Moving to a new town and a new school can be a frightening thing. For Imogene, who has decided to leave her troubled ways behind, it is an opportunity to find a real friend. Looking for someone who is not part of a clique, she connects with Maxine, a loner who dresses in knee-length skirts and gets good grades. This could be a case of opposites attracting, since Imogene sports a few tattoos and doesn’t worry much about her grades. But both girls are smart, good-natured and have suffered from the hands of bullies, so as they learn from each other, their friendship blossoms.
Imogene does make a break with her past of gangs and other problems until she finds a new worry in the form of Adrian. It is not that he is a bully: he is a ghost. This would not be a big issue if he did not have a crush on her. His attention draws the notice of other supernatural beings, and Imogene begins to have strange dreams about her imaginary childhood friend, Pelly, and a band of weird creatures. These turn out to be fairies who are drawing an even darker force toward Imogene, one that threatens her very soul.
This urban fantasy, set in writer Charles de Lint’s fictional town of Newford, is full of ingenuity and wonder. De Lint, who describes his work as “mythic fiction,” is a master at creating believable characters and placing them in strange and fascinating situations. Whether or not you ever changed schools or were one of the “weird” kids, there is something for you in this absorbing novel. Colleen Cahill works at the Library of Congress, where one of her duties is Recommending Officer of Science Fiction and Fantasy.