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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 conquer this age-old evil?

A beautifully wrought modern fairy tale from master storyteller and award-winning author Nancy Werlin. Inspired by the classic folk ballad "Scarborough Fair," this is a wonderfully riveting and haunting novel of suspense, romance, and fantasy.

384 pages, Hardcover

First published September 18, 2008

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About the author

Nancy Werlin

22 books1,075 followers
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 comedy ZOE ROSENTHAL IS NOT LAWFUL GOOD.

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5 stars
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Displaying 1 - 30 of 2,477 reviews
Profile Image for laaaaames.
524 reviews97 followers
February 25, 2009
OK so I read this bizarre interview over on Teen Reads where I thought Nancy Werlin was a certified kook: http://www.teenreads.com/authors/au-w...
It sort of made me want to read it because I knew I'd hate it. I realize there is something wrong with me to have these sorts of thoughts. When I arrived home that night, I discovered I had an ARC of the book I must have grabbed at the Book Expo. Onto reading I went! Surprise me, kooky lady! Make this book actually GOOD!

Sorry, Nancy did not surprise me. This is basically sort of like Magic or Madness but not as well-written and without the ADORABLE. (Geez Larbalestier brings the adorable.)


1. Ohhhhmigosh "high" doesn't mean drinking from a flask, writer lady. It means HIGH as in DRUGS.
2. I should really have stopped reading this book because I found it irritating and not very good, but the story itself (according to the back cover and that interview I read) was so intriguing to me (again, in a very Magic's Child way) that I kept going. Masochist? Perhaps.
3. Many random scattered sloppy POVs. All read in the same voice.
4. Taking a page out of the Stephenie Meyer book of how to not write anything too challenging, lazy Werlin had lots of key scenes happen "offscreen".
5. Did you know marriage is LITERALLY HOLY? Even when you are teenagers only getting married to do some legal loopholey shit to prepare for the Elfin Knight to try to use magic rape on your unborn child in the future? WELL NOW YOU DO.
6. I hate Mary Sues forever and ever.
7. Hey did you also know if you have any problems with your inlaws a baby will magically fix all of them? It's a really great lesson for girls whose boyfriends' parents don't like them much.
8. I swear there's a scene where a dude acts jealous of a mannequin and then gets an erection (unrelated).
9. This quote about marriage which I will just type out for you: "He felt animal. He felt mated."
10. Totally also must have read Breaking Dawn because a character who had no desire for a baby AND WHO TALKED HYPOTHETICALLY ABOUT ENCOURAGING SOMEONE ELSE TO GET AN ABORTION is all nooooooo I could never get rid of my unborn child even though I am only seventeen and got magic-raped by the Elfin Knight and I could end this whole frigging family curse by a TOTALLY LEGAL MEDICAL PROCEDURE.

I'm gonna have to read a shitload of Meg Cabot to get over this one.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Janina.
215 reviews526 followers
January 27, 2011
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 simply could not relate to the characters in this novel. Somehow, they were all too understanding, too perfect and too accepting of what happened to them. Always exceeding expectations with how supporting they were.
Most of all, Lucy. This girl has had to endure so much: She was raped by someone she considered a friend, and then finds out only weeks later that she is pregnant and will likely go mad after giving birth to her child. Nevertheless, there is not one moment where she is furious or angry. She accepts her fate unnaturally quickly and is even inclined to forgive her rapist. Also, she never once considers not having the child. I mean, she is seventeen, about to start her senior year in high school, she was raped and there is a 90% chance that she will go insane when she gives birth! Yet, she never doubts. I can fully understand that somebody would decide against an abortion, but to not even consider it in her situation?
Additionally, we have her long-time friend, Zach. A nineteen-year-old college student. Who suddenly declares his undying love
And on top of all that, there is no chemistry between Lucy and Zach. I never felt any love between them. Their romance was just … lame. And strange. It went from zero to one thousand in sixty seconds.

The only part I enjoyed was the mystery of the three impossible tasks and the history of the women in the Scarborough family. I simply had to know how everything would work out. Yet, compared to the contemporary issues in the novel, the fantastic elements only play a subordinate role. And I think I would have enjoyed them even more if the summary hadn’t given away so much beforehand. Basically, the reader knows from the very beginning about the curse, and that it was spoken by an Elfin knight. So we can guess right from the start who this knight is and what Lucy will have to do to protect her unborn child and herself from insanity. But Lucy doesn’t find out about this until around page 150. That made the story drag on.
I also noticed that often important events happened off-screen and were only recounted later. For example, the making of the seamless shirt. Never fully understood how it was supposed to work. So all in all, not a book I personally would recommend.

#3 TBR Pile Reduction Challenge (Olivia)
Profile Image for Nancy.
Author 22 books1,075 followers
March 17, 2010
This is the first time that I've written the kind of book I most love to read.
Profile Image for Heather.
282 reviews13.9k followers
October 11, 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 long line of women out of spite, and I will buy into it tenfold. I can even accept a heroine who doesn’t find it difficult to suspend her own belief when presented with said fairy, but what I do find difficult, nay impossible, to accept is that an intelligent, logical, 17 year old girl, with a bright future ahead of her, not being devastated by being raped. Lucy doesn’t hole up, doesn’t act out, doesn’t shy away from physical contact, nothing. She even immediately expresses forgiveness for her rapist. Furthermore, she is immediately accepting when she discovers only weeks later that she is pregnant. Never once does she express one iota of blame, shame or guilt, all of which are standard emotions for rape victims to express. Never once, does Lucy display contempt for what was done to her, nor does she ever consider, even for a fleeting moment, not having the baby, and I’m sorry, but that is just too much. What we have here is blatant agenda pushing, and it makes me want to vomit. Sadly, this manipulated characterization isn’t even the worst fallacy contained in Impossible.

