Book: How to Ditch Your Fairy
Author: Justine Larbalestier
Number of Pages: 300
Most people in New Avalon have a fairy. It can be a great one that gets you all the best clothes at the best prices, or a really terrible one. Charlie's got one of the latter--a parking fairy. No matter where she goes, if she's in a vehicle that needs a parking space, it gets the perfect one. She's constantly being "borrowed" by people who need to get somewhere in a hurry, and she hates it.
She'd do anything to get rid of her fairy, even pair up with Fiorenze Burnham-Stone, who not only has a boys-like-you fairy but is also dead rich and utterly stuck-up. But Fio also has parents who are experts on fairies, especially how to get rid of them.
Charlie's going to ditch her fairy, or die trying.
Why Did I Hype?: Larbalestier's Magic or Madness trilogy was amazing. Plus this book looked terribly cute and fun.
Live-Up-to-the-Hype Score: 8/10
As I was reading, it was feeling familiar. Not because of the premise or the story, but the language. Then I realized it was because of Diary of a Chav, which is also liberally sprinkled with alien slang. I'm not sure how much of the slang in New Avalon is Aussie or made up by Larbalestier, but just as with Shiraz's, after awhile you get used to it, and it does a great deal to bring you into an unfamiliar landscape.
I really liked that Charlie is a highly athletic girl and never takes flak for it. She has footraces with her crush, goes to a magnet school for athletes, and it's all considered very normal. Nice. I was taken aback, however, by the highly structured environment of her school, which enforces a diet, mandates physicals, and has a lengthy list of demerits you can suffer for.
That aside, I dare you to read this book without cracking a grin. At least one page had me laughing aloud. I'd be interested to explore more of New Avalon and the world as it's affected by fairies. For every kid who's ever wished they had different abilities or envied others' gifts, How to Ditch Your Fairy is a fun bit of wish fulfillment.