Dust Girl (American Fairy Trilogy Series #1)

Dust Girl (American Fairy Trilogy Series #1)

by Sarah Zettel
3.4 9

Hardcover

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Dust Girl: The American Fairy Trilogy Book 1 3.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 9 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Amazing good for all ages
BuriedUnderBooks More than 1 year ago
Every now and then, a book comes along that gives a reviewer pause and the reasons can be complicated, perhaps even hard to explain. Such is the case with Dust Girl and what I think of it. First, the downside. Callie, star of the show, is biracial, being the daughter of a white mother and a black father. Once again, the publishing industry has failed to capitalize on this fairly uncommon element and has put a slightly dark white girl on the cover. The most telling discrepancy is the hair—in the book, Callie talks about what her mother would do to try to hide the texture and curl of her hair, primarily by keeping it tightly braided. The hair on the cover is clearly not as described in the book. The skin also gives a false impression, certainly not “cream colored …with not too many freckles”—there is not a freckle in sight. The cover decisions are not the author’s fault as an author rarely has any say about cover art with major publishing houses but I’m not alone among readers when I wonder why these publishers won’t gladly depict a person of color as just that. Do they really think such a cover would deter sales? Perhaps they do think that and perhaps they would lose a few buyers but I guarantee they’d gain others who are actively looking for more diversity. (By the way, they did get Callie’s eyes right, a “stormy blue-gray…that…turned steel gray”.) The only other negative I’ll mention is that I thought the story was a bit too slow in the beginning but that is truly a minor quibble and soon forgotten as things pick up speed. I know about the Dust Bowl, of course, but this book does more to make the reader feel and understand what it was really like since John Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath. Ms. Zettel handily evokes the era with its music and its railroad hobo communities and her spare prose brings the despair and heartache of the time and place to the forefront of the reader’s attention, all the while weaving a faery theme into the reality we know. By crafting this as a tale of adversarial faery factions, Ms. Zettel has found a way to explore the racial and economic tensions of the 1930′s in an unusual and entertaining manner. The end of Callie LeRoux’s old life comes on April 14, 1935, when one of the worst dust storms recorded hits Slow Run, Kansas, her mother disappears, and Callie learns she isn’t really human. It’s then that very peculiar things begin to happen and she meets a hobo boy named Jack Holland, a boy who will prove to be the companion she needs on the journey that’s about to begin. Sarah Zettel is a very accomplished writer and one who can be depended upon to tell a good tale. Being a fan of dark fantasy and of young adult fiction, I was hoping to find this an entertaining story that would hold my attention. Dust Girl did not let me down and I’ll be looking forward eagerly to Book Two in the American Fairy Trilogy.
MissPrint More than 1 year ago
Once upon a time Callie thought she was a normal girl. Sure, she had dust in her lungs and lived with her mama in a rundown hotel in the rundown town of Slow Run, Kansas but that wasn't as strange as you might think in the middle of America's Dust Bowl. Certainly Callie had her secrets, same as her mama, but those were normal, human girl secrets. Because, once upon a time, Callie really thought she was a normal, human girl. That ended on April 14, 1935 when her mama disappeared and Callie found out she wasn't human at all. Left alone for the first time in her life, with strange creatures tracking her, Callie will have to leave behind everything she knew to find the unbelievable truth of who she is in Dust Girl (2012) by Sarah Zettel. Dust Girl is the first book in Zettel's American Fairy trilogy. The second book, Golden Girl, is due out in summer 2013. This is Zettel's first book for a young adult audience. Zettel's writing is filled with evocative descriptions of deadly dust storms and sprawling landscapes that bring 1935 Kansas to life. References to the music and nuances of the era create an atmospheric read. Written in the first person, Callie's voice is reminiscent of tall tales and wide spaces. Dust Girl is brimming with magic and mystery but throughout the story it is the heroine, Callie, who really makes this novel stand out. Dust Girl is a subtle, contemplative read where Callie's journey throughout the novel is just as satisfying as the dramatic conclusion. While there is clearly more to Callie's story, Dust Girl ends nicely with enough closure to make the wait for book two bearable.
FeatheredQuillBookReviews More than 1 year ago
Yes, there is a new fantasy trilogy to hit the shelves in 2012 and this one is...unique! That is an extremely hard word to use in this day and age, but this is not about the ‘fanged ones’ or the ‘barking wolf’ ones at all. Callie LeRoux and her mom live in a town called Slow Run, Kansas. Right now they are living through one of the most horrific dust storms that hammered the Dust Bowl in the 1930’s and chased many home owners into other states, because they could not live (and a lot of them didn’t) through these particular storms. Homes were ruined, crops dried up and nothing the poor people tried to do made it any better. Running a small hotel in town, Callie and her mom are still there when Callie is taken seriously ill by the dust that constantly flies through their home. She wants out, but her mom is still waiting for Callie’s father to return and will not leave until he arrives. However, when a particularly fierce dust storm hits the town, Callie’s mom runs away and no one can find her. Suddenly a mysterious man called Baya turns up and tells Callie a story about what her future life holds; he also unveils the secret that Callie