I wanted to rip my hair out when this tragic event was used as fodder for an ill-illusioned love story. Blasphemous. How many 19 year old boys would have it in them, not only to cope with a raped best friend, but a pregnant one? Not only does Zach cope, he proposes marriage. This dumbass actually believes that it is intelligent to marry someone he hasn’t even kissed, so that he can make all her worries (about the evil fairy, not being a pregnant teenager) disappear. A 19 year old, who is just completing his freshman year at college, with only a part time construction job to his name, is going to marry this burden. Yeah right. Sadly, for the intents of this story, Werlin not only paints this as a romantic gesture, but as a wise decision as well. Show of hands, how many of you know a professor who miraculously decided to spend a year abroad and therefore, is willing to loan you his house free of charge? How many of you have been able to secure a car loan with no credit, school loans, and only a part-time job to your name? Lucy even mentions being on her foster parent’s insurance, so we readers are supposed to assume healthcare isn’t an issue either, however, what Werlin fails to mention is that since her heroine has decided to get married, any help that her legal guardian’s could provide on that end ceased the second she said “I Do”. Granted, legislature has recently passed allowing any dependent 26 or younger to remain on their parents insurance, even if they are married, but that lovely bill won’t take effect until 2011. And what mid-wife mother, foster or no, sends a new co-worker to fetch her raped daughter’s prescription for Plan B? This book is just chock full of bullshit!

I just don’t have it in me to express proper contempt for this story, but publishers of such works should be ashamed. There is nothing romantic about the emotional hardships, prejudice, and financial struggle that Lucy and Zach will face were they actual people rather than characters in a charade. This book is disturbing on so many levels, ugh, just ugh.
Profile Image for Emily May.
1,921 reviews290k followers
March 30, 2012

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 listener's former lover, if the tasks are completed he will take her back. Impossible uses this idea in a modern setting, with the protagonist - Lucy - trying to break the curse that has plagued the women of her family for as long as anyone can remember. They are each destined to become pregnant at eighteen and, upon birth of the child who is always female, they succumb to madness. The only way this can be avoided is to perform the impossible tasks.

I thought the paranormal aspect of the novel was the weakest and I didn't care for it. You see all that I wrote about the story in the last paragraph? You can also read this in the goodreads description, on Amazon, on the back of the book... so why does the first hundred (and more) pages treat it like it's a mystery? I know there's got to be some time for the protagonist to discover what is going on but, because the reader already knows where the story is going, I could predict each chapter before it arrived and I was thinking of giving up early on.

For me, the curse should not be explained in the description, it sucks the enjoyment out of most of the first half (well, nearly) of the book. The novel's strength comes from the development of character relationships and how the people stand together to overcome this hardship. It makes me tempted to try out some of the author's realistic fiction - like The Rules of Survival - and just forget about her paranormal stuff.
Profile Image for Anne Osterlund.
Author 5 books5,528 followers
July 4, 2010
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 you survive. Even if your mother is literally crazy.

An engaging blend of old world fantasy within a modern day setting. And with plenty of intrigue and romance to keep you flipping pages.
Profile Image for Cara.
280 reviews700 followers
September 3, 2016
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 as well. Too many books always fall into the easy category of making the protagonist come from broken families, it's not that I don't enjoy those stories as well but you get tired of the same formula sometimes.

Ok now to gush over Zach. He doesn't exist I'm pretty sure in real life, but I was glad he was in the story. Zach Greenfield was the epitome of sweetness. Without him Lucy probably wouldn't have been able to have a real chance in defeating the curse. Obviously he is a key player in how things pan out.

Now for the villain, Pradraig, he was perfect. Way attractive but at the same time you know his trouble. Watch out for the guys with those Irish and Scottish accent girls! I know it's tempting but we must resist.

I had to knock off a star though because it was a tad bit too cheesy for my liking. Cheesy is fine at times but I think we could have done without some of it here. Don't get me wrong though I really thought the story was original and delivered the message that with true love things can happen.
30 reviews3 followers
February 2, 2009
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 and forth of POVs (sometimes even in the same paragraph) is not handled well and is therefore at times annoying and at others, confusing. Plus, all the characters sound exactly the same. No one has a distinctive or even remotely authentic sounding voice.

As someone who loves YA, sci-fi, paranormal, folklore, mystery, and thriller stories,I would say you can find something much better to spend your time with than this.
Profile Image for Hannah.
794 reviews
January 14, 2010
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 loved that old Simon & Garfunkel tune since I was a kid, and didn't realize there were so many variations to the ballad.

Werlin was definitely on to something here, but for me, she lost it in her approach to this novel. IMO, I think she was trying too hard to merge both the magical aspect and the realistic aspect of the plot together. Due to the fact that you're dealing with an "elfin knight", a centuries old curse, and seemingly impossible tasks to complete, I would have enjoyed the novel more had it rested more heavily on the fantasy aspect and less on trying to fit it into a contemporary YA book. I just didn't buy into Lucy and Zach's relationship and eventual marriage, nor the way Lucy's family just accepted the curse and the tasks at hand. Too much suspension of disbelief for my taste.

Not a horrible book by any means, and certainly entertaining enough to keep you reading to find out what happens, but it could have been much, much better IMO.

