There is only mild love stuff and some bad language.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much sex
Too much swearing