Amazon.com Review Sixteen-year-old Kaye Fierch is not human, but she doesn't know it. Sure, she knows she's interacted with faeries since she was little--but she never imagined she was one of them, her blond Asian human appearance only a magically crafted cover-up for her true, green-skinned pixie self. First-time author Holly Black explores Kaye's self-discovery and dual worlds in her riveting, suspenseful novel Tithe: A Modern Faerie Tale. The book has its faults: it slips into shock-value mode; the descriptions are often overwritten (sunset on the water looks like the sun slit his wrists in a bathtub); the language is overly, unnecessarily explicit; and the writing often unpolished. Still, the story's pull is undeniable, and readers under its spell will be hard-pressed to put the book down.
The novel begins in a bar in Philly, where Kaye's alcoholic rock-singer mother's boyfriend tries to kill her. For their own safety, mother and daughter quickly move back to grandma's on the New Jersey shore where Kaye grew up. This ugly turn of events was all rigged by the Faerie world, as it turns out, a world Black describes in deliciously vivid, if rather overblown, detail. Kaye, a drinking, smoking, foul-mouthed high school dropout in the land of mortals, soon finds herself embroiled--as a human sacrifice, no less--in a battle between Faerieland's Seelie and more malevolent Unseelie courts. The beautiful, mysterious knight Roiben, torn between worlds himself, falls in love with Kaye--the brave, clever changeling--against his better judgment. Throughout the electrifying journey to the horrific underworld of this modern faerie fantasy, teen readers will relate to a hard-luck tough girl who feels alienated, discovers her best qualities in the worst of circumstances, and finally finds a place between worlds where she can feel at home. (Ages 13 and older) --Karin Snelson --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
My Thoughts: When I first started reading this I couldn't seem to get into it. I thought something was wrong with me because it hasn't taken me a week to rad a book in so long, especially a book that wasn't that thick. It turns out it was just the book. There were parts where it was going to fast, it seemed as if there were whole sentences the author forgot to put in (which would have filled me in regarding what was happening). Because things were going too fast, the transitions in the book weren't smooth enough. But just as I was about to give up on this book, I started to get into it right as the "Tithe" was happening. The 2nd half of the book seemed to have everything I wanted in the first half of the book. After getting into the book, I finished the book very quickly and liked it enough that I can't wait to see what happens with Kaye and Roiben next. I rate this a B+ (it would have been an A if I could base the rating purely on the 2nd half of the book)