Morgan and her football star boyfriend Cam have been “attached at the hip since kindergarten,” but now their love is threatened by the Otherworld—a land of fairies. Morgan has always possessed the ability to see into the future: who will get into Harvard, who is gay and whose relationships will last (“It's not my fault. I just deliver the mail; I don't write it,” she says). As the teens' sweet 16 approaches (they share a birthday), Cam begins to grow wings, and his odd cousin Pip appears to explain that Cam must return to the Otherworld, enter into an arranged marriage and become king of that realm. While plotting to save Cam as he shrinks into a fairy, Pip and Morgan develop their own romance. The plot of Balog's debut novel unfolds quickly, without much suspense, and while Morgan's voice is often entertaining, she feels somewhat remote as a narrator—it's difficult to get a sense of her as a character. An intermittently gripping if not especially memorable addition to the urban faerie genre. Ages 12–up. (June)
Children's Literature - Joella Peterson
Morgan and Cam share the same birthday. The pair has been best friends since they were born and a couple for almost that long; however, a week before their sweet sixteen birthdays, things start to get a little strange. Cam's bizarre cousin Pip comes to stay. Cam starts to act strange and does not have as much time for Morgan, and she finds out that her boyfriend is really a fairy who is supposed to leave her on their birthday. Of course, Pip, the changeling that the fairies took when they left Cam, comes to the rescue to help Morgan figure out a plan to keep Cam in the human world. This fluffy novel is sure to please urban fairy tale fansbut only if they do not mind more fluff than substance. Morgan and Cam are supposedly perfect for each other, but more often than not readers hear about how perfect the relationship is rather than seeing why it works. Compared to Cam, Pip is clearly the more developed character, so it is no surprise that Morgan starts to develop feelings for him as well. Basically, Morgan is either on the verge of figuring out a plan to save Cam, fluctuating between whom she loves, or whining about life's general unfairness. This is a fun read with lots of fairy references, but a bit lacking in depth. Reviewer: Joella Peterson
School Library Journal
Gr 8 Up—Morgan Sparks and her football-star boyfriend, Cameron, were born on the same day. Close all their lives, the two are looking forward to celebrating their 16th birthday with a blowout bash. Then, a week before the party, Morgan catches Cameron hanging out with a new girl. It turns out that he is a fairy changeling, and that Dawn is a fairy sent to prepare him for his one-way journey back to fairyland. Pip, the gawky, geeky human who grew up in fairyland in Cam's place, has come with her. Morgan, whose psychic abilities allow her to see through the fairy spell that keeps most humans ignorant of Cam's transition, watches her once-formidable boyfriend sprout wings, shrink, and prepare to become the Fairy King. Some comic moments arise from Cam's changes, as well as from Pip's awkward acculturation into the human world and Morgan's hit-and-miss sassy narration. Underneath the comedy, there is also pathos: Morgan and Cameron losing their first love, and Cameron's coming to accept that the life he thought he wanted is now impossible. The plot is the weakest element: Morgan's plan to save Cam is half-hearted, the final action sequence lacks tension, and the mechanics of fairy magic are never quite consistent. Fairy Tale has a few choice witticisms and touching moments, but Morgan is no Maggie Quinn.—Megan Honig, New York Public Library
In most high schools, the psychic girl would be the weird supernatural student, but Morgan's precognitive powers just aren't the strangest thing around. Instead, it's Morgan's boyfriend, Cam, her best friend since they were in diapers, who's the really paranormal teen in this shallow romance. It seems Cam is a changeling, destined to return to the fairy lands on his 16th birthday. Morgan watches in horror as Cam's football-player physique shrinks away into sparkly, winged, smooth-skinned feyness. Meanwhile, she has to cope with an interloper: Pip, the human child originally stolen and replaced by Cam in the cradle 16 years before. As Morgan watches, Pip transforms from fashion-challenged dork to a gorgeous-smelling hunk with washboard abs. It's too bad that this love story, fairly original within the confines of the trendy paranormal-romance genre, is so thoroughly superficial, complete with a self-absorbed, unlikable heroine and a looks-obsessed notion of love and romance. The fairy world has got to be better than being in Morgan's orbit. (Fantasy. 12-14)
Read an Excerpt
People call me spooky.
Maybe because by eleven o'clock on that day, I'd already told Ariana Miles she'd starve to death in Hollywood, Erica Fuentes she'd bomb history, and Wendell Marks that he would never, ever be a part of the A-list, no matter how hard he tried.
