Among Others

Among Others
Jo Walton, 2011

Hugo Winner - 2012

Premise: Mori was a twin. Mori lived in Wales with her mother and her relatives and the fairies. Now facing boarding school in England due to the demands of her father's family, she must navigate her family, the world, her responsibilities, and first love—alone.

This shouldn't work. It's a fictional diary chock full of references to novels from the '60s and '70s. The fantasy is delivered mostly with an incredibly light touch. 

It's amazing. I adored it.

I love the voice. She's authentically a bookish teenager who can debate the morality of a sci-fi novel in one breath, make fun of an adult's fashion sense in the next, and despair both over a cute boy and a deep family trauma. The magic she's experienced is explicitly vague and coincidental, raising all sorts of fascinating questions both about reality and about ethics. 

The narration even felt just potentially unreliable enough to keep me guessing through much of the book. Due to the diary structure, the plot seems like it's meandering sometimes, but it's just as fun to read about her relationships with the girls at school as her attempts to contact fairies, etc. And everything serves the same ends - following along as she rebuilds her relationship with the world and everyone around her after a nearly unthinkable tragedy.

I wanted to go read all the books she's read (those I haven't already), and I feel like I know the characters well. It's just a fantastic book all around.

5 Stars - An Awesome Book


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