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3.8 287
by Nancy Werlin

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For fans of Beautiful Creatures and Wicked Lovely comes this New York Times Bestselling modern fairy tale from National Book Award Finalist Nancy Werlin.

Inspired by the classic folk ballad “Scarborough Fair,” this wonderfully riveting novel is rife with suspense, romance, and fantasy. Seventeen-year-old Lucy discovers that


For fans of Beautiful Creatures and Wicked Lovely comes this New York Times Bestselling modern fairy tale from National Book Award Finalist Nancy Werlin.

Inspired by the classic folk ballad “Scarborough Fair,” this wonderfully riveting novel is rife with suspense, romance, and fantasy. Seventeen-year-old Lucy discovers that she is the latest recipient of a generations-old Elvin curse that requires women in her family to complete three impossible tasks or risk falling into madness and passing the curse on to the next generation. Unlike her ancestors, Lucy has the support of her fiercely protective adoptive parents, and her best friend Zach, whose friendship may be turning into something more. But do they have enough love and resolve to conquer this age-old evil?
The Scarborough Girls’ story continues in Unthinkable and the companion novel Extraordinary.
“Teens, especially young women, will enjoy this romantic fairy tale with modern trappings.”—School Library Journal (starred review)
“Showcases the author’s finesse at melding genres [with its] graceful interplay between wild magic and contemporary reality [and its] catapulting suspense.”—Booklist (starred review)
“The melding of magic and practicality produces a lovely whole.”—Kirkus (starred review)

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"A haunting, thrilling romantic puzzle. Just read it."--Gregory Maguire, author of Wicked
* “Werlin earns high marks for the tale's graceful interplay between wild magic and contemporary reality.”
Booklist, starred review
* “Modern logic and methodology mesh splendidly with fairy lore...The conclusion is startlingly wholesome, comfortable and complete ...the melding of magic and practicality produces a lovely whole.”
Kirkus, starred review
* “Teens, especially young women, will enjoy this romantic fairy tale with modern trappings.”
School Library Journal, starred review
* “Modern logic and methodology mesh splendidly with fairy lore...The conclusion is startlingly wholesome, comfortable and complete ...the melding of magic and practicality produces a lovely whole.”
Kirkus Reviews, starred review

Accolades for Impossible:

A New York Times bestseller
ALA Best Book for YA
School Library Journal Best Books of the Year
Booklist Editor's Choice
VOYA Editors’ Choice
IndieBound List (Top Ten)
Many state and city awards (including. TX, GA, DC, KY, PA, and MA);

Lucy Scarborough is only 17, but she carries the burden of a curse that has already struck down several women in her family. Each of her afflicted ancestors failed at completing three seemingly impossible tasks, and each succumbed to madness at the birth of her first child. Facing this tragic fate, Lucy braces herself for a losing battle. Mercifully, she has allies in her struggle: intensely sympathetic foster parents and her loyal childhood friend Zach.
Publishers Weekly

Werlin (TheRules of Survival) melds fantasy and suspense in a contemporary setting for a romance with plenty of teen appeal. Lucy Scarborough, raped on prom night, is pregnant. Committed to keeping the baby, she nonetheless sees disturbing parallels to her mentally ill mother, Miranda, who had Lucy as a teen, then left her in the care of the Markowitzes-Soledad, a nurse-midwife, and her husband, Leo. Boy-next-door-type Zach, home from college and living with the Markowitzes, happens upon Miranda's teenage diary, which outlines a curse placed on Lucy's family generations earlier by the evil Elfin Knight: the women all give birth as teens before descending into madness. Lucy can break the curse only by performing three impossible tasks set forth in a variant of the ballad "Scarborough Fair." None of her forebears have come even close, but then none of them had help from the selfless Markowitzes, the love-struck and self-sacrificing Zach or the Internet, where items like goat horns can be easily located: Lucy is the luckiest accursed girl ever. Werlin disguises the retro elements by creating feminist male leads, and even though the outcome is never in doubt, she builds nail-biting tension. Ages 12-up. (Sept.)