Now, sitting in the bleachers after school, half watching a meaningless Hawks football exhibition game and waiting for some nameless freshman to bring me my French fries (psychics cannot work on an empty stomach), I've just about reduced my fourth client of the day to tears (well, Wendell didn't cry; he just pretended to yawn, covered his mouth, and let out a pathetic snurgle). But hey, sometimes the future is scary.
Sierra Martin won't look at me. Instead, she's taken an unnatural interest in the Heath bar wrapper wedged between the metal planks her sequin-studded flip-flops are resting on. A tear slips past her fake-tanned knees and lands perfectly on her porno-red big-toe nail.
"Sorry," I say, offering her a pat on the back and a couple of orange Tic Tacs for consolation. "Really."
Sometimes this gift does suck. Some days, I have the pleasure of doling out good news--BMWs as graduation presents, aced finals, that sort of thing. Today, it's been nothing but total crap. And yes, it obviously must have come as a shock that I'd envisioned Sierra, whose parents had bred her for Harvard, walking to Physics 101 on the Middlesex Community College campus, but it's not my fault. I just deliver the mail; I don't write it.
"Are you . . . su-ure?" she asks me, sniffling and wiping her nose with the back of her hand.
I sigh. This is the inevitable question, and I always answer the same thing: "I'm sorry, but I've never been wrong."
I know that probably makes me sound like a total snob, but it's simple fact. Since freshman year, I've correctly predicted the futures of dozens of students at Stevens. It all started way before that, though, in junior high, when I correctly guessed who would win the million-dollar prize on every reality-TV show out there. At times I would have to think, really think, to know the answer, but sometimes I would just wake up and, clear as day, the face of the winner would pop into my mind. Soon, I started testing my abilities out on my friends, and my friends' friends, and before long, every other person at school wanted my services. Seriously, being a psychic will do more for your reputation than a driver's license or a head-to-toe Marc Jacobs wardrobe.
Sierra tosses her frizzed-out, corn-husk-blond spirals over her shoulder and straightens. "Well, maybe you saw someone else. Someone who looked like me. Isn't that possible?"
Actually, it isn't possible at all. Sierra has a totally warped sense of style, like Andy Warhol on crack. Everyday things lying around the house do not always make attractive accessories. I shrug, though, since I don't feel like explaining that hell would have a ski resort before two people on the face of this earth would think it was okay to tie their ponytail up in a Twizzler, and crane my neck toward the refreshment stand. I'm starving. Where are my French fries?
"I mean, I did get a twenty-three hundred on my SATs," she says, which is something she's told me, and the rest of the student body, about a billion times. She might as well have broadcast it on CNN. However, she hasn't taken into account the fact that there are thousands of other students across the country who also got those scores, and took college-level physics or calculus instead of Dramatic Expression as their senior extra_curricular activity. Everyone knows that Sierra Martin screwed herself by deciding to coast through her classes this year.
See, I'm not that spooky. Truth is, most people don't use enough of their brains to see the obvious. Part of it is just being keenly aware of human nature, like one of those British detectives on PBS. It's elementary, my dear Watson. Colonel Mustard in the Billiard Room with the candlestick, and Sierra is so not Harvard material.
"We need to do the wave," Eden says, grabbing my arm. She doesn't bother to look at me; her attention is focused totally on the game, as usual. "They need us."
I squint at her. "It's an exhibition game."
She pulls a half-sucked Blow Pop from her mouth with a smack and says, "So?"
"Okay, you go, girl," I say, though I wish she wouldn't.
She turns around to face the dozen or so students in the bleachers, cups her hands around her lips, and screams, "Okay, let's do the wave!" Auburn hair trailing like a comet's tail, she runs as fast as her skinny, freckled legs can carry her to the right edge of the seats, then flails her arms and says to the handful of people there, "You guys first. Ready? One, and two, and three, and go!"
I don't bother to turn around. I know nobody is doing it. It's human nature--doing a wave during an exhibition game is _totally lame. Actually, doing a wave at all is totally lame. And nobody is going to listen to poor Miss Didn't-Make-the-Cheerleading-Squad.
She scowls and screams, "Morgan!" as she rushes past me, so I feel compelled to half stand. I raise my hands a little and let out a "woo!" Sierra doesn't notice Eden's fit of school spirit, since she's still babbling on about her three years as editor of the yearbook, as if giving me her entire life story will somehow get her closer to the Ivy League.
Eden returns a few seconds later, defeated, and slumps beside me. The spray of freckles on her face has completely disappeared into the deep crevasse on the bridge of her nose. "This school has no spirit."
From the Hardcover edition.