The Blue Girl

by Charles De Lint

Paperback, 2006





Firebird (2006), Edition: Reprint, 368 pages


New at her high school, Imogene enlists the help of her introverted friend Maxine and the ghost of a boy who haunts the school after receiving warnings through her dreams that soul-eaters are threatening her life.


Original language


Original publication date


Physical description

368 p.; 8.26 inches

User reviews

LibraryThing member Jenson_AKA_DL
Imogene is an unusual girl. Brought up on a commune and running with a street gang when she moved to the city Imogene had thought she'd seen it all. Then Imogene, her mother and brother moved to Newford and she decided to turn over a new leaf. This plan seems to be going well, she has a new best
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friend named Maxine, she staying out of trouble and even making good grades. That is, until she discovers she is being stalked by Ghost, the spirit of a bullied boy who died at the school and her childhood imaginary friend Pell-Mell begins leading a dischordant band of fairies from Imogene's closet on a nightly basis. Suddenly Imogene is learning that there really are things that go bump in the night and that the shadows contain more things than just high school bullies.

I found The Blue Girl to be an interesting fantasy told in alternating portions between Imogene, Maxine (her best friend) and Adrian the boy ghost. I felt that the switching of the voices gave the story more depth and wasn't at all confusing. I particularly was fond of Adrian and was horrified by the circumstances that led to his death. My only complaint is that although I liked Imogene she seemed a little overly perfect to me. Pretty, compassionate, tough and protective Imogene had no flaws other than a slightly checkered past from running with a gang. She even had a perfect mother and brother (lucky girl!!) All in all I enjoyed The Blue Girl very much and would recommend it to anyone interested in young adult or urban fantasy.
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LibraryThing member jedimarri
This was my second time reading through "The Blue Girl" by Charles de Lint, and I enjoyed it just as much the second time as I did the first! This is one of his books geared more for young adults, and it is also the winner of the World Fantasy Award.

In this book we meet two very different girls,
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Imogene and Maxine. Imogene isn't afraid to be different, and she has a past to prove it. You can generally find her dressed in punkish clothes, often with her tattoo's showing, and doing who knows what else to look fun and funky! Maxine lives an extremely sheltered life because of an overprotective mother and her clothes can only be described as "proper" which equates to "boring."

These unlikely pair of girls become best friends after Imogene moves into the area. Slowly they begin to influence each other. Imogene helps Maxine to loosen up a little bit, and to eventually break free from some of her mother's restraints. Maxine, in turn, teaches Imogene the value of studying, and helps to teach her some other values as well.

There's a twist though, the school is haunted by a boy named Adrian, and he becomes friends with Imogene. The school also holds a handful of fairies, and Imogene refuses to believe Adrian that their real. So the fairies set off to prove their existence to Imogene, and in the process accidentally bring her into the focus of some extremely nasty other world characters!
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LibraryThing member ARQuay
The Blue Girl is the tale seventeen year-old Imogene, the rebellious punk new girl in the town of Newford, who is trying to stay out of the sort of trouble that plagued her in her former home. She soon befriends the literally and figuratively buttoned-up Maxine, an extremely intelligent girl and
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social pariah. They are ruthlessly picked on by the star quarterback and head cheerleader, an extremely tired trope and unfortunate choice by author Charles de Lint. This bullying attracts the attention of Adrian, a tall teenage ghost with “Harry Potter glasses” who haunts their high school, and who had passed away a handful of years earlier after a rather miserable, misfit existence of his own. He falls in love with Imogene from afar, and tries to make a connection with her by luring her into his world and the group of faeries that he has befriended. While attempting to introduce Imogene to their existence, the faeries instead attract a powerfully evil force that now has its sights on Imogene and her soul.
The Blue Girl is serviceable YA fantasy, although its storyline doesn’t always feel cohesive. Why, for example, must the reader sit through Imogene’s slow realization to the world of the fairies, when de Lint takes such an effort to make them real for the audience long before she catches on? The most refreshing aspect of the story is that the story does revolve around the friendship the girls form and the battles they must win, and although they each have romantic interests, they are on the periphery instead of the motivation behind all the action.
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LibraryThing member la_librarian
Although Imogene is the central heroine of Charles de Lint's urban fantasy novel, the story is told from three points of view including Imogene, her friend Maxine, and a ghost boy named Adrian. It can get confusing if you don't pay attention as the chapters switch from "then" to "now" and in the
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various points of view. Still, the story is engaging enough to keep you straight.