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Werlin earns high marks for the tale's graceful interplay between wild magic and contemporary reality. Starred review
Children's Literature - Danielle Williams
Lucy has a secret she is not proud of: her birth mother is the local homeless woman. Not only is she homeless, she is insane. But as Lucy approaches her eighteenth birthday, she discovers a secret that changes her perception of her mother and herself. When one of her ancestors refused to marry an Elfin Knight, he cursed her family so that each daughter born would give birth to a daughter by her eighteenth birthday and fall into insanity. Lucy can scarcely believe what she has discovered, but as the same events that happened to her mother happen to her, she cannot help but believe. However, Lucy has one asset that none of the other women in her family had: she has step-parents and friends who believe her and want to help her break the curse. Werlin weaves a magical tale, full of intrigue and triumph, and paints an intriguing picture of how strong women can be if only they believe in themselves. While the novel obviously has fantasy elements woven into the plot, the author does not dwell on them and creates a story that is quite gripping and difficult to put down that will appeal to any reader. Reviewer: Danielle Williams
VOYA - Courtney Wika
Lucy Scarborough does not know much about her birth mother, Miranda, except that she went insane shortly after giving birth. With the exception of Miranda's havoc-wreaking appearances, Lucy has lived a happy, peaceful life with her foster parents, Leo and Soledad. But when Lucy is seventeen, around the same time Miranda begins appearing again, she becomes pregnant after being raped at her high school prom, and she begins to unearth a terrifying family secret. Lucy discovers that her mother's insanity is the result of a curse on the Scarborough women: At eighteen, each woman falls into madness after giving birth to a daughter. It is punishment for their ancestor Fenella's refusal to be the Elfin King's true love. The curse can be broken upon the completion of three impossible tasks, but these tasks might not be so impossible after all because Lucy has what no other Scarborough girl has ever had-supportive parents and a true love of her own. Werlin's book seamlessly weaves fable and fairy tale with Lucy's modern life. Lucy herself is a treasure of a character; she is spunky and unique and fiercely independent. Lucy's rape and subsequent teenage pregnancy are treated compassionately but are discussed in vague terms. Although the final showdown in the book is anticlimactic and the ending is true to fairy-tale style in its pat resolution, the story is original and makes for a fast-paced, compelling read. With its fantasy, mystery, and romantic aspects, the story will appeal to many readers. Reviewer: Courtney Wika
KLIATT - Claire Rosser
This suspenseful fantasy is by an Edgar Award-winning author, and its story of doom and romance will appeal to YAs who like the dramatic. Lucy is 17 years old; she is well loved by her adoptive parents who were friends with Lucy's birth mother before she became mentally ill after Lucy's birth. This strange mother turns up now and again, singing a new version of the old ballad, "Scarborough Fair." In this way, she is trying to warn Lucy about the family curse and show her a way to defeat the curse. But at this point in her life, Lucy is ashamed of her mother. Then the curse begins: Lucy is raped on the night of the prom and she becomes pregnant, just as her own mother became pregnant when she was 17. Lucy decides to keep the baby, but as the pregnancy continues, she starts making sense of her mother's warnings through the ballad. Lucy's adoptive parents are totally supportive, and so is Zach, who falls in love with Lucy and will do everything in his power to help her break the curse. The climax of this novel is so suspenseful it's painful. With storm and waves swirling around her, just hours before the baby is born, Lucy battles with evil and almost loses everything. This supernatural thriller would appeal to those YAs who love Meyer's popular vampire books, even though Werlin isn't writing about vampires. Reviewer: Claire Rosser
School Library Journal

Gr 9 Up

Werlin combines magic, romance, and a family curse in this 21st-century fairy tale based on the ballad "Scarborough Fair." On the night of her prom, Lucy, 17, is raped by her date and becomes pregnant. She decides to keep the child, and she is supported by her foster parents and Zach, her childhood friend whose love for Lucy changes from platonic to romantic as the story progresses. The teen discovers the curse on the women in her family when she reads her birth mother's diary. Lucy is destined for madness at 18 unless she can perform the three impossible tasks described in the song and break the curse of the Elfin Knight. She is determined to rid herself and her unborn child of the curse, and her family and Zach help her as she works to solve the riddles. This unique story flows smoothly and evenly, and the well-drawn characters and subtle hints of magic early on allow readers to enter willingly into the world of fantasy. As in The Rules of Survival (Dial, 2006), Werlin addresses tough topics. Rape, teen pregnancy, and family madness set the story in motion, but the strength of Lucy's character and the love of her family and friends allow her to deal with such difficult matters and take on the impossible. Teens, especially young women, will enjoy this romantic fairy tale with modern trappings.-Jennifer D. Montgomery, Western Kentucky University, Bowling Green

Kirkus Reviews
In this modern-day fairy tale, 17-year-old Lucy and her loved ones apply 21st-century rationality to their quest to escape an ancient curse. Lucy lives with the beloved foster parents who have cared for her since her teenage mother went crazy after Lucy's birth. But what Lucy and her parents don't know is that it's not just Lucy's mother who went mad, but her grandmother, her great-grandmother and further back, through countless generations: She is descended from a long line of women who have babies at age 18 and then go mad. It all seems to be connected to an ancient fairy curse that's detailed in a strange version of the song "Scarborough Fair." Together with her parents and childhood friend Zach, Lucy vows to break the curse. Modern logic and methodology mesh splendidly with fairy lore; if emergency contraception won't break the curse, then maybe duct tape will. The conclusion is startlingly wholesome, comfortable and complete for the usually dark Werlin, and the melding of magic and practicality produces a lovely whole. (Fantasy. 13-16)

Product Details

Penguin Young Readers Group
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
5.90(w) x 8.40(h) x 1.20(d)
HL670L (what's this?)
Age Range:
12 Years

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Read an Excerpt

Chapter 1

Ten minutes after the last class of the day, Lucy got a text message from her best friend, Sarah Hebert. “Need u,” it said.

