Sunday, April 10, 2022

Review: The Impossible Girl by Ashley White

I stumbled across today's read, and the second I saw the cover and blurb, wanted to get my hands on an ARC. Sometimes, wishes come true (Yay!). This one promises adventure and magic and a rich world. It comes from a newer publishing company too, and that's always a treat. 

I'm keeping my babbling short today and saying, "Let's dive in!"

by Ashley White
Monarch Educational Services, LLC
Middle Grade Fantasy
314 pages
ages 8 to 12

AUGUST 22nd!!!

Ava Marie Jones is a Lost One. A magite sent out at birth to the mortal realm, no knowledge of who she is or her powers, until she’s called home to Xarcadia on her thirteenth birthday.

The magites who call this “underworld” home live under the strict dictates of The Registry—and Ava will have to do the same. That starts with enrolling in Linhollow Academy for the Supernaturally Gifted.

A target is placed on her back once it’s discovered Ava’s the only magite since The Registry’s inception to not be tagged or able to be tagged in its omniscient system. Powerful magites fear what this could mean and view her as a threat to a way of life that has kept their “underworld” safe for three hundred years.

With all eyes on her, including two oversized shadows from The Registry watching her every move, Ava must toe the line as Resistance Riders, kelpies, near-death experiences, and other dangers follow her everywhere.

In this new world where she shows incredible promise in her craft, Ava will learn that getting to the bottom of her unexplained existence will take her down a perilous path where a dark secret lurks—one dangerous enough to disrupt the entire order of The Registry and jeopardize her life and the lives of her new friends.




I cringe at this comparison (more because it tends to be cliche), but this read will draw the attention of Harry Potter fans, but with tons of original twists and turns to make it a different plot entirely.

Ava is an orphan and is forced by her foster parents to be participate in beauty pageants. When her frustration becomes overwhelming, she runs away to her favorite tree...if only for a few minutes before she must return, but instead of her usual tree, she finds herself falling into an unknown, underground world. There, magical beings exist and thrive in huge cities with wonders every which way she turns. As a 'lost' member returning 'home', she'll attend the usual school, meet her true parents, and take her place in an exciting and wonderful world. At least, until something happens to her, which has never happened to anyone before, and she's isn't able to be categorized as a certain species or tagged. Her existence is impossible and is the beginning of a weave of a war many don't realize exists.

While this one starts in a familiar, modern world, it quickly switches over to a rich, fantasy realm below the surface. It's rich and vibrant with tons of quirks, magic, and personality. There are more than a couple aspects, which nod in a Harry Potter direction, but it never becomes overly so and does allow a world and tale all of its own to develop and expand. There is a touch of fun, imagination, and, still, a constant, sinister cloud to keep the reader a little uneasy and knowing that things aren't bright and happy.

Ava is special, which is clear from the get-go, although the mystery behind her true identity is hard to guess until that ending hits. Even then, there are many aspects, which aren't cleared up, promising quite a bit to come in the rest of the series. Her attitude is sometimes quite and other times bold, making her very realistic and easy to identify with. She makes mistakes and learns from them. Of course, she's a heroine...and while I would have loved to have seen her struggle a little more than she does, she's still very likable and easy enough to root for. Her friends and enemies are true-blue and carry their own thoughts and depth, and there is even the hint of surprises on that end to come.

The evil blossoms in the darkness and doesn't really come out until the last pages (which works well). It could have been a bit more potent, but then, there is already death included, and as a middle grade novel, adding too much darkness might push borders. It holds tension and danger, and does stay appropriate for the age group. 

The plot works with only a few holes every now and then, making it a delightful read. Something is always happening, driving the story forwards and making it very hard to put down. I am looking forward to seeing what happens next in the series, since this is only the beginning of what promises to be a very fun adventure.

And here she is...

Growing up, Ashley would send her father to their local library, where he'd always be surprised to find bags of books waiting for him versus just one or two books. She's always dreamt of giving to readers what so many great authors gave to her: an escape, an adventure, and a love for thousands of well thought out words printed in the form of a book, not letting them tear away from it easily—or for very long. Ashley resides in Northern California with her husband and two adorable, feisty little girls. When she's not writing, she's reading. There are two major takeaways Ashley hopes readers have upon finishing THE IMPOSSIBLE GIRL. 1. Always believe that something magical is about to happen. 2. Remember: difficult does not mean impossible.

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