Wednesday, 8 October 2008

Lonely Werewolf Girl

Lonely Werewolf Girl
by Martin Millar is a fabulous novel. A story about Kalix MacRinnaich, youngest daughter of the ruling Werewolf Family of Scotland, who is the lonely Werewolf Girl of the title. I was lucky enough to pick this up on a day home sick - Monday - and I spent all day reading it. I can't say enough good things about this book, because it has everything. Teenage angst, dysfunctional family, werewolves, fairies, elemental spirits, clan gatherings, friendship, love, betrayal, and fashion. Yes, fashion. This is the funniest novel I have read in a long time, and I mean I laughed out loud many times during this novel. It also has some very heart-breaking moments, because we are dealing with teens, to whom every disaster is the last one that can be survived, and hearts get broken so easily. I cried when Kalix was about to die. Funny thing that. She might be a werewolf, but she is also a human girl when she's human, and her loneliness after running away from her family is so real and so poignant that I cried. It's a feeling every young adult has as they set out from home - or, if not all people, then certainly those that escape from unhappy homes, as I did. I understood Kalix, even as I got mad at her for resisting any help, and yet her family is so dysfunctional that eventually her behaviour makes sense. And how she makes friends is part of the pure magic and delight of this novel. I loved it. It is one of the best reads I've had this year.

And yes, the fashion was an intrinsic part of the story, and very funny: "But really, who can blame the Duchess? One cannot be answering requests to deal out blazing destruction when one's frocks are the subject of public ridicule."
or this from the Queen of the Fire Elements: "Do you mind if I remain when Dominil comes to visit? I am curious about this white-haired wolf before whom all tremble."
Thrix looked at Malveria.
"Just how bored are you these days?"
"Very bored," admitted Malveria. "Sometimes I regret that I so completely vanquished my enemies."
or this description of cricket: "Daniel tried to explain the rules of -" Malveria paused. "What is the human game that requires white clothes and a great deal of time?"
"That is it. Cricket. Apparently the rules of this game are most puzzling and complex. Daniel tried to explain these rules to Vex. As a consequence of this I understand she almost lost consciousness, and had to be helped to a chair, in a very poor state of mind."

This is my favourite two lines from the book: "It was good to have a cheerful werewolf in the house. Much better than a suicidally depressed werewolf."

I would recommend this book to anyone over the age of 14 who can read and enjoys a fun, gripping, slightly scary - because werewolves are frightening creatures, and there is plenty of death and bloodshed in this book - hilarious, well-written novel. It is brilliant.

I have had to take a tiny break from reading horror after this book. 8 straight books of horror for RIP3!! Because I finished Everything's Eventual by Stephen King, which I am going to review tomorrow because one story scared me so much that this book deserves its own post also. I am reading Tainted Blood by Arnuldur Indridason, the first book in his Iceland mystery series. Yes, a mystery, not much of a change from horror! but not horror, so I can get a break from the adrenaline horror gives.

I am so glad I read Lonely Werewolf Girl, and I suspect this will become a yearly or biannual read for me. This is one of my top 10 reads for the year.


Anonymous said...

Definitely something new to me, but as you recommend it, I've ordered it. Goodness knows what the library staff will say about a title like that!

Jeane said...

It sounds pretty good. I'm going to have to look for it.

Ana S. said...

I'm so glad you enjoyed it so much, Susan! I haven't started it yet - I was going to, but then The Graveyard Book arrived, and I just couldn't put The Graveyard Book on hold :P But I'll get to it this weekend, and I'm even more excited after your review!

Have you read his Good Fairies of New York yet? If not, you really have to! It's brilliant too, and it was one of my favourite reads of last year.

PS: My signed copy came from his website. Isn't it cool that he sells them there?

Emily Barton said...

Love the butterfly picture, and I've now got this one on my "to read" shelf.

Susan said...

table talk: thanks! I hope you do enjoy it! and I have his new one - The Good Fairies of New York -which looks good - check out Nymeth's link to the author's site. He's funny!

jeane: I hope you can get it.

nymeth: I have to come see it you've read it yet! I have the Graveyard Book now, so it's next on my list, I hope this week! And thanks so much for the link, I've gone several times already, and since he likes Buffy, Veronica Mars and *Arsenal*, well, I feel like his is a must-read column now!!! Plus need to find Thraxis while I'm over there at Christmas!! Let me know when you've read LWG, so I can add your post link :-)

emily: thanks! and glad I could talk you into reading it. I think I signed up on Goodreads but now I can't remember by password, and need to catch up on LibraryThing because most of my library still isn't on.

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