Profile Image for Tatiana.
1,381 reviews11.7k followers
April 26, 2010
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 heard of "Scarborough Fair" before, BTW), the rape, the pregnancy - all that seemed like too much of a stretch to me, too weird. However, after taking a break from the book, I continued on and ended up being completely taken by the story. Even the tone of it grew on me. I liked the portrayal of love in the book, both family love and romantic love, the idea of unity against evil and ultimate triumph of love over any kind of adversity - both real and supernatural. There was a lot of intensity and passion in Werlin's writing, a lot of skill. So much so, that in spite of the fact that the fairy-tale ending was totally predictable, she still managed to keep me in suspense and angst over the outcome until the very end.

I realize this book is definitely not a crowd-pleaser, and it probably won't be the one that I recommend to most of my friends, but I totally fell in love with this modern day fairy tale with all its weirdness. And I will definitely read more books written by Nancy Werlin.
Profile Image for Jan.
Author 10 books146 followers
August 28, 2009
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 important to marry your closest male friend during your pregnancy "so that the baby will have a father." (4) If possible you should both be virgins on your wedding night, or as close to a virgins as you could be if one of you has been raped.

Argggh. Rrrrip. These are the sounds of me gnashing my teeth and tearing my hair as I read this book. Now, I'll put up with a lot of silly morals if the writing is good (Austen, say) and with an anti-abortion, die-for-your-fetus, pro-chastity-until-marriage subtext if the storytelling is gripping (The Twilight Saga), but Werlin's writing was cliche-ridden and her storytelling downright clunky. There were no surprises, and I constantly saw gears grinding under the fabric and glitter.

I cannot bring myself to mail this book to my twelve-year-old niece, not even as an exercise in critical thinking. (I was tempted to replace the "Discussion Guide" questions at the end with "Can you spot the four antifeminist retrogressive tropes?") Nor can I consign any bound work of fiction to the recycling bin. It just seems sacrilegious. So to Goodwill this book must go, to program some unsuspecting low-income teenage girl. Unless I can somehow print out this review, and secrete it between the book's pages....
May 16, 2016
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 intended from the victim's part. Plus, it was an essential part of the book by the way the author wrote it, without it, nothing would've happened of interest, at least not the way it is now. I know i make no sense, just bare with me.

1 thing that i really didn't like was the fact that our girl, got help, with everything. The people did the reasearch, and she did part of the work. (I get the tricking the elf part, but this takes it to another level.)
The one thing she finds out by herself was by chance, completely. In a magazine. That was the breacking point for me.
Then, when she is sowing the corn, she stops and Zack(?) takes her a few steps.-Look, i appreciate the cuteness, but really? Was that necesary?

Now that i realise it, there is also another thing. I was expecting more folklore, mythology, or whatever.A book about a curse by an Elf, and no mythology? Who are you kidding?

Thinking back on it, i don't know what to rate this book. I'M CoNfUsEd!¡!¡!¡!¡!
Profile Image for Jessica.
Author 27 books5,587 followers
January 2, 2017
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 totally romantic until you look carefully and realize how freaking messed up it is. This was a really gripping and satisfying read, and I loved the way she described things like clothes and the characters. It all felt very real.

Also, props for having a large black poodle named Pierre in here. Poodles in literature are usually small, white, and yappy.
Profile Image for Monica Edinger.
Author 9 books333 followers
June 9, 2008
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!
Profile Image for Miss Kitty.
100 reviews2 followers
October 25, 2008
Most definitely NOT as good as I hoped it would be. When I read the description I thought it would be along the same lines of LJ Smith's The Forbidden Game series (yay!). I think at first I was just horrified that the poor protagonist was date raped by a classmate-possessed-by-an-evil-erlking/elf. Couldn't she have conceived her kid through regular old quasi-consensual sex? (or as consensual as you can get when your protagonist is being manipulated by an evil creature) Then I was bored and cheesed out by the near constant internal and external declarations of love between Lucy and her childhood BFF Zach - doodoo! Third, the fantasy element was practically nonexistent. You'd think that Werlin would have devoted more time to unraveling and solving the riddles, however, most of the novel was the noxious "I love her!" "I love him!" "We're married!" "Let's have sex! garbage between Zach and Lucy. Bleck. As I read and the plot became more and more silly, I was hoping that at least Werlin could end strong and try to redeem her writing. But no. The ending is hokey claptrap only a writer at Lifetime Movie Network could have dreamed up. This is my first Werlin novel but from what I've read in her other reviews, it certainly isn't her best. So maybe I'll recover from this and read The Rules of Survival. Hrmph.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Ren Puspita.
1,020 reviews910 followers
February 17, 2012
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, and thyme
Tell her I sear she'll have nothing to dread
She must be a true love of mine

Tell her tomorrow her answer make known
Parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme
What e'er she may say I'll not leave her alone
She must be a true love of mine

Her answer came in a week and a day
Parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme
I'm sorry good sir, I must answer thee nay
I'll not be a true love of thine

From the sting of my curse she can never be free
Parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme
Unless she unravels my riddlings three
She will be a true love of mine

Tell her to make me a magical shirt
Parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme
Without any seam or needlework
Else she'll be a true love of mine

Tell her to find me an acre of land
Parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme
Between the salt water and the sea strand
Else she'll be a true love of mine

Tell her to plow it with just a goat's horn
Parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme
And sow it all over with one grain of corn
Else she'll be a true love of mine
And her daughters forever possessions of mine

This song is beautiful but also intriguing and haunting. Because of this song too, the heroine Lucy, got raped when she go home from the prom, and get pregnant. If she don't want to be crazy and lost her child, and then her child have a same fate like her and her predecessor, she must do three impossible task. The task based on that song. To make a magical shirt without any seam or needlework, to find an acre of land between salt water and sea strand, and then plow it with just a goat's horn and sow it with just one grain of corn. Such an impossible task, while Lucy get pregnant too.