The basic premise is: plucky bad girl moves to new town (trying to behave), makes friends with mousy sweet loser, and weird magical stuff starts to happen. The three major characters are developed well enough that when the story ends you want to know what is next for these girls. Imogene is a kick butt "nice" bad girl...think Angelina Jolie at 16 or 17 with short spiky hair. She becomes friends with Maxine and they rub off on each other in positive ways.

I enjoyed that Imogene was a cool tough chick but she wasn't breaking laws or being a punk. She actually defended other people and tried to do the right thing.

Definitely would like to see a sequel in the future and will try de Lint's other novels.
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LibraryThing member TPLThing
In author Charles de Lint’s world, fairies are not the cuddly little imps portrayed by Walt Disney. Yes, some might be cute, but our values are wholly irrelevant to them. In this novel, for example, a clique of fairies amuses itself by doing things like throwing people off buildings and
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conspiring to have peoples’ souls stolen. Fun, sure, but not exactly something to laugh about over a beer at the neighborhood bar. It’s not that these fairies are evil, mind, it’s just that we humans play by very different rules. Imogene, a high-school girl, finds herself dealing with these fairy games while already struggling to cope with the more mundane realities of adolescence. While most of de Lint’s novels are shelved in the adult section, this one is found in the teen room. It’s a fun read, and definitely interesting, though it does at times it does stray into the "hip to be square" preachiness that authors of young-adult books so often seem to be fond of.
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LibraryThing member gercmbyrne
excellent, a great book for younger readers, including young adults. i know quite a few old readers who enjoyed it too.
LibraryThing member QueenAlyss
Very very good book. I think it's quite original too... the whole, girl finds out she's a faery and she's kinda kick ass as well.
LibraryThing member Black_samvara
I love Newford stories and this is another gem - I'd call it young adult fiction though. Imogene Yeck is a tough lass who decides to make a go of things at her new school. She starts off by not getting in to a brawl with the school bullies, even better she makes friends with a lovely girl who is in
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just as much need of a companion as she is. Things are not going to be easy however, the school ghost has a crush on her and has drawn her to the attention of the school's fairies.
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LibraryThing member dingleberries11
The first time I read a book by Charles de Lint, I fell in love with his punk girls and dark folklore. The Blue Girl did not disappoint on either of these fronts… which is actually sort of a problem, because it didn’t give me a lot of negative things to point out in this critique. It is so much
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easier to make fun of something than to praise it =P

I can say that how Charles de Lint writes in his adult fiction versus his youth fiction is very distinctive. The content is similar, but the style and voice he uses are quite different. Personally I enjoy his adult books more because I am not one for a ton of teen angst.
But I still enjoyed this book a lot.

Complaints? The only real thing that bothered me was the climax. It seemed the entire time like Charles de Lint was building up to this huge dangerous confrontation, but then… it just didn’t. You get right up to the confrontation, and then it is just dealt with. Simply.
That didn’t ruin the book for me, though. It made since with some of the points that Lint was trying to get across in the book. I just like there to be epic-ness that was sadly lacking in what I thought was going to be the main part of the book.