“2 mins,” Lucy texted back. She sighed. Then she hefted her backpack and headed to the girls’ locker room, where, she knew, Sarah would be. Nothing and nobody, not even Jeff Mundy, got in the way of track practice.

Because of course this problem of Sarah’s would be about Jeff. Lucy had seen him at lunch period, leaning flirtatiously over an adorable freshman girl. Maybe this time Sarah would have had it with him for good. Lucy hoped so.

But still, it was delicate. And it wasn’t like Lucy had a lot of experience to guide her friend with. Or any, really, if you didn’t count Gray Spencer, which you couldn’t, not yet, anyway. No, she didn’t have experience, Lucy thought fiercely, but she did have years of understanding about who, exactly, Sarah was and what made her happy. And also, frankly, some basic common sense.

Which Sarah had totally lost.

Lucy found Sarah already changed and sitting on a bench by Lucy’s locker. “Are you all right?” Lucy asked.

“Yeah. It’s just—it’s not Jeff, it’s me. I’m the one with the problem.” Sarah made a little motion with her hand. “But now we have to go to practice.”

Lucy put an arm around her and squeezed. “There’ll be plenty of time to talk later if you want.”

Sarah nodded and tried to smile.

Lucy turned to change. Then they walked out together toward the school’s track, moving to the infield to stretch. Lucy’s practice routine as a hurdler was different from Sarah’s distance training, but they always did as much together as they could.

When they were side by side doing leg stretches, Sarah was finally able to talk. Lucy listened patiently to all of it, even the parts she’d heard many times before. But when Sarah said, “We both agreed from the start that we weren’t serious and Jeff’s right that it truly is my problem that I’m so jealous, not his, because he’s not doing anything wrong,” Lucy couldn’t help herself. She cut in.

“Sarah, please. It’s not a problem that you want something more serious than Jeff does. There’s nothing wrong with you that you want that! And there’s also nothing wrong that he doesn’t. Can’t you see? It’s just that you’re fundamentally incompatible. You should just say so and move on.”

“But I don’t want to move on! He’s such fun and so smart and good-looking and I just love him and if I could only control the way I feel when—”

“Then be his friend. But that’s it. For more, look around for somebody who’s not going to hurt you all the time. Even if Jeff doesn’t mean to hurt you, it’s still pain, right?” Lucy grabbed one foot, and, standing on the other leg, pulled the foot behind her to stretch her quad muscles. She decided not to say that Jeff knew perfectly well he was hurting Sarah, and didn’t care, so long as he got to do what he wanted to do, which included being with Sarah whenever he felt like it.

Sarah was silent for a minute, concentrating on her own quad stretch. Then she said, “Lucy, I don’t think you understand. I can’t really control how I feel. I can’t just look around for somebody else. I want what I want. Who I want.”

Lucy switched legs. She chose her words carefully. “But this is hurting you so much. It can’t be right.”

“Love hurts,” said Sarah simply. “That’s okay. It’s supposed to.”

“I don’t believe it,” Lucy said. “Look at Soledad and Leo.”

“People who’ve been married umpteen years like your foster parents are different,” said Sarah impatiently. “When you first fall in love, it’s supposed to be awful. Awful, uncertain, scary, wonderful, confusing, all at once. That’s how you know it’s real. You have to care deeply. Passionately. That hurts.”

Lucy got down on the ground, stretched her legs to each side, and began pressing her head and torso out to the left. “I don’t know.” As she switched to the right side, she found that Sarah had gotten down too, and was looking her in the face from three inches away.

“Lucy, look. You can’t just make a list of what qualities would be compatible for you and pick somebody based on that. You have to, well, consult your heart. And if love doesn’t hurt sometimes, well, then.” Sarah actually put a hand over her heart. “Then maybe you don’t truly care.”

“Oh, please!” Lucy sat up. “Can’t you consult both your heart and your head? Shouldn’t they be in agreement? And, also, I’m telling you, I continue to not like the pain thing. Continued pain is a signal to the body that there’s something wrong, not right.”

“But we’re talking about the heart, not the body.”

