Anna Staniszewski's debut novel: MY VERY UNFAIRY TALE LIFE. (If you don't know what I'm talking about, read this post.) When I received the book in the mail, I was so excited that I tossed my daily to-do list out the window (not literally. Littering is never a good idea!) and sat down to read. I was hooked by the end of the first page, and I couldn't put it down!
MY VERY UNFAIRY TALE LIFE is the story of Jenny, a 12-year-old adventurer who spends her free time in one enchanted kingdom after another, helping magical creatures in need. With corny, cliched nuggets of wisdom like "sharing is caring," Jenny saves fairies and elves and teaches unicorns how to share. The job comes with its own unique dangers, and sometimes Jenny has to escape dragons who want to turn her head into a flaming volleyball or unicorns who run her down when she attempts to show them how to share the rainbow, but she used to love being an adventurer.
When Jenny is assigned to save the kingdom of Speak from the evil sorcerer, Klarr, who holds the land under a silence spell, she refuses. Klarr is much too scary. Jenny decides she'd much rather be a normal girl, worrying about normal things like schoolwork and tests and hanging out with her friends. Someone else can deal with the psycho sorcerer.
But life as a normal girl isn't as idyllic as Jenny imagines, and the creatures of Speak will never defeat Klarr without her help. She must face her fears and find the courage to keep fighting, even when she doesn't think she knows how.
MY VERY UNFAIRY TALE LIFE is one of the best books I've read in a very long time. When I reached the last page, I couldn't wait to read it all over again! Staniszewski weaves together the trials and insecurities every young girl faces with a long list of fantastical "what ifs" to create a magical world that draws you in and won't let go. It was the perfect afternoon escape from my very own unfairy tale life!
Update 11/16/2012: Anna Staniszewski is running a giveaway contest on her blog right now (until December 12, 2012) for a chance to win your choice of either MY VERY UNFAIRY TALE LIFE or the sequel: MY EPIC FAIRY TALE FAIL, along with TWO other books!! Make sure to enter for your chance to win!