How to Ditch Your Fairy

( 67 )

Overview

Everyone in New Avalon has a fairy. Though invisible, a personal fairy is vital to success. It might determine whether you pass a math class or find the perfect outfit. But all fourteen-year-old Charlie can do is find parking spaces—and she doesn’t even drive. At first, teaming up with Fiorenza (who has an all-the-boys-like-you fairy) seems like a great idea. But when Charlie unexpectedly gets her heart’s desire, she’ll have to resort to extraordinary measures to ditch her ...

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How to Ditch Your Fairy

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Overview

Everyone in New Avalon has a fairy. Though invisible, a personal fairy is vital to success. It might determine whether you pass a math class or find the perfect outfit. But all fourteen-year-old Charlie can do is find parking spaces—and she doesn’t even drive. At first, teaming up with Fiorenza (who has an all-the-boys-like-you fairy) seems like a great idea. But when Charlie unexpectedly gets her heart’s desire, she’ll have to resort to extraordinary measures to ditch her fairy.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

Set in a futuristic fantasy city, this book puts a fun spin on fairy tales: fairies exist, but you may wish they did not. Charlie has a parking fairy, which means any driver Charlie is with can always find a choice spot (which in turn means that every time the brutish star jock at school gets behind a wheel he nabs Charlie). Charlie walks everywhere, hoping to ditch her fairy and the jock-but then she racks up tardiness demerits at her strict sports school. When Fiorenze, whose all-boys-will-like you fairy has captured Charlie's crush, also wants to get rid of her fairy, they team up to steal secret research compiled by Fiorenze's mother, an expert on fairies. It takes Larbalestier (the Magic or Madness trilogy) a long time to reach this point, but from here the pace quickens. The girls switch fairies, creating more trouble and pushing the girls to some serious (and seriously funny) extremes. Suggesting rather than exploiting the fictional possibilities of Charlie's city, which has as many rules as it has fairies, this vividly imagined story will charm readers. Ages 12-up. (Oct.)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Children's Literature - Quinby Frank
Charlie is desperate to rid herself of her parking fairy. She is constantly pestered by friends and family to ride in their cars so they can always find a spot to park. Her best friend, Rochelle, has a shopping fairy, so Rochelle is always assured of the most "doos"—or cool—wardrobe at bargain prices. Most of all, Charlie resents her arch rival, Fiorenze's all-boys-will-like-you fairy, especially when the "pulchritudinous" new boy, Steffi, follows Fiorenze around everywhere, practically drooling over her. The setting for this unusual novel is a sort of alternative Australian/U.S. universe called New Avalon, where most people have personal fairies. Charlie goes to the Sports High School, where the ultra-strict curriculum consists entirely of sports. Fiorenze's mother turns out to be an academic expert on fairies, and when Charlie discovers that Fiorenze actually hates her fairy, they join forces to discover how to switch their fairies and, then, ultimately get rid of them altogether. One method for removing fairies is through a near death experience that will scare the fairies away, which they try with hilarious results. The book is laced with Australian slang, but context and a helpful glossary provide guidance. Charlie is an appealingly self-deprecatory narrator, and her friendships are funny and realistic. Fans of Louise Rennison's books will like this entertaining offering that highlights the old adage "be careful what you wish for." Reviewer: Quinby Frank
VOYA - Isabel Crevasse
After reading one of Larbalestier's previous novels, I expected to dislike How to Ditch Your Fairy. I was surprised to discover it was both accessible and delightful. Although the predictability of the romantic plot line was disappointing, I found the rest to be an accurate, funny account of a teenage girl's life. It is a great read for most teen girls, relatable, light, and charming if not completely memorable. Reviewer: Isabel Crevasse, Teen Reviewer
VOYA - Lauri J. Vaughan
Athletic and driven, fourteen-year-old Charlie is on a mission to get rid of her parking fairy-the invisible entity that causes her the endless annoyance of getting dragged along on everyone's errands. In hopes of discouraging the unwanted sprite, Charlie has been walking for two months-a plan that is wreaking havoc with her busy schedule and racking up demerits at New Avalon Sports High. She would much rather have her friend Rochelle's clothes fairy, or better yet, Fiorenze's every-boy-will-like-you fairy who is currently throwing into disorder Charlie's budding relationship with the new guy, Steffi. Larbalestier's inhabitation of Charlie's voice is crisp, funny and wholly believable. Pacing is solid, and the story moves along at a satisfying clip without gaps or stalls. Elements Larbalestier begins but does not finish are disappointing. The setting has hints of socio-critical speculative fiction, such as the self-obsessed nature of New Avaloners, which the author sets up but ignores. The promising backstory involving Dander Anders, Fiorenze, and her fairy-expert mother along with Charlie's discovery of her proto fairy is unaddressed. The athletic theme-other than grueling practice schedules and demerit-happy coaches-ought to have included some positive aspects. Charlie's passion for sport is evident, and the reader is itching to see her in action. Despite the shallow spots, the voice and personality of Larbalestier's well-drawn protagonist will easily carry teens captivated by the hysterical first page through to the finish. Reviewer: Lauri J. Vaughan
School Library Journal

