Thursday, February 16, 2012

Guest Post from Pither - Stork by Wendy Delsol


Publisher:Candlewick Press
Pages: 357
Copy: Library
Summary: Goodreads

Family secrets. Lost memories. And the arrival of an ancient magical ability that will reveal everything.

Sixteen-year-old Katla LeBlanc has just moved from Los Angeles to Minnesota. As if it weren’t enough that her trendy fashion sense draws stares, Katla soon finds out that she’s a Stork, a member of a mysterious order of women tasked with a very unique duty. But Katla’s biggest challenge may be finding her flock at a new school. Between being ignored by Wade, the arrogant jock she stupidly fooled around with, and constantly arguing with gorgeous farm boy and editor-in-chief Jack, Katla is relieved when her assignment as the school paper’s fashion columnist brings with it some much-needed friendship. But as Homecoming approaches, Katla uncovers a shocking secret about her past — a secret that binds her fate to Jack’s in a way neither could have ever anticipated. With a nod to Hans Christian Andersen and inspired by Norse lore, Wendy Delsol’s debut novel introduces a hip and witty heroine who finds herself tail-feathers deep in small-town life.
I picked up Stork by Wendy Delsol because these fine Paperback Princesses recommended it. The cover is gorgeous with frost and snow, and yes, I admit, I do indeed judge. The plot intrigued me, the whole retelling of mythology. Greek and Roman is pretty popular (I’m looking right at you, Percy Jackson), but Norse isn’t all that common.
The world of Stork is based in wintry Minnesota, in a town where everyone is trotting around with an Icelandic last name and strong ties to their Viking ancestors from hundreds of years ago. Katla is a recent transplant from California, living with her divorced mother and starting a new school. Fashion-loving, Starbucks-drinking teenage girl plunked down into a Minnesota small town; you can guess how enthusiastic she is about all this.
I originally strongly disliked Katla. She judges quite often based on appearance (I know, I know, hypocrytical of me considering that cover crack up there), considering if people are worth being her friend or not based on their looks and fashion sense. There’s also the Jack factor, the hot aloof brooder at her school who really fills out his John Deere cap, if you know what I mean. Katla becomes totally absorbed in him, going from somewhat snarky high-schooler to “Oh my God, my life resolves around YOU now.”
However, Delsol does pull it back. Katla matures a great deal into her powers, and yes, does learn the true meaning of friendship and all that good stuff. I liked the mystery around Jack, trying to figure out just what he was about and trying to peek behind his angsty demeanor. By the end of the book I was quite wrapped up in the story and flipping pages quickly to find out what happens. The action is good and plot well-paced, though a bit predictable at times. I can’t say too much without dropping some major spoilers, but I loved the big reveal between Jack and Katla.
I think my favourite part was the whole Stork thing. Katla’s destiny revolves around being a Stork, and part of the Icelanic Stork Society that’s populated almost solely by little old ladies. They all have bird names (Katla’s turns out to be Robin), and help decide the fate of newborns. Certain souls (“essences”) need extra guidance, and must be assisted towards the most suitable among three potential mothers (“vessels”). Sounds a bit weird I know, but in Delsol’s hands it becomes a fascinating thing, and helps shape Katla’s maturity.
I’d recommend this to Twilight fans for the Jack/Katla side of things, Lesley Livingston and Kelley Armstrong readers for the touch of paranormal, and fashionistas with things for smoky brooders.

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