“Why should that be different? Pain is to be avoided.”

At this, Sarah laughed. “Really? That’s your philosophy? Tell me that after practice today.”

Lucy went to the left on her stretch again. “I don’t like interval training! I just do it. Anyway, that’s not the same kind of pain, and you know it.”

It was good to hear Sarah laugh, she thought, even though she knew that the abrupt change of subject meant that Sarah was done, wanted no more advice, and would, no doubt, go right on breaking her heart over Jeff Mundy.

Well, all right. Lucy had said what she had to say. And she would say it again if and when she was asked.

Or possibly even if she wasn’t asked.

Sarah, who was done with her stretching, stood up. “Listen, Lucy. Now that you’ve got this kind-of-sort-of-maybe dating thing about to happen with Gray Spencer, with the prom and all, I’m thinking that pretty soon you’ll start to see what I’m talking about.”

Lucy snorted. “I like Gray, but hello? Were you listening to me at all? About pain?”

“If you’re expecting a walk in the park—”

They were interrupted by the coach calling the track team around and assigning them their workouts. “Call me later,” Sarah said. Lucy nodded, and Sarah went off on her run. Lucy and the other two hurdlers began doing drills with tightly spaced hurdles, practicing alternating their lead legs.

Lucy worked out hard. She always did; it was her strongest point as an athlete. She was good, but she didn’t have any truly extraordinary level of talent, and she knew it. What she did have was will and determination. And next year, if she kept it up and was lucky, she thought she might have a shot at going to states and maybe also at some college scholarship money, which would be a big help to her foster parents. That was her real goal. Even though her parents had told her not to worry about college costs, that they would figure it out, she wanted to help all she could. Wonderful as they were, and loved as Lucy had always felt, she never lost a certain consciousness that she was indebted to them. She tried her best to be perfect for Soledad and Leo Markowitz.

Here it was really no problem, though. She loved hurdling. When it went well, when she got her striding length and her pace and her hurdles just right, there was nothing like it. Nothing like how competent and powerful and whole it made her feel.

Lucy didn’t know exactly what made her lose her focus during that practice. A prickly feeling on the back of her neck? The creeping conviction that she was being watched?

But suddenly she lost her rhythm and messed up her hurdle. She landed hard on the track on one knee, with the hurdle coming down beside her. And she looked up to see her mother. Not her foster mother, Soledad, but her real mother, Miranda.

It was unmistakably her.

Miranda had materialized on the other side of the track, right near the bleachers. She was wearing a thin purple gauze skirt and a red T-shirt that was far too big for her. She was pushing a supermarket shopping cart that was laden with returnable plastic and glass bottles and other trash.

“Lucy, you okay?” It was Sindy Gillespie, the best hurdler on the team, helping Lucy up.

“Sure.” Lucy got up slowly, trying to figure out what to do. What was right? Should she interrupt practice and go try to talk to Miranda? Or would that be the same exercise in futility it had always been?

Miranda had never come to Lucy’s school before. Always, in the past, on those rare occasions she showed up, she had come to Soledad and Leo’s house, and caused the entire family endless grief and anguish.

Sindy Gillespie was following Lucy’s gaze. Miranda had stopped walking now and was staring right at Lucy with her big, brown—and quite insane—eyes.

“Have you seen that crazy bag lady before?” Sindy asked Lucy. “I have. I saw her yesterday just outside the cafeteria. She was going through the trash and eating stuff. And she was singing! Poor thing, but still, ick.”

“No,” Lucy lied. “I’ve never seen her before.” She immediately felt guilty. And she felt a little stir of curiosity too. “What was she singing, Sindy?”

“I don’t know.”

“Oh.” Lucy bit her lip, containing her impulse to sing a few bars of a particular song and ask if that was it. But she knew it was. Miranda had been singing one song, a version of an old folk ballad, every time she showed up in Lucy’s life. Lucy was sick of it.

But the ballad still haunted her. Twined itself unexpectedly in her mind and inner ear, which was where it was now.

Are you going to Scarborough Fair?

Parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme

Remember me to one who lives there

She must be a true love of mine.

As Lucy and Sindy watched, Miranda parked her cart and sat down on the bottom bleacher. She pulled her legs up before her, under her skirt, and sat with her thin, muscular arms tightly corded around them. Her lips moved, though no sound came out.

“She’s looking right at us!” said Sindy. “And I think she’s singing again too.”

“I know,” said Lucy tersely. “Let’s ignore her.”

“Yeah. We need to get back to it anyway. Are you going to do another one?”

“Okay,” said Lucy.

What would Sindy think, Lucy thought, if she excused herself and went over? Or what if she said: “I do know her. That’s my mother.”

