Warped is an engaging story filled with classic fantasy elements. This book was able to take typical, yet popular, young adult themes and weave them into a reminiscently fairytale-like plot filled with wit and well-paced action. Maurissa Guibord’s Warped is a young adult fantasy practical enough for all ages.
Tessa is seventeen and an impressively down-to-earth kind of girl. Having dealt with such real issues as the unexpected death of her beloved mother, whimsical concepts like fate or destiny seem almost insultingly implausible to her. Therefore it was uncharacteristic of her to throw herself into a bidding war at an auction over a crate of books that also included a bonus unicorn tapestry. Having won the war, several hundred dollars of her father’s book shop’s money later, Tessa is enchanted by the tapestry – quite physically. She is thrown into fits of memories that are not her own and dreams that thrust her into an entirely different time period.
Things get weirder yet when she pulls a thread from the tapestry and suddenly finds a man standing confusedly in her bedroom looking at her like she was a traitorous sort of woman. She looks at him back, trying not to freak out at his presence, and recognizes something familiar about him – his eyes. They were the same eyes that had struck her so profoundly about the unicorn that was in the tapestry. Was in the tapestry is key. Upon the arrival of Will de Chaucy’s handsome form in her bedroom, the Unicorn disappeared from the threads of the tapestry.
This book combined fascinating elements of various fantastical themes from different regions of the world. Author Maurissa Guibord points out that so many societies throughout history have shared the same theories on the supernatural. They have catalogued the same types of god-like figures, such as Grecian Norn, and mythical beasts, such as unicorns. Guibord presents a theory as to why these themes cross the globe – because these figures and beasts are real. Tessa finds out just how real they can be.
This philosophical concept (as well as the promise of unicorns and a handsome knight) was my initial draw to this book. As an adult who typically is not drawn to the young adult genre, I particularly appreciate the style of how this book was written. The main character Tessa is witty and surprisingly adept to handling situations as they arise. Endearingly, she surprises herself at her own bravery. All the while she is growing into herself (in a wonderfully sarcastic yet lacking in whininess sort of way) she is also falling for the handsome stranger from the past, Will.
Will is not the boy next door – unless you happen to live next to a 16th century castle. Centuries ago he was enchanted by the witch woman, Gray Lilly. He was trapped in the tapestry in the form of a unicorn until Tess freed him. Now released in this 21st century world, Will is adorably faced with culture shock. Everything is amazing to him – roads, street lights, phones, computers – everything. This book reminded me of a more witty and clever version of the movie Kate and Leopold because Will so easily adapts to the modern world, yet he is utterly astounded by it.
Complimenting this defined character development is the nice pacing of the plot. Warped manipulated all plot aspects to flow nicely, therefore keeping the reader always engaged. From page one Guibord takes the reader by the hand and leads him or her through the progressive stages of the plot without lull.
Warped is an entertaining sort of book. I recommend it for the beach or those times when you just want to relax and have the story laid out before you. This isn’t meant to be a deep, mentally stimulating kind of book. It’s fun. And sometimes you just need a fun kind of read. When you are craving that kind of fun, reach for Warped.