But she get help from her foster mother, Soledad, and her friend (then turn to be her husband) Zach. With their help, she can do the task and believe she will not face the same fate.Of course all will not easily done. The Elfin Knight will do anything to prevent her success and to make Lucy, and her daughters in his possession forever.

Actually, rape theme make me cringed, but not in this book. The rape scene not described but we can feel Lucy's feeling after she'd raped. She's not weak, she's though. Why I thought about that? Because when she resist to do abortion, I congratulate her.

I'm glad she do that, to love her child,no matter who is her father
I love Zach too. He love Lucy and want to married her, because he care about Lucy and the baby. He's not hesitate to drop out from college, just to become a husband for Lucy. And then when Lucy know about the family curse, Scarborough's curse, he help her, from the start until the end.

Unfortunately, the ending is too easy. I want something dramatical event in the end, but it not happen. Still, this book is good. I rarely give 5 stars to YA book, because sometimes I feel the book is like Twilight, has same genre, bored me to death. But not for Impossible. This book have some morals. Like what you do if you've been raped. Not to succumb to sadness, desperate, but to face it! I'm not bothered with an early marriage topic in this book, because it a must do. Zach and Lucy not do that because lust. But for the baby, for their life, and for their love too...

GREAT Books, and I looking forward for Nancy Werlin's other title.

Some of my favorite quote from this book :

"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."

"Was true love when you wanted to slap someone and kiss him madly at the same time?" ==> I agree with this *LOL*
1 review2 followers
September 10, 2009
The only thing worse than this book is that some people like it. I rolled my eyes so many times while reading I'm surprised that my eyes were on the pages long enough to make out sentences. Let me take you through the premise, step by step, and yes-spoiler alert-but the only thing that would have really shocked you about the plot is how thoroughly predictable it is. No twists here.

I swear Nancy Werlin wrote this gem on her lunch break.

We have our heroine: a 17 year old punky high school student who, and this is beaten into our brains, is EXTREMELY RATIONAL. Guys, she is super logical. Did we mention she is not crazy? Because she is definitely not. Her mother, however, is a crazy bag woman and the only redeemable part of the novel because there is a scene where crazy bum mom throws bottles from her cart at her daughter and it is laugh-out-loud funny. (I think it's supposed to be heart wrenching.) Oh I should also mention that our rational 17 year old is also one of those beautiful heroines who just can't see how beautiful she is, because that is a pre-requisite to writing predictable fantasy. Did I mention she was very logical? That will be important later on, because a curse might make her go insane. So, one more time. Her sanity is alive and kicking.

The other characters to round out the story: a beautiful elf faerie man (whatever)who is clearly evil, step parents who are as bland as raw potatoes, and the ruggedly handsome next door neighbor who, within a few pages of being introduced "sees" our heroine "as he has never seen her before." (Those aren't direct quotes from the book, I'm just being snarky here.)(They actually could be, however I refuse to go back and check as I would have to read this book again.) Note to our hero: those feelings you have are called teenage hormones, and I'm pretty sure you should know by now what a crush feels like, but whatever.

Our heroine gets raped on prom night by elf faerie man in a human suit, and it is so hard to read this glossy, awkward, bland style of writing treating such a difficult subject. The truth is, the writer doesn't really touch on it in depth except for a chapter where our heroine learns how to enjoy non forced sex from her slutty friend and IT IS A CHAPTER LONG though of course, thank goodness, we are spared from details.

There is a curse, but no one should care. The author clearly only cares about the budding relationship between boring Hero and unbelievable Heroine. She gets pregnant from the rapist, decides to keep the baby, and decides to marry Hero, in the course of a couple chapters. The tasks she must complete to remove the curse are supposed to be clever solutions, but the solutions are awkward and a little obvious.(Make a seamless shirt without a needle. They made one with duct tape. Uh. Okay?) I don't think the author thought too long and hard about how to solve the riddles in the Simon and Garfunkle song, and I wouldn't really blame her for that, except she decided to write a book about it. So.

In between each tiny chapter, huge spaces of time are accounted for. It's in between the chapters that the (supposed) interesting things happen. The chapters themselves sound more like recaps of a really boring TV show.

I have now spent more time than I should have talking about this book. But I beg of you, do not read it. I don't care that it is YA. You don't have to talk down to teenagers, you don't even have to talk down to kids. JK Rowling and CS Lewis proved that pretty well. YAs deserve better than this.

Instead of reading this, read "Graceling." A YA fantasy novel where the heroine doesn't like marriage! WHAT! Finally!

This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Kimberly Francisco.
706 reviews107 followers
December 16, 2009
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 by dialogue afterward.

The most interesting part of the plot (breaking the curse by completing the three tasks) is tangential to the book! Eesh! I'm on page 244 and am still waiting for it to really delve into that part. Guess I shouldn't hold my breath.

My regency romances are more believable than the romance between Lucy and Zach.


I was so confused by the whole mannequin scene. Why wouldn't she use the mannequin? Because it had weird looking fingernails? What? Another plot point that makes no sense and is merely used as an excuse to have Zach awkwardly pop a boner.