Gr 6-10

In New Avalon, most everyone has a personal fairy. Charlie, 14, has a parking fairy; if she is in a car, a perfect parking spot is found on the first try. But since Charlie doesn't drive and hates exhaust, she thinks she's been cursed. Her friend Rochelle has a clothes-shopping fairy that makes everything look perfect on her, and her sworn enemy, Fiorenze, has an every-boy-will-like-you fairy. Charlie's attempts to starve her fairy away by walking everywhere just collects her demerits for lateness at New Avalon Sports High, where it is all sports all the time. When the water polo star virtually kidnaps her in his car for his illegal purposes and the "pulchritudinous" new boy on whom she has a crush falls for Fiorenze, Charlie needs to get drastic. She and Fiorenze forge an alliance and hatch a plan to switch their fairies, and she learns to be careful about what she wishes for. With the every-boy-will-like-you fairy, girls turn on Charlie, and she wonders whether Steffi likes her or if he is just responding to her fairy. Charlie is totally likable, smart, and sarcastic, a perfectly self-involved, insecure teen. At its core, this is a typical coming-of-age story, but the addition of the fairies, the slightly alternative setting, and the made-up slang make it much more. This "doos" (brilliant) fantasy will not be ditched.-Connie Tyrrell Burns, Mahoney Middle School, South Portland, ME

Kirkus Reviews
Charlie attends a magnet school for gifted athletes in a world where people are guided by unseen fairies with such special powers as styling good hair and finding loose change. Charlie is frustrated by hers, a parking fairy who guarantees that whatever car she's riding in will find a premium parking spot waiting at every destination. At 14, she'd rather have a clothes-shopping fairy or an every-boy-will-like-you fairy. Her efforts to rid herself of her fairy lead to a series of escalating mishaps involving the new boy at school, her archrival and multiple demerits. Things go awry when Charlie gets what she thinks she wants, and she must face some uncomfortable truths in order to solve the problems she's created. Larbalestier's repetitive use of creative slang will be familiar to those who enjoyed Louise Rennison's Confessions of Georgia Nicolson (2000, etc.). Fans of Larbalestier's award-winning Magic or Madness trilogy (2005, etc.) might be put off initially by the glib tone, but this comic coming-of-age novel will entertain teen readers. (demerits and suspensions, "List of Known Fairies Justine Thinks You Should Know," glossary) (Fantasy. 11-14)
School Library Journal
Gr 6–10—Fourteen-year-old Charlie, a fair-to-middling student at the "all sports, all the time" New Avalon high school, is cursed with a parking fairy (the driver finds the perfect parking spot if she's in the car) and determined to do whatever it takes to swap fairies with her archenemy, Fiorenze, who's been "blessed" with an every-boy-will-like-you fairy. But what Charlie doesn't know is that the grass really isn't greener on the other side, as proven by the many complications that ensue when she successfully ditches her parking fairy and finds herself saddled with slavish and unwelcome attention from every boy in sight. Kate Atkinson narrates Justine Larbalesier's novel (Bloomsbury, 2008), and her Aussie accent perfectly captures Charlie's sarcastic and smart character along with her struggle to figure out what she really wants and what price she's willing to pay for it. Filled with casual conversational slang, the story benefits from a glossary at the end of the book. The author's fans will find that this latest offering "doos" to the max—Cindy Lombardo, Cleveland Public Library, OH
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781441801944
  • Publisher: Brilliance Audio
  • Publication date: 9/29/2009
  • Format: CD
  • Edition description: Unabridged
  • Age range: 13 - 17 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.10 (w) x 7.00 (h) x 1.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Justine Larbalestier is the author of Liar and the acclaimed Magic or Madness trilogy. She was born and raised in Sydney, Australia, and now divides her time between Sydney and New York City. She is married to author Scott Westerfeld. www.justinelarbalestier.com

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 67 )
Rating Distribution

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(29)

4 Star

(22)

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(4)

2 Star

(6)

1 Star

(6)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 67 Customer Reviews
  • Posted February 28, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    from Missprint DOT wordpress DOT com

    Welcome to New Avalon, the best city in the world--just ask any of its residents. New Avalon has the most important celebrities, the tallest buildings, and the best slang. It also has the best sports school in the country, but you probably already knew that since it has a reputation for training future famous athletes by the truckload.

