Among OthersFebruary 19, 2013
You might find this book in fantasy rack in bookstore. But for me, it is more than a mere fantasy books. Some reviewers classify this book as “magical realism”, it rings some truth in my opinion. It is a book about growing up, psychology and the love of sci-fi.
At the face value, this book is a journal of a-15-years-old girl, who happened to study at an elite boarding school. Her background as a Welsh (among other English student) as well as her crippled leg makes her living there “special”. Since she was young, she can see fairies and communicates with them. She can also perform magic guided by the fairies.
“Magic” in this book is unique. It is not the kind of magic that you see in common fantasy books. As I said in the beginning, magic in this book looks “real”; sometimes it is not easy to draw a fine line bordering magic and real life. As stated in this book, it is not easy to believe in magic, because it is so easy to disprove it. You can say that it is merely coincidence, or simply science. It is all in the eyes of beholder.
On the other hand, it is also not easy to draw a line whether this book is a fantasy book or a literature (I myself do not like to classify books as literature or not. Books are books. Fictions are fictions.) You can see it as a fantasy book, but you can see it also a psychological book, telling the inner struggle of a teenager trying to cope with her difficult life, a mental mother and loosing a sibling through car accident. Those makes this books so rich that you can read it several times, and it will give you different feel and interpretation. I think, this is why this book won a lot of awards.
As a huge fans of sci-fi and fantasy books, I identify myself a lot with the protagonist character in this book. I get myself completely hooked! So I might be biased in reviewing this book.
I find this book best described as a tribute to all science fiction and fantasy author. (Just like the book The Invention of Hugo Cabret is a tribute to film making.) And by the end it is her love of books that save her life.
A solid 4 star, and for science fiction lover, a 5 star.
P.S. : By the end of this book, I guarantee you that you are going to have a list of to-read books in science fiction and fantasy genre.