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Review: Fairy Bad Day by Amanda Ashby

Fairy Bad Day
By Amanda Ashby

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Release Date: June 9, 2011
Publisher: Speak
Source: borrowed/Public Library
Purchase: Book Depo. | Amazon | Kindle
About the Book:

While most students at Burtonwood Academy get to kill demons and goblins, fifteen-year-old Emma gets to rid the world of little annoying fairies with glittery wings and a hipster fashion sense. She was destined to be a dragon slayer, but cute and charming Curtis stole her spot. Then she sees a giant killer fairy - and it's invisible to everyone but her! If Emma has any chance of stopping this evil fairy, she's going to need help. Unfortunately, the only person who can help is Curtis. And now, not only has he stolen her dragon-slayer spot, but maybe her heart as well! Why does she think it's going to be a fairy bad day?

Fairy Bad Day was exactly like I thought it would be, yet nothing at at all like I expected it to be. You're probably like, whaaa? And what I mean to say, inadequate phrasing aside, is that it had some of the things I hoped it would have and other aspects which weren't so great. It was hard to fall in love with this book and at the same time it was hard not to like it. It was one of those reads that makes you stick through for some unidentifiable reason, even though you're like Eh, this is okay. While it didn't have the slap-knee kind of humor you'd find in say Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins, I did laugh and had fun with it, despite it not being the book of my dreams.

I think my biggest problem with Fairy Bad Day turned out to be the dialogue. It wasn't always flowy and funny and realistic, but choppy and adultish-sounding. At times even dull. I always want to feel like I'm reading about teens when I'm reading YA, otherwise I'd turn to adult books (which I sometimes do, when I'm in the mood), so it became difficult to immerse myself in the story when the dialogue was too mature or boring. The conversations didn't strike me as very teenager-ish, which made it seem... I don't know, artificial, inauthentic. Plus, dialogue is a direct conduit to the character, and so because I found the dialogue to be kind of sucky I couldn't really get attached to the side characters. However, since this book is told in Emma's third-person POV, she did grow on me unlike the rest of the cast.

Emma attends Burtonwood Academy so that she may one day be an awesome, legendary dragon slayer like her mom, who is dead by this point. Not only is her dream position pulled out from under her by one of the cutest guys at school, she becomes a fairy slayer instead--something no one else has ever been, for various, you-need-to-read-the-book-in-order-to-find-out-what reasons. I felt bad for Emma because of her lost dream, all the sadness she feels due to her mom's death made me a little teary-eyed. AND, to top it off, Emma's dad seems to have already forgotten about her mom and has begun a new life with another woman adding to her emotional distress. It was all very real, and her feelings helped me connect with her in ways I couldn't with the other characters. I did like her best friends, though, and I'm hoping for a romance between them. They bicker so much and they're so completely different, I wouldn't mind seeing them hook-up.

Curtis, Emma's love interest, was a good choice for the romance. Because he "stole" her position, Emma declares him her arch-nemesis and proceeds to purposely fight and argue with him, to treat him pretty badly. Little by little, he takes down her resolve against him and they start to grow closer. The hate-you-love-you relationships are the best kind to read about, and Ashby did a good job executing it in this book. Most of the humor came out of the romance scenes, especially because their feelings and desires for each other were new to them, unexplored, making for a lot of awkward and embarrassing moments. I can't wait to see what happens to their growing relationship in the future!

By the time I finished the book, I was a bit disappointed at what this book didn't have, what it lacked. But I enjoyed it for what it did have. It was fun, the plot was engaging and mysterious, and the characters, while not totally accessible, helped create funny and entertaining points in the novel that made me want to keep reading. Although I won't be at the edge of my seat for what Ashby comes out with next, I'll be more than happy to try anything of hers that releases in the future. :)


The blood started to pound at her temples and her hands felt clammy. He was going to kiss her. And more important, she was going to let him. His face drew closer to hers. They were going to cross the invisible boundary that had been lying between them and—
However, before she knew what was happening, a group of juniors came clamoring down the hallway, and the moment they saw her, they made a banging noise to let her know that her food court explosion hadn’t been forgotten. The minute they did Curtis flinched, and instead of feeling his mouth on hers, she felt him gently lift his hands up to her neck and start to tug at her haphazardly knotted tie. She barely dared to breathe as his deft fingers tweaked it into submission.
"Sorry," he said in an unsteady voice. "But your tie’s been driving me crazy. I hope you don’t mind?"