At twenty-six, Till is far from having a life of her own. She lives with her parents, works in her family’s store, and has little time or opportunity for anything else. But when she’s asked to help her rather mysterious great-aunt so a bit of home inventory, the dull live she was barely living suddenly becomes a lot more interesting.
She’s always felt a little different than everyone else, and lately her insomnia has been getting worse and worse. But when it’s all explained as part of being a fairy, she’s not sure who’s crazier — her great-aunt for insisting it’s true, or Till herself for humoring the old woman. Soon, though, it becomes apparent that fairy may be the only logical explanation. How else do things and people almost magically appear and disappear in an instant?
Till quickly finds herself immersed in a world unlike any she’s ever known, where fairies are trained to be godmothers, where sleep never comes, and where a magical university is only a teleportation away. But becoming a fairy godmother isn’t as simple as it seems, from having to learn and master her otherworldly skills to the disheartening discovery that fairies don’t necessarily get a happily ever after. And when she falls for a fellow fae, she’s not only giving up sleep; she may also be giving up her dreams.
I hate this story because I love it so much. And then I hate it some more. Which probably just means I love it beyond explanation. Ugh. I’m so mad that it ended! I need more and more and more of it!
Till, like any of us might be, is immediately skeptical, then shocked, and then somewhat accepting of the fate she suddenly learns is hers. The world around her isn’t what she thought it was, and she soon learns that fairies walk among, interact with, and look out for humans that are none the wiser when it comes to the existence of these fantasy creatures. She doesn’t suddenly come into great power or become any less human; she just becomes more fairy than she ever knew was possible. Tasked with learning what will be her “job” for life, not to mention developing and gaining control of the strange abilities she now has, Till relies heavily on the other fairies living in her great-aunt’s home. The result is that she falls head over fairy dusted heels for a man she can never have.
The romance is sweet, angsty, painful, and heartwarming (hence the crazy love/hate thing I’ve got going on), and while I wondered when I first opened the book if it would just be too “out there” for someone with my reading tastes, I clearly had no reason to worry. I don’t want to spoil anything by explaining all the reasons why I feel this way, but I can tell you that I fell a little in love with Gus myself. What I thought would be an interesting, maybe a different kind of read for me somehow had me hooked within just the first couple of chapters, and the more I read, the more I loved it.
Like a certain boy wizard the world fell in love with, Till is an otherwise normal girl who soon learns of a layer of magic within the world that till now has been utterly plain and unexciting. Her guides through the fantasy plane are other fairies, some of whom are annoying while others are downright addictive. And while the book lacks any real darkness, there’s a seriousness, a weight that bears down more and more as Till realizes what she has no choice but to give up if she’s ever to become someone’s fairy godmother. And that may be what I love most about the story. Obviously I’m not opposed to tales of magic and fantasy, but it resonates best with me when it’s woven into the world I already know. I feel like I’ll be ruining the fun for other readers if I go into too much detail about how it all played out, so I think I’ll just leave things like this…
Of Stardust is at once whimsical and serious, completely engaging and fantastically entertaining, and absolutely something everyone who loves a little normalcy, a little romance, and a little fantasy all combined should read right now. Me? I’ll just sit back here and hope my fairy godmother grants some kind of continuation or sequel.