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Impossible (Impossible #1)

3.64  ·  Rating Details  ·  15,643 Ratings  ·  2,341 Reviews
Lucy Scarborough is seventeen when she discovers that the women of her family have been cursed through the generations, forced to attempt three seemingly impossible tasks or to fall into madness upon their child’s birth. How can Lucy succeed when all of her ancestors have tried and failed? But Lucy is the first girl who won’t be alone as she tackles the list. She has her f ...more
Audio CD, 8 pages
Published November 20th 2008 by Brilliance Audio (first published January 1st 2008)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Feb 25, 2009 laaaaames rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: prude idiots
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
I have to admit that my expectations for his book weren’t too high. It has received mixed reviews and in general, I just don’t like novels dealing with teen pregnancy that much. But the fact that Impossible is based on a version of the folk song Scarborough Fair and the three almost impossible tasks it poses intrigued me enough to give it a try. Now I have to say that the part of the story that revolved around the song and its mystery was the only thing that kept me reading until the end.

I simpl
Oct 11, 2010 Heather rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya, 2010
Let’s call a spade a spade, and add Impossible to the ever increasing list of YA books that lead young girls astray by glorifying harrowing life altering situations. Like Stephanie Meyer before her, Nancy Werlin is flaunting teen pregnancy as a shortlist way to a happy ending with your very own prince charming. Worse, she piles on rape for good measure. I’m appalled.

No one can accuse me of not being able to suspend my reality. Present me a book containing a malicious, wanting fairy, who curses a
Mar 16, 2010 Nancy rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nancy-s-novels
This is the first time that I've written the kind of book I most love to read.
Dec 28, 2013 Cara rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Cara by: Valerie
I wish I had thought of making a curse out of a song, that is an awesome idea and obviously worked for this novel. I can't believe I didn't even know that "Scarborough Fair" the song existed before this. Since reading this book I've listened to many versions of the song, and it is very enchanting but also kind of eerie. Perfect for a curse.

One of the best qualities of this story is that Lucy is so likable, and I'm glad to see a main character that has support from not only her family but friends
Anne Osterlund
Jul 03, 2010 Anne Osterlund rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Impossible is the story of an ordinary teenage girl. Or so it would seem. Lucy is seventeen. Ready for her first date and her first trip to the prom. In a white dress, a candy necklace, and taking a big risk by wearing red hightops for irony.

But the Lucy at the beginning of the book has no idea what risk is.

And after the prom, her entire world is different. A place where curses exist. And shirts from the boy next door are magical shields. And letters from your mother can be the answer to whether
Emily May

I know three stars isn't the most helpful rating in the world, but I just feel like parts of this book were worth at least four and other parts made me want to abandon it completely. It will suit a few people's tastes perfectly, I'm sure, but I wouldn't rush out to recommend it to the masses.

The story is based upon the old folk song "Scarborough Fair", a song I am very familiar with because my nanna used to sing it to me all the time. In it a series of impossible tasks are proposed by the liste
Wow, this is some bad writing. I picked up this book based on it's high ratings, and interesting premise. I had never read anything by Nancy Werling before, and I doubt I will again. The story itself is not too bad, but it, and all the characters are so underdeveloped that rather than pulling you into the world of the story, you are left aware that it is a bit far-fetched and reaching. The writing itself is clumsy and occasionally grammatically questionable if not incorrect. The switching back a ...more
Jan 14, 2010 Hannah rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya, 2010-reads
I vacillated between 2 stars and 3 stars in my rating. I ended up giving it 2 stars since 2 stars indicated "it was ok" and 3 stars indicated "I liked it", and I can't say that I wholeheartedly did.

Really, I wanted to love this book, because quite frankly the premise for Werlin writing it was very cool. I love authors who create a story out of an well known object (like a painting - shout out here to Tracy Chevalier!) or, in the case of Impossible, an old folk ballad: Scarborough Fair. I've lov
Monica Edinger
Jun 09, 2008 Monica Edinger rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, award-worthy
I've enjoyed every Werlin novel I've read, but this is definitely one of my favorites. The fantasy elements are new for her, but the intensity, the superb prose, the deft plotting, and the gorgeous characterizations are not.

The story involves a fairy (or elf) curse, a race against time to break it, a heartrending romance, teen pregnancy and marriage like you probably have never seen before, folk music, and a lot more.

