The Blue Girl

The Blue Girl

4.3 66
by Charles de Lint

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When Imogene, her mother, and her brother move to Newford, she decides to reinvent herself-this time she won't go looking for trouble. She quickly gets to know two very different people. Maxine is a "good girl," following a strict life plan. Imogene helps Maxine loosen up and break a few rules, and in turn Maxine keeps her on the straight and narrow. Imogene's

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When Imogene, her mother, and her brother move to Newford, she decides to reinvent herself-this time she won't go looking for trouble. She quickly gets to know two very different people. Maxine is a "good girl," following a strict life plan. Imogene helps Maxine loosen up and break a few rules, and in turn Maxine keeps her on the straight and narrow. Imogene's other new friend is a little more unusual. His name is Adrian. He is a ghost. Adrian was killed when he jumped off the high school roof in 1998, and hasn't left since. He has a huge crush on her—so much so that he wants her to see the fairies that also haunt the school. The fairies invade Imogene's dreams, blurring the line between the unreal and the real. When her imaginary childhood friend Pelly actually manifests, Imogene knows something is terribly wrong. With Maxine, Adrian, and Pelly's help, Imogene challenges the dark forces of Faery. This compelling novel from Charles de Lint, the acknowledged founder of the "urban fantasy" genre, is set in the city of Newford, home to some of his best stories. After reading it, you will want to live in Newford, too.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
De Lint (Moonheart) tackles magic and the afterlife in a suburban high school setting in this inventive if somewhat convoluted tale. Imogene Yeck is new to Redding High, and with her piercings and goth clothes, she immediately gets branded ("Yuck," a play on her last name). She quickly befriends an outsider of another sort, geeky and thoughtful Maxine. Imogene begins seeing a "pale, nerdy guy-sort of like a tall Harry Potter... but gawkier and with a narrower face," called Ghost, according to the school's legend. Imogene and Maxine learn that this is the ghost of Adrian, a bullied kid who "either jumped or fell off the roof" some years before. Adrian, who admires Imogene (for standing up to the bullying football quarterback), inadvertently attracts the attention of "the darkness," also called "ghost- or soul-eaters." She learns of this in part from her childhood imaginary friend Pelly, now an ominous figure who is appearing in her dreams. Fairies factor into the story, as does a roving angel who tries to convince Adrian to give up his hold on the world and "move on." The book feels a bit strained, packed with one mythology too many. It may also be challenging to some readers at first: the early clever repartEe between Imogene and Maxime gives way to three different first-person narratives (Imogene's, Maxine's and Adrian's), told at two different periods in time ("Then" and "Now"). Fantasy-minded goth kids, though, will likely find it worth the effort. Ages 12-up. (Nov.) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature
Trying to leave behind her troubles at her previous high school, seventeen-year-old Imogene vows that she will fit in and be good at her new high school. She seeks out and becomes friends with another outsider, a straight-A student named Maxine. Their friendship blossoms, as Maxine's studiousness rubs off on Imogene, and Imogene helps Maxine becomes less uptight and more self-confident. Despite Imogene's new life, however, trouble still seems to find her. If dealing with high school bullies was not bad enough, Imogene also has to cope with her imaginary childhood friend, Pelly, who comes to life. She also has to deal with being able to see and communicate with the high school's resident ghost, a former student named Adrian, and his mischief-making fairy sidekicks. Told in shifting points of view between Imogene, Maxine, and Adrian, the tale builds to a comeuppance for the high school bully and a climactic fight for survival with the dreaded "anamithim"—other worldly creatures that come after Imogene's soul. Imogene and Maxine are fully-drawn characters, and the plot builds steadily toward the end. De Lint, called the creator of contemporary urban fantasy received the World Fantasy Award in 2000 for a collection of short stories, entitled Moonlight and Vines. 2004, Viking, Ages 14 up.
—Valerie O. Patterson
Redding High School is filled with bullies and fairies and one lonely ghost. Imogene is a new girl in school. She has left her reputation and her switchblade behind and is making an effort to fit into her new setting. She makes friends with Maxine, a self-described smart kid who the popular kids love to hate. The popular kids also love to hate Imogene, so the two new friends work to stay out of the way of the bullies. Although small in stature, Imogene has a mouth and an attitude that allow her to maintain a survival mode, but Maxine is an easy target. The bullies are only half the problem at Redding High School. The other problem is that the school is home to faeries, not the pretty kind but the kind of troublesome creatures found in Irish legends. The faeries are living in the school with Adrian Dumbrell, the ghost of a student who fell to his death outside the building. Adrian was also bullied by students and he hangs out in the hallways, too afraid to move on to the next world. Imogene and her quick wit have attracted the notice of the ghost, the faeries and the anathimim, soul-stealing creatures of the darkness. It takes Maxine and Adrian along with Imogene's family members, boyfriend, and imaginary childhood friend to save Imogene from the supernatural bad guys. KLIATT Codes: J—Recommended for junior high school students. 2004, Penguin Putnam, Viking, 384p., Ages 12 to 15.
—Janis Flint-Ferguson
School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up-This lively novel thoughtfully examines friendships that cross magical boundaries and explores how love can strengthen and save us. On her first day of school in a new town, Imogene meets Maxine, an outcast, and is targeted by a group of popular bullies. The two become friends despite their polar personalities; Imogene is bold and brash where Maxine is mousy and quiet. When Imogene notices a pale boy watching her, she asks about him and learns the story of Ghost-actually Adrian-another outcast who was harassed by cliques, died under mysterious circumstances a few years earlier, and now haunts the school. His only companions are a handful of amoral fairies. He convinces them to show themselves to Imogene, but this draws the soul-sucking anamithim to her, endangering her life and the people she loves. Adrian, Imogene, and Maxine alternate as narrators. Tied together as victims of both the magical world and of everyday tyrants, they are sympathetic characters who speak with sharp, snappy dialogue. As in Nina Kiriki Hoffman's A Stir of Bones (Viking, 2003), the otherworldly threat skillfully mirrors and enhances real-world concerns. This complicated story is made more intricate by the now/then time shifts between chapters. The two popular bullies are stereotypically flat, but the remaining characters are well drawn and delightful. Imogene's brutal choices about where to draw the line between self-protection and becoming like her tormentors are clearly depicted.-Sarah Couri, New York Public Library Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Readers always know what to expect in a de Lint fantasy: supple, sinuous writing in a contemporary setting laced with fantasy neatly hardwired in place. Set in de Lint's fictional locale of Newford, the first-person narration trades off among three protagonists: Imogene, Maxine, and Adrian. Imogene had been hoping for a fresh start at a new high school after a dangerous past that included sex, drugs, and gangs: she's smart, funny, and knows how to work the odds. Maxine, under her overprotective mother's thumb, follows the rules but longs for just a little freedom. She and Imogene bond right away when their school's head cheerleader marks them for persecution. Adrian is the nerdy ghost of a dork who died at school and can't quite leave yet. Fairies like the evil twins of the wee free men, Imogene's not so imaginary childhood friend Pelly, and a shadow world impinging on this one conjure up satisfying elements of Buffy the Vampire Slayer-there's even a helpful British librarian named Ms. Giles. And yes, the tattooed and pierced Imogene does turn spectacularly blue in one of the many page-turning plot points. (Fantasy. YA)

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Product Details

Penguin Young Readers Group
Publication date:
Newford Series
Edition description:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
7.98(w) x 11.04(h) x 1.01(d)
Age Range:
12 - 18 Years

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