This isn't really scary, but there are some definitely tense moments, so in it goes! Elizabeth is thrilled when her teacher recommends her for a job in the New York Circulating Material Repository. She is completely fascinated by the variety of things that are catalogued, shelved, and checked out to patrons. She's also fascinated and more than a little daunted by her fellow pages - the gorgeous and surprisingly friendly school basketball star Marc, the even more gorgeous Anjali. But then she meets the unreasonably rude and unfriendly Aaron and pretty soon she's aware that something else is Going On. And that something else centers around the marvelous, amazing, unbelievably and truly magic Grimm collection. items from fairy tales are real - and so is their magic. Elizabeth even gets to check them out! But things are going missing and there's something frightening happening. Who's to blame? Where will Elizabeth place her loyalties?
I loved the descriptions and the adventure and the fantasy. I was annoyed by the romance which seemed to fall out of nowhere and be rather unnecessary. Couldn't Elizabeth and a certain person who shall remain unnamed just be good friends fighting evil forces together? Did they have to get all mushy? The story was an exciting adventure fantasy until that point, at which it suddenly seemed to say "hey, I am a Young Adult Fantasy and all Young Adult Fantasies are supposed to have a Great Romance so I too must have a Great Romance." I did finish the book and loved the funny and clever denouement, but the romance was soooo unnecessary.
Verdict: The middle grade audience would really like this as a fantasy, and most of the romance is pretty mild, but there are a couple bits, esp. the mirror scene which say TEEN. The fantasy feels a bit young for teens though, so this book, although fun, floats for me in nowhereland. If you have the audience for a fun fantasy/adventure story with lush descriptions and a romance, go for it.
ISBN: 9780399250965; Published July 2010 by Puffin; ARC received from publisher at ALA Midwinter 2010