Impossible

Impossible

By (author) Nancy Werlin

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A beautifully wrought modern fairy tale from master storyteller and award-winning author Nancy Werlin Inspired by the classic folk ballad Scarborough Fair, this is a wonderfully riveting novel of suspense, romance, and fantasy. Lucy is seventeen when she discovers that she is the latest recipient of a generations-old family curse that requires her to complete three seemingly impossible tasks or risk falling into madness and passing the curse on to the next generation. Unlike her ancestors, though, Lucy has family, friends, and other modern resources to help her out. But will it be enough to conquer this age-old evil?"

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  • Paperback | 376 pages
  • 137.16 x 205.74 x 30.48mm | 408.23g
  • 11 Aug 2009
  • Penguin Putnam Inc
  • Penguin USA
  • New York, NY
  • English
  • Reprint
  • 0142414913
  • 9780142414910
  • 85,013

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Author Information

Nancy Werlin writes YA fiction that ranges from realistic fiction to suspense to fantasy, often breaking the boundaries between genres. Her books have gathered awards too numerous to mention, but including National Book award finalist, Edgar award winner and finalist, "New York Times" bestseller, L.A. Book Prize finalist, and IndieBound Top Ten.Nancy's first novel, "Are You Alone on Purpose," was a "Publishers Weekly" Flying Start pick. Of Nancy's suspense fiction, Sarah Weinman says, "Chances are, many of you haven't heard of this author. That would be a shame, because she's simply one of the best crime novelists going right now. Period." These titles are where Nancy habitually breaks genre-separation rules and include "The Rules of Survival" (a National Book Award finalist), "The Killer's Cousin" (Edgar award winner), "Locked Inside" (Edgar award nominee), "Black Mirror "(which the Washington Post called "an edge-of-your seat thriller"), and "Double Helix" (named to multiple best-of-year book lists). Nancy's unusual fantasy fiction was inspired by the ballad Scarborough Fair and includes the loose trilogy "Impossible" (a" New York Times" bestseller), " Extraordinary" (featuring a rare thing in fantasy fiction: a Jewish heroine), and her personal beloved, "Unthinkable." For fun, Nancy also writes and draws a graphic memoir in comics, using her Tumblr to self-publish an episode three times a week. Her favorite book in all the world is Jane Eyre. A graduate of Yale, Nancy lives near Boston, Massachusetts with her husband."

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Review quote

"A haunting, thrilling romantic puzzle. Just read it."--Gregory Maguire, author of "Wicked" * Werlin earns high marks for the tale's graceful interplay between wild magic and contemporary reality. "Booklist," starred review * Modern logic and methodology mesh splendidly with fairy lore...The conclusion is startlingly wholesome, comfortable and complete ...the melding of magic and practicality produces a lovely whole. "Kirkus, starred review" * Teens, especially young women, will enjoy this romantic fairy tale with modern trappings. "School Library Journal, starred review" * Modern logic and methodology mesh splendidly with fairy lore...The conclusion is startlingly wholesome, comfortable and complete ...the melding of magic and practicality produces a lovely whole. "Kirkus Reviews, starred review" Accolades for Impossible A "New York Times "bestseller ALA Best Book for YA "School Library Journal" Best Books of the Year "Booklist" Editor's Choice "VOYA "Editors Choice IndieBound List (Top Ten) Many state and city awards (including. TX, GA, DC, KY, PA, and MA);"

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Customer reviews

Reviewed by Sally Kruger aka

Nancy Werlin uses a variation of the folksong "Scarborough Fair" as the backdrop for an interesting combination of mystery, fantasy, suspense, and the paranormal. Generations ago an angry elfin knight placed a curse on the young women of the Scarborough clan. Each girl became pregnant as a teen and upon giving birth to a daughter, each girl went insane. The only way to break the curse was to complete three tasks described in the lyrics of the song. Until now it seemed the curse would carry on forever. Lucy Scarborough, now seventeen, has always known her birth mother was Miranda Scarborough, but luck brought her into the lives of Leo and Soledad Markowitz. They have raised her since birth and understand the complications of her life story. Through the years they have been plagued by visits from Miranda. Her insanity has been the cause of many embarrassing situations. Now, as Lucy is approaching her last year in high school, she hopes that she can avoid anymore encounters with her crazy mother and get on with her life. Early in the story, Lucy is preparing for her prom and her date with Gray Spencer. Her adopted parents are nervous about the date since it is one of her first, and they haven't actually met Gray. As the couple is posing for pictures and is about to leave for the evening, the unthinkable happens. Miranda shows up in her baggy T-shirt and flowing skirt, pushing her rusty shopping cart full of bottles and cans. Everyone is shocked when she begins to attack, throwing glass bottles at everyone in the yard. She is finally hauled away by the police, but not before Gray makes a get-away in his new car, leaving Lucy humiliated and dateless. Just when Lucy is ready to give up on him and attend the prom with a long-time childhood friend, Gray returns, apologizes for running off, and begs her to still be his date. She happily accepts, but it proves to be the beginning of yet another horrible experience. As the two are leaving the prom later that evening, Gray takes Lucy aside and forces himself on her. The experience is not only terrible, but also puzzling as Lucy tries to connect the gentle high school boy with the vicious act and the sinister voice she hears during that attack. Weeks after the prom, Lucy discovers she has followed in the footsteps of the Scarborough women and become a pregnant teen. Will her fate be the same? Will she give birth to a daughter, and will she lose her mind? Werlin creates an interesting mix of past and present. Lucy seems one moment to be a typical teen, and the next, the victim of an ancient evil. The turning of each page reveals another fact about the family curse. The lyrics of the song provide the clues necessary to break the curse, but those clues are not crystal clear and require creative solutions from Lucy and her helpful family and friends. Encouraged by hope and love, Lucy fights to change the direction of her life at the same time as she learns to accept the hand fate has dealt. Werlin fans will not be disappointed.show more
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