I received this book for free from BEA 2014 in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
THE GIRL WHO NEVER WAS is the story of Selkie Stewart, who thinks she’s a totally normal teenager growing up in Boston. Sure, her father is in an insane asylum, her mother left her on his doorstep—literally—when she was a baby, and she’s being raised by two ancient aunts who spend their time hunting gnomes in their Beacon Hill townhouse. But other than that her life is totally normal! She’s got an adventurous best friend who’s always got her back and an unrequited crush on an older boy named Ben. Just like any other teenager, right?
When Selkie goes in search of the mother she’s never known, she gets more than she bargained for. It turns out that her mother is faerie royalty, which would make Selkie a faerie princess—except for the part where her father is an ogre, which makes her only half of anything. Even more confusing, there’s a prophecy that Selkie is going to destroy the tyrannical Seelie Court, which is why her mother actually wants to kill her. Selkie has been kept hidden all her life by her adoring aunts, with the help of a Salem wizard named Will. And Ben. Because the boy she thinks she’s in love with turns out to be a faerie whose enchantment has kept her alive, but also kept her in the dark about her own life.
Now, with enchantments dissolved and prophecies swinging into action, Selkie finds herself on a series of mad quests to save the people she’s always loved and a life she’s learning to love. But in a supernatural world of increasingly complex alliances and distressingly complicated deceptions, it’s so hard to know who to trust. Does her mother really wish to kill her? Would Will sacrifice her for the sake of the prophecy? And does Ben really love her or is it all an elaborate ruse? In order to survive, Selkie realizes that the key is learning—and accepting—who she really is.
See that face? That big, disappointed gif face? Well that is basically me about 30% though The Girl Who Never Was. It’s looks like pretty cover syndrome has hit again and for once I’m not even shocked.
When I first saw the cover to TGWNW I immediately added it to my TBR, crossed my fingers that it would be at BEA and frequently made googly eyes at it. It had its hooks deep in me and I wasn’t remotely afraid that it was dragging me into a dark abyss made of disappointment and frustrating characters. Even after making it a few chapter in a seeing that it just wasn’t going to work I still believed in that beautiful cover that was in my hands. But after a while even I couldn’t deny that TGWNW just was not going to work for me.
I know you’re probably screaming “I told you so!” and “how could you fall for it again?!” but can you truly blame me? READ THE BLURB! It sounded so amazing! So delicious! So wonderfully evil! So..too good to be true? Well hot damn I guess that little piece of truth was staring me right in the face all along. Hmm I don’t know if that makes this review easier to write or harder…
Ok well, how about I just jump into the things that just didn’t work for me!
Not for Octavia 1:
I didn’t connect with the MC. I understood her desire to know who her mother was and why she left her but it’ very difficult for me to understand why that would cause someone to go off and be so reckless. Trying to understand your lineage is one thing but blatantly throwing away your safety because you feel small in this great big world is stupid.
Not for Octavia 2:
I enjoy evil fairies. In fact I enjoy most evil things. This just wasn’t evil enough! You read “Her mother wants her dead” and you go
But instead of this big bad scary, fairy queen we get a somewhat fluffy stuffed unicorn. It did nothing for me as far as a villain goes!
Not for Octavia 3:
The romance. Or the sometimes it is, sometimes it isn’t, I sort of love him does he like me, we should smush faces romance. I wanted to ship them so hard. SO HARD!! But there was SO MUCH INNER MONOLOGUING! SO MUCH.
Not for Octavia 4:
The pace was….inconsistent. There were parts that was perfectly paced but then there were parts that were either dead still or felt just a bit rushed.
So why give it 2 stars? Why not DNF? WHY AM I CRUSHING YOUR DREAMS?! Because it never got so bad I wanted to quit. I still wanted to know what happened, and how it would happen and that alone is worth 2 stars in my book.