is both half mortal and half fairy. Callie is told that she must follow the path to ‘the golden hills of the west’ in order to find her parents and get a new life for herself. On her journey she meets Jack, a young boy who has been riding the rails in order to get out of the area, and he decides to go with her to California. In their travels they run into some very odd folks (good and bad) which keep the story going. Among these beings are people who are desperate to kidnap Callie because she is, in fact, quite a ‘star’ in the fairy world. With Callie doing her best to evade the kidnappers who are trying to capture her in order to claim her powers for themselves, this adventure keeps right on going until the last page is turned. The writing in this novel is very good and unlike any fairy stories on the market today. Not to mention, Callie and her friends will leave a very solid, fun imprint on the imagination. Quill Says: After reading the first in this series, readers will most definitely look forward to seeing what happens next!
MicheleLeesBookLove More than 1 year ago
Callie lives with her mom in a grand old hotel in the middle of the Dust Bowl and has spent the last years watching it, and their town, slowly blow away with the wind. If this life wasn't difficult enough Callie has a dark secret—she's half black. Her dad is a jazz musician who promised to come back for her mother someday. Or so Callie thinks. Then in the middle of a giant dust storm Callie's mother reveals the truth, he dad isn't human at all. He's a fae prince. Callie's anger at her father's abandonment fuels the storm around them and her mom disappears, taken by fae who want to come for Callie as well. Because neither court is terribly happy about Callie's existence. Dust Girl is a fantastic period fantasy tale. It will appeal to lovers of classical fairy tales (the old Grimm types, not the Disney re-makes). The blending of Depression-era conflict with tricky fairy prophecies is enchanting. Highly recommended.
CharlotteBooks More than 1 year ago
Throughout the entire book I got the feeling that the author was trying to convey a message but I had no idea what the message was. This is a different faerytale from the norm. The author clearly knows her history of the dustbowl of America and human rights concerning blacks at the time the story’s set. In fact the history knowledge actually got in the way of the story for me. The story itself was a little too weak with random occurrences that don’t hold any purpose in the story. The beginning entrance of the Native American was one of those that occurred. We have clichéd moments such as the scene in the field where our main protags are being chased. Relations that suddenly appear from nowhere assuring Callie that they can help with the most bizarre and unreal get-out scenarios. Our main male protagonist, Jack, does a disappearing act making us believe he’s run out on her, and he has. The dance-off at the end really ended it for me. How could all the ‘good guys’ allow Callie to even enter a ball room knowing what her family are going to do to her and Jack Unfortunately, I found the story a little dull in comparison to the descriptive setting originally created.
kimba88 More than 1 year ago
This tale takes place in Slow Run Kansas during the time of the great Dust Bowl. Zettel offers us an interesting tale of dark and light fairies, danger and discovery. Fans of folk lore, history and fairies will delight in this tale. We meet protagonist Callie LeRoux at her home, a grand hotel in Slow Run. The town is all but deserted due to the dry conditions. Sand and dust have affected her health but her mother refuses to leave. Callie’s father, a man she has never met promised he’d return. When a horrific dust storm occurs and Callie’s mother goes missing, a mysterious man appears. He tells Callie she must head west to California to find her parents. The tale and the journey offer Callie insight about herself, her parents and her destiny. The journey is difficult as Callie must determine who to trust and who to run from. Filled with twists, murder and strange creatures this tale was entertaining. Callie is unique in more ways than one. She is of mixed color at a time when society had strict rules regarding race.(although the cover in no way reflects this) In a lot of ways Callie has had to be an adult, since her mother has obvious issues. Callie quickly learns that she is only half-human and watching her discover her powers was fun. She is tough, smart and surprisingly level-headed, despite all that is occurring. I loved some of her kick-butt action scenes. Jack is street-wise and sensitive. He cares for Callie and tries to help her. He knows the streets and every con imaginable. He is also welled versed in lore and is able to offer Callie clues about the parties involved and her role in it. At one point I disliked his actions, but he did redeemed himself. The Fae bring us an odd mix of colorful characters. There are two groups The Seelie and the Unseelie. Both want Callie in their court and ultimately she will need to decide. The world building was fascinating. Zettel swept us back in time and I felt like I was there. Her depiction of the period was breathtaking and I could taste the dust. Callie is the center of a prophecy and both Fae kingdoms are vying for her. This created a lot of twists, turns and heart-palpitating moments. Mixed into this fantasy, Zettel touches on the topic of prejudice. She focuses on race as well as social classes. A scene towards the end is steeped in religion and I had to reread to understand exactly what happened. This was the only bump in an otherwise evenly paced tale. At this time there is no romance, and I am curious to see what happens next. I want to thank Random House and netGalley for providing this ARC in exchange for my unbiased review.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I really didnt like this book it wasnt good at all i belive that i put my self in to this book bye brandon lachance
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book sucks dont get it the wirter must be a troll