My Faire Lady is the debut Young Adult novel by Laura Wettersten. It’s been on my list of must-reads since I read the synopsis ages ago. This week afforded me the opportunity to pick it up finally and I blew through it at warp speed. It was exactly what I needed this week.
Rowena Duncan is under a lot of pressure. It’s the beginning of summer between her junior and senior year and her parents will not stop pestering her about college, specifically an economics or business program or some direction that she has no interest in. To top it off her boyfriend for the last year, Kyle, has just broken up for her for the freshman girl he was cheating on her with. She has a summer job lined up at the mall but she knows if she starts it she will see Kyle and Lacey frequently. All she wants is peace. Determined to avoid them she makes a decision. A google search yields a job possibility that will allow her to paint for the summer, which is all she wants to do. After an interview she lands the job and finds herself in the strangest surroundings ever – King Geoffrey’s Renaissance Faire.
Ro settles in and befriends her tent mate, Suze. She meets two men immediately; Christian a gorgeous night of the jousting ring and Will, a young man who monitors the parking lot and has a whip show. Suze encourages Ro to have fun for the summer and engage in a fairemance, which is exactly what it sounds like. Determined to forget Kyle, she pursues Christian, even though she thinks he is out of her league. All the while her friendships with Will and Suze grow and Ro finds herself blossoming at the faire.
My Faire Lady is light and fun, a perfect summer read. I found myself staying up late at night to read it, completely charmed. Wettersten captures the spirit of an uncertain high school girl beautifully. Ro is spirited and creative yet perfectly flawed. She questions herself often but not to an annoying degree. It’s the perfect balance of child-on-the-verge-of-adulthood and someone who is assured in their own skills. As such she doesn’t always make great decisions and it makes her feel completely real to the reader. I loved her.
However, I did have one moment of uncertainty with this book. There’s a moment in the book where one of the characters shames her for a decision that she’s made. It’s one of those “We both are guilty of this thing but I’m blaming you because you said this to me” moments. Why this annoyed me is because Rowena instantly spirals into a moment of doubt and self-loathing because she falls it and blames herself. It’s victim shaming at its worse. That said, Ro recovers from it with believable aplomb and the incident reads as how a real teenager would react to it. It’s still victim blaming, but it’s also a character building moment that plays out beautifully. I’m very happy with how Wettersten handled this moment of growth for Rowena.
Light, fun, easy and breezy. Romantic in all the right ways, and happy. It’s the perfect beach read for 2014. Go buy it.
4 out of 5 stars.
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