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Review: Dust Girl by Sarah Zettel

Dust Girl book coverDust Girl is set in Depression era Kansas during the height of the Dust Bowl. Callie LeRoux lives in Slow Run with her mother. All her life she’s hidden her heritage. But its even more of a secret than she knows.

Callie’s health is at risk because of the constant dust storms but her mother refuses to leave the hotel she manages with Callie’s help. Callie watches as neighbor after neighbor abandon the town in search of a safer life.

One day her mother disappears during a dust storm. During Callie’s panicked search for her mother she encounters a strange hobo who tells her things about herself and her mysterious father that set her head spinning. He points her in the direction of California as the place to find her parents.

Getting to California with no money and no help is a huge undertaking. Callie won’t give up. She has to find her parents. She meets a hobo her own age named Jack, and together they take on the storm ravage country-side, hunger and prejudice as they head west.

In one town they meet a strange pair of musicians and Callie learns that not only is her mysterious father a dark-skinned singer, he’s also Fae royalty. Which means so is she.

The warring factions of the fairy world all want Callie for their own hidden agendas. It’s up to Callie to figure it all out and keep herself and Jack alive.

The historical setting for this book is quite realistic. Descriptions of dust storm and portals between worlds are so well done, the reader feels as if she’s right there.

This is the first book of a trilogy and while the wrap-up is concise, it leaves the reader wide open to jump on the sequel book as soon as possible. Not all of Callie’s questions are answered, she and Jack have still a long way to go to reach California, and what of Callie’s fairy family? Can she trust any of them?

Good book for pre-teens and teens who like lots of action, magic and evil fairies.

Note: I received an ARC of this book for review from NetGalley.

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Wondrous Strange by Lesley Livingston (YA fiction)



If you are a fan of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer’s Night Dream, you’ll fall in love with this book.

Even readers who are not fans of old Bill’s works will be drawn into he improbable world where Titania and Oberon are real beings.

As the days draw close to Samhain, the door between the world of Fea and mundane New York City widens just enough to let all manner of fairy folk access to the mundane world from their other worldly realms. The hole in the wall between the worlds is guarded by human changelings. Human children stolen form their parents of ages past brought up in the Fea realms and taught to defend the gap in the gate.

Things get really interesting when the heroine, Kelley Winslow, comes face to face with the truth of her parentage. She falls in love with one of the changelings, Sonny Flannery, and as things progress from bad to worse realizes that the world she knows and even the people in it are not at all what the seem.

I completely enjoyed this fantastical tale. William Shakespeare’s tales are the basis for the story premise, but the author jumps off the deep end from there in her execution of a believable modern day explanation of old Bill’s plays.

Fans of fairy lore and old English plays will be well please to pick up this book.