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Cover image for Impossible : a novel
Format:
Title:
Impossible : a novel
ISBN:
9780803730021

9780142414910
Publication Information:
New York, NY : Dial Books, ©2008.
Physical Description:
376 pages ; 22 cm
General Note:
Companion to: Unthinkable.
Summary:
When seventeen-year-old Lucy discovers her family is under an ancient curse by an evil Elfin Knight, she realizes to break the curse she must perform three impossible tasks before her daughter is born in order to save them both.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader/Renaissance Learning UG 4.6 12.
Holds:

Available:*

Library
Call Number
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Werlin
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YA Werlin, N. Impossible
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TEEN WERLIN, N.
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YA FIC WERLIN 2008
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YA FICTION WERLIN
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On Order

Summary

Summary

For fans of Beautiful Creatures and Wicked Lovely comes this New York Times Bestselling modern fairy tale from National Book Award Finalist Nancy Werlin.

Inspired by the classic folk ballad "Scarborough Fair," this wonderfully riveting novel is rife with suspense, romance, and fantasy. Seventeen-year-old Lucy discovers that she is the latest recipient of a generations-old Elvin curse that requires women in her family to complete three impossible tasks or risk falling into madness and passing the curse on to the next generation. Unlike her ancestors, Lucy has the support of her fiercely protective adoptive parents, and her best friend Zach, whose friendship may be turning into something more. But do they have enough love and resolve to conquer this age-old evil?
 
The Scarborough Girls' story continues in Unthinkable and the companion novel Extraordinary .
 
 
"Teens, especially young women, will enjoy this romantic fairy tale with modern trappings."-- School Library Journal (starred review)
 
"Showcases the author's finesse at melding genres [with its] graceful interplay between wild magic and contemporary reality [and its] catapulting suspense."-- Booklist (starred review)
 
"The melding of magic and practicality produces a lovely whole."-- Kirkus (starred review)

 

 


Author Notes

Nancy Werlin was born and raised in Peabody, Massachusetts. She received a bachelor's degree in English from Yale University. Besides writing fiction, she has worked as a technical writer and editor for several computer software and Internet companies. She won the Edgar Award for Best Young Adult Novel for The Killer's Cousin in 1999.

(Bowker Author Biography)


Reviews 5

School Library Journal Review

Gr 9 Up-Werlin combines magic, romance, and a family curse in this 21st-century fairy tale based on the ballad "Scarborough Fair." On the night of her prom, Lucy, 17, is raped by her date and becomes pregnant. She decides to keep the child, and she is supported by her foster parents and Zach, her childhood friend whose love for Lucy changes from platonic to romantic as the story progresses. The teen discovers the curse on the women in her family when she reads her birth mother's diary. Lucy is destined for madness at 18 unless she can perform the three impossible tasks described in the song and break the curse of the Elfin Knight. She is determined to rid herself and her unborn child of the curse, and her family and Zach help her as she works to solve the riddles. This unique story flows smoothly and evenly, and the well-drawn characters and subtle hints of magic early on allow readers to enter willingly into the world of fantasy. As in The Rules of Survival (Dial, 2006), Werlin addresses tough topics. Rape, teen pregnancy, and family madness set the story in motion, but the strength of Lucy's character and the love of her family and friends allow her to deal with such difficult matters and take on the impossible. Teens, especially young women, will enjoy this romantic fairy tale with modern trappings.-Jennifer D. Montgomery, Western Kentucky University, Bowling Green (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Publisher's Weekly Review

Werlin (TheRules of Survival) melds fantasy and suspense in a contemporary setting for a romance with plenty of teen appeal. Lucy Scarborough, raped on prom night, is pregnant. Committed to keeping the baby, she nonetheless sees disturbing parallels to her mentally ill mother, Miranda, who had Lucy as a teen, then left her in the care of the Markowitzes--Soledad, a nurse-midwife, and her husband, Leo. Boy-next-door-type Zach, home from college and living with the Markowitzes, happens upon Miranda's teenage diary, which outlines a curse placed on Lucy's family generations earlier by the evil Elfin Knight: the women all give birth as teens before descending into madness. Lucy can break the curse only by performing three impossible tasks set forth in a variant of the ballad Scarborough Fair. None of her forebears have come even close, but then none of them had help from the selfless Markowitzes, the love-struck and self-sacrificing Zach or the Internet, where items like goat horns can be easily located: Lucy is the luckiest accursed girl ever. Werlin disguises the retro elements by creating feminist male leads, and even though the outcome is never in doubt, she builds nail-biting tension. Ages 12-up. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved All rights reserved.


