Warped. I've reread this book several times already. It has enough magic and mystery, with just a touch of romance to make this the kind of book to earn a spot on my favorites bookshelf, the most coveted space in my library. To begin, a little about Warped.
Tessa Brody has a strange feeling about the unicorn tapestry she just had to have once she'd seen it up for bid at an auction she attended with her dad. Once she has it in her possession the dreams start up, revealing visions of a way of life long since forgotten. But the dreams are the least of Tessa's worries when she ends up pulling a thread from the tapestry only to find a young nobleman tumbling onto her floor.
William de Chuacy has been trapped in the tapestry for centuries and his disappearance has been a concern for the Sisters of Fate, or the Norn sisters, for some time. Now that he has reappeared, the Sisters mistakenly believe that Tessa was behind the dark magic that had been stealing lives, including William's, centuries ago. Now it's up to Tessa, with the help of her best friend Opal and the reluctant William, to find a way to stop the true enemy before Tessa's life is forever mangled and destroyed.
I'd been looking for a more fantasy/adventure-centered Young Adult novel and finally found a site detailing the release of Warped by Maurissa Guibord. I pre-ordered a copy and devoured it in one sitting. Guibord's writing is clean and precise, with the narration being third person as opposed to the ever popular first person narratives that takes up most of the Young Adult world (no offense meant; my own writing always comes out in first person). The plot is neat; nothing seems extraneous and nothing ever drags. The threads (ha!) of Guibord's novel come together with great skill and there is a definite understanding of mystery and suspense in the writing that boosts this release above your average Young Adult romantic hoopla. After careful consideration there can only one logical conclusion about this release.
I loved every second of this book.
Talk about being stuck between a rock and a hard place. Tessa has the Fates on one side, who are somewhat arrogant and unconcerned with the idea of destroying Tessa's life for the sake of restoring the balance of their weaving (as of course, being the Sisters of Fate, they work with the threads of life in all manners of existence). Then Tessa has her unknown enemy on the other side, desperate to get the tapestry back and willing to do whatever it takes to keep what they have stolen and hoarded for years out of Fate's possession. Tessa has her hands full working out just how precisely her fate is tangled with William's and figuring out how she can fix everything on her own without making things worse.
Without a doubt in my mind, Tessa Brody is the necessary anchor that keeps this story an engaging read. She was tough, smart and not so easily cowed by threats she couldn't understand and patient in her dealings with a young man stuck out of time. I loved the relationship she had with her dad. It's believable in the sense that it's not overdone; there is a balance between father and daughter that makes them realistic. While most YA novels have parents strictly on the sidelines, Guibord has given a voice to the father figure in her story and it works. It's an admirable feat when sometimes it feels like parents just don't exist in the Young Adult world.
Tessa's best friend Opal rocks (and with a name like Opal, what does anyone really expect? Such an awesome name, really.) She's unconventional and unique and she always has Tessa's back which is evident throughout the entire book. I loved the sense of adventure that Guibord gave Opal. Tessa's life is turned right around in no time and Opal takes it in stride and does her best to help out in every situation as they come up in the story. Truly kick-ass best friend material, as Guibord so plainly put it in the book.
There were times that William somewhat grated on my nerves but I could excuse him on the grounds that it is unimaginable what he must be going through having been captured for so long and not knowing who he can trust now that he's free. His family and his lands have long since faded into the past so it must be painful for him to walk around in our time knowing what he has lost. But that doesn't give him a free pass all of the time and his general mistrust of Tessa throughout most of the story had me wanting to slap him upside the head a number of times. But again, must excuse his behavior, as I'm sure noblemen had a difficult time bending their rigid ways and learning new things. Kudos to Guibord on this because had William been too perfect, this book would have been unbearably cheesy and would have flopped in my opinion. Flaws are good, people. Never trust the perfect, pretty specimens; they're the ones that shouldn't be trusted. So bravo Guibord on the creation of William.
As for the enemies of this story, I found myself extremely frustrated with the Norn sisters, as Guibord calls them. These women have had no interactions people and their lack of compassion and poorly communications skills are plainly obvious. I guess as long as they do their jobs it really doesn't matter but the whole idea of Warped shows that sometimes, even the Fates don't manage to keep everything right. And that's a powerful idea to play with. The main enemy of the story, the stealer of the threads that the sisters are so desperate to retrieve, will get little mention here, as revealing any information would be so SPOILERS, I can't imagine the possibility of writing it out for this review. I know, some of you out there are probably thinking that in person, I am the Queen of Spoilers, but in the honest act of writing I DO manage to restrain myself, thank you very much. Suffice to say, the fate of this enemy and the life they have led are an impressive feat of imagination provided to us readers by Guibord.
Highly recommended. Take note. I carried this book around so much over the last year, I've mangled the cover and even have minor tears (ouch!) on some of the pages. I loved this story and to me, the ending had the perfect setup for a sequel and yet despite my searches I have found no info on an upcoming return to this world.
Rating: 8 Stars
(Okay, so originally this was a 5 Star book on my old scale, but for my new scale, an 8 or higher is awesome for my ratings. So this decline in Stars in no way means anything bad for this book, I just want my ratings to be a bit more specific, and while I do enjoy this book, it's the only one I've read by this author so far so I need to be a bit more exact with my ratings, so 8 it is.)