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Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Review: Impossible



Lucy Scarborough is seventeen when she discovers that the women of her family have been cursed through the generations, forced to attempt three seemingly impossible tasks or to fall into madness upon their child’s birth. How can Lucy succeed when all of her ancestors have tried and failed? But Lucy is the first girl who won’t be alone as she tackles the list. She has her fiercely protective foster parents beside her. And she has Zach, whose strength amazes her more each day. Do they have enough love and resolve to overcome an age-old evil?


Genre: Contemporary, Fiction, Paranormal(ish), Romance, Young Adult
Edition: Hardcover; Library
Page Count: 376
Pub. Date: September 18, 2008

My Rating: 3.5 (out of 5)
Amazon.com: 4 stars
Goodreads: 3.75 (Average)

Recommended For: Older teens, Romantics, Fans of Contemporary fiction with a light fantasy twist

My Summary:

Impossible, inspired by the ballad "Scarborough Fair" (made popular by Simon & Garfunkel), carries its own tale of originality. Nancy Werlin puts together an engaging novel filled with romance, fantasy, and anticipation. It is, in essence, a story about true love and the possibility that it can, indeed, overcome anything.

We begin the journey in high school with Lucy, a 17-year old teenager, raised by loving foster parents after being abandoned as an infant by Miranda, her mentally ill mother. Along with her foster parents, there's her childhood friend and neighbor Zach, who filters in and out until he decides to spend the summer with them. But then the nightmare begins. Soon after Lucy discovers her pregnancy, she comes across a few letters from her teenage mother telling her that the women in the Scarborough family are cursed. Cursed for eternity by an Elvin Knight who was turned down true love by Lucy's great-great-great(you get the idea) grandmother. Doomed to repeat a fate like her mother and plagued by the idea of insanity; Lucy uses the song, the only gift her mother left her, and tries what no other woman in her family has ever done...she tries to break the curse.

My Review:

I have to applaud Nancy Werlin for being able to create such an engaging story from an otherwise esoteric and eerie song. Bravo, Nancy! I'm not sure what made me check out this book in the first place but I'm glad I did.

What I loved about this book was the warmth and purpose with which it was written. And not only that, but the little gems of humor that popped up in all the right places. The flow between characters was easy to follow and quite refined. It never lost consistency and provided a sense of urgency where you had to know what happened next. The plot was well written, and all the secrets unraveled at the right time and place. Point in fact: it was captivating AND original.

The (somewhat-but-not-really) negative feelings:

Some parts of this book were so smothered with cheese, I didn't even know what to do with myself. But I guess it's a good thing I'm partial to cheese. ;) There were also a few times when the characters seemed a little too perfect. A flaw or two, now and then, couldn't hurt. If I was in Lucy's position, I'm pretty sure a little more freaking out would have been involved.

Also, I would have definitely liked to have delved more into the lore of the story. The fantasy element was there - enough so that it didn't overshadow the modern setting, but more information would have satisfied my curiosity.

And while I couldn't find myself totally relating to the characters, I was hoping for their well-being and cheering them on as the story progressed. My few negative feelings aside, I found this to be a pretty solid read. Even with the cheese. And for those not partial to the fantasy element of this novel, don't let it throw you off. There is still much to be enjoyed.

6 comments:

Ashley said...

I really enjoyed this book. I had originally picked it up when it was on the new shelf and I liked it alot. I tend to recommend it to readers who like contemporary fiction without a lot of mysticism or paranormal tendencies. I'm glad you enjoyed it as well.

Juju at Tales of Whimsy.com said...

Great review. I really dug this book.

StephanieD said...

I heard the same from someone else that the characters were too perfect. The reviewer felt they needed to be a little more flawed.

Nickles said...

I finished reading this book not too long ago and I agree that the characters were a little too perfect. I also think that if I was Lucy, I would have freaked out a lot more over the whole scenario. It is incredibly traumatic to go through a teen pregnany and I would imagine it to be even more so when you look at Lucy's special circumstances. While I found flaws too, I thought they were minor enough that I still enjoyed the overall story.

Andrea [Buried In Books] said...

This book is on my TBR list somewhere, who knows when I'll read it, the list never ends. I didn't really know too much about it until I read your review, which I really enjoyed. Thanks for posting this! :]

Nikki said...

@Andrea - You're welcome! I'm glad you enjoyed it :)

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