But she didn’t. Instead, she continued to practice, if badly. It wasn’t just Miranda’s gaze. The rhythm of the song in her inner ear also interfered with the rhythm of Lucy’s strides, and she couldn’t get it right.

When practice ended and she finally looked again, Miranda was gone.


Meet the Author

Nancy Werlin has written eight previous acclaimed novels, including National Book Award Finalist The Rules of Survival and Edgar Award Winner The Killer’s Cousin. She and her husband live near Boston, Massachusetts.

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Impossible 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 281 reviews.
MsOrange78 More than 1 year ago
The first 20 pages or so of this book sucked me in while skimming it at Barnes and Noble. Plus, the cover just looked awesome, and the fact that Gregory Maguire recommended it pretty much sold me. Usually when I buy books, I buy them online so that I can see customer reviews and a thorough description of the book... this book is the reason why I do that. The story is of Lucy, an 18 (or 17 at some point possibly) girl that has been given the impossible task to break a curse that has been placed on her family for an unknown number of generation, or destined to suffer the fate of going "crazy" after giving birth to her child at the age of 18. The idea intrigued me, and the idea, if done properly, could make for a great epic tale with a strong heroine. When done poorly, you get this book. Not only are major plot points lacking in structure,("Hey Mom, hey Dad, I am working to fight an Elfin Knight's curse, will you help?" "SURE!!!" "Oh, and I'm getting married to Zach, you know, the poorly built character that is known from page 10 I will fall madly in love with... yea him, we're getting married!" "No probleme-o!"), but the story line and the characters reaction are just so unrealistic! Awesome urban fantasy is fantasy that you can actually believe in. There is no great climatic build up to a grand conflict of good VS evil, and how Lucy and Zach work to complete the tasks is very unrealistic and lacking in detail. I could go on, but I won't. This book received 2 stars instead of 1 because the story line was intriguing enough to make me actually want to finish the book (which I did) and find out what happened... I kept holding out thinking "IT's going to get better... it's going to pick up!" only to be disappointed. The fact that this book has a "group discussion" at the back is laughable.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
***SPOILER WARNING*** So I picked up this book after seeing it had great reviews on Amazon.com and Barnes and Noble. About two pages in I couldn't stop laughing at the horrible writing, pathetic characters, and boring senseless plot. Teachers and parents- please be aware that this book deals with the following topics: 1. Rape (which goes unreported in the book and the main character magically gets over it rather quickly) 2. Teen pregnancy which of course leads to discussions of abortion 3. Teen alcohol use (does it matter if you're under age- of course not!) 4. Sex, sex, and more sex 5. The worst pregnancy advice I can imagine (14 weeks in- sure abortions are fine. Yes- go plow a field when you're in labor!!!) Seriously... 6. Teen marriage based on the fact the child needs a father (yes young women, marry a man you don't love because you're having a child by someone other than him) 7. Teenagers burning through college savings to fly around the country 8. Oh, and an evil Elf Knight that haunts the song Scarborough Fair. Yes, an evil elf. I'm not going to say the author is horrible because I've never read anything from her before, but honestly I have no intention to read anything by her ever again. If this book was marketed towards an adult audience I would have much more respect for it. Just the fact that she has the main character going through "rigorous physical exercise training" in her 35th week of pregnancy floors me. This book was unbelievable, slow, and rather tedious to read. I would recommend the novel "A Curse as Dark as Gold" if someone is looking for a good, historical novel based on a traditional classic story.
SuperMomof4 More than 1 year ago
I REALLY liked "Impossible" by Nancy Werlin. The idea behind the book was intriguing and within the first 10 pages I was hooked and could not put the book down. The characters were easy to like and the tension continued right up to the end of the book. The language was clean and any sexual references were G-Rated, so I'm comfortable passing this one on to my older teens. It does reference a date rape and teen pregnancy, so I'll probably hold off on giving it to my younger teens until they are a little more mature. I look forward to reading other works by Nancy Werlin. Definitely a book I will recommend to others because it was just plain fun.
Elly3 More than 1 year ago
Let me start off by saying I read this book about two years ago during my creative writing class (not as a class assignment but of my own free will). The concept of course is intriguing and I enjoy how the author draws inspiration from the song. That enjoyment stops there. The book starts off with her getting raped. The events after are basically glossed over. She rebounds very quickly and it's never mentioned again, with no nightmares, little therapy and that kind of thing. It's used simply as a plot device and nothing more. The rest of the book goes between dragging on and being painfully slow, chapters skipping months and months because no one actually does anything. The characters, particularly the lead male, are hard to believe. He's too perfect. Not to mention during the final task when she is very pregnant, they start having sex. Aren't they supposed to be worried about that? They are trying to get as much time as they can get to figure out the last task, and they're doing one of the best things to do to bring on early labor. But no one mentions that to them. Not to mention I've never a met a woman who desires sex during the late third trimester, oh and not to mention she's doing hard workouts during this time too. With her mother figure being a nurse-midwife you would think she would have been informed to NOT do these things. Everything is hunky dory and perfect. The main character suffers no stress having a rape baby, and her hunky man has no problems sticking around and supporting her when pretty much any guy his age would run in clear the opposite direction. Maybe I would have liked this book more if it wasn't for the beginning, but the rest of the book is no saving grace. I had to fight eyerolls the whole book, and the worst part is that it is marketed for the WRONG audience. I would be horrified if my 12 year-old was reading this.