    As far as fourteen-year-old Charlie is concerned life in New Avalon is just about perfect, especially now that she's getting to know here totally pulchy and crush-worthy new neighbor Stefan. The only real problem is Charlie's parking fairy.

    It's not that fairies are uncommon, far from it. Many New Avaloners have fairies that help with everything from finding loose change to finding the perfect clothes. Some fairies make people charming and famous, some keep them from ever getting cold or losing their grip. Charlie's fairy helps her find a perfect parking space anywhere, any time.

    Charlie can't drive. Charlie hates cars. Charlie is tired of always smelling vaguely of gasoline. And Charlie is sick of being passed around to her all of her neighbors going to the doctor or some other important appointment where they need to find good parking.

    Charlie is desperate to get rid of her fairy through any means necessary. And sometimes desperate people do stupid things like refusing to help one of the most important people in school and teaming up with their archenemy (and even a few other, more dangerous, things). Only time will tell if it will all be enough to solve Charlie's parking problem in How to Ditch Your Fairy (2008) by Justine Larbalestier.

    Larbalestier splits her time between Australia and the United States (specifically New York City) and has written books set in both countries. How to Ditch Your Fairy is set in neither. Instead, Larbalestier has created an imaginary country; an amalgam of the two. The effect is rather like being thrown into the deep end of the pool to learn to swim. The setting, the slang, and the culture are utterly alien and initially quite confusing. (The book includes a character as clueless as some readers will feel about the ways of New Avalon as well as several helpful glossaries at the end of the book.)

    While the total immersion is a little daunting at first, it helps get right to the action of the story. Larbalestier introduces a fascinating and foreign city readers will love learning about throughout the story. Even though New Avalon doesn't exist outside of this story, it feels like it does thanks to Larbalestier's expert depiction.

    Charlie is also a refreshing addition to the already rich cadre of young adult heroines. She eats, drinks and breathes sports (like most of her fellow students). Charlie's passion for sports is embedded in every part of How to Ditch Your Fairy but there is more to the story, and the heroine, than sports. Some readers will fully identify with Charlie and her enthusiasm for all things sports. Others will appreciate her eagerness because it so clearly reflects the fierce commitment needed to follow a dream.

    How to Ditch Your Fairy starts with a familiar girl, a character you could have met anywhere, but by the end of the story it will be clear that this book is completely original and completely entertaining.

    Possible Pairings: Alice, I Think by Susan Juby, Once a Witch by Carolyn MacCullough, Angus, Thongs, and Full-Frontal Snogging by Louise Rennison, A Map of the Known World by Lisa Ann Sandell, Jungle Crossing by Sydn

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 9, 2010

    Really Great Book!

    If you like funny teen books with school stuff, friend drama, and boys, this is the perfect book. Great story- since it doesn't take place in a world like ours, but still the same in most ways. I actually won this book from a GirlsLife.com giveaway and after sitting on my shelf for a year I finally read it! I regret not reading it sooner, but it's still an awesome read.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 11, 2010

    Loved It!

    Great book! Some exiting twists that you would never suspect! Defenitely worth your money!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 2, 2011

    Really good

    it might seem slow in the beginning but it speeds up and makes you want to read more. I really enjoyed this book and LIAR which is by the same author. If this is not what you want, try LIAR

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 5, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Now I want to Ditch My Non-Existent Fairy!

    How to ditch your fairy is a tale of a teenage girl named Charlie trying to ditch her fairy. She lives in a made-up town called New Avalon, where practically everyone has their own fairy. There's good hair fairies, clothes shopping fairies, loose change fairies, and unfortunately for Charlie, new attendee of New Avalon Sports High, parking fairies. What good is a fairy that finds you a good parking spot every time you jump in a car, good for a teenager that can't even drive? Not to mention, it can get annoying when people only want to go places with you just to get a good place to park. How will Charlie ditch her fairy? In the process of making her neighbor, Steffi, fall in love with her, trying not to rack up demerits, and battling the struggles of school?

