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How to Ditch Your Fairy

How to Ditch Your Fairy

Written by Justine Larbalestier

Narrated by Kate Atkinson


How to Ditch Your Fairy

Written by Justine Larbalestier

Narrated by Kate Atkinson

ratings:
3.5/5 (46 ratings)
Length:
6 hours
Released:
Sep 29, 2009
ISBN:
9781441801982
Format:
Audiobook

Also available as...

Also available as bookBook

Also available as...

Also available as bookBook

Description

If you lived in a world where everyone had a personal fairy, what kind would you want?

* A clothes-shopping fairy (The perfect outfit will always be on sale!)
* A loose-change fairy (Pretty self-explanatory.)
* A never-getting-caught fairy (You can get away with anything. . . .)

Unfortunately for Charlie, she's stuck with a parking fairy - if she's in the car, the driver will find the perfect parking spot. Tired of being treated like a personal parking pass, Charlie devises a plan to ditch her fairy for a more useful model. At first, teaming up with her archenemy (who has an all-the-boys-like-you fairy) seems like a good idea. But Charlie soon learns there are consequences for messing with fairies - and she will have to resort to extraordinary measures to set things right again.

"Welcome to your new obsession! Not only will you believe in fairies after reading this book, you will know what kind you have." - Maureen Johnson, author of 13 Little Blue Envelopes

Released:
Sep 29, 2009
ISBN:
9781441801982
Format:
Audiobook

Also available as...

Also available as bookBook

About the author

Justine Larbalestier is the author of Liar, How To Ditch Your Fairy, and the acclaimed Magic or Madness trilogy. She was born and raised in Sydney, Australia, and divides her time between Sydney and New York City. www.justinelarbalestier.com


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Reviews

What people think about How to Ditch Your Fairy

3.7
46 ratings / 40 Reviews
What did you think?
Rating: 0 out of 5 stars

Reader reviews

  • (4/5)
    Lots of fun!
  • (2/5)
    How To Ditch Your Fairy was kind of boring to me through not really being my thing. It's less about fantasy and more about teenage girls, and managed to be really predictable to me as well. And, you know, all the slang that I've come to accept as standard in a Larbalestier book...

    I don't know. Teenage girls being teenage girls felt about right, but the amount of slang was a bit too much, and yeah, with teenage girls being teenage, it felt very, very juvenile.

    Just... not absorbing, to me.
  • (3/5)
    Tones of Louise Rennison. 14-year-old Charlie has no idea how she got stuck with a parking fairy-- she can't even drive!-- when her schoolmates have shopping fairies and clear skin fairies and "make every boy like you" fairies that actually do some good. Will Steffi, the new boy at school, ever realize that Charlie is the girl for him, even if her fairy is doing NOTHING to help her cause?
  • (4/5)
    A cute and imaginative little read. The slang had me cracking up, as did the premise. The only question I had at the end of the book is why the New Avaloners have the attitude they do. This is never explained to my satisfaction.
  • (4/5)
    This was heaps of fun. I would enjoy more books in the New Avalon world. Not just more about Charlie and her friends, but her sister (who is great) and the world Larbalestier has built, too.
  • (3/5)
    OK, so what we have here is your typical semi-futuristic teen fantasy/SF/romance set in Australia.

    Basically, most people have a fairy (invisible, not Tinkerbell-style) that helps them out with a particular thing. So you might have a always-finds-fabulous-clothes-for-cheap fairy, or a never-drop-anything fairy, or a parking fairy, like the main character whose name I've already forgotten.

    She wants to get rid of the parking fairy because she is 14 and kind of dumb.

    She also goes to a kind of crazy sports school where she plays cricket and basketball and there is a cute boy that she likes. But unfortunately there is this other girl whose fairy is an every-boy-likes-you fairy.

