/Stork by Wendy Delsol
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Young Adult Fantasy
Sixteen-year-old Katla LeBlanc has just moved from Los Angeles to Minnesota. As if it weren’t enough that her trendy fashion sense draws stares, Katla soon finds out that she’s a Stork, a member of a mysterious order of women tasked with a very unique duty. But Katla’s biggest challenge may be finding her flock at a new school. Between being ignored by Wade, the arrogant jock she stupidly fooled around with, and constantly arguing with gorgeous farm boy and editor-in-chief Jack, Katla is relieved when her assignment as the school paper’s fashion columnist brings with it some much-needed friendship. But as Homecoming approaches, Katla uncovers a shocking secret about her past — a secret that binds her fate to Jack’s in a way neither could have ever anticipated. With a nod to Hans Christian Andersen and inspired by Norse lore, Wendy Delsol’s debut novel introduces a hip and witty heroine who finds herself tail-feathers deep in small-town life.
Poor Kat. As the new girl in the tiny, frigid Minnesota town of Norse Falls, she manages to not only alienate two boys, but she quickly finds out she’s the newest member of the Icelandic Stork Society. However, she quickly makes a couple of friends and falls into somewhat of a routine, even if it’s not quite as exciting as her fashion conscious life back in L.A. Events soon escalate though, when she finds out just what being a member of the Stork Society entails. Kat is a placer of souls,which means she gets a say as to whom a new baby will be born to. She soon begins getting mysterious visions and realizes that the time is rapidly approaching when she will have to place her first soul. Complicating things is her growing attraction to the silent and brooding Jack, and the advances of the school jerk Wade.
I’m rather picky when it comes to YA. Not that there’s not a ton of wonderful stuff out there, but since I’m rapidly approaching the ripe old age of 35, I’m finding it harder and harder to tune into my 16-20 year old self. That said, Stork was a refreshing YA fantasy, a rather brisk breath of fresh air amidst the sea of vamps, weres, and other bumpity bumps. Stork is infused with Icelandic lore and I really enjoyed how the author slowly revealed the history of certain important inhabitants of Norse Falls. Kat is a whip smart heroine, and I appreciated how she accepted her fate, using the clues at hand, and with only a small amount of resistance. She trusts her instincts and approaches each new development with a healthy, wry sense of humor. Add to that a very sweet romance and not a small amount of conflict, and you have a very engaging read. This first novel was written with a sure hand, and had some fun twists that won’t surprise jaded fantasy readers, but will certainly please them, and the author leaves plenty of material for Frost without hanging us over a cliff at the end. If you need a break from vamps, weres, and zombies, this is the book for you!
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