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Young adult book reviews for ages 12 and up - middle school and high school students

*Fate* by Jennifer Lynn Barnes- young adult book review
Also by Jennifer Lynn Barnes:


The Squad: Killer Spirit

The Squad: Perfect Cover
by Jennifer Lynn Barnes
Ages 12+ 368 pages Delacorte March 2009 Paperback    

[Please note that there are spoilers for Jennifer Lynn Barnes’s novel Tattoo in this review.]

Readers were first introduced to Bailey Morgan and her three friends Annabelle, Zo, and Delia in the novel Tattoo, where it was revealed that Bailey is a direct descendant of the Sidhe, or faeries, and their blood courses through her veins. As a result, she is a child of two worlds: Sidhe and human.

Bailey and her friends are granted temporary Sidhe powers in order to defeat one of the Fates who has gone rogue, and they just barely manage to do so. As a result, Bailey becomes the Fate of Life. By day, she attends school and hangs out with her friends just like any other teenager. By night, she weaves the lives of the human world along with the two other Fates.

In Fate, Bailey learns that something called the Reckoning is approaching. She knows it has to do with her, but isn’t sure what exactly it entails – as usual, the Sidhe are being nothing if not cryptic. However, as a prelude to the Reckoning, Bailey is allowed to travel beyond the “in between” world she usually inhabits in her dreams – she gets to actually visit the Otherworld and meet the other Sidhe. But what is this Reckoning, and why does it seem so sinister? And who is James, the mysterious Sidhe who seems to be interested in her?

Fate is a great follow-up to Barnes’s novel Tattoo. Because the characters are already well-established, there isn’t much of a need for character development. Therefore, some of the more irritating traits of the characters (such as Delia’s obsession with fashion) are toned down a bit. Instead, readers feel like they are visiting with old, well-known friends.

The mythology of Fate is more developed than it was in Tattoo. Fate focuses on Greek mythology and really delves into the legends surrounding the Sidhe. It is very appealing, how Barnes takes existing stories and builds her novel around them. As a result, the reader learns something when he or she reads this novel, adding an additional layer to the story and giving it depth.

Annabelle, Zo, and Delia are hilarious as always, but the story in Fate really focuses on Bailey. Unlike Tattoo, in this novel, Bailey’s three friends watch rather than participate. Fate is Bailey’s story alone, about her Reckoning, her choices. It’s also her coming-of-age story, as she grapples with the thought of graduating from high school and leaving her friends and family for college. It’s a situation that any high school student (or any adult, for that matter) can sympathize with - the desire for things to stay the same rather than welcoming change.

Fate is an entertaining novel that holds appeal for adults as well as its target teen audience. While it isn’t necessary to have read Tattoo first, I highly recommend it. If you don’t, you’ll miss out on a lot of character and mythology development that helps you understand events in Fate. This novel is very enjoyable, and I hope that Jennifer Lynn Barnes continues this series with another installment.
Young adult book reviews for ages 12 and up - middle school and high school students

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