Book Review: Stork
By: Wendy Delsol
Published By: Candlewick Press
Release Date: October 2010
Buy it at Amazon
Genre: Young Adult
Suitable for ages 12 and up
Stork is the story of Katla (aka Kat) LeBlanc's move from California to small town Minnesota. The move is not exactly a welcome change for the fashion obsessed, cold abhorring Kat. To make matters worse she rarely gets to see her father after the divorce. His job made it impossible for her to stay in California so she resigns herself to her fate. Her mother is all too happy to uproot and head to Minnesota to live and teach at the local college in her hometown.
Moving in high school can really suck so I instantly felt a connection to Kat. I started my freshman year of high school in a new town - one in which pretty much everyone else had been going to school together since kindergarten. Making friends and finding your niche in a small town high school feels nearly impossible. However, just like me, Kat was able to carve a spot out for herself, but not without some difficulties. A huge summer mistake with Wade, a popular jock, guarantees that Kat starts off her time in Norse Falls with an enemy or two. Wade's girlfriend, Monique, is not too happy that her sweetheart seems to be watching the new girl too closely.
Kat also finds herself face to face with a mysterious classmate, Jack, when he delivers apples to her Grandpa's store late one evening. Jack seems to expect Kat to recognize him. She tries to remember if perhaps the two met during her visits to town as a kid, but try as she might nothing clicks into place. Who is this boy and why does that look of pain fill his face when he realizes she has no idea who he is? As the plot unfolds, Kat learns that Jack is truly a major part of her past. A past that was kept a secret by her family.
As if a romantic mistake, a mysterious boy, new school, cold climate, small town life, making friends, and family secrets wasn't enough for one teenager to deal with Kat also learns that she is a Stork. The Storks are an ancient Icelandic society of women that determines which vessels are worthy to hold new souls. Kat is the youngest member to be inducted into the society which ruffles quite a few feathers. Is she truly up for the challenge of placing babies with the right mother?
Wendy Delsol's novel is one that weaves together Norse mythology and Hans Christian Anderson tells into one captivating tale. Originally, I started reading this book because of the folklore, but soon the characters and plots made this book endearing. I couldn't stop reading and kept trying to figure out Jack's secret. However, I was pretty shocked when it was actually revealed. I didn't quite see it coming, which is a true testament to Wendy's talent. So many authors provide too many clues and the twists are easy to figure out. The ending of Stork was also something I never saw coming.
Characters often help me grow attached to books and Stork was no exception to that rule. Kat can be somewhat annoying at times. I found her constant babbling about fashion to be somewhat annoying, but she is such a strong female character that I learned to accept this little flaw. She's headstrong and doesn't let anyone push her around. Her strength is definitely a quality that many teenage girls lack and my hope is that Kat could serve as role model.
I also have to admit that I had quite the crush on Jack as I was reading. His handsome looks and football player physique were just the ticket to creating a perfect leading man. Also, his loyalty and down to earth nature make him hard not to find appealing.
Stork is one I will be sure to highly recommend. Norse Falls is a town I'd love to live in - especially now that it has a Starbucks. I am also anxiously awaiting the second book, Frost, which will hit shelves in September.
One Last Gripe: I want to know more about the Winter People lore and I don't think I got enough in Stork. I am hoping this will come up in Frost.
My Favorite Thing About This Book: The Folklore - I can honestly say I don't think I've ever read a book that used Norse lore and I found it to be highly entertaining
Favorite Character: Jack
Least Favorite Character: Wade
Family secrets. Lost memories. And the arrival of an ancient magical ability that will reveal everything.
Sixteen-year-old Katla LeBlanc has just moved from Los Angeles to Minnesota. As if it weren’t enough that her trendy fashion sense draws stares, Katla soon finds out that she’s a Stork, a member of a mysterious order of women tasked with a very unique duty. But Katla’s biggest challenge may be finding her flock at a new school. Between being ignored by Wade, the arrogant jock she stupidly fooled around with, and constantly arguing with gorgeous farm boy and editor-in-chief Jack, Katla is relieved when her assignment as the school paper’s fashion columnist brings with it some much-needed friendship. But as Homecoming approaches, Katla uncovers a shocking secret about her past — a secret that binds her fate to Jack’s in a way neither could have ever anticipated. With a nod to Hans Christian Andersen and inspired by Norse lore, Wendy Delsol’s debut novel introduces a hip and witty heroine who finds herself tail-feathers deep in small-town life.