Saturday, 21 July 2012

Extraordinary* by Adam Selzer

Book:  Extraordinary*: The True Story of My Fairygodparent, Who Almost Killed Me, and Certainly Never Made Me a Princess by Adam Selzer, 2011 by Delacorte Books for Young Reader, 324 pages.

Synopsis from Goodreads:
Jennifer Van Der Berg would like you to know that the book ostensibly written about her—Born to Be Extraordinary by Eileen Codlin—is a bunch of bunk. Yes, she had a fairy godparent mess with her life, but no, she was not made into a princess or given the gift of self-confidence, and she sure as hell didn't get a hot boyfriend out of it.
Here's the REAL scoop . . .

My Thoughts:
This was a fun, lighthearted, entertaining book to read, perfect for summer.  I love twists on established stories and fairy tales and this one is great - it takes so many of the expectations that we have for princess stories and living happily ever after and turns them on their head in clever ways.

The book is held together with Jennifer, an ordinary teen with a passion for purple, setting the record straight after a book was written about her, a book that was far from the truth of what really happened.  This is a nice way to frame the story and set up the contradictions between fairy tales and what reality - and also to explore the theme of how a normal person can make choices and take actions to become extraordinary, and not to have a fairy godmother solve all of their problems for them and magically make them extraordinary.

The tone of the book was easy to read, with Jennifer facing many of the same kinds of issues that many teens face - bullies, boys she likes, how to fit in...  The book is conversational and a bit brash.

There are also some great plot twists and funny turns of events, especially around unicorns.  There is lots of action and even zombies and vampires.  I think this will appeal to teens, especially younger and middle teens who like quirky, fast paced books and fantasy not too far removed from real life.

Here is the YouTube book trailer:

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