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(Impossible #1)

3.63  ·  Rating details ·  17,290 ratings  ·  2,468 reviews
Lucy is seventeen when she discovers that she is the latest recipient of a generations-old family curse that requires her to complete three seemingly impossible tasks or risk falling into madness and passing the curse on to the next generation. Unlike her ancestors, though, Lucy has family, friends, and other modern resources to help her out. But will it be enough to conqu ...more
Hardcover, 384 pages
Published September 18th 2008 by Dial Books
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Katrina Bradley Thanks guys! At least now I know that I'm crazy haha. I remember this book as being called "Scarborough Girls" but really cannot find any documentatio…moreThanks guys! At least now I know that I'm crazy haha. I remember this book as being called "Scarborough Girls" but really cannot find any documentation on this. It's weird how the mind can play tricks on us sometimes(less)

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Average rating 3.63  · 
Rating details
 ·  17,290 ratings  ·  2,468 reviews

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Dec 03, 2008 rated it did not like it
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
Aug 11, 2008 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.
Oct 05, 2010 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 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
Emily May
Nov 29, 2011 rated it liked it

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 li
Apr 02, 2009 rated it really liked it
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
Jun 28, 2010 rated it really liked it
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
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 11, 2010 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
Jun 02, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fairy-tales, 2010, ya
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 rated it did not like it
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
Lala_Loopsie [fire breathing B!tch Queen]
Rating: 2 stars, because that's the way it is.
Slight, if not major spoilers without warning. Just FYI
I read the book with low expectations. But, but, i still thought it would be better than it actually was. A paradox (i think that's what it's called), but true. Basically when your friend don't like it, yet you want, because it's just wishing, it to better than what they experienced. Anyway.

Even if it did feature teenage pregnancy, it wasn't as if it was intended. From what i know, rape isn't in
Jan 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing
So satisfying to start my reading year off with something so good! Also: why is this book not talked about more? I remember hearing some buzz when it came out, and I put it on my to-read shelf, and then it sort of slipped away from consciousness.

But it's GREAT. It really reminded me of TAM LIN, which is one of my all time favorites. But it was definitely unique and it's own thing. It's based on the ballad The Elfin Knight, aka Scarborough Fair, which like many folk tales and old ballads, seems t
Monica Edinger
Jun 09, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: award-worthy, fantasy
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!
Miss Kitty
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Ren Puspita
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,
Kimberly Francisco
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
Sep 10, 2009 rated it did not like it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jennifer Wardrip
Sep 23, 2008 rated it it was amazing
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
Jan 20, 2009 rated it liked it
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 contemp
Mar 12, 2015 rated it liked it
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
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
Oct 09, 2010 rated it really liked it
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
Dec 18, 2013 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 ra
Slightly under a 4 due to the style and some issues, but all in all, I liked it.

I was excited for this one because of this gorgeous cover. And in some ways, it lived up to my excitement, while at the same time, falling short in others. Werlin presents a very modern, disturbing slant on the age old ballad. She layers the book with enough realism and negativity (nothing is ever falsely sugar-coated; Lucy is a realist, if nothing else) that I was able to believe that things may not be wrapped up w
Janus the Erudite Artist
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
Aug 11, 2008 rated it really liked it
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 27, 2016 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016

No, wait. There's not nearly enough exclamation marks in that review. Let me try again.


Okay. That should do it.
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.
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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 the suspense thriller AND THEN THERE WERE FOUR.

Other books in the series

Impossible (3 books)
  • Extraordinary (Impossible #2)
  • Unthinkable (Impossible, #3)

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