Wendy Darling's Reviews > Stork

Stork by Wendy Delsol
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's review
Jun 09, 2011

liked it
bookshelves: young-adult, hilarious, mythic-and-fairy-tale-ish, paranormal-general, read-2011, snowy
Recommended to Wendy Darling by: Ginny
Read from June 04 to 05, 2011

3.5 stars I'd love to hang out with Katla LeBlanc. She's just moved from LA to frozen Minnesota, where the fashion scene is non-existent and the weirdly wonderful ladies of the Icelandic Stork Society insist that she is destined to be part of their mysterious clan. I absolutely love Kat's voice, which is smart and funny and made me laugh out loud several times. It's such a nice change when there's humor in YA paranormal novels and I think the author shows a lot of promise in possibly becoming another Rachel Hawkins or Lish McBride.

I really enjoyed learning about Icelandic customs and the author makes the frozen midwest sound absolutely beautiful. What I did find a little confusing, however, are the paranormal aspects of the book. The beginning induction scene is very cool, but there's not much that's done with Katla's gift after that in this particular book. After a strong start, the story goes off the path and focuses primarily on how she's fitting in at her new school, which involves drama with her onetime hook-up Wade, as well as the confusing signals she's getting from the attractive but standoffish Jack.

The basis of this gift Katla has is also just plain weird. This story is loosely based on Norse mythology and inspired by some elements of Hans Christian Andersen's The Snow Queen, though the author really has created her own unique mythology. Kat has the responsibility of deciding who gets pregnant in her small town, and there are four possible candidates whose futures she touches in her dreams. It's such an intriguing but strange concept for a YA novel, and since that plot line doesn't really get tied up in this first book, I'm not really sure where the author is going with this idea.

I liked that Katla is a flawed but sympathetic protagonist, however. She's a good friend and has a great, though believably conflicted, relationship with both of her divorced parents. I also really liked Katla (I keep wanting to type Katsa here) and Jack together--they are adorably cute as a couple, which is a good thing since so much time is spent on them. I will say that it always makes me uneasy when there's such a "I'm meant to be with you forever" feel in teen relationships, but I'm willing to accept it here since it's part of the mythology of what's going on.

This is a pretty quick and entertaining read, despite the regrettably cartoony showdown at the end of the book that doesn't really seem to fit in with the rest of it. To make the series really great, however, the author will need to develop the paranormal parts more fully in the next installment Frost. I hope the brand name dropping is toned down a bit, too; I really hate this trend in YA, and while I was more okay with it here because of Katla's interest in fashion, after awhile it still grated on my nerves to read about her endless array of designer clothes and accessories. Some authors may need to rely on that to add texture and interest to their books, but this one doesn't.

Still, I like Katla quite a lot and I'm looking forward to seeing where the story will take her next.
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Reading Progress

06/04/2011 page 20
6.0% ""I didn't recognize him. Then again, the school was filled with flannel-clad, John-Deere-capped, boot-shod farm boys, one indistinguishable from the other." I *love* this already." 2 comments

Comments (showing 1-28 of 28) (28 new)

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Flannery Let's read the second one together when it comes out.

Wendy Darling Dude, it's on NetGalley right now. Do it and we'll do it.

Flannery TWSS.

Flannery P.S. I can't find it?

message 5: by Wendy Darling (last edited Jun 05, 2011 04:03PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Wendy Darling That is so weird. All four of the titles I just got from Candlewick (including the dreaded Circle 9) are all gone! Maybe they'll come back? I think these are all fall releases.


Ginny I don't remember Frost ever being in the list. A co-worker never saw it either. I just happened on it as I was searching for another title. What else did Candlewick pull from your list?

Wendy Darling I have A Long, Long Sleep, A Monster Calls, and these two. None of which have very many reviews yet, so I'm not sure what goes on.

Ginny Well. I can help you out with A Monster Calls. We got it at the library in an ARC box. After I read it, I can send it to you if you'd like. My co-worker Heather read it and liked it.

Wendy Darling Oh, thanks dude. I meant that I actually managed to get all four of the above titles, but when other people went to download them they'd been pulled down. But you're lucky we don't live in the same town, otherwise I'd be lying in wait every time you left the library to pounce on you to see what ARCs you'd acquired!

