Lisa Reviews: Carol Goodman's - "Blythewood"

goodman_blytehwoodBlythewood was one of those books that had me back and forth with my opinions and thoughts. At the beginning I was excited to see the world of Avaline Hall, Blythewood and the Fey. Within the first few chapters, I found the story to be a bit slow, but only a few more chapters later, things started to pick up and it seems that there was no end to the action! Then I found myself a bit confused, and finally my heart skipped a beat throughout the ending!

Blythewood starts with a poor girl named Avaline Hall, Ava for short, who is working in a factory. Her and many other poor girls, including her best friend Tillie, are locked into a room every day to work for a ridiculous amount of hours and are paid very little.

Before her mother committed suicide by drinking landrum and was found with a black feather on top of her, Ava worked for her, sewing and selling hats. But once her mother passed Ava started to struggle to pay the bills and life is much harder.

When the Triangle factory catches fire, the girls inside have no way out, the doors are locked throughout working hours, and Ava has no idea what to do or where to go. Some of the girls are running around wild, other girls are jumping to their death out the window. Ava and her best friend, Tillie, only know one other way, climbing from the roof of the factory to the roof of the building next door.

After slipping and losing her grip, Ava finds herself saved by a mysterious pair of strong arms who belong to a boy with dark eyes and hair… and wings. She can’t believe her eyes but the next thing she knows, she’s in a mental hospital, drugged and diagnosed with mental issues. Six months pass, before Ava finally leaves the hospital, and escorted by a lady who claims that she knows her grandmother, and says that they’ve been looking for Ava.

Upon her arrival at her grandmother’s house, Ava learns a lot of herself and her mother. Ava has always known how much her mom loved Blythewood, and would speak about the school often, but still Ava didn’t know much about it. Her grandmother, a rather snarky thing, informed her that Ava’s mother got pregnant in her senior year at Blythewood, and ran away. Even though Ava just arrived, and hasn’t even settled in yet, she is told that her interview to Blythewood is in three days and they have a lot of work to do before then.

Upon being accepted, Ava is worried that people might judge her due to her mother’s history, but that is that last thing she worries about when finally going to the Blythewood initiation in the forest and sees all the creatures that live within it.

Blythewood isn’t just any school. Besides doing homework and studying for finals, Ava and her friends are learning about all the different dangerous creatures in the forest and how to defend themselves from these creatures so they can find Nathan’s twin sister, Louisa, who is lost in the Faerie world.

Ava also discovers who her dark angel is, and why he’s around right when she needs him. Right when Ava thinks she knows what’s going on, there’s always something else.

Overall, Blythewood was a new take on the Fey world. The only other books I’ve read on faeries are Julie Kagawa’s books, and these are nothing alike. While I can admit that the beginning of the book was kind of slow, pushing through that and continuing to read is definitely worth it. The ending was intense, and shocking! I had no idea what hit me on the last page!

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