    You can probably guess how it all turns out, but it was pretty cute.
  • (3/5)
    Light and fun, but oh dear does invented slang drive me bonkers.
  • (3/5)
    In how to ditch your fairy, Charlie needs to get rid of her parking fairy because other people keep "borrowing" her fairy's help which means they need to borrow Charlie too. She's worked very hard to get rid of her fairy by never giving it a chance to do its thing, but other people aren't helping her. Her attempts are earning her demerits in her Sports High School.This story is very amusing, but I expected more from Justine Larbalestier since she's well known for her feminism. The story almost went further, but then didn't quite. Worth reading, but not worth a reread.
  • (4/5)
    In Charlie's world, (almost) everyone has a fairy that provides them with some kind of minor magical power, like always finding loose change or always having good hair. Charlie has a fairy that allows whatever car she is in to always find the best parking spot. She hates it, because a big dumb water polo player at her all-sports high school keeps kidnapping her so he can get the best parking spots while he runs around town. So Charlie comes up with a plan to get rid of her fairy and get a better one, like the every-boy-will-like-you fairy. This proves to be difficult because almost no one knows anything about what the fairies actually are or how they work.YA books always sound so much better to me in theory than in practice. The writing wasn't great, the plot had holes, and the main character was very self-centered. But then I finished the whole book in less than 24 hours and I remembered what I DO like about YA books.Overall the book wasn't bad, and I particularly liked a few things that Larbalestier did: 1) The stuck-up rich girl that everyone hates is actually just super shy 2) There are pretty much zero traditional gender roles. This is difficult to do in a sports-centered community but it's well done here. 3) Sexuality: most boys like girls and most girls like boys but some boys like boys and some girls like girls and some girls aren't sure if they like boys or girls. The words "gay" and "lesbian" aren't even mentioned; people just like who they like. No one is grouped or labeled; everyone is friends with everyone else. It's awesome 4) Institutionalized corruption and complacency in sports: There are all kinds of weird rules at Charlie's school that must be followed at all times (even when not at school) for pretty much no reason, but everyone just accepts them. There is rampant gambling and bullying which are just overlooked because tattling is against the rules. The sports stars of the school are allowed to do whatever they want, and they don't get in trouble because the administration wants to keep them happy so they will keep playing well. (I have seen all of this in real life in college, and it is horribly corrupt but no one will do anything about it because sports = $$$$ and fame)In conclusion, the plot fell flat but the subtler parts of the story made up for it. I'm really interested in reading more by this author.
  • (3/5)
    In a world where almost everyone has a fairy (loose-change fairy, good hair fairy, never late fairy), Charlie is stuck with a parking fairy. Whichever car she rides in will always find a prime parking spot. Charlie detests her fairy and is desperate to get rid of it. But when she teams up with her least favourite person in the world, Fiorenze, who also wants to ditch her fairy, they end up with far more trouble than they bargained for.If you're not a fan of traditional fantasy fairies, don't bypass this book. While fairies play a major role in the novel, not once does one talk or appear so don't let this being a "fairy book" keep you away. The novel is far more about the delightful alternate reality Larbalestier has created and watching as Charlie discovers that people are more complex than she had imagined and that Fiorenze in particular may not be as odious as she appears. Charlie's nascent romance with the new boy, Stefan is also very adorable. A fun, fluffy read that won't tax you much.
  • (4/5)
    Very entertaining YA fantasy.
  • (3/5)
    Fourteen-year-old Charlie hates her fairy. All it does is help find great parking spaces, and she doesn't even drive. She wishes she had a cool fairy like her best friend, who has a shopping fairy, or like her arch-enemy Fiorenze, who has a fairy that makes every boy fall in love with her. So, Charlie sets out to get rid of her fairy, in hopes that she'll end up with a new, better one once the old fairy is gone.While not the best YA I've ever read, Larbalestier weaves an entertaining story about friendship, acceptance, and perseverance. The characters were realistic, and the plot device of "everyone has a fairy" wasn't so over the top as to feel out of place in the otherwise real-world context. My only real qualm with the book was the made-up dialogue, which I know isn't unusual in some YA books where the setting isn't *exactly* a contemporary city as we'd know it. The author did include a glossary in the back of the book, however, which I appreciated.Overall, while it wasn't a remarkable book, it was a fun read and probably the best thing I've read from Larbalestier so far.
  • (2/5)
    I would definitely consider this a book for middle schoolers. The writing was easy to read. I liked the concept of the fairies and thought the book was humorous. I sometimes think the author re-used words too much.
  • (3/5)