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I'd been very excited for this book. I love Celtic folklore and the plot sounded fascinating. The reviews from accredited critics seemed promising, and that it was a National Book Award finalist. PLUS, it was said to be romantic, mysterious and thrilling. I found it to be cheesy, obvious, and boring. I had to force myself to finish it, and that was a waste since I was able to predict the end by the 7th chapter. The writing was mundane, and repetitive, but never actually grasping the concepts and emotions-- they just kept on making circles around them. The romance was rushed and not deep enough. It would have been more realistic if Nancy Werlin had added more scenes to build up the close relationship with Zach and Lucy rather than just saying that they had a close brother-sister relationship and go way back - then WHAM, he suddenly loves her and cannot live without her as his 17 year old wife. I was also a little upset that Nancy Werlin tip-toed around "sex", when sex was really a reoccurring undertone/theme. You can't start a book off with rape (to a 17 year old virgin on her very 1st date) and sort of brush it off by summarizing in less than a chapter, that she was getting all the proper medical help and had a few restless nights, but she's alright and now delighted to be pregnant, and simply explain everything is ok, because of "magic"! I feel like love should have been more developed and less conversations about what they were going to make for dinner or purchase online. Also, the attitudes of the characters, how they were all just so ok with everything, with the rape, pregnancy, insanity, death, curse, and marriage that all took place in less than 9 months. Only a few brief moments do you read that it was sometimes hard. It was totally unrealistic. I didn't like any of the characters. I was looking forward for a challenge and got a 200 page book of disappointment. I'm starting to question what kind of critique and requirements are included in the National Book Award contest.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This story has a very brave heroine and an extremely supportive male counterpart. Even though she is faced with emotional and physical hardships she will not give up. Zach is a treasure. The ending is fantastic. I loved these characters and hated it when the book ended. Lucy Scarborough is only seventeen when she finds out that she's pregnant. While originally shocked, she soon comes to realize that this is what happens to Scarborough girls. Lucy quickly discovers that the women in her family have been cursed for generations by an evil elfin king. When the women become pregnant they then must complete three impossible tasks before their baby is born or else they become crazy once their child is born.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
If you were impressed by the violent twist of the novel Hunger Games and the romantic tension of the popular series Twilight, then a book I'd recommend for you is Impossible by Nancy Werlin. It's a novel of many genres such as romance, mystery, and adventure. This inspiring novel makes me think about how no matter how hard life gets, you shouldn't give up on it, because something good will come out of the problem eventually and you will realize that. In this adventurous novel, main character Lucy Scarborough, finds out and unfolds her ancestors and mothers history. It takes place in a little town of Massachusetts where Lucy is a foster child, but has always lived with her foster parents; Leo and Soledad. They shelter her and fear she will become like her mother, Miranda. Miranda, whom had Lucy at age eighteen, has gone mentally insane. When Lucy finds herself held down at prom, raped by the man she soon though she would call her boyfriend, she is devastated. A month later she finds out she is pregnant. Lucy, and her now husband, Zach Greenfield start to unravel the mystery of the Scarborough girls. And soon find out she and her mother's mother and her mother's mother, and so on, were cursed. To have a girl at eighteen and then go mentally insane because of Fenella Scarborough who rejected the man who had then cursed the family. Only being broken by three tasks, you will read that the curse is hard to break. With the help of Lucy's family they will attempt to break it. This novel is very different than anything I've ever read - the curse was a definite twist to the entire book. I was drawn to this novel because Werlin is a New York Times best author. I hope you check out or buy this novel, and enjoy it as much as I have!
acsimps More than 1 year ago
