Tithe by Holly Black
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
(from book flap)
Sixteen-year-old Kaye is a modern nomad. Fierce and independent, she travels from city to city with her mother’s rock band until an ominous attack forces the sixteen-year-old back to her childhood home. There, amid the industrial, blue-collar New Jersey backdrop, Kaye soon finds herself an unwilling pawn in an ancient power struggle between two rival faerie kingdoms-a struggle that could very well mean her death.
I read a review of this book on another blog and picked it up to fulfill what I can only explain to be my “Twilight” hole with some new fantasy characters. Unfortunately it didn’t quite work out so well. I think the difference between the Twilight “young adult” and this “young adult” fiction is that Stephenie Meyer didn’t actually indent to write for young adults. She had herself in mind while she was writing, while I’m almost100% sure that Holly Black was definitely writing something she felt would relate to young adults. I don’t have a problem with a goth or emo type feel, in fact, I didn’t really have a problem with the book at all. It just was not quite as entertaining as I had hoped for.
For me the characters were good, but not as complete as I like. I mean, you get a general idea of who Kaye is, but not really at the same time. What I mean is, you know that she’s a “bad” girl who dropped out of school, who shop lifts, smokes and travels around with her mom’s band from city to city essentially taking care of her mom on the way. But really, IS that who she is? How does she feel about this? You don’t really get to delve into the realm of Kaye. Her thoughts are locked away from the pages of the book. She was almost real to me, but not quite. Then the whole faerie thing. All of the sudden you reach a point in the book when she finds out she’s actually a faerie, and she doesn’t even take a moment to question it. She doesn’t really get mad, or happy or anything. In fact, outside of a little bit of gushing over Roiben, Kaye doesn’t seem to posses much emotion at all about anything. I also had a hard time envisioning Kaye as a faerie. I mean, green? Not just green, but GRASS green? I couldn’t do it. I could do the blond Japanese look, but not that giant (I’m assuming she was around 5’4″ish) green human, (did she still have blond hair, I don’t even know) with wings?? Maybe at 28 I’m just old enough not to get the glamor of it. I couldn’t think of it and still have her as a beautiful girl of the story, especially next to the handsome Roiben. It wasn’t happening for me.
Outside of character development, the story was pretty good. Enough to keep you going, not enough to make your heart beat and your brow break out in sweat in excitement. So, if you like fantisy, and young adult books, go ahead and try it. If you’re just out there looking for characters who remind you of Edward and Bella…this isn’t the stop you should make!