Bad Luck Girl by Sarah Zettel
Release date: May 27, 2014
Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers
Reading level: Young Adult
Genre: Historical fantasy
Overall: 4 out of 5 stars
Fans of Libba Bray's The Diviners will love the blend of fantasy and jazz-hot Chicago in this stylish series.
After rescuing her parents from the Seelie king at Hearst Castle, Callie is caught up in the war between the fairies of the Midnight Throne and the Sunlit Kingdoms. By accident, she discovers that fairies aren't the only magical creatures in the world. There's also Halfers, misfits that are half fairy and half other--laced with strange magic and big-city attitude. As the war heats up, Callie's world falls apart. And even though she's the child of prophecy, she doubts she can save the Halfers, her people, her family, and Jack, let alone herself. The fairies all say Callie is the Bad Luck Girl, and she's starting to believe them.
A strong example of diversity in YA, the American Fairy Trilogy introduces Callie LeRoux, a half-black teen who stars in this evocative story full of American history and fairy tales.
Historical fantasy has always been one of my favorite genres and so when I heard about Bad Luck Girl I was immediately intrigued. I especially enjoy books featuring faeries (such as Lesley Livingston's Wondrous Strange series) so this seemed like it was going to be right up my alley. Luckily, this book did not disappoint and I highly enjoyed the ending to this trilogy. One thing I should point out is that I did not realize this was the third in a series at first, so I have not read the first two in the series.
To start off, since I hadn't read the first two in the series, the author did a great job of introducing the characters and what they had been through thus far. I never felt lost, although I was wondering about a couple things that were mentioned casually, but that can be expected. I love anything to do with faeries and the Seelie/Unseelie courts and it was fascinating how the author blended it with historical fiction. Not only did we learn about the various fantastical aspects of the faeries, but Bad Luck Girl also features such dark issues as racism, poverty, and bootlegging.
Callie was a great main character. I loved how strong and independent she was. Although she had already been through so much, she never backed down from a challenge. At times she did seem a little young, but since she was only fifteen that is understandable. I liked getting to know her family and her best friend, Jack. There was another group of characters, the Halfers, that were introduced in this book and they represented the unloved and misunderstood members of the faerie race. Callie, being mixed race herself, understood their struggle and wants to do whatever she can to save them.
The plot was very fast paced and action packed after a semi-slow start. Although I hadn't gotten to know these characters over the course of two other books, I quickly found myself rooting for them and hoping for their success. Sarah Zettel has written a series with a wonderful blend of magic and history and I will definitely be going back to read the first two books in the series when I get the chance. Although I didn't have trouble getting into this third book in the series, I would recommend reading the other two first!