Ginny Oh cool, good! Harper Collins irked me. I had the newest Stargazer book (i'm blanking on the title) and when I went to download it, they removed all options. It sucked big time : (

message 11: by Sandy (new)

Sandy Wendy, from reading this book's summary, I'm worried I'll be grumpy if it's full of Minnesotan stereotypes. What do you think? (I lived in Minnesota for several years and have a major soft spot for it.)

message 12: by Wendy Darling (last edited Jun 08, 2011 11:47AM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Wendy Darling Sandy, this book actually makes Minnesota sound really beautiful.

The character starts off as a transplant from L.A., but she doesn't denigrate her new home town in an especially horrible way, it's apparent that it's just a big adjustment for her to make. Later on, there are really great scenes of her going hiking with friends, a frozen lake, etc. I really enjoyed the physical descriptions, and there is also some discussion of the various benefits of keeping the small-town, mom and pop businesses versus urban development.

So no, I don't think any midwestern stereotypes will bother you. Katla grows into her new home (as you'd expect), but it's not in a condescending/annoying/completely obvious way. I think the author lived there for awhile, too. (Just as she did in LA, and her many mentions of this town are spot-on.)

message 13: by Sandy (new)

Sandy Whew, I think I can read it now. I was worried it was going to be like that movie New in Town with Renee Zellweger. Whoever wrote that movie owes a big apology to Minnesotans.

Wendy Darling Yeah, it's annoying when books/movies trivialize a place you love. I'm about to start reading the sequel with Flann, so I'll keep an eye out for any potential stereotypes there, too!

message 15: by Milly (new) - added it

Milly I was feeling 'maybe' about reading this one. I've seen it at the library several times on display but wasn't too compelled about picking it up after one bad review. But, your review seems to be more promising and enough to convince me to try it. I guess I will try it! Thanks to your wonderful review Wendy!

Flannery OMG, Sandy, I couldn't even sit through 10 minutes of that movie. I had to turn it off--and we'd paid for it already! Barforama.

Wendy Darling Wellll...(Flann, look away!) I'm deep into the second book, Milly, and I have to say that the stuff I was hoping to would improve in this story hasn't so far. I should be done with it probably tomorrow, so I'll have more feedback then.

Flannery WD, no worries. I actually came online to send you an email...but then I ate a Klondike instead. I mean, I like you a ton, but I reallllly like ice cream.

Wendy Darling Hey, I just ate some Jamoca Almond Fudge! We should have done it together. Yeah, my email to you is going to come late tonight. I was also distracted by pizza and more Bionic Woman.

message 20: by Milly (new) - added it

Milly Flannery wrote: "WD, no worries. I actually came online to send you an email...but then I ate a Klondike instead. I mean, I like you a ton, but I reallllly like ice cream."

You're a hoot Flann! How was it?

message 21: by Milly (new) - added it

Milly Wendy Darling wrote: "Hey, I just ate some Jamoca Almond Fudge! We should have done it together. Yeah, my email to you is going to come late tonight. I was also distracted by pizza and more Bionic Woman."

Bionic Woman? I thought that show was long gone!

Flannery The Klondike? It was delicious! (view spoiler)

I think WD is watching the reboot of Bionic Woman that was on a year or two ago. The wonders of DVDs! I love watching shows that way, though, because you can plow through them.

Wendy Darling NO WAY IN HELL would I be watching the reboot of Bionic Woman. I am watching classic Jaime Sommers with Lindsay Wagner on DVD. Fembots, Sasquatch, and suspicious science all wrapped up in one season.

Flannery Well, excuuuuse me:) I'm glad to hear it as I tried to watch the reboot and it was dullsville. *back to reading*

Wendy Darling Yeah, well...don't let it happen again. ;) I don't think the reboot lasted that long anyway.

message 26: by Candlewick (new) - added it

Candlewick Press If you are looking for any of our titles on NetGalley, please feel free to contact us through Goodreads. Titles are usually available for a limited time but we also take specific requests.

Wendy Darling Thanks so much for letting us know we are able to request specific titles, Candlewick! It's very much appreciated.

Ginny Candlewick rocks!

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