I read cheap mass market fantasies all the time and the characters, themes, dialogue, and plot are all more authentic than what I found in this book. I'm so sad that I actually spent money on it.

Wicked Lovely and Graceling are both so much better. I wasn't in love with Wicked Lovely and it's still eons better. I feel like re-reading Graceling just to get a good dose of "HEY NOT GETTING MARRIED BEFORE YOU'RE TWENTY (or maybe ever) IS A-OKAY" into my sytem. Aghhhhhhh
Profile Image for Jennifer Wardrip.
Author 5 books478 followers
September 24, 2008
Reviewed by Sally Kruger aka "Readingjunky" for TeensReadToo.com

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 lyrics of the song. Until now it seemed the curse would carry on forever.

Lucy Scarborough, now seventeen, has always known her birth mother was Miranda Scarborough, but luck brought her into the lives of Leo and Soledad Markowitz. They have raised her since birth and understand the complications of her life story. Through the years they have been plagued by visits from Miranda. Her insanity has been the cause of many embarrassing situations. Now, as Lucy is approaching her last year in high school, she hopes that she can avoid anymore encounters with her crazy mother and get on with her life.

Early in the story, Lucy is preparing for her prom and her date with Gray Spencer. Her adopted parents are nervous about the date since it is one of her first, and they haven't actually met Gray. As the couple is posing for pictures and is about to leave for the evening, the unthinkable happens. Miranda shows up in her baggy T-shirt and flowing skirt, pushing her rusty shopping cart full of bottles and cans. Everyone is shocked when she begins to attack, throwing glass bottles at everyone in the yard. She is finally hauled away by the police, but not before Gray makes a get-away in his new car, leaving Lucy humiliated and dateless.

Just when Lucy is ready to give up on him and attend the prom with a long-time childhood friend, Gray returns, apologizes for running off, and begs her to still be his date. She happily accepts, but it proves to be the beginning of yet another horrible experience. As the two are leaving the prom later that evening, Gray takes Lucy aside and forces himself on her. The experience is not only terrible, but also puzzling as Lucy tries to connect the gentle high school boy with the vicious act and the sinister voice she hears during that attack.

Weeks after the prom, Lucy discovers she has followed in the footsteps of the Scarborough women and become a pregnant teen. Will her fate be the same? Will she give birth to a daughter, and will she lose her mind?

Werlin creates an interesting mix of past and present. Lucy seems one moment to be a typical teen, and the next, the victim of an ancient evil. The turning of each page reveals another fact about the family curse. The lyrics of the song provide the clues necessary to break the curse, but those clues are not crystal clear and require creative solutions from Lucy and her helpful family and friends. Encouraged by hope and love, Lucy fights to change the direction of her life at the same time as she learns to accept the hand fate has dealt. Werlin fans will not be disappointed.
Profile Image for Jasprit.
527 reviews733 followers
August 27, 2011
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 towards the end. Overall Impossible was book with a interesting premise, but just not for me.

Thank you Lesley for lending me her copy :)
Profile Image for Angie.
645 reviews993 followers
January 21, 2009
"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 contemporary suspenseful folk fantasy with some hereditary insanity, a sweet romance, and one extremely dubious (and dangerous) elven knight.

Lucy Scarborough has spent her life with her adoptive parents because her mother, Miranda, is insane. Lucy manages to lead an eminently normal life interspersed with occasional random visits from Miranda, who is never really lucid beyond mumbling strange lyrics to "Scarborough Fair." But when prom night turns disastrous for Lucy it sets into motion an unbelievable chain of events and they all lead back to Miranda and an awful curse the Scarborough women have suffered under for centuries. Soon Lucy is rushing to beat the devil and save herself from insanity and her unborn daughter from sharing her unbearable fate. She is accompanied on this endeavor by her childhood friend Zack and her adoptive parents Leo and Soledad.

Impossible reminded me of an end of high school version of Pamela Dean's Tam Lin. It had that same eerie, lyrical feel to it and I had similar responses to both books. I enjoyed them but felt that the characters remained somehow aloof from the reader to a certain degree, with the result that the stories as a whole felt cold. Part of this removed feeling comes, I think, from the nature of the tales themselves. They center on truly cruel supernatural beings playing wanton games with desperate, usually outnumbered humans. I've loved similar storylines, but if I can't get into the desperate humans and really root for them, it's hard to stay involved. Despite this, I did like the easy friendship Lucy and Zack shared and how their growing feelings for each other both surprised them and made them stronger. And I especially appreciated the emphasis Werlin put on humble human triumph over haughty supernatural manipulation and how true love does not cloud judgement but enables one to see clearly.
Profile Image for Nicky.
4,138 reviews1,004 followers
March 19, 2015
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), and at others there’s very much a “no, every life is sacred” thing. There’s a risk of glorifying teen pregnancy, and glorifying martyrdom-by-having-your-rapist’s-baby which I’m very uncomfortable with.

And yet, as I said, free choice is emphasised so often; several positively portrayed characters express their support for abortion… I think it’s just a factor of the story’s set-up: if Lucy has an abortion, there’s no story, and there’s hints that the adversary in the story is manipulating things.

One thing it does glorify that I’m not sure about is very hasty marriage. The characters don’t seem mature enough for it, and it’s so immediate upon their realisation. She’s having a baby -> we must get married. And then, of course, there’s the fact that the whole plot of the story hinges upon centuries of rapes.