This story is about a girl (Lucy Scarborough) who has known her whole life that her mother (Miranda) is crazy and that the people who have raised her (Leo and Soledad Markowitz) did so because her mother was incapable. Lucy is seventeen and hoping to make it through the rest of high school with as little drama from her mother as possible. Unfortunately that is not in the cards for Lucy when Miranda shows up before her prom and starts throwing glass bottles at the group after pictures in the front yard. Lucy tries to recover the evening with her date, Gary, but when he forces himself on her at the prom her night goes from bad to worse. Why would he do this? Gary has always seemed so timid. A few weeks later the situation is complicated further by the news that Lucy is pregnant. Suddenly the curse her mother had always been babbling about is starting to seem too real to ignore. Generations ago an angry elfin knight placed a curse on the young Scarborough women. From then on each girl became pregnant before turning eighteen. After giving birth to a daughter, each girl went insane. The only way to break the curse was to complete three tasks described in the lyrics of the Scarborough Fair song passed down through the generations. The lyrics of the song provide the clues necessary to break the curse, but Lucy and her family will need to come up with creative solutions to complete these seemly impossible tasks. Through the whole process her foster parents and Zach her childhood friend (love interest....I don't want to spoil too much wink wink) are right be her side helping her break the curse and save her sanity. Will the elfin knight let Lucy slip away? Read it and find out :) Before reading this book I don't think I had ever heard "Scarborough Fair" but I had to go download it as soon as I finished this book. I really enjoyed this book. I think that it was very well written and Nancy Werlin did a great job with the story line. I highly recommend this book. http://bringmeanotherbook.blogspot.com/
popetgrl023 More than 1 year ago
I think that this book had potential, but it could have been much more adventurous. It was as clean as it could have been, with a few exceptions. The romance part was sweet, but it wasn't satisfying enough to be a main theme in the book. It needed some more adventure. It had many opportunities to take off, but it seemed that each time the spark flickered and then died. The whole situation was a little disappointing. I would not recommend this book to someone who really likes to get into books, or to anyone who can't read a book in less then a couple of days.
vegie02 More than 1 year ago
Nancy Werlin knows how to spin her web well. The three (or four, depending on how you cont them) impossible tasks that Lucy must complete before her daughter is born are very tricky to figure out. They say to never judge a book by its cover, however this book is just as captivating at the cover itself. A very well put together story that will keep you on the edge of your seat until the very last word. A great book to keep on the book shelf to re-read over again. I recomend this to any person who is looking for a mysterious romance thriller. Well done Ms.Werlin!
Mdesmondobrien More than 1 year ago
http://maggiesbookshelf.blogspot.com/2010/01/impossible.html Lucy can't complain-her life could be worse. For example, she could still be living with her insane bag-lady of a mother, instead of her wonderful, supportive foster parents. Or she could be pregnant at seventeen, like the dozens of girls her foster mother treats every year. But when her mother returns one day at school, singing her own haunting version of "Scarborough Fair" and referring to an unbreakable curse, it seems like a bad omen that's hard to ignore. And when prom night goes horribly awry, Lucy begins to wonder if perhaps she's cursed after all. Wow. I can't really say that I was expecting this book! A beautiful cover, a fairy tale idea and a lyrical, flowing, almost skimming prose style-but a story that felt like a kind of sort of better version of Breaking Dawn. What to make of it? Maybe if I hadn't read Breaking Dawn first I could have enjoyed it more, because even though Impossible is definitely better than Breaking Dawn, the teen pregnancy love story theme feels a little tainted. And the elfin antagonist of Padraig Seeley is a bad guy you can see a mile away-a little subtlety would have been nice. However, Impossible has something that Breaking Dawn definitely didn't have, and that's wonderful, sympathetic protagonists-however 2-D the supporting characters might be. Lucy was believable, likeable, determined, relatable and strong, without being an iron-willed warrior woman. Don't get me wrong, those can be fun to read about; but it's nice every once in awhile to have a character that can be vulnerable, too. Zach, as well, made a sweet addition as the literal boy-next-door-turned-soulmate; even if I was a little bothered by the fact that everybody seemed to take a fairytale curse pretty much as an everyday thing. All in all, if you can accept the world as somewhere between ours and the mythical beyond, this touching romance is one of the best rainy day books I've ever read.
I_Love_Reading20 More than 1 year ago
This book was one of the best books EVER!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I loved it so much that as soon as I finished it I made my friend read it too!!! The story was SO captivating and the characters were so real! I LOVed the book... anyone who enjoys fantasy and a great story will absolutley adore this book!
Jfaurie More than 1 year ago
I've wanted to read this book for a long time now, and I'm glad I did. I love to read, but finding a book that you can say had "originality" is almost impossible itself. But Impossble, was unique. The story was complex and as you read the book you see how well elements from early chapters tie into the initial plot. Like Lucy's Yaz shirt. This story was a little slow panning out, but definitely worth the time to read. After you read this book you can truly see the time and effort that the author spent in getting it right, granted there were a few areas that didn't interest me, all in all it was a great read.
reader247 More than 1 year ago
