The Blue Girl - Charles De Lint

Seventeen-year-old Imogene's tough, rebellious nature has caused her more harm than good—so when her family moves to Newford, she decides to reinvent herself. She won't lose her punk/thrift-shop look, but she'll try to avoid the gangs, work a little harder at school, and maybe even stay out of trouble for a change. Her first friend at Redding High, Maxine, is her exact opposite. Everyone considers Maxine a straight-A loser, but as Imogene soon learns, it's really Maxine's overprotective mother whose rules about clothes and curfews make it impossible for her to speak up for her true self. Oddly, the friendship works. Imogene helps Maxine loosen up and break a few rules, and in turn, Maxine keeps Imogene in line. But trouble shows up anyway. Imogene quickly catches the eye of Redding's A-list bullies, as well as the school's resident teenage ghost. Then she gets on the wrong side of a gang of malicious fairies. When her old imaginary childhood friend Pelly actually manifests, Imogene realises that the impossible is all too real. And it's dangerous. If she wants to survive high school—not to mention stay alive—she has to fall back on the skills she picked up in her hometown, running with a gang. Even with Maxine and some unexpected allies by her side, will she be able to make it?

What can I say? I'm a sucker for the different & the odd and "The Blue Girl" is no exception. Wow does De Lint serve it up. I've been a fan of his for years(I love urban mythology, but gotta say my favorite characters EVER are the Crow Girls), but this story, this is a sweet introduction that I love to share with all the up and coming readers in my life. I love the fact that Imogene is so hard & tough is also smart, funny and very much her own person, and Maxine I'm so happy you become a worthy role model. His books feature likeable characters, hope, art, and mythical elements, but set in the here and now.

You really feel for - and like - the characters, even the ghost. There is a lot of hope that things will get better. And of course, myth has come to life in the form of fairies and angels. The only real negative regarding the characters is that the bullies, Brent and Valerie, are extremely one-note wonders. we don't get to know them at all. I mean a bully is a bully, and a deeper look wasn't necessary to move the story along, but sometimes you really want to know the why, and you get a glimpse of it, but not a solid hit you over the head this is it. I also wanted to get to know Esmerelda, the woman who helped Maxine in the end of the book - here's to hoping she will show up in a future book.

And since this book is geared to young adults, it isn't quite as heavy as some of his other work - the characters are still dealing with real issues, but it's not quite as sad or sexual as in his other novels.

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