The Blue Girl
Charles de Lint
FROM THE COVER:
Seventeen-year-old Imogene’s tough, rebellious nature has caused her more harm than good – so when her family moves to Newford, she decides to reinvent herself. She won’t lose her punk/thrift-shop look, but she’ll try to avoid the gangs, work a little harder at school, and maybe even stay out of trouble for a change.
Her first friend at Redding High, Maxine, is her exact opposite. Everyone considers Maxine a straight-A loser, but as Imogene soon learns, it’s really Maxine’s mother whose rules make it impossible for her to speak up for her true self. Oddly, the friendship works. Imogene helps Maxine loosen up, and in turn, Maxine keeps Imogene in line.
But trouble shows up anyway. Imogene catches the eye of Redding’s bullies, as well as the school’s resident teenage ghost. Then she gets on the wrong side of a gang of malicious fairies. When her imaginary childhood friend, Pelly, actually manifests, Imogene realizes that the impossible is all too real. And it’s dangerous. If she wants to survive high school – not to mention stay alive – she has to fall back on the skills she picked up running with a gang. Even with Maxine and some unexpected allies by her side, will she be able to make it?
Insightful. Imaginative. Compelling. I cannot possibly list all of the wonderful words to describe this novel. Charles de Lint has written many other short stories and novels – of which I’ve read several – but I feel that none of them have quite reached the same level of amazing to me. Before The Blue Girl, I strayed from Fantasy; I figured Harry Potter was as far as I was going to get with the genre. Yet, when I read the cover-flap, I couldn’t help but want to know more. The flap reads as a whole lot of weird goings-on, but de Lint pulls every concept together beautifully.
The Blue Girl is told through the voices of Imogene, her friend Maxine, and the school ghost, Adrian, alternatively. De Lint throws you into the story, through the use of “Now” and then gives you the answers to your wonderings through the use of “Then” with all of the character’s chapters. I loved that I never became bored with one character’s point of view; de Lint alternates the voices of the chapters differently – there’s no set pattern as to whether Imogene, Maxine or Adrian appear next.
The writing itself is innovative and descriptive in a way that, I think, works well with the Fantasy components – if you’re the type to normally stray from Fantasy, I feel that de Lint’s novel(s) offer a nice transition into the genre. By the time you’re halfway through, you’ve forgotten you disliked Fantasy.