    Charlie is a great character. I adored her. She is dedicated to her cause, funny, and has attitude. I loved watching (reading) her grow and change through the course of the book. Everything Charlie wanted at the beginning, by the end she has a new perspective of and appreciation for.Ms. Larbalestier builds a cool, made-up country, as well as a cool, made-up school. (At least I think it's a made up school. I'd never heard of a sports school like Charlie attends, but maybe they exist?) Both are believable, as are the fairies. I love how the fairies are accepted as a fact of life by most, but that there are still skeptics who believe it's a bunch of phooey.I did find the repetitive counting of events/demerits at the beginning of each chapter rather tedious, especially near the end. I loved listening to the book. Kate Atkinson was fabulous. I believed I was listening to a fourteen-year-old. I especially loved listening to her Australian accent. And the accent is necessary with all the Australian slang. (At least I'm assuming it's Aussie slang, I wouldn't really know. I suppose Ms. Larbalestier could have made it up?)
  • (4/5)
    In a world where most people have a invisible, unsensible 'fairy', which gives good luck in a particular thing, not all fairies are created equal; and some can be downright difficult. Our heroine, attending a high school for sports stars, finds her parking fairy especially difficult to live with, and so she's taking steps-- by never riding in cars or other transport, she hopes to starve away her fairy. The unintended consequences of her plan tangle her up with a fairy expert, a girl with a boy-crazy fairy, and some difficult choices.This is a fun, funny, teenage angst novel with magic-like elements, which is why our 11-year-old picked it up and enjoyed it. While there's some moral in here (our heroine finds out first hand why having a boy-crazy fairy isn't a good thing, and why the owner of such a fairy has social troubles, not to mention that her big, famous hometown might be just a *little* parochial), there's no heavy-handedness here. This is a fun read, and at least to me, reads true to teen thought processes. Adults may be concerned about some remarkably stupid choices of some of the characters, but again, that's true to life too-- even if it merits a family discussion among the readers.
  • (4/5)
    Meg's other Christmas present! Thanks Meg!The thing I liked best about the story was that I didn't know how it would end until it ended. It is a younger read than other teen fiction books, so a lot of developments are pretty straightforward, but I liked being genuinely excited by whatever would happen to their fairies.Fairies huh? One of the weaker points I think was the handling of fairies as a religious idea, which makes sense but didn't really make sense. There's not really two ways about it based on the things that happen in the story, and there's a few more fascinating ideas mentioned once that I'd prefer hearing more about. (The idea that fairies have only existed for a few generations could be a good world-builder.)I liked how I read the first paragraph like five times because I didn't know if something magical was happening, something futuristic, something Australian, or something funny. (It's something funny.) Also, the book just has something about it that's great. I love the title, I love the cover. I love the little chapter header gimmick. It's just right.
  • (4/5)
    There's some really cool things in this one. This is my second Larbalestier, having just read Liar.It takes place in a country and city that doesn't really exist -- that she says is sort of a cross between the US and Australia. And it's also slightly in the future. So it has somewhat of a science fiction feel to it.. and actually, if she'd provided more of a scientific explanation for the fairies, it could be science fiction. So I classify it in the same camp I put Diane Duane's Wizardry series. Technically fantasy, but it really reads like science fiction to me.Charlie goes to a sports school, so her entire curriculum is centered around sports, and she's on several different sports teams simultaneously. And of course with a school like that, you're health and diet is pretty regulated and all. And it's also very disciplined, so she keeps racking up demerits.At the same time, almost everyone has a fairy. And she has a parking fairy. Whatever car she's in, it always gets a really good parking spot. She thinks this is a lame fairy, so hence the title of the book. She's trying to get rid of it, so she can get a better one. Like one of her friends has a shopping fairy and helps her get really cool clothes for great prices.I was intrigued by the idea and I liked the world. The book did leave me a little confused by the end. I wasn't quite sure what was up with that Andrew kid. And it also left me wanting to know more about the fairies, so I hope she's planning a sequel.
  • (3/5)
    Set in a world that's not quite the U.S., and not quite Australia, Larbalestier has created a small city populated by self-centered folks who possess "fairies" which bless them with odd and interesting talents. A few people have no fairies. Some have relatively common sorts such as the "finding lost change" fairy or the "good hair" fairy. And some have helpful talents, for instance a "getting out of trouble" a.k.a. a "not getting caught" fairy. But fourteen-year-old Charlie's fairy is just awful - blessed with the ability to always find a parking place but lacking a license, Charlie's walking everywhere these days in an effort to starve her fairy. Her hope is that if she doesn't feed it's need to park, it'll eventually fade. But when circumstances conspire against her she's willing to try anything to get rid of the useless blessing. Only problem? Uncertain death may be her only way free.Charlie is self-centered, has boys on the brain and an annoying vocabulary, and the plot is more than a bit weak. Just not that interesting.
  • (5/5)
    A fun, quick read from the author of the "Magic or Madness" trilogy. The author creates a world where some people believe they have personal fairies, with varying success. Having a fairy endows you with one particular type of luck -- a great parking space in the case of the main character, Charlie. Even though this may seem like an innocuous piece of luck, it has its downsides. Charlie works hard at various schemes to rid herself of her fairy, hence the title of this novel.
