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Blythewood    by Carol Goodman order for
by Carol Goodman
Order:  USA  Can
Viking, 2013 (2013)
Hardcover, e-Book
* * *   Reviewed by Jessica Maguire

Avaline Hall, Ava to her friends and family, has not had an easy life. In her sixteen years she has buried her mother, not known who her father is, and had to take up work at a factory. Then a horrific fire happens at the factory, Ava loses her best friend in the fire, and things go from bad to worse for the young woman.

The fire that killed her friend should have killed Ava, but a mysterious boy appeared out of nowhere and saved her. Thinking she has lost her mind Ava ends up, in and then escapes with the help of her long lost and wealthy grandmother, from an insane asylum. From there she is sent to Blythewood, the academy her mother attended. There the real trouble begins.

Blythewood turns out to be more than just a prestigious boarding school and the students learn more than just reading, writing, and arithmetic. The students at Blythewood are taught to hunt mystical beings and protect mortals against the evils of the Faerie world.

Ava wonders what her role at Blythewood is and why she is so important. She's also on a hunt of her own, to find out who her father is or was and why her mother was expelled from the school she so loved. Along her journey the mysterious boy who saved her at the factory fire reappears to save her on more occasions. It turns out he is a Darkling. After befriending him, Ava questions whether all in Faerie really are as evil as she has been taught.

I ended up really enjoying this book geared for young adults (but a great read for those who don't fall in the young adult category any more too!) The Harry Potter-esque blend of mortal and mystical worlds is beautifully crafted by the author. It was so fast-paced and action packed that I (like many others readers, I suspect) was barely able to put this one down!

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