2007: 174. The Blue Girl

“It starts with this faint sound that pulls me out of sleep: a sort of calliope music played on an ensemble of toy instruments.”

The Blue Girl, Charles de Lint

Charles de Lint is one of those fantasy/young adult authors who you hear a great deal about on the internet (and the Modern Library “Readers Choice” top 100 list, oddly enough), so I thought I’d give one of his books a whirl.  And, my conclusion is that I am too old to start reading Charles de Lint.  I totally see why this kind of book would rock the socks of a young adult reader - maybe even me at that age - but as a thirty year old, I just can’t get into it.  It isn’t quite enough to pull me in as an adult (a la Harry Potter), and I have no nostalgic tug of the heart strings (a la, oh, the all of the kind family, let’s say) to grab me.  Plus, the books are more edgy than charming, and charming seems to be what gets me with the young adult stuff.  Which is all a long way of saying that this is a fine book, just not one for me.  


What it is about is the world of faerie, really - the idea that the otherworld is among us, and real (and sort of scary) and how one girl and her friends deal with that.  The premise is pretty cool - I gather most of his books run along these lines, and the heroine, Imogene is tough, and spiky and perhaps too put together for her age to really be believable, but generally awesome.  And her friend Maxine blossoms from a nerd to a scholar and hero, and that is cool, too.  But oh, I don’t know, the whole thing left me a little cold.  The plot was a little too episodic, the time-jumping aspects (the “then” and “now” chapters) didn’t add much, and since the book was clearly populated with characters from his other stories who I didn’t know, those references left me cold.  In the end, this is a fine young adult book, but not good enough for me to understand people’s devotion to Mr. de Lint.


Recommended for: Teenagers who want to believe in magic.


Date/Place Completed: 11/12/07, D.C.

Categories: Fiction; Young Adult; Library Book

© Carrie Dunsmore 2017