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The Blue Girl by Charles de Lint
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The Blue Girl (2004)

by Charles de Lint

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1,434457,927 (3.9)119
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Imogene ran with a bad crowd in her last school, but when she, her mother, and her brother move to Newford, she meets a girl, Maxine, who gets picked on and they become best friends. Imogene decides she’ll try to be straight and narrow. At the same time, she is no stranger to standing up for herself against the school bullies – in this case the head cheerleader and her football-playing boyfriend. When Adrian sees this from a distance, he falls for Imogene. But, Adrian is a ghost… with friends who are fairies. When he actually meets Imogene, he manages to get her into something dangerous. In the meantime, Imogene’s childhood imaginary friend, Pelly, shows up, but there’s something different about him.

I don’t believe any of my summary is a spoiler. It’s all on the blurb on the back of the book, and it’s all revealed very early on in the book. I really liked this! I do love the references to other characters in some of de Lint’s other Newford books, as well. The viewpoint changes between Imogene, Maxine, and Adrian, and a bit of back and forth in time, but you are told at the beginning of each chapter whose POV you are following and when, so I didn’t find it too tricky to follow. I would love to read more from Newford, but always hard to choose which one next! ( )
  LibraryCin | Dec 1, 2018 |
Imogene is new to Redding High, in the town of Newford. Having left her previous school because of fighting and gang activity, she resolves to work harder in school, and otherwise re-invent herself. But she refuses to give up her punk/thrift store wardrobe.

Imogene's first friend is Maxine, who everyone thinks of as a loser. It's because Maxine's mother is extremely domineering. Oddly enough, the friendship works.

Trouble is brewing. Imogene is noticed by the school bully, who is also captain of the football team. She makes the acquaintance of Adrian, the school's ghost. He is a former student who fell off the multi-story roof. He has also developed a crush on Imogene. She gets on the wrong side of a group of trouble-making fairies (no, they don't have wings and carry magic wands). As if that wasn't enough, Pelly, Imogene's imaginary playmate from when she was a child, is now real.

Adrian, inadvertently, makes Imogene known to the Soul Snatchers, beings who are best avoided at all costs. Pelly finds a Soul Snatcher "repellent", which temporarily turns Imogene's skin blue. Halloween is coming, when the barrier between worlds is at its thinnest. Is it possible to convince the Soul Snatchers to leave Imogene permanently alone? Does someone else get snatched in her place?

This is a very enjoyable young adult novel. The author is said to be the founder of the urban fantasy genre, and it certainly shows. The depiction of high school is very realistic, and it is just weird enough, without being too weird. Teens will love this story; so will adults. ( )
  plappen | Oct 27, 2018 |
I just finished rereading "The Blue Girl" for the first time in about four years (and unfortunately, only during this reading did I realize there are many, many more stories that take place in Newford). My favorite part about the story was Imogene's voice. She's brilliant and quirky and brave and fun, and of course, don't we all wish we were brilliant, quirky, brave and fun?

The adults--the parents, in particular, stood out to me as well. They weren't absentee parents, as is common in so many other YA books. Maxine's father didn't play much of a role in the story, and Imogene's father didn't at all, but both of their mothers featured relatively prominently. They were minor characters, of course, but what I like to call major-minor characters (as in, they show up and interact with major characters more than other minor characters). Maxine's mother even had her own character arch where she grew and began to recover from her divorce. It was interesting, because both mothers were very clearly supportive characters.

The best part of this story was when Imogene accepts the existence of fairies and realizes she hasn't been dreaming when she sees them. The reader already knew it, Maxine suspected, Christy knew it, Adrian knew it, Tommery knew it--it was totally common knowledge, and all that was left was for Imogene to discover her new reality. When she did, though--that one line ("It wasn't a dream.") was the single most chilling thing I've come across in I don't know how long. It was beautifully done, and it was a stroke of genius on Charles de Lint's part.

It was chilling because bad dreams aren't real. That's what everyone tells themselves, or each other, when we wake up in the middle of the night. "It's okay. It was only a dream. It's over now, it wasn't real. It was only a dream." But to discover that it wasn't just a dream, and that it isn't okay--that's one of the most horrifying things that can happen to someone.

After Imogene comes to that realization, though, the story drops off for a bit. It just isn't as exciting. The pace isn't kept up or anything; they're planning out how to defeat the bad guys and it's just unnecessary word fluff. I honestly got bored enough to think about quitting in the middle of the book, though I'm glad I stuck with it. The climax at the end is worth it. ( )
  whatsmacksaid | Sep 21, 2018 |
YA but still enjoyable. I liked it as an adult, but I think I would have LOVED it as a preteen or teen. I'm passing it on to my daughter to read. The characters really make the book. ( )
  GaylaBassham | May 27, 2018 |
This is an earlier entry into urban faeries that I've only just discovered. So that's two Charles de Lint's about faeries that I've found so far (other was "Jack the Giant Killer"), which makes me suspect that I should look for more of his stuff. I was pleased with the way things ended up, though a sequel wouldn't come amiss. ( )
  the1butterfly | Oct 6, 2017 |
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Epigraph
If I can dream
of waking in a dream,
how can I tell
I'm not dreaming now?
—Saskia Madding,
from "Thinking After Midnight"
(Spirits and Ghosts, 2000)
Dedication
For my nieces, Cassie, Jaz, & Kmore

with special thanks for astute aditorial advice to Julie Bartel, Sharyn November, and my dear wife MaryAnn
First words
It starts with this faint sound that pulls me out of sleep: a sort of calliope music played on an ensemble of toy instruments.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0142405450, Paperback)

Imogene Yeck, former gang member and current fairy butt-kicker, is the cool "blue girl" at the center of Charles de Lint's latest urban fantasy novel. Seventeen-year-old Imogene jumps at the chance to lose her bad girl reputation when her family moves to a new town. She purposely lays low at Redding High, only making friends with Maxine, a shy, studious girl who is Imogene's opposite in every way. Despite a few run-ins with the ruling football jock and his cheerleader girlfriend, Imogene keeps her temper in check and even lends some of her bravado to Maxine, who begins to come out of her straight-A shell. Things are going well for the new friends--until the day Imogene meets Adrian, the benign ghost of a boy who died in the school's parking lot. Adrian and Imogene's unusual connection attracts the unwelcome attention of Redding High's resident Little People, or fairies. Affronted by streetwise Imogene's lack of belief in them, the fairies set into motion a malevolent prank that will not only turn Imogene completely blue from head to toe, but pit her, Adrian and Maxine against some of the most frightening beings of the Otherworld--the soul-sucking Anamithims. de Lint's Blue Girl reads like a really well-executed episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer--smart and thought provoking, without taking itself too seriously. Although the action builds slowly, the final scene, involving a bucket of blue paint, a knife fight, and green monster blood, is absolutely worth it. Buffy fans who enjoy meeting Imogene and Co. will also want to check out Holly Black's dark fairy tale, Tithe, and Nina Kiriki Hoffman's modern ghost story, A Stir of Bones --Jennifer Hubert

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:05:33 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

New at her high school, Imogene enlists the help of her introverted friend Maxine and the ghost of a boy who haunts the school after receiving warnings through her dreams that soul-eaters are threatening her life.

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