Author: Emily WhitePublication Date: May 5, 2013
Publisher: Emily White
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
Age Recommendation: 13 and up
Rating: 3.5 stars
Fourteen-year-old Lilly Grey exists in two worlds at the same time. She just doesn't know it. As the only albino in a million mile radius, Lilly is used to being different. Pink eyes and white hair aren't exactly the best camouflage in the harrowing jungles formally known as high school. And yeah, she's used to being an outcast and seeing the world in a slightly different way, but she never guessed how literally "different" applied to her. Not until a clan of shape-shifting dragons tell her she's not just albino. She's a unicorn and the only mortal alive who can live on both Earth and its antithesis, Morcah. Now all those times she thought she saw a floating brown blotch in the sky or eyes peering out at her from the bark of trees make sense. She's been seeing Morcah, a land that exists in the exact same spot as Earth, just in a different phase. But it's not all sunshine and rainbows for this unicorn. As the only one who can live in both phases, she's also the only one who can bring Morcah--and all its inhabitants--to Earth. And creatures who've been trapped on Earth since the Dark Ages are willing to do worse things than kill to make that happen. Again.
Human, Dragons, Tree Sprites, Hags, one lonely Unicorn, and world about to change forever. Lily Grey's life has never been easy, has never been normal, but the life she's struggled to live for the past fourteen years is about to get turned on it's axis and the past will look simple compared to her future.
I've never been much of a fantasy reader, but I can say that with every one of Emily White's books I read I become more and more interested in this genre. She is able to weave vivid worlds and write characters that have an undeniable substance to them.
Case in point, this book is so much more than simply a fantasy novel. It's a book that brings some truly painful aspects of teen life to the surface.
"Okay, so, I hated high school. And I really wanted to know who was the genius who came up with the concept in the first place. If I'd wanted to spend my day watching the finer details of the teenage mating ritual or barely clad bimbos throwing themselves at the current 'hot guy'. I would have watched National Geographic.
The whole institution ran on barely controlled chaos. And the only unbreakable law I could see was 'walk down the right side of the hallway or be annihilated' Everything else was every man (or woman) for himself. Oh, and if you didn't fit in with the "norm", you were sport for the leaders of the animal pack." - Lily
A glimpse into Lily Grey's life brought me to tears. The pain and suffering she deals with from being 'different' in her short years of life made me ache for her. Yet while she struggles she's amazingly strong, fighting to carry on. Everything changes for her though when she enters high school. back to being face to face with her middle school tormentors, dealing with her best friend, Maggie, slipping away from her as Maggie works to climb the social ladder (to say I wanted to have a stern talking to with Maggie would be an understatement.) leaving Lily to struggle through each day with no support. But as the world she's known (her one safety net, Maggie) crumbles around her a (pretty kick butt, if I do say so myself) goth girl Nat, and a reluctant boy, Ian, storm into her life and truly change everything forever.
"He stood up and grabbed me by the wrist. The dark, burning look was back in his eyes as his face hovered just inches from mine. His warm breath played across my face. "Life is about to get a whole lot worse for you. I might be willing to help. Might"" -Ian
Nat gives her an easy friendship that she needs so desperately, a place to belong. While Ian turns her world upside down with the truth of who her father is, who he is, who she is and what she means to...everyone.
"A whole new world laid out before me. A world of magic, of new possibilities. And dangers. Suddenly I wondered if I'd really been losing my mind, or if the truth had been slowly leaking in. I wasn't scared of Ian anymore. Disturbed, maybe, by some of his actions. But not scared. I wasn't scared of any of them. Ian looked at me sideways and I stared at him head on. He smiled, understanding pulling at the corners of his mouth. "You're a dragon," I said. He nodded. "Yes, we're all dragons. And you, Lily are a unicorn.""
I am quite looking forward to the next book in the series. The conclusion while not exactly a cliff hanger, leaves so much more to be discovered. More about Morcah, more about Delegor, more of Lily, Ian, Nat and Ever! There is so much more of this story to be told and I'll be anxiously waiting to read the rest of the tale.
I think this is a lovely read for all YA fans, but I really think it is a great read for the younger teens out there! I hope you will all give it a try!
Emily White is a nerd.She prefers her men fully clothed and donning bow-ties, her commas British, her books cheesy with big, overly-dramatic explosions, her characters awkward and endearingly real,* and watching her movies in authentic turn-of-the-century theaters. When not exposing her nerdy self to the world, she's creating her own friends and putting them in horrible, yet sometimes humorous situations.Check out her YA Space Opera series starting with Elemental (Spencer Hill Press, 2012), continuing with FAE (February 2014), and ending sometime in the near future with a book she has yet to write. She's also authored a collection of Steampunk (zombie, werebot romance) flash fiction, if you're into those kinds of things, titled "To Love or Die in a Steamy-Reamy World."