Lucy Scarborough is looking forward to prom and her first date with the shy Gray Spencer. She has a pretty dress and the ironic red high tops to go with it. She’s ready to go. The only thing marring the beauty of the moment is her mentally ill mother, Miranda. Lucy lives with her foster parents, Soledad and Leo, because her mother went mad right after Lucy was born. Often, Miranda disappears to no one knows where but occasionally she shows up and ruins Lucy, Soledad, and Leo’s lives. Miranda makes an appearance on prom night shouting crazy things and throwing bottles. Little does Lucy know that this is Miranda’s way of protecting Lucy. Lucy ends up going to prom and sets in motion a curse that has plagued generations of Scarborough women. Rejected by the original Scarborough lady, Fenella, the Elfin King cursed all Scarborough women to become pregnant at 17 and go crazy right after their daughters’ births. The only way to save themselves and their daughters is to break the curse by solving and fulfilling the riddles in the song Scarborough Fair before giving birth. Lucy luckily finds out about the curse early in her pregnancy when she reads passages of Miranda’s diary which the lucid, pre-baby Miranda left hidden for Lucy to hopefully find. Though they are skeptical at first, Lucy has the support of her foster parents and her childhood friend Zach. The four of them are determined to find the solution and save Lucy but will they be able to succeed where so many have failed?
Reaction: Impossible grabbed me and never let me go. I LOVED it! First of all, it was wonderfully written. Werlin definitely has a gift. She is a National Book Award Finalist so I suppose her writing ability should be no surprise. Second, I loved how the Elfin King and the curse were the only fantastical elements of the novel, which is so different from many other “faeries are real!” books. In Impossible, Lucy didn’t suddenly see faeries everywhere or discover an alternative universe. She and the rest of her family continued about their real lives, going to school, working out, going to work, going to the doctor, etc. It was reality with a twist not an alternative reality. Finally, I enjoyed watching Lucy evolve. She grew from a teenager to a women in about a year. In fact, I believe Lucy and Zach at the end of the book were more mature than I am now but I suppose that’s what happens when you’re raped, then become pregnant, then realize you are cursed to go mad in a matter of months.
This book is definitely for romantics at heart. It is a story about the strength of love. I don’t want to say much more for fear of giving too much away, but the ending definitely hinges on the main characters’ bond. My only hesitation regarding the novel is the maturity of the romantic relationship. It works in the context of the novel and I certainly wouldn’t change a thing but it is a relationship that is much, much bigger than what pretty much any teen reading would be experience or have experienced.
Check it out: Nancy Werlin’s website which lists all of her books.