Welcome to my stop on the Nissa Blog Tour! I was lucky enough to meet Bethany Lopez at the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books recently, which makes me extra happy to be participating in her blog tour:) Keep reading for my review of the book, plus a cool giveaway at the end.
Title: Nissa, A Contemporary Fairy Tale
Author: Bethany Lopez
Release date: April 23 2013
Age Group: Young Adult
Genre: Contemporary Fantasy
At 900 years old, Nissa is finally ready to follow her mother’s path and become the best Fairy Godmother she can. She’s not thrilled when her first assignment turns out to be a teenage human girl with self-esteem issues, but she knows she has to start somewhere. Her assignment has dealt with bullies since her freshman year and they haven’t let up. If Nissa can’t help her regain her self-confidence her future is bleak.
To complicate matters Nissa experiences all the signs that she’s met the being fated for her. This impossibility distracts her from her purpose. After all, fairies and humans aren’t meant for each other. How can her heart believe otherwise? Can Nissa successfully complete her first assignment as a Fairy Godmother? Will the fates allow Nissa and Levi to be together? And even if they do, will Levi believe Nissa once she reveals the truth?
In a word: charming, romantic, full of fairy lore, with some gentle messages about human nature.
A few weeks ago I attended the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books, and I just happened to run into Bethany Lopez. I introduced myself to her and told her I was going to be part of her blog tour, and purchased a copy of her book. She is such a nice person, and after speaking to her briefly and reading Nissa, I see some similarities between Bethany and her main character, Nissa the fairy. Nissa is a short but lovely tale about leaving home to do your duty, meeting the love of your life, helping those in need, coming home again, and having to make some tough choices about your future.
Nissa is a 900-year-old fairy, but in human years she’s only eighteen. She has just been given her first assignment as a Fairy Godmother, helping a teen girl get back the self-esteem she seems to have lost. After leaving fairy headquarters and being changed into human form, she meets her human liaisons the Cartwrights, a couple that will help her adjust to human life and assist with her mission. She soon meets Vicky, the girl she has been sent to help, and observes her being bullied at school by boys and girls alike. Vicky is miserable and doesn’t trust Nissa at first, but little by little, the girls become friends. One day Nissa goes to Vicky’s house and meets her brother Levi, and before you know it, Nissa is experiencing all the physical traits that fairies feel when they’ve met their soul mate: tingling in her right hand, a racing heartbeat, and eyes that briefly turn pink!
There’s only one problem: Nissa is a fairy and Levi’s human, and according to fairy law, the two can never be together. Nissa has her hands full in her human disguise and not only has to help Vicky, but figure out how to deal with her growing feelings for Levi.
I loved the author’s vision of fairy life. I’m not sure how much of it is made up and how much is based on folklore, but in my opinion, the fairies in Nissa have it pretty good. They spend their (very long) lives romping through the forest, they have wings and can fly whenever they want to, and if need be, they can transform into humans in order to accomplish certain tasks. Lopez’s fairies are kind, courteous and practical. They are also innocent and trusting, which could be seen as flaws in the human world. Nissa herself is all these things, but she has wisdom, probably because of her advanced age!
Nissa and Levi are a good romantic match. I enjoyed their budding relationship, and many of the moments they spent together were sweet and innocent. I also really liked Vicky’s character. She begins as an oppressed and unhappy teenager, but gradually gains the self-esteem she sorely lacks in the beginning of the story. I loved her growth into a happier and more confident girl.
The author also mentions several Los Angeles landmarks, which I enjoyed since I’ve been to some of them myself. But the land where the fairies live is quite unique, and I loved the descriptions of the forest trees where they make their home, and the strong family bonds between fairy folk. I wanted to spend more time there, and for that reason I wish the book had been longer. Its brevity made for a quick read, but I did want more detail in certain spots. I also wanted a bit more tension during the story. Sometimes it felt as if Nissa reached her goals too easily, and I wanted her and the other characters to work harder.
But those are just small complaints. I enjoyed the clear and simple writing style, and I thought it had just the right touch for a fairy tale. A surprise revelation at the end about two of the characters made the story all the more charming.
A quick read, yes, but one full of delightful characters, some thoughtful morals, and just a touch of magic.
Many thanks to the author for supplying a review copy.
About the Author:
Bethany Lopez was born in Detroit, Michigan, and grew up in Michigan and San Antonio, Texas. She went to High School at Dearborn High, in Dearborn, Michigan, which is where she has set her Young Adult series. She is married and has a blended family with five children. She is currently serving in the United States Air Force as a Recruiter in Los Angeles, California. She has always loved to read and write and has seen her dream realized by independently publishing her novels through Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Smashwords.
Many thanks to AToMR Tours for hosting this blog tour!