|Los Angeles Review of Books|
YAC Hit List: The Fairy List by Aprilynne Pike
June 25th, 2012
FAERIES, FAIRIES, THE FAE ... by any name, they are glamorous, magical, and enticing. Vampires may get your blood pumping and wizards might enchant you, but chances are good your first magical friend was a fairy. Whether whisking you off to the prince's ball or simply swapping your baby teeth for cash, the lesson of the fair folk is simple: you have to believe! From playful garden pixies to faeries of greater stature (and ambition), from the good to the mischievous to the downright evil, fairies of every shape, size, and background embody the power of belief — a power with as many faces as the fae.
Have you ever regarded a ring of toadstools with a wary eye? Saved Tinkerbell's life with your applause? Have you sprinted from the light switch to your bed, certain — for just an instant — that something in the darkness gave chase? Or seen another human being with a smile so beautiful you were certain they could not be of this world? As time works its awful magic, increasing our immunity to the illusions of Oberon's children, we may come to regard these moments as silly, childish fancies.
And yet even the most sober among us retain a most peculiar reluctance to ever utter the words, "I don't believe in fairies" — lest, somehow, somewhere, a gossamer-winged delight meet its untimely end.
Most novels aim to “suspend disbelief.” Good fiction, we're told, is believable fiction. But while I’ve always loved the phrase “suspension of disbelief,” I can’t help thinking this is a fairly low bar. After all, if mere belief can summon monsters from the darkness and angels from a mortal's smile, what do you suppose it can make out of personal goals? Out of self-confidence? Out of love? It is not merely "suspension of disbelief" readers long to experience; it is belief.
This is why, when one of my younger fans approaches me with a copy of Wings in her hands, starry-eyed at the simple pleasure of meeting a favorite author for the first time, of getting an autograph on a cherished book, before I sign my name I write a single word. It's a magic word, some might say, a word of tremendous power. Certainly it is a word I hope they carry with them always, a word for family and friends and lovers and, above all, self — a word I'll write for you, too, because I think it's a good word for the books on this list. In some sense, all these fabulous fairy books say the same thing:
The Wings Series by Aprilynne Pike (YA)
The Godmother Books by Janette Rallison (Lower YA)
1. My Fair Godmother
The Bones of Faerie Trilogy by Janni Lee Simner (YA)
1. Bones of Faerie
The Faery Rebels by R.J. Anderson (Lower YA)
1. Knife a.k.a. Spell Hunter
The Tamisin Books by E.D. Baker (MG)
1. Fairy Wings
Fairy Tale by Cyn Balog (Upper YA)
The Fairy Rebel by Lynne Reid Banks (MG)
The Modern Faerie Tales by Holly Black (Upper YA)
Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer (MG)
1. Artemis Fowl
The Spiderwick Chronicles by Tony DiTerlizzi & Holly Black (MG)
1. The Field Guide
The Need Trilogy by Carrie Jones (YA)
The Faerie Path Series by Frewin Jones (YA)
1. The Faerie Path
The Wondrous Strange Trilogy by Lesley Livingston (YA)
1. Wondrous Strange
Wicked Lovely by Melissa Marr (Upper YA)
1. Wicked Lovely
Faery Tales & Nightmares by Melissa Marr (Upper YA)