Stork by Wendy Delsol. Candlewick, October 2010. 355 pages.
here’s the deal: “Katla is a true California girl. She lives for fashion and she hates the cold. So when her parents get divorced and she moves to her mother’s hometown in Minnesota, Katla’s sure that life’s going to be a drag. The town doesn’t even have a Starbucks!
But soon after Katla arrives in Norse Falls, strange things start happening. She discovers that she’s part of an ancient order of magical women, the Stork Society, who guide undecided new souls to their mothers. And Katla meets Jack, a handsome senior to whom she’s inexplicably drawn. As Katla gets to know her place among the Storks and gets closer to Jack, she’ll figure out the truths that have been hidden from her.”
here’s my opinion: the premise of a person who guides “undecided new souls to their mothers” is new (to me) and i thought it was well done and really interesting. i read a lot of paranormal books, so this felt fresh and new. the whole stork and ancient magic and norse mythology were pretty awesome and when combined with a spunky main character, that’s a recipe for fun. katla is a great character to root for. she’s strong and individualistic and unique and real and funny! i laughed.
(a side note about her name. it bugged me, but only because i’ve previously read and intensely loved two other books with similarly named main characters: katniss from HUNGER GAMES trilogy and katsa from GRACELING).
the relationship between katla and jack was well drawn out and had just the right amount of teen angst that flowed into the all encompassing first love. and jack. woowee. wendy desol did a fabulous job with him. athletic? check. smart? check. ambitious? check. a good, caring, devoted guy? check. a real, live good guy. (well, you know what i mean). now THAT is refreshing.
there were all those good parts, but then, there’s the pacing of the book. and i didn’t like it. the book was moving along at a slower clip and was introducing a lot of pieces, but then the end came crashing down and fumbled its way towards a resolution while opening even more doors and loop holes and options. i didn’t realize this was to be a series, until i set to writing this review, so i guess that clarifies why the ending was the way it was, but the first book in a series needs to stand alone and honestly, this one doesn’t.
that said, i’m excited to learn that these characters will be continuing on. i’ll definitely make it a point to pick up the next book in this series, FROST (september 2011).
FTC Disclosure: Review copy provided by publisher.