Can I recommend a book based solely on its title? Because this one’s is fantastic. As it turns out, the rest of the My Unfair Godmother by Janette Rallison (YA, 2011, 339 pages) is just as fabulous as the title.
Tansy Miller has always felt that her divorced father has never had enough time for her. But mistakenly getting caught on the wrong side of the law wasn’t exactly how she wanted to get his attention. Enter Chrysanthemum “Chrissy” Everstar, Tansy’s fairy in shining, er, high heels. Chrissy is only a fair godmother, of course, so Tansy’s three wishes don’t exactly go according to plan. And if bringing Robin Hood to the twenty-first century isn’t bad enough for Tansy, being transported back to the Middle Ages to deal with Rumpelstiltskin certainly is. She’ll need the help of her blended family, her wits, and especially the cute police chief’s son to stop the gold-spinning story from spinning wildly out of control. Janette Rallison pulls out all the stops in this fresh, fun-filled follow-up to the popular My Fair Godmother.
There are few time travel novels that I have found as funny as this one. I’m talking laughing out loud several times while reading one page. I tend not to like books that feature fairies and other fantastical creatures (Ouch, I know, I’ve just alienated 50% of my blog audience), but the fairy godmother and leprechaun in this book were so original I minded them not a bit. Here’s a description of the leprechaun visiting Tansy for the first time:
His green suit was embroidered with leaves, but a couple of buttons were missing and the sleeves looked worn. Scuff marks lightened the front of his boots, and one heel was chipped.
A down and out leprechaun was sitting on my bed.
“You wouldn’t have something to eat around here, would you?” he asked. “A Ding Dong, perhaps? I’m partial to those.”
It was hilarious to see how Robin Hood and his Merry Men coped with the suburbs of the 21st century. Of course, a more creepy villain than Rumpelstilskin (I love Paul Zelinsky’s version of the story) could hardly be imagined, so I thought it was genius of the author to reimagine this character. There is some fun wordplay in the book such as this:
King John straightened and took a couple of steps away from me… “If you fail, tragically, we will turn you over to the executioner.” He tilted his head, considering. “Or if you fail tragically, we will turn you over to the executioner.” He bestowed another smile on me. “It’s where you put the emphasis in the sentence that makes the difference in what is tragic. Call us crazy, but we’ve always loved grammar.”
The main character, Tansy is richly developed. The second most important character in the story, the police’s chief’s son, is too, although he is a little too perfect, a minor quibble I have with the book. Not only is the story funny, it has a great plot–the stakes are high, and things move quickly. My Unfair Godmother is delightful from beginning to end.
Short youtube author interview.