I’m not entirely sure what that comes to, overall. The writing is fairly simple and functional, though once or twice it does capture some moments perfectly — particularly Zach and Lucy’s relationship, and Lucy and Sarah’s friendship. I did feel a push to finish the book; I had to know how the mystery/riddle/curse worked out. I’m not sure I’d recommend it, but I found it interesting.
Profile Image for Arlene.
1,155 reviews643 followers
May 22, 2009
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 repeats herself a lot. For example she writes narrative such as "I think, I think, I think I'm pregnant." After several times of coming across that, I found it annoying and distracting.

Characters are shoved into the storyline carelessly where I think to myself... What? Where did this character come from? Main characters in the book do and say stuff that have me thinking WTH.... All of a sudden you love her and want to marry her? Much of it doesn't make sense, no matter how much you suspend your reality.

The novel promises suspense, fantasy, and romance, but I feel the author delivered those elements in the smallest doses possible. I didn't care for the story, and unfortunately cannot recommend it. Why did I give it two stars, then? Because, I feel the concept was original IMO, but the delivery fell short drastically. If the author would have spent a little more time developing Lucy and Zach's character and relationship, designed three tasks that were more meaningful rather than silly, and tighten up her writing style, she might have had a stronger novel in the end. That's too bad.
Profile Image for Thomas.
1,403 reviews8,133 followers
October 24, 2010
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, much less a book out of "Scarborough Fair", and she did both amazingly. There were some parts where the writing seemed a little too formal, or possibly unfeeling, but I still really liked it. The incorporation of the Elfin Knight was also unusual and creative, although a bit creepy.

I'm looking forward to Extraordinary.
Profile Image for Susana.
985 reviews240 followers
December 27, 2013

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 could be worse.

Lucy, the main character, came out as this strong, level headed rational seventeen year old. She's an intelligent young lady, adopted by a loving couple, and with a pretty decent life... not counting the moments where her biological mother Miranda appears.
Miranda the crazy lady...

So how does a story that begins as strong as this did, end up with 1 star?

Yes, there's a rape in this book.
Look there's a reason I read fantasy. If I wanted to stick with real life I would just stick with newspapers.

If I had known this existed in the book, I wouldn't have picked it up.
But of course this is not the reason of the one star rating. The dismissive way in which the subject is dealt helped..

This is about the way Lucy deals with the situation...by my own words of course!

"okay, I was raped, but he died... and then he wasn't himself... he was possessed... so I guess, I should forgive him... yes, I forgive him."

You cannot treat a situation as this in such a careless way!!
Yes, she has the support of family and friends, and she goes to a counselor... or better yet, we are told she does. Because as many other things in this book, we are told not shown. Of course this compromises the depth of the story and characters.

Then there's the possession crap plot... look, why not make the "bad fairy guy" actually do it??

Because the "he was possessed" just stinks as an excuse! How many f*****g rapists have actually used that excuse??
I hated this... and this is supposed to be a young adult book. What kind of message will most girls get from this?

And of course she didn't go the police... because he was dead, and she had the support of family...~shakes head~

Having read this, I can honestly say that this isn't a fantasy book. This is a new adult book, that preaches on the importance of family, marriage, kids (very much against abortion), basically this is more whimsical than a fantasy book, yes. With the occasional paranormal element.

To say that the merging of reality and paranormal isn't well done, would be an understatement
Most of the plot takes place inside Lucy's house!! With her parents and Zach, the "kid" from next door, who is now living with Lucy's family.

So Lucy gets raped, and we don't see how that affects her. Or her family.
The bad guy, the magical entity that has been chasing all the women in Lucy's family, also has his hand on changing Lucy's day after pill,(how convenient is this?) and what do you know it?

The poor kid is pregnant.
Soon after, with the help of Zach who discovers Miranda's diary, Lucy finds some disturbing things about the Scarborough women:

_They are under a curse
_ They are doomed to get pregnant at age eighteen
_After giving birth they become insane.

Now repeat after me... Lucy is a rational teenager. A bright intelligent teenager about to enter university.
Why not an abortion?
She was raped!!!
And wouldn't an abortion end the curse?

But no, the teen enters the mode super mom, and decides to keep her baby... like her mother did.
But she need not to worry, because soon after, her friend Zach decides all of a sudden that he's in love with her.
Just like that.
They had never kissed, never talked about anything more than friendship. But suddenly he KNEW.
I call this the prince charming syndrome.

Lucy gets a little surprised in the initial seconds following the declaration... but then she's all: Oh, maybe I love him...

Of course you do...

Then there's another priceless gem:
Inspired in the folk song Scarborough Fair, Lucy has to fulfill three tasks if she wants to get rid of the evil elf king:

Tell her to make me a magical shirt

Parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme

Without any seam or needlework

Else she'll be a true love of mine

Tell her to find me an acre of land

Parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme

Between the salt water and the sea strand

Else she'll be a true love of mine

Tell her to plow it with just a goat's horn

Parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme

And sow it all over with one grain of corn

Else she'll be a true love of mine

And her daughters forever possessions of mine

Chore #1 Magical Shirt

One would expect, this would involve some brilliant plot...
Sadly no... imagine duct tape and fabric, and voilá:
One magical shirt.

Through this scene there's also an unforgettable moment. While trying on the magical shirt, Zach gets an erection, and as such decides to ask Lucy to marry him.

He gets on one knee and all... I kid you not.

She agrees, and THEN they kiss.
Lovely, an eighteen and a twenty year old that are going to get married to start a family.

