06 May, 2014

Book Review: Fairytales for Wilde Girls

From Goodreads: A deliciously dark bubblegum-gothic fairytale from a stunning new Australian talent.

‘He's gone the same way as those little birds that bothered me with their awful songs! And you will too, you and your horrible heart-music, because you won't stay out of my woods!'
There's a dead girl in a birdcage in the woods. That's not unusual. Isola Wilde sees a lot of things other people don't. But when the girl appears at Isola's window, her every word a threat, Isola needs help.
Her real-life friends – Grape, James and new boy Edgar – make her forget for a while. And her brother-princes – the mermaids, faeries and magical creatures seemingly lifted from the pages of the French fairytales Isola idolises – will protect her with all the fierce love they possess.
It may not be enough.
Isola needs to uncover the truth behind the dead girl's demise and appease her enraged spirit, before the ghost steals Isola's last breath.

Thoughts: This is the second older readers CBC shortlisted book for 2014, and while it is very different from Wildlife, it is just as good - glad I'm not a judge! This is young people's Gothic at it's best - dark, moody, twisted - throw in  a bit of romance, intrigue and grief and you find yourself being drawn into the world of Isola Wilde and her princes. 
I loved the individuality of Allyse Near's characters - clearly defined, well drawn, flawed, quirky. I also love the issues this book deals with - mental illness, grief, bullying, friendship. However nothing is clichéd, nothing is predictable or stereotypical. The book won't appeal to all YA readers, but for those looking for something different to what is usually served up, looking for something with a bit more depth, this is the one to go for.