Horn Book Review

(High School) "Lucy is nothing like her mother." Or maybe she is. What twenty-year-old Zach, the boy-next-door in Werlin's imaginative, enticing teen romance, doesn't know is that his good friend Lucy will soon start down the same disturbing path her mother traversed seventeen years earlier. Drawing upon the lyrics of the folk song "Scarborough Fair," Werlin concocts a generations-old family curse that renders seventeen-year-old Lucy pregnant (the result of a supernaturally orchestrated rape at prom) and destined for insanity upon her daughter's birth unless she completes the three seemingly impossible tasks outlined in the song. The delicious conceit of inflicting a fairy-tale conundrum on a modern-day high schooler means that Lucy, her foster parents, and Zach employ Google and eBay, along with old-fashioned true love, in their suspenseful battle to break the curse and best the evil Elfin Knight. Readers will swoon at the intensity of emotion building between Lucy and Zach. Zach is much hunkier than Rumpelstiltskin, but his assistance still comes at a price. Not a painful one, though -- unless you're not into dreamy guys vowing to devote themselves to you forever and ever.From HORN BOOK, (c) Copyright 2010. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Kirkus Review

In this modern-day fairy tale, 17-year-old Lucy and her loved ones apply 21st-century rationality to their quest to escape an ancient curse. Lucy lives with the beloved foster parents who have cared for her since her teenage mother went crazy after Lucy's birth. But what Lucy and her parents don't know is that it's not just Lucy's mother who went mad, but her grandmother, her great-grandmother and further back, through countless generations: She is descended from a long line of women who have babies at age 18 and then go mad. It all seems to be connected to an ancient fairy curse that's detailed in a strange version of the song "Scarborough Fair." Together with her parents and childhood friend Zach, Lucy vows to break the curse. Modern logic and methodology mesh splendidly with fairy lore; if emergency contraception won't break the curse, then maybe duct tape will. The conclusion is startlingly wholesome, comfortable and complete for the usually dark Werlin, and the melding of magic and practicality produces a lovely whole. (Fantasy. 13-16) Copyright ©Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.


Booklist Review

*Starred Review* Date rape, a pregnant teen, and a shotgun wedding (of sorts) must be a YA problem novel circa 1985, right? Not really. From a hidden letter, 17-year-old Lucy Scarborough learns all sorts of melodramatic, ridiculous, but true things about the circumstances surrounding her rape on prom night, her subsequent pregnancy, and why therapy and her signature pragmatism won't be much help against an ancient fairy's curse. By the Edgar Award-winning novelist whose thrillers include The Rules of Survival (2006), this tale, inspired by the song Scarborough Fair, showcases the author's finesse at melding genres. Although it's perhaps overly rosy that Lucy's devoted foster parents take the curse in stride, Werlin earns high marks for the tale's graceful interplay between wild magic and contemporary reality from the evil fairy lord disguised as a charismatic social worker to the main players' skepticism as they attempt to solve the curse's three archaic puzzles (We've formed the Fellowship of the Ring when really we should've all just gone on medication). Meantime, Lucy's marriage to childhood pal Zach, a development unusual in YA fiction but convincing in context, underlies the catapulting suspense with a notion that will be deeply gratifying to many teens: no destiny is unalterable, especially not when faced with tender love magic, weird and hilarious and sweeter than Lucy ever dreamed, worked by truly mated souls.--Mattson, Jennifer Copyright 2008 Booklist