Impossibly good!
Apr 26, 2010 Tatiana rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book pleasantly surprised me. I've heard many good things about Werlin's other works, but "Impossible" received mixed reviews from my reading buddies.

The book started out rocky for me too, at about page 70 I was ready to retire it and move on to something else. The tone of the book - sort of a fairy-tale flare in describing events set in a contemporary world, the mix of folklore with reality, the fantastical madness, the Elfin Knight, the basis of the novel on a folklore song (I've never h
Aug 27, 2009 Jan rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Not one. Not two. Not three. There are four, count 'em, four retrogressive, antifeminist tropes in this particular young adult paranormal romance. Werlin would get points for dealing with difficult topics like teen pregnancy and rape were it not for the following morals of the story: (1) If you get raped, the right thing to do is to keep it quiet and not report it. (2) If you get pregnant from the rape, having an abortion would be WRONG. (3) If you are pregnant from a rape at seventeen, it is im ...more
Miss Kitty
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
I just want to say, for Young Adult book, this book captivated me.
I can't stop reading this until morning come. The story is sooo beautiful. The romance is sweet, yet romantic. I adore the author's idea to make the story based on "Scarborough Fair" song. or The ELFIN KNIGHT song


Are you going to Scarborough Fair?
Parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme
Remember me to one who lives there
She must be a true love of mine

Tell her she'll sleep in a goose-feather bed
Parsley, sage, rosemary,
Oh man where to begin. I think I'll just do this in list form.

Completely flat characters. I couldn't differentiate between them, which was made worse by the fact that Werlin constantly shifted between their voices within chapters and even paragraphs.

Implausible plot points that are not driven by character at all. But then you can't really have character drive your story when your characters don't have any personality to begin with.

All major action takes place off screen and is merely recounted b
Jennifer Wardrip
Reviewed by Sally Kruger aka "Readingjunky" for

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 lyr
First half; 4
Middle; 3
End; 3

Overall; 3 stars (edit after thinking it over some more I've decided to change my rating to two stars)

I'm quite disappointed with giving Impossible 3 stars, as it was one of those books I was really looking forward to reading. It started off great and I found myself quite giddy with happiness, but then for me it kind of went downhill, I found myself getting quite annoyed with some of the characters. Because I couldn't stand it any longer I had to skim read a lot of it
Mar 19, 2015 Nikki rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
It’s difficult to say how I feel about this book. There are a lot of things I liked: the supportiveness of Lucy’s adoptive family, the relatively sex-positive attitudes and the emphasis on women’s autonomy and right to choose what’s right for them, the very fact that it’s built on a folk song (there are so many stories in those). The part that worried me somewhat was the fluctuating attitude to abortion: at times it’s suggested as a natural solution (which it is in the situation described here), ...more
Sep 10, 2009 Christina rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
I have a difficult time enjoying a book where I don’t care for the main character. In the novel, Impossible by Nancy Werlin, Lucy Scarborough is the main character, and as a reader I'm suppose to care for her plight and root her on in her journey and the challenges she faces. However, she is not likeable, and I found it hard to sympathize with her situation. I felt Lucy's character was shallow and not well developed. In addition, I felt the writer's style was distracting because she literally re ...more
Janus Vielle (The Blair Book Project)
This was a little creepy for my taste but I definitely enjoyed reading Impossible.

When I first read the synopsis of this book, I expected it to be full of fantasy; with all the talk about an Elfin Knight who wants to own every one of the Scarborough girls, I expected some mischief from him or something now and then. Unfortunately the Elfin Knight, although making an appearance, didn’t do much but taunt Lucy to give up or hypnotize those around him to get information about his current victim. Als
Jan 20, 2009 Angie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: retellings, ya
"Are you going to Scarborough Fair? Parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme..."

Since reading this book I have not been able to get that song out of my head. It has been, you'll forgive the pun, Impossible. It's all good, of course, because I've always loved the Simon & Garfunkel version, as well as Dylan's quasi-adaptation of the ballad "Girl from the North Country." And it's good because Nancy Werlin does such interesting things developing a novel based on the lyrics. In a few words it is a con
Shannon (Giraffe Days)
Isn't this a lovely cover? YA gets such gorgeous covers these days, it's great. They were always so daggy when I was growing up. Well, not all, but most.

