Review: The Girl Who Never Was by Skylar Dorset

The Girl Who Never Was
(Otherworld #1)
by Skylar Dorset
YA Urban Fantasy
Paperback304 Pages
June 1st 2014 by Sourcebooks Fire


THE GIRL WHO NEVER WAS is the story of Selkie Stewart, who thinks she’s a totally normal teenager growing up in Boston. Sure, her father is in an insane asylum, her mother left her on his doorstep—literally—when she was a baby, and she’s being raised by two ancient aunts who spend their time hunting gnomes in their Beacon Hill townhouse. But other than that her life is totally normal! She’s got an adventurous best friend who’s always got her back and an unrequited crush on an older boy named Ben. Just like any other teenager, right?

When Selkie goes in search of the mother she’s never known, she gets more than she bargained for. It turns out that her mother is faerie royalty, which would make Selkie a faerie princess—except for the part where her father is an ogre, which makes her only half of anything. Even more confusing, there’s a prophecy that Selkie is going to destroy the tyrannical Seelie Court, which is why her mother actually wants to kill her. Selkie has been kept hidden all her life by her adoring aunts, with the help of a Salem wizard named Will. And Ben. Because the boy she thinks she’s in love with turns out to be a faerie whose enchantment has kept her alive, but also kept her in the dark about her own life.

Now, with enchantments dissolved and prophecies swinging into action, Selkie finds herself on a series of mad quests to save the people she’s always loved and a life she’s learning to love. But in a supernatural world of increasingly complex alliances and distressingly complicated deceptions, it’s so hard to know who to trust. Does her mother really wish to kill her? Would Will sacrifice her for the sake of the prophecy? And does Ben really love her or is it all an elaborate ruse? In order to survive, Selkie realizes that the key is learning—and accepting—who she really is.

My Review

I have had fairly good luck with this publisher. I also tend to like urban fantasy. There is just something about the real world mixing with a fantastical one that has a magical quality to it while also feeling like it could happen. This definitely was the case with The Girl Who Never Was. Good publisher + genre I like = a great book. I loved that the main character, Selkie, definitely had a tough time wrapping her head around what she found out and who she was just like any seventeen-year-old girl would. At the same time, she had to believe with all that she had seen and was faced with even though it was so preposterous. It wasn't one of those stories where the heroine or hero finds something unbelievable out and then instantly accepts it as they easily move towards saving the day. What sold me even more on the story were the fantastic characters and the plot that was crazy, but felt believable. What did she expect? Everything to be easy? Real life and danger and deception (in her case) never is. The writing was fabulous, I loved Selkie's voice, and I also loved the very sweet, but intense romance that didn't overwhelm the story.

Let me talk just a little about these characters... Selkie was so stubborn at points, but also very loyal and sweet. She had spunk. She was also smart enough while also being out of her element quite a bit and not knowing exactly what to do. Her reactions fit the circumstances and were consistent with her character. Then there were all these quirky and equally fabulous side characters that I grew to love: Ben (love him!!!), Selkie's aunts, Will, and Kelsey. There probably could have been a little more development with Selkie's mother and the Seelie court, but otherwise I thought everyone was well developed. 

I definitely couldn't put this one down and was cheering everyone on, well, at least the good guys on. Then the ending was... I can't say. It added more depth to the story and a little bit of a twist. It would spoil it if I said more, but I will say that I'm so glad the next book was happily waiting for me because I had to find out what would happen next! If you enjoy urban fantasy that is fun, sweet, humorous, intense, and rather entertaining then I'd definitely recommend The Girl Who Never Was!

Content: Some mild swearing, but otherwise clean.

Source: From the publisher through NetGalley, which did not affect my review in any way.

Want to check out what I think about the next book in this series, The Boy with the Hidden Name, and enter to win a copy? Go check out my tour stop here.

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