Now, you may say: Oh, I can't wait to see what were Lucy's parents' reaction to that!!
Exactly!! Who wouldn't want to read it??
Unfortunately the author decided to skip it, and move forward to the eve of the wedding day.

Then there was the whole: Marriage overcomes trauma provoked by rape

This is a very chaste book!So there's no graphic, or non graphic scenes:
How Lucy deals with having sex with her virgin husband, after being raped:
Zach, lets go check our bedroom...
the next day.:
.. happy after sixteen hours in bed

Who needs trauma to mess up such a happy occasion, right?

Okay, as you can read, I could go on and on... but honestly this doesn't even deserve this!

Lucy gets married and after the wedding night suddenly ages:
My husband this... my husband that...
What was this?
It's like the author didn't feel that the girl was strong enough to deal with all this crap on her own. So of course lets thrown in a husband...at eighteen!!

Anti-feminism is not something that I enjoy. And this book has it in spades!!!
The pro teens marriage. The anti abortion guideline. It was all here.

Then the author also struck out with the idea of dual points of view. The thing is, Lucy and Zach are so similar in their povs that it became pathetic.

The story flows at a dramatic slow pace, where nothing important actually happens.
Like I also mentioned, most of the story takes place on the inside of Lucy's parents' house.

The paranormal elements are scarce, leaving me to wonder if the author forgot what kind of story the blurb indicated.

The remaining two chores were dealt at lightning speed at the end of the book..because who cares?

Readers of angsty and dramatic new adult genre, may come to appreciate this.
I am not one of those people.

Oh, and this is part of a series!!

Author Official Site

Buy (or not) Impossible
Profile Image for GraceAnne.
655 reviews56 followers
November 21, 2008
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.
Profile Image for Melanti.
1,256 reviews116 followers
August 25, 2016

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


Okay. That should do it.
Profile Image for Shannon .
1,216 reviews2,107 followers
May 9, 2010
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. After a tragic evening, Lucy learns that her family is cursed. Mother to daughter down through the centuries, the Scarborough women carry the curse of the Elfin Knight because their ancestor spurned his attentions. The curse is to have a daughter at eighteen and then become insane - and worse.

There is a way to break the curse, however. If Lucy can complete three impossible tasks before her baby is born, she will be free, Miranda will be free, and the spirits of the Scarborough women who came before will finally be free of the Elfin Knight, who doesn't relinquish what he believes is his for anything.

Lucy has an advantage over every Scarborough woman who's come before her: she has supportive parents who believe in the curse, and she has Zach. Time is running out, but together they will try to complete the impossible tasks.

Although the story lags in the middle, it has a strong beginning and ending that make up for it, and enough of an original story line to keep your interest. I liked how the whole idea germinated from the old folk song Scarborough Fair, of which there are many versions - Werlin created her own, ominous version. She points out, in her note at the back, that the lyrics of the Simon & Garfunkel version (and of the others? not sure) actually speak to someone who hates this woman. It's interesting how, after so long, we stop really hearing things like lyrics; then we get to rediscover things, and rethink things, when we do hear again.

The structure of the novel - of the second half, anyway - revolves around solving the puzzle of the impossible tasks, and yet this side of the story seems minor to the relationship growing between Lucy and Zach. It follows a fairly standard YA checklist - American YA has a particular style to it, a moralistic tone, that distinguishes it, and I've heard North American YA authors talk about how influential the Bible Belt mothers are in determining what gets published and what does well (not because they publish books, but because they buy them). Over the last few years I've read far more American YA than I ever did growing up (Australian YA doesn't often make it to NA I've noticed, but there's plenty of it back home), and I have to say I have noticed certain things that made the authors' comments click in my brain, one of those "Ahhhhh" moments (or as the Japanese would say, "a-soka", which is always more satisfying to say).

They just tend to have a kind of self-conscious, moralising, almost lecturing tone, a slightly plastic feel - hard to grasp but there all the same. It's not that the values in the books are bad, not at all; it's that they're handled so heavily, so clumsily, so in-your-face, and carry a whiff of being scared to tell the story of some teen whose life is harder, less black-and-white. I think this is why Speak worked so well for me. But I'm still trying to figure out and articulate my dissatisfaction with so much American YA (and maybe it isn't American YA, maybe it's 21st-century YA?), and I hate generalising about such a huge genre, it's not at all fair to it - there are so many excellent YA books coming out of the States, and I'd hate to be misunderstood about this qualm I have, which hinges on a cultural difference. But I digress.

Impossible fits the formula, focusing on the importance of a supportive family in the face of teenage pregnancy, and being responsible. The good morals are all here, like sex after marriage (Lucy's best friend is an obvious device to show the bad side of giving out) - and I wonder if it was made "easier" for her family to be supportive by setting the scene for the pregnancy the way it was done, by removing Lucy's rights? As in, one way of getting pregnant is forgivable even if horrible but if it's through an act of irresponsibility and teen hormones it's not? Now that I'm thinking of it, my opinion is declining even further.

