Timm, in his debut, enters the YA world with an imaginative take on pursuing dreams.
Timm masterminds a fantastical setting, rife with inventive terminology: the Fairy Intelligence Agency; Exclamation Point, the cliff where every wish goes to rest until its fulfillment; and the WishKeepers (fairies) and WishMakers (humans), simply referred to as Keepers and Makers. Due to all the unfamiliar language in the foreign land of Paragonia, the first 15 of 48 chapters paint a curious world with numerous questions that are answered later in the relatively lengthy book. The action follows Shea, a stubborn fairy with a tumultuous past whose present reality includes a lot of disappointment and bullying. She evolves into a classic YA heroine: broken but brave, angry but hopeful. A relatable protagonist, she begins taking risks to make her own wishes come true: “All she ever asked or wished for was a chance. But she might just need to create that chance on her own and she was done feeling sorry for herself.” Timm takes some risks, too, by navigating the relatively uncharted territory of lesbian love in YA fiction via Avery, who has deep feelings of love for Elanor. Timm takes on the fantasy gamut with finesse, including everything from high jinks to romance. There are cry-worthy scenes, as with the drama of a daughter grieving for her dead mother, and amusing moments, particularly with Shea’s snappy assessments of various wishes. In many ways, the conflict is resolved by book’s end, though a two-page epilogue will whet readers’ appetites for Book 2. Parents will appreciate the book’s inspiring message and the courage it might stir in young readers.
An action-packed, dramatic tale with a nonstandard relationship and a winning message.