Monday, October 06, 2008

Book Review: Impossible by Nancy Werlin

Book: Impossible
Author: Nancy Werlin
Published: 2008

All Lucy Scarborough wanted to do was go to prom. Dance, eat rubber chicken, kiss her date, have fun. But the evening turns nightmarish when her date rapes her and runs away to crash his car into a tree and kill himself.

Horrible, but only one night, right? Wrong. Lucy’s pregnant. Worse than that, she’s just discovered that she’s the most recent in a long line of women, all cursed to bear a daughter at the age of eighteen and surrendered their sanity to a merciless Elfin Knight. The only way to escape is to complete three impossible tasks before her baby is born.

No woman in her family has ever managed it before, but Lucy is determined to break the cycle--for herself, for her daughter, and for the poor, insane mother that she only sees sporadically. She’s got assistance, in the form of her loving foster parents and her lifelong best friend, Zach. But will that be enough?

It has to be.

When I picked this book up at BEA, the person manning the booth told it me was a story about a pregnant teenager. To which I say, Impossible is about a pregnant teenager in the same way that Hamlet is about a guy who’s a little down these days. Technically true, but there’s so much more to the story.

Pitchforked from innocent high-schooler to young mother fighting for her child’s future and her own, Lucy makes the trip with equal measures of fear and strength. Werlin makes a strong point that Lucy is luckier than her ancestresses, because she does have the love and support of her family. Zach especially becomes the one person without whom she would never succeed. Yet it is Lucy’s inner strength that pulls her though.

This is a story about a pregnant teenager, but it’s also about family, about the true meaning of love, and about doing the impossible because the alternative is unthinkable. Lucy’s quest is a compelling and fascinating one, especially for kids who are just starting to realize what adulthood is going to mean.

P.S. Be prepared to get Simon and Garfunkel stuck in your head for days, since “Scarborough Fair” is the traditional folk song on which Lucy’s impossible tasks are based.


Charlotte said...

This is one of the books nominated for the Cybils in Sci Fi/Fantasy (for which I am a reader)--thanks for the review! I'll move it toward-er the top of my pile...

Jill said...

You are so right about getting that song stuck in your head! I've been humming it for days now. Good book, though!