11 October 2010

Skulduggery Pleasant

Skulduggery Pleasant
Derek Landy

One of my new favorite things about being a librarian is watching kids get excited about books - especially when they are recommending books to me.  This particular book (actually the series) was recommended to me by Di Herald.  When the second and third books of the series arrived in my library, one of my 8th graders absolutely wigged out.  When I admitted to her that I hadn't read the first book, she literally ran to the stacks, grabbed the book and forced me to check it out right then.  Every day after I checked it out, she came in before school and asked about my progress to see how far into the book I'd gotten and what I thought.

And guess what?  I LOVED it.  What a fun read!  The premise of the book is that the normal, humdrum life of a young girl (I think she's 12 or 13) is upended when she inherits a fortune from her eccentric author uncle.  She meets his close friend, Skulduggery Pleasant, and is drawn into a world of magic she never knew existed because she - like Skulduggery - believes that her uncle was murdered.

Once again, I realize how awesome YA fiction is!  This book moved so fast I had trouble putting it down at all.  And it's not all fluff and silly magic fantasy stuff - there are life lessons hidden in those lines.  Stephanie stuggles with trusting adults and fighting against their opinions that she's 'just a little kid'.  I will say that I was bothered by how quickly Stephanie disregarded her family, but at the same time, she's a teenager (barely a teenager), and we all know how difficult it is for teenagers to think about others.  I really enjoyed the idea of three names - your given name, the name you take and your true name.  By choosing a name (your taken name), you secured your given name and thus break any power that others might hold over you.- in a way, it's like a rite of passage.  What I don't think that young Stephanie (or any teenager for that matter) thought about was the fact that once she chose a name, she would remain a part of the magical world forever.  Sometimes we forget that our actions have lasting consequences - and if your life isn't exactly what you'd imagined it would be, it's easy to make a rash decision that will have long lasting consequences.