Lucy Scarborough is in her last year of high school and coping pretty well thank you very much, especially considering her mother, Miranda, is the local crazy bag lady. No one knows this apart from Lucy's foster parents, Soledad and Leo, and her best friend and neighbour Zach. On the night of Lucy's prom, though, everything irrevocably changes.
Oct 23, 2010 Thomas rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Impossible presents another intriguing, unique plot from Nancy Werlin. The protagonist, Lucy Scarborough, is just seventeen when discovers the curse that has plagued the women of her family line for several decades. She must manage to complete three seemingly impossible tasks, or else she will fall into madness. Unlike her ancestors, however, she has help: her parents, Soledad and Leo, and her best friend, Zach.

I simply adore Nancy Werlin's stories. I never would have imagined making a curse, mu
Nov 21, 2008 GraceAnne rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An intensely wrought romance, and yummy to read. Weaving two versions of the Scarborough Fair folk song (and one of her own devising), Nancy Werlin makes a contemporary love story with elements of Faerie. I loved many things about this book: I loved that the marriage takes place mid-book, that erotic passion figures elegantly but discreetly, that the tropes of date rape and teenage pregnancy are given a scary supernatural twist that still grounds those events in reality.
Jan 22, 2009 Kelly rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, young-adult
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Melissa Jackson
I bought this book ages ago and it's just been taking up space on my bookshelf. But I kept hearing about it (people comparing it to other books I've enjoyed), so I figured it was time to dive in. "An epic love story," they claimed. To be honest, ever since Twilight I've been scared of anything labeled as an "epic love story." But this one apparently had faeries. One can only resist the call of faeries for so long. Impossible, thankfully, is about love. And not just between a boy and a girl, but ...more
Dec 27, 2013 Susana rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people i hate? Parents who want to brainwash their teens heads??

TW: Rape

On the cover it says: A haunting, thrilling romantic puzzle. Just read it

I say, don' read it...

This is not haunting.
And this doesn't have a single "romantic puzzle" bone in it's body!!
From time to time I read a book with a story that it's so bad, that it leaves me in a fit of temper.
This was not one of those books!

Look at that blurb!!
This had everything to be amazing!!
In fact, I loved the beginning. There my rating _ no I am not insane. Look at some of my previous reviews... this rating
Oct 10, 2008 Becky rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Werlin, Nancy. 2008. Impossible.

If you haven't read one of Nancy Werlin's really don't know what you're missing. Here are the books I have read (and loved): Rules for Survival, Double Helix, and Black Mirror. I can now add Impossible to the list. (If anyone is looking for books to read during the 24 Hour Read-a-thon, I'd definitely recommend Werlin!)

What can I say about Impossible? It's good. It's a page turner. It matches my high expectations in a Werlin novel. But that doesn't real
Apr 02, 2010 Kaitlyn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is very unique, and is unlike anything I have ever read before. The story was centered around The Scarboroguh Fair by Simon & Garfunkel, which I found very cool. I loved how the writing flowed, and everything just fit together. You can totally sympathize with the characters in this book. It is like you are at a distance watching this awesome story unfold before your eyes. I totally recommend this book because it is so unique, and hard to put down!
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Into the Forest: Impossible by Nancy Werlin with spoilers 40 16 Feb 02, 2016 07:24AM  
Into the Forest: Impossible by Nancy Werlin Spoiler Free 29 21 Feb 02, 2016 05:48AM  
I can't get into it.... 7 48 Aug 02, 2013 06:51PM  
Interesting twist on song 3 39 Jun 25, 2011 01:27PM  
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Nancy Werlin writes young adult fiction: New York Times–bestselling fantasy, Edgar-award winning suspense, and National Book Award-honored realistic novels.

Nancy's newest book is UNTHINKABLE, the sequel to IMPOSSIBLE and EXTRAORDINARY.
More about Nancy Werlin...

Other Books in the Series

Impossible (2 books)
  • Unthinkable (Impossible, #2)

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“It is absolutely okay with me if you need to keep some secrets. I've been thinking about this and I decided that a best friend is someone who, when they don't understand, they still understand.” 469 likes
“When you first fall in love, it's supposed to be awful. Awful, uncertain, scary, wonderful, confusing, all at once. That's how you know it's real. You have to care deeply. Passionately. That hurts.” 231 likes
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