  • (4/5)
    The world building in this is really interesting, a city where kids go to schools according to any talent they might show, a sports school, or an arts school, and where all the emphasis is on becoming a famous person, an 'Our'. Also, some people have invisible fairies, that give them help, being charming, or never dropping a ball. Charlie's parking fairy is nothing but trouble - and she is desperate to get rid of it.
  • (5/5)
    Charlie has a parking fairy. She's 14, and she hates cars, but whenever she gets in one whoever is driving gets the perfect parking spot. Why can't she have a cool fairy like Rochelle, who has a shopping fairy, or Fiorenze, who has an all-the-boys-like-me fairy? So she's been walking everywhere for about two months, hoping to get rid of her fairy and attract a new one, but it's been making her late everywhere and she's been racking up demerits like crazy. Meanwhile, she wasn't able to make the basketball team, a boy she likes has been all over Fiorenze (because of her fairy), and if she keeps getting demerits, she'll be suspended from her games. What's a girl to do?This was a fun, light story that I gulped down in about two days. It was funny, and though the premise sounds somewhat silly it's still something you can relate to. I wouldn't call it quite fantasy, but I would recommend it to those who didn't mind stretching credulity a bit (the sort-of "nowhere place" some time in the future helps).
  • (2/5)
    This was a disappointing novel for me which could have been much better written. Although the premise was an amusing one, the characters were so lightly sketched as to have very little interest. I began to wish that there was a "Let's Get This Over As Quickly As Possible" fairy which would save me the bother of reading to the end.
  • (4/5)
    This one's fun fun fun! In a world where many people have personal fairies granting them the ability to have all the boys like them, never drop a football, always find the perfect clothes at the perfect price, Charlie is mortified at having a parking fairy (guarantees her a parking spot.) Charlie doesn't even have a car! But everyone, including the school bully wants her to ride with them so they can get parking spots. So Charlie hatches a plan to trade fairies with someone else and when that doesn't go as planned she risks her own safety to try to ditch her fairy. You'll be laughing aloud at this one and trying to figure out what kind of fairy you have. By the way, I have a every-cat-in-the-world-likes-me fairy!
  • (1/5)
    What a load of crap! From the ridiculous made up slang language (no teenager would talk like that, even in a fictional setting!) to the fact that none of the absurdities of "New Avalon" are explained at all through the book, I really wanted to just throw this one against the wall.
  • (5/5)
    I don't know why, but I absolutely loved this book. It was funny and had an interesting setting that kept me involved. Basically, in this world everyone has an invisible fairy (most everyone) and they do certain things for you such as - find a parking spot every where you go, or make all the boys your age fall in love with you. There's problems that arise with these two fairies in particular and two girls team up to figure out how to rid themselves of these nuisances of fairies.
  • (3/5)
    A light and fun read, though I found it a little difficult to get used to the invented lingo - doos, spoffs, pulchy, etc. Eventually I picked up on their meanings (only to discover the glossary after finishing the book). The story didn't really pick up until halfway through when the girls actually swapped the fairies.
  • (4/5)
    Fairly cute book about a world where most people have a personal fairy. Charlie has a parking fairy, which she hates and is trying to get rid of. The moral is "the grass is always greener on the other side." Could have used some editing.
  • (5/5)
    My sister told me I was going to love this book, and she was right. Larbalestier has created a wonderful world within the confines of her novel. In some ways, it reminded me of her husband's (Scott Westerfeld) Uglies series -- but in all the good ways. The story focuses on Charlie and her problems with her fairy. She runs into trouble: with friends, boys and, of course, trying to get rid of her fairy. But Larbalestier writes Charlie in such a way that you never really get annoyed with her problems. Instead, you want her to win -- to figure out how to ditch that fairy of hers and get the boy in the end. I almost hope she writes more in this universe, maybe not the same characters, but the same world. Even if she doesn't, this is a great and fun fantasy novel.
  • (4/5)
    I just finished this book and thought it was cute! It's kind of like every other teen cutesy book, although better than a Meg Cabot cause the heroine knows what she wants and goes for it and doesn't get all stupid like Cabot's girls are want to do.Charlie is at an all sports school in New Avalon, a vague futury kind of city where people have fairies that help them do stuff. She has a parking fairy (that lets the car she's in find a good spot) and hates it. So she is walking everywhere to deprive it of its purpose but, later she gets a little more proactive about it. Also there is her crush on the new boy Steffi and Fionzene Stupid-Name (not her real last name) who has a every-boy-will-like-her fairy and makes all the girls jealous and hateful. There is lots of New Avalon slang to deal with and that is distracting at first but, once you catch on, it's really fun. All in all, a really doos (cool) book!
  • (4/5)
    I really enjoyed this book. It is fairly light and playful and has a refreshingly new premise. The characters act believably - incredibly stupidly at times, but believably, especially for high school students - and I love the universe that it envisions.