Saturday, 15 August 2009
Review: Fairytale - Cyn Balog
From book cover: Morgan Sparks and Cam Browne are a match made in heaven. They’ve been best friends since birth, they tell each other everything, and oh yeah - they’re totally hot for each other.
But a week before their joint sweet sixteen bash, everything changes. Cam’s awkward cousin Pip comes to stay, and Cam starts acting distant. Morgan is stunned when her formerly perfect boyfriend seems to be drifting away.
When Morgan demands answers, she’s shocked to discover the reason for Cam’s distance. It isn’t another girl - it’s another world. Pip claims that Cam is a fairy. No, seriously. A fairy. And now his people want Cam to return to their world and take his rightful place as Fairy King.
Determined to keep Cam with her, Morgan plots to fool the fairies. But as Cam continues to change she has to decide once and for all if he really is her destiny, and if their “perfect” love can weather an uncertain future.
Morgan Sparks is an unusual heroine for a YA fairy book. She’s a little bit selfish, a little bit whiny, and during the first half of Fairy Tale I wasn’t sure whether I liked her. I did like the reference to her ‘hearty Neutrogena scrubbing’ and ‘daily application of Whitestrips’ - who doesn’t get sick of those effortlessly-beautiful-and-don’t-even-know-it types? I also loved her sarcasm. Not so much her boyfriend-dependence, or her little asides about how Cam’s so perfect and she’s so ordinary next to him.
When her boyfriend finds out he’s a fairy, switched with the real Cam Browne at birth, the first thing on Morgan’s mind isn’t how he feels about it. It’s that he’s meant to leave for the fairy Otherworld on the day she’s planned their super sweet-sixteen party.
For a while there, I was in danger of totally missing the point of this book. Sure, Cam’s the one who finds out he’s really a fairy, but this is Morgan’s story. They’ve been inseparable for as long as she can remember, then suddenly Cam has this whole new identity of his own. The question is, who will Morgan be now? Everyone knows that Cam Browne can do anything, but what can Morgan Sparks do?
The answer to this question unfolds in a Fairy Tale that is unpredictable, poignant, and sprinkled with laugh-out-loud one-liners. This isn’t a hardcore fairy book - in fact, Morgan’s journey could well be similar if her boyfriend had merely decided to go away to college - and there’s plenty here for those who haven’t yet been bitten by the fairy bug. However, as a fairy fangirl I loved the original take on the changeling idea. From a soap-opera obsessed father to a fairy guide that looks rather like a glob of pink hair gel, Cyn Balog’s debut is unique and full of spark, with an ending that I can only describe as perfect. Miss this one, and you're missing out.