When Lucy Scarborough decides to attend a normal teenage event like prom, she sets a chain of events in motion that will change her life forever: she learns about her family’s ancient curse and the three impossible tasks she must solve in order to break it. Will she be able to escape insanity and save her unborn child? With the Scarborough Fair ballad (yes, think Simon and Garfunkel) as her guide and with the help of her foster parents and childhood friend Zach, Lucy is the best chance her family has ever had.
At first glance, the premise seemed strange to me (magic, elves, foster parents, insanity, teen pregnancy, and it gets even stranger if I mentioned the spoilers) and the genre combination – suspense, fantasy, and romance in a contemporary/realistic setting – frankly seemed like a clashing hodgepodge to me. But based on its rave reviews I decided to give it a chance and against my predictions it paid off. Werlin manages to write a genre-bending, unique page turner, with the modern setting working in her favor: the ancient tasks outlined in the Scarborough Fair ballad require both creative and modern interpretation to solve. The solutions are clever, but not unattainable. Getting information from .com staples like eBay, google, and wikipedia is something to which readers can definitely relate. I found myself wanting to do research as I read. Overall a sweet, gracefully written and suspenseful read with a real, touching romance and a glimpse into a believable alternate fairy/elf world.