    The major message of this book is you cannot receive what is impossible for you to have. In New Avalon, the fairy you get is most likely the fairy you are stuck with. This is a good theme for even here on Earth, where we don't have fairies for our everyday lives. You are born with talents, and some of these talents get you somewhere, and others can leave you with nothing but being able to balance a broom on your nose.

    All in all, I enjoyed How to Ditch your Fairy by Justine Larbalestier. Once you picked up the book, it was hard to put it down. This book kept you interested until the very end, and even left you with a cliffhanger.
    One thing I did not like about this book however, was how the author switched from scene to scene each chapter. I like a book that keeps its focus on one thing, until it's time for another small climax.

    I would recommend this book to someone, because it makes you wonder what's going to happen constantly. Each night, I would tell myself I was going to read two chapters, and go to sleep, but I ended up reading close to five or six chapters each night instead! It is kind of a girly book, but even I know a guy can't resist a good chick-flick once and a while. :)

    How To Ditch Your Fairy, is a hilarious, funny tale, but left me with some unresolved questions in the end. Hopefully this leads to a sequel!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 1, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Astral! (excellent, wondrous, fabulous)

    In New Avalon, everyone has a personal fairy - like a good luck charm. there are some really doos fairies like the clothes shopping fairy and the every boy will like you fairy, and then there are some doxy fairies like charlie's parking fairy. a parking fairy is no use to charlie because she hates cars and cant even drive yet. charlie will do anything to ditch her parking fairy: never getting in a car to teaming up with her arch-enemy fironze. join charlie on her mission to ditch her fairy.

    i loved this book! it was funny and i loved all the interesting words that justine larbalestier used! charlie is a very likable character that the readers can relate to. this book is absolutely worth your time! if you liked this book and are looking for more books about fairies i recommend wings by e.d. baker and wings by aprilynne pike and if your looking for more books about magic i recommend bras and broomsticks, tattoo, and need,

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 23, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    Charlie wants to get rid of her fairy which gives her and people

    Charlie wants to get rid of her fairy which gives her and people driving with her good parking spots.  This fairy makes her feel used by many people including her mother.  He best friend has a fairy that gives her the power to find excellent and cheap clothing, which would be every teenager dream to have.  Another girl in Charlie’s grade also has a fairy she wants to get rid of.  So you can assume that the two who don’t want their fairies get together and chaos ensued.




    I thought I wasn’t going to like this book but in actuality I really enjoyed it.  It was funny, adventurous and had some surprises.  This being a teenage or young adult book and about teenagers was what had me thinking “oh boy this will be another whiny teenager” .   Now why yes there was some of that it was the unexpected things that really made up for the teen angst.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 20, 2013

    Slowwwwww

    It is not good at all. It only has 25 reviews. Please respind to luvspuppies!!!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 14, 2013

    Eh

    Its ok, kind of cheesy but funny and i guess worth reading

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 19, 2013

    Is this a good book?

    Is this a good book? I need to know! I love fairies and asked my dad to get this for me! Plz, plz tell me if its good!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 27, 2012

    Anonymous

    I really liked this book. It was funny, and full of things you wouldn't normally see or hear. It gave an insight into how the "Mean girl" really is and how good of a friend they can be. The main characters were well developed and you could relate to them. There were events in this story that could really happen along with things that aren't even possible.!
    I loved this book and hope to read more of this very talented author's books.!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 26, 2012

    Hall way

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 13, 2012

    This was a waste of money. Not the worst book i have ever read,

    This was a waste of money. Not the worst book i have ever read, but NOWHERE NEAR good.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 14, 2012

    The best freaking book ever!

    So, if you love fairies, love, and a little bit of frienenenemies, then you will love this nook


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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 24, 2012

    HOW TO DITCH TOUR FAIRY

    I recommend this book to anyone who kows how to read...¿ Do you like good never gonna put this book down books? You will love this book. ¿

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 28, 2012

    Cute

    Good book if you have nothing else to read, i think the author did make up some words though. But theres a glossary in the back lol

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 24, 2012

    Luv this book!

    I havent bought this, but i read it a while ago. I loved the book sooo much, that i want to buy it on my nook for unlimited reading, instead of from my English teacher!

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  • Posted September 13, 2011

    Ha!

    Omigod it was so funny and ridiculous! The story takes place in this wird country wher faries exist, and the main charecter has a parking fairy! Ha! So funny!

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 12, 2011

    Love and other sports

    Awwweeesssooooommee book! If you have a child who likes stories like this, BUY IT...

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  • Posted May 17, 2011

    Great book!

    I really enjoyed reading it! Awesome!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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