Friday, June 3, 2011

Fairy Bad Day by Amanda Ashby

JUNE 9TH 2011
352 pages

While most students at Burtonwood Academy get to kill demons and goblins, fifteen-year-old Emma gets to rid the world of little annoying fairies with glittery wings and a hipster fashion sense. She was destined to be a dragon slayer, but cute and charming Curtis stole her spot. Then she sees a giant killer fairy - and it's invisible to everyone but her! If Emma has any chance of stopping this evil fairy, she's going to need help. Unfortunately, the only person who can help is Curtis. And now, not only has he stolen her dragon-slayer spot, but maybe her heart as well! Why does she think it's going to be a fairy bad day?

This is so much fun to read!  You only have to look at the cover to see those serious ass kicking shoes and the don't mess with me sword to know this ain't no Tinkerbell she's chasing.  Oh, well actually Emma, our heroine, is chasing little Tinkerbells at first because she was assigned that position by the principal-Fairy Slayer.  It doesn't matter that her mother was the best dragon slayer ever and she hunted with her mother.  It doesn't matter that she scored highest on dragon slaying tests.  It doesn't even matter that the entire school knows she'll be the next dragon slayer.  She's assigned to be a fairy slayer. A f-a-i-r-y- s-l-a-y-e-r!  The first in history.  Even the esteemed Sir Francis, the most powerful slayer of all time who wrote the book on slaying elementals doesn't know how to kill a fairy, so what's a girl to do?

And for six weeks she hunts down little Tinkerbells (for some reason I imagine little Smurfs with wings) because they're annoying, but otherwise harmless (and I find smurfs annoying).  The only problem is, Emma hasn't killed one fairy.  Now as a fairy lover, I had a hard time with the fact that she was going to kill these little, for the most part harmless, elementals.  But she didn't.  She found them annoying at most and informative at the least.  The only time she really tried to kill them was when she was trying to convince the principal Mr. Kessler that she'd be better at dragon slaying by being the best fairy slayer.  But she couldn't find their kill spot, ever.  So she never killed one.  Not the Tinkerbells.

The fairies actually bring a little levity to a serious situation further along in the book and become almost endearing, all but one fairy.  A huge evil ancient one that only Emma can see and no one believes her when she explains it.  What's worse, she has to partner with Curtis Green, the dragon slayer, the one that took her spot, and cross train him on fairy slaying.  Again, she doesn't know the kill spot, hasn't been able to kill the little Tinkerbells equals embarrassing.  But Curtis is on crutches after a dragon slaying accident and follows her with fascination, watching her lure them with skittles and frappuccinos.  But they fly away laughing at the two hunters.  Wings trump legs!

Emma is definitely a flawed character.  She's a sophomore at Burtonwood school that specializes in children with "the sight" meaning they can see elementals-fairies, trolls, dragons, demons and so on.  Her mother died five years ago and her father remarried and they are expecting a baby boy.  Emma is less than thrilled.  She thinks her father is trying to erase the memory of her mother.  Then there's the fact that Emma is single minded in trying to change the principle's mind about becoming a dragon slayer as if she's got something to prove.  But she's vulnerable and in her weaker moments, we see her emotions, fears, and pain at the loss  of her mother.  The story is told through her eyes and feelings in third person point of view.

Curtis is her male counter part, confusing as boys are apt to be.  He blows hot and cold so that Emma never knows if he likes her or not but he always has her back and always believes in her.  He, too, is flawed making him sensitive and caring.  He has secrets that he has to keep from Emma, secrets that perhaps make him more hesitant to trust Emma.  But it doesn't stop him from trying to get her to reconcile with her family as he has none.   And when she tells him about the evil ancient fairy, he has something that makes him able to see it too and together they work on a way to kill it.

The first part of the story is the world building and always tends to move at a little slower pace than the rest of the novel.  But as soon as the campus and classes are laid out and Emma's friends are introduced, the action starts and the pace is quick.  Fairy Bad Day is a long book for a paper back - it isn't mass market size.  But it seems to fly by as you're reading it, really no pun intended.

Amanda Ashby is very good at snarky humor in this especially with the fairies.  They are almost always up to something funny whether it's mooning Curtis or taunting Emma.  They seem to like to shop at the GAP though I didn't know clothes came in fairy size.  But the fairies provide a bit of levity at times that it was definitely needed.  During a fierce battle with the ancient fairy one of the little fairies says, "So there is a Sir Francis hotline.  I knew it!" as Emma comes up with yet another idea.

Loni and Tyler are two side characters I'd love to see more.  They were great friends to both Emma and Curtis.  Both the plot and characters were very well developed and worked great.  I was frustrated, scared, happy and in the end satisfied.  I don't want a trilogy Amanda, but I wouldn't mind seeing these characters again!  They were funny and endearing and  reminded me of friendships I made long ago.   We just didn't get the heels or the sword. Hey Amanda, where can I get some of those shoes?

Heather in Sandwich
Visit  Amanda Ashby


  1. Wonderful in-depth review. The cover is definitely what caught my eye, and I figured that the book would be a light, fun read. I'll definitely be keeping it on my TBR pile.

  2. Yeah- it's light and fun with some romance. It's a great beach read! I'd give you mine, but I'm hanging on to it so I can read it when I need something light again! Loved your 90's post!!


  3. Hah, great review! You had me excited right along with you. I heart snarky humor!!!!

  4. I just finished this one too Heather! I loved it, it was just so much fun to read and it was nice to read something a bit lighter (even though it had a lot of dark moments too). Those little fairies had me laughing out loud.

  5. Ok, this one sounds so fun! I need a lighter read lately, and I'm so glad to see this one fits the bill - plus, I need a little laugh out loud hilarity from a book! I'm leaning towards dark these days haha great review! :)

  6. Heather - thank you again for your wonderful, thoughtful review! I'm so happy that you enjoyed Fairy Bad Day. I've had a few nightmares when I woke up thinking 'Oh my God, I've written a book about Skittles when everyone else has dark love triangles' so your review really did make me feel so happy!!!!

    And thanks for all the lovely comments (especially Jenny - I'm so pleased you liked the little fairies. They made me laugh when I wrote them as well!!!!)

  7. Book Sake- If you're looking for fun- this is it, but like Jenny says it does has some dark moments. But those funny moments are great.

    Jenny- Glad we are on the same page. I loved those little fairies too! I especially loved when they were getting lectured by one of the fairies.

    Melissa- Yes, you are reading heavy stuff lately! This is laugh out loud funny, and minus a few dark times, will definitely be a light read. You'll love it!

    Amanda- So glad you liked it! The skittles were brilliant! The ending was spectacular!! So much fun! Thanks for such a treat!


  8. Excellent review! I'm sooo glad you liked this book. I've been wanting to read it ever since I saw that cover. It looks so cute and fun. Thank you for the info about the pacing. I like knowing things like that so I know I should stick with the book even if the beginning is a little slow.


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