In fact, I have a rather mixed response to this book. There were things that irked me, things that were a tad sickly-sweet and goody-goody that made it unrealistic (and I'm not talking about an elfin curse here, but the human stuff). Events moved swiftly, and it's largely the fault of the writing that they always had a pre-scripted feel. It's also the fault of the writing that I got bored halfway through, and had to force myself to keep going. I liked the fantasy elements but they're thin on the ground - the story is mostly a "coming-of-age" tale emphasising co-operation, family values, true love (versus hormonal lust?) and a kind of Biblical fortitude and perseverance. If it had been grittier, more edgy, more impossible, it may have had more power. It's not that the values the story supports aren't worthy - I especially appreciated the focus on family support and trust - but that it made the characters dull and passive. The story lacked conflict. It lacked real tension. I love the premise, but the execution is lacklustre. Even the bad guy, the Elfin Knight, is just too easy, too obvious.
Profile Image for Misty.
796 reviews1,229 followers
April 5, 2010
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 with the expected "happily ever after." I like having that doubt when I read a story, because I like thinking that an author is going to do what's right for the story and the characters they have created, and not cop out with an easy, happy ending. Because of this realistic streak and clearheadedness from Lucy, the magical elements of the story, no matter how far-fetched, seemed more balanced and true, which I definitely liked. Lucy felt real, and I cared about her and the plight of the Scarborough women.

And I liked what Werlin did with the ballad. In her afterword, Werlin talks about how the book came about, saying she loved the Simon and Garfunkel version as a kid, but as she got older and really listened to the words (in which a man requests that a woman complete impossible tasks to be his true love), she had an epiphany: he doesn't love her, he hates her. Faced with this new 'understanding' of the ballad, Werlin set about fleshing out their story; clearly, there was once something between them, but something soured it. Her story of Impossible grew from this seed. This idea really struck me. I liked the idea that she was revisiting something and approaching it from a fresh angle, and that whole "thin line between love and hate" element was brilliant, I think, and a very adult take for a YA novel. I really liked this aspect.

Unfortunately, it was inconsistent. Werlin's adult application to the story wasn't carried throughout. Sometimes the writing was very adult and forward, and sometimes it was almost juvenile and a bit weak for me. The characters, too, were inconsistent. The Elfin Knight (bad guy of yore) was very villainous, for sure; at times he made my skin crawl, which was great*. But there are more fine lines than the one between ♥/hate, and his villain-line was occasionally crossed into cheese territory. I wish she would have dialed it back just a bit at the end. And though Lucy felt fleshed out and real to me, the other important characters felt occasionally cardboard. Not always, by any means, but I just found myself wishing for a little more from them.

Now, all this being said, I didn't dislike the story. It didn't live up to the excitement generated by its cover or the subject matter, or to the really good threads I saw running through it -- but it wasn't a failure, either, and I don't regret buying it. I could tell it was well researched and plotted out, but it just had a tendency, especially in the beginning, to feel a little clunky and young. In spite of this, I found myself engaged, and I didn't ever not want** to read it; I found myself thinking about Lucy and the tasks, and the story in general, and that's a good sign. With a little more finesse, I think I'd give it an enthusiastic recommend, but instead it's a reserved one. If you like fairytale retellings and stories that make you a little uncomfortable, you'll like this one and will likely be able to overlook the issues; if you don't, I'm just not sure...

*Yep. Great skin-crawling. But that means it was effective, so that's a + in my opinion.
**If that made any sense...
Profile Image for Melissa Erin Jackson.
Author 17 books363 followers
November 26, 2013
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 also between children and their parents, between best friends.

The book follows seventeen-year-old Lucy Scarborough, who is being raised by foster parents. They adore her, she adores them. Aside from Lucy’s crazy biological mother Miranda, who pops up every now and again to wreak emotional havoc, everything else is peachy in Lucy’s life. A little too peachy, to be honest. That is, until the day Lucy finds out she’s cursed. If she doesn’t break it, she will go insane. Just like her mother did. Just like all of the Scarborough women. There is a way to break the curse, but none of her ancestors have been successful. And Lucy’s time is running out. As the name of the book would suggest, Lucy’s situation seems impossible. Or... it’s supposed to.

The first sixty or so pages feel forced; the plot laid out in a way that’s almost too obvious. The flow of the writing is what kept me invested in these first sixty pages. Which says a lot, because there was a disconnect between the "normal" elements of Lucy's life and the "fantasy" elements that felt jarring at times. Sometimes downright silly! I found it hard to latch on and really believe what was happening. When Miranda shows up on the night of Lucy’s prom and starts chucking glass bottles at Lucy, it was hard to keep from laughing. I just kept thinking, "My god! This is ridiculous!"

When Zach, one of Lucy’s closest friends, began to play a more vital role in the story, I got hooked and devoured most of the book in one sitting. I couldn’t put it down. The love did feel pretty epic. And I was buying it. But then came the proposal and Werlin started to lose me again...

Although the circumstances Lucy finds herself in are awful, I still didn’t feel for Lucy the way I wanted to. There's a complete lack of conflict within her relationships. While I’m as much for love conquering all as the next girl, there wasn’t much for love to conquer. Everyone was behind Lucy, fell all over themselves to help her, and didn’t ask too many questions. Or any, really. I wanted to feel her struggle. I wanted to be right there with her, consumed with her hardship. I wanted to truly feel like it was impossible for her to succeed. I wanted the odds to be so against her that I felt I was going to collapse under the weight of it... and then have love pull her out of the wreckage.

The story was told well, but the race against time felt more like a leisurely walk to the finish line. As readers, we always assume--and hope!--that our hero/heroine will ultimately succeed. But we want the urgency, the fear, the threat of impossibility. What if she doesn’t succeed? What then! Those questions--and needing to know their answers--are what makes us turn the page. I never doubted that Lucy would succeed. Which, somehow, made me feel a little less invested in her plight.

Would I suggest it? I’m on the fence. It was an entertaining read, and I gobbled it up in only a few days. But I was left feeling a little cheated.
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