Honestly, I loved it. IT was a great book. THe characters were realistic and i loved the way the story unfolded. At first, Zach is just a friend helping out but at the end he's more than just a friend. THe only thing i didn't like was that we didn't get to learn what Lucy's real mother was really like. I would have liked to know more about her. Anyway, if your looking for a book that you won't be able to put down you found it. The ending was great.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was based off of a ballad that I studied in school as a poem, and I think it did a very good job of describing what the ballad means. Yes, there were times when it made hardly no sense at all. But it was extremely emotional. And for those that haven't read and studied the ballad, you'll probably enjoy the book more. It's very good, and I recommended it to my English teacher. She's very picky about the books she reads, and she liked it. I recommend this to all! It's a great mixture of romance and fantasy.
sosieee More than 1 year ago
This book is definitely not like other books I've read. The whole backdrop of the book is an old folk song. The main character must complete 3 tasks in order to save her life and the lives of the generations to come. The storyline has good potential but it falls short in some places. I'll admit, some parts of this book were boring, but it was still a good read. However, the romance between the two main characters was somewhat unbelievable, but I suppose thats why it's a book!
Palmaleggera More than 1 year ago
This book provided readers with a new story, which is hard to do. It was decent enough to read all the way through but not one of those novels you pick up again.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was interesting. I loved how the back cover talked vaguely about a curse and true love. And I bought it. So I was reading it and I thought it sounded fairly good. She was raped by her supposed date to the prom and gets pregnant. And throughout the book, it talked more and more about how Lucy, the main character, was pregnant than the three tasks she was supposed to complete. And the author only really talked about the last two tasks near the end of the book. It was good. I liked it. I would read it again if I had no other book around at the moment. But it wasn't my thing.
GtzLstNRding More than 1 year ago
This book is a shorter story, but I like how it takes the lyrics of a song and spings a tale for a young girl to deal with - a curse that has gone on for many generations. The song and lyrics will be familiar to you once you hear them. They are what capture the story and a young girls will to break it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is more for readers who are okay with a girl being raped and dealing with teenage pregnancy. I would NOT reccommend this to anyone who is looking for a good book.
PPBooks More than 1 year ago
I did not like this book at ALL! Make sure that you understand it is about a teen being raped and having to raise a kid. Horrible book that is hiding in the depths of my closet, never again to be taken out. I think what I disliked was that the summary said something about a curse and stuff and it sounded like it would be about like something cool. But it's about pregnancy. Not exactly my cup of tea...
lilmudduckmuffineater More than 1 year ago
I liked this book,it was OK. It wasn't the best or the worst I have ever read. Some parts were kinda borning to me and I had to force myself to read them. This book has a lil fantasy added but it's not got too much on the subject in it. The story is about 17 year old Lucy who has lived with foster parents(Soledad and Leo) her whole life because her mother(Miranda) is a crazy bag lady they hardly see. Then one night at her junior prom Lucy is raped and soon after learns she is pregnant and of the curse of her family,all the Scarborough women always get pregnant and have a daughter at 18 and go crazy soon after because they never finish the tasks in the song the Elfin Knight has set for them. Soon Lucy is overcoming all odds and also finds true love in her bestfriend Zach.I loved the plot,it's original,but I think so much more could have been done with it. Like I said it's an OK book,it might be just me, so go read it and find out for yourself!
defygravity22 More than 1 year ago
i am a little torn with this book. i loved it but i hated it. i loved the plot and the story behind the actual words. some parts on the story just came out of nowhere or they made sense but were at the wrong part of the story. i also did not like that the last half of the book is devoted to the wedding and marriage and then the last 20 or so pages are about the 2 and 3 task. it was a good book but it could have been so much better. everytime i would read it i would get Scarbourgh Fair stuck in my head. after awhile that got obnoxious not only to me but people i was around. i recommend this book just dont expect a lot from it.
Tori_J More than 1 year ago
I read alot of reviews about this book and that was the only reason I picked it up. But I found it depressing. Very depressing actually. It was kind of unbelieveable at times too. (thats leaving out the curse thing) She gets raped (very depressing) and she gets pregnant and she doesn't really seem to get too upset about it. I realize that's not what the book was about but you can't deny that rape is a huge emotional trama and it was overlooked in the story. Also I felt we skipped over things that I would have liked to have read and we focused on things that I didn't see improtant to the story. But then again I didn't write the story so I don't know. The plot was okay if you can get past everything else which I found very difficult.
Stupid-Shiny-Volvo-Owner More than 1 year ago
DO NOT READ! THIS IS A DISSAPOINTMENT!!!!!!!!!Sorry, but I did not like this book at all.