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Title: The Girl Who Never Was (Otherworld #1)
Author: Skylar Dorset
Publication Date: June 1, 2014
Synopsis: "Today is my birthday."
In Selkie's family, you don't celebrate birthdays. You don't talk about birthdays. And you never, ever reveal your birth date.
The instant Selkie blurts out the truth to Ben in the middle of Boston Common, her whole world shatters.
Because her life has been nothing but a lie—an elaborate enchantment meant to conceal the truth: Selkie is a half-faerie princess.
And her mother wants her dead.
Review: I had ridiculously high expectations for this book. Like, way unreasonably high. And honestly, The Girl Who Never Was delivered on all accounts, and then some! I absolutely adored this book, and when I finished it I was so glad that I had an early copy of The Boy With The Hidden Name so that I could pick it up immediately.
This book does start off a little slow, but it makes sense and definitely picks up the pace pretty quickly. Selkie starts off as a pretty average girl living a pretty average life, so I was ok with the plot not really doing much of anything at first. It's a nice introduction to the characters before we get into the crazy stuff. And then once she tells Ben her birthday... everything changes and kept me on the edge of my seat!
The world building in The Girl Who Never Was is done very well, and I enjoyed learning more about the faerie world as Selkie did. She's just as clueless as the reader, which was nice. Information dumps are often done in the form of conversation, so it didn't read slowly or anything. I found it interesting how certain parts of our world are more magical than others and how Skylar incorporated places with real faerie stories/hoaxes into the book. I think it made it more relatable to us regular people.
I also thought that the romance was done very well. Sure, Ben measures time differently than Selkie and has probably been around much longer than she has, but they still work really well together and watching their friendship turn in to something more was fun and exciting. It's an important part of the book, but it isn't always front and center, and takes a backseat when there are other significant things going on. Selkie's feelings do influence her decisions, but they also tend to help get her out of sticky situations.
If you are looking for a really great fantasy book, look no further than The Girl Who Never Was! It has everything I look for in a great fantasy, and is written with excellent prose. Skylar has a way with words that makes them come alive and jump off of the page, and I can't wait to see what she has in store with the rest of this series! A 4/5!