Points I really liked: imaginary friends, mentioning Neil Gaiman (fantastic author), uplifting being a misfit, fairies that aren’t all laughter and pixie dust, bringing up “the Adversary” (which I guess is something that has been throughout and in fairy tales, but I had never come across the term before reading the graphic novel series, Fables… which I recommend), a ghost that resembles Harry Potter, and the lack of what is considered “normal” romance in most teen novels.
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LibraryThing member franoscar
This is a fantasy involving a couple of non-popular girls who are hip & smart, a ghost, some loose-cannon fairies, yucky popular kits. It is well-written but there isn't much mystery.
LibraryThing member bellalibrarian
It took me awhile to get into this one, but about halfway through the story of Maxine and Imogene against the fairies had me quite interested. Definitely worth a try if you are a fan of urban fantasy. What I really liked about this book is that de Lint wrote so that things made sense to his
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readers. We understand how to protect ourselves from fairies, and why we need to.
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LibraryThing member bluesalamanders
I've been wanting to reread it almost since I put it down the first time I read it, and here we go. It was pretty much as good the second time around as the first. It's an urban fantasy about what happens when a new girl (Imogene) comes to school and strange things start happening to and around
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her. But she's the type to go and figure out what the heck is going on, and so she does, bringing her new friend Maxine with her.
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LibraryThing member yarkan
Interesting how he uses three different first person narrators. He distinguishes Now and Then as well. I don't know how necessary that was.
The main character is a female. She resorts to violence and yet her friend saves her from going to far. Perhaps that was a little contrived for the more
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palatable moral.
He blends issues of identity in adolescents and bullying with magic, ghosts and fairies.
It moves smoothly. It builds up and everything seems resolved at the end. Very solid piece of work.
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LibraryThing member JuliaKay
Funny at first then got a little to creepy for me.
LibraryThing member gimble
Imogene is naturally a strange person who appears to have everything in order until she meets a ghost and he tries to convince her of fairies. From that point on Imogene and her friend Maxine find themselves way down the rabbit hole.
Very good read though most of de Lints books tend to be.
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Recommend highly.
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LibraryThing member francescadefreitas
I enjoy reading stories by Charles de Lint, and I liked this book. I liked the story, and the main characters. I especially liked the ambivalence of the school fairies.

I did not like the narrative style, I found it choppy, and a few times, I had to turn back to check whose voice I was reading. A
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few familiar Newford characters get a mention.

So, a fun read, a good one to recommend younger readers, but it didn't set me afire.
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LibraryThing member Jadesbooks
I was unsure of how this book would turn out, it was an impulse buy - but I'm glad that I did buy it. The story is fast moving and you never quite have the whole thing figured out.
This story starts with the unlikely friendship of two girls who are outcasts of their highschool. They get caught up
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in the world of faries, magic and ghosts - which can be a very dangerous place. How the girls were going to get out of their near death experience - kept me guessing until the end. Well worth the gamble on this book.
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LibraryThing member akmargie
I wanted to like this book far more than I actually did. Maybe it was a matter of taste but it felt flat to me, the characters were kinda limp and the story moved slowly for me. A very "meh" sort of feeling.
LibraryThing member Kayla-Marie
My first Charles de Lint book and definitely not my last. Imogene was such a kick-ass heroine, which is something that always guarentees that I'll love the book (Rose from Vampire Academy comes to mind as one of my favorite female protagonists). Imogene reminded me a lot of my college roommate from
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sophomore year: tough, artsy, friendly and open. Very urban.

I enjoyed the spin of the fantasy world quite a bit, with all the evil, selfish fairies. I have to read some of the earlier books in this series and see if I can find out more about that gypsy woman that Maxine was chatting with online. I thought she had a really interesting story to her but she remained a total mystery throughout the book. I'm assuming she's a recurring character and that she plays a more major part in the first books. Or I'm hoping that's the case.
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LibraryThing member ladycato
When Imogene starts high school in Newford, she's not surprised when her punk looks attract bullies right away. However, she's determined to stay out of the sort of trouble she fell into deep at her last school. She soon makes friends with Maxine, a straight-laced girl who attracts her share of
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bullying, too. With this being Newford, though, there's something more going on. Imogene also attracts the admiration of the geeky school ghost--and because of him, the resident fairies also take an interest--and when the fairies focus on someone, that draws the attention of much darker creatures...

I've loved all of my adventures in Newford so far and this book is no exception. Charles de Lint awes me with his writing ability. This book was painful for me since the first part dwelled so much on high school and bullying--hello, flashbacks--but the supernatural elements sucked me in. Imogene and Maxine are fantastic characters, flawed and full of teenager issues, and all the more real because of it. Even the minor characters zing as though de Lint writes of things he has really known, just like his recurring storyteller character Christy Riddell.

This may be a young adult book, but anyone who loves fantasy should seek this one out--and have some salt and blue dye handy, just in case darker beings take note.
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LibraryThing member LibraryCin
Imogene ran with a bad crowd in her last school, but when she, her mother, and her brother move to Newford, she meets a girl, Maxine, who gets picked on and they become best friends. Imogene decides she’ll try to be straight and narrow. At the same time, she is no stranger to standing up for
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herself against the school bullies – in this case the head cheerleader and her football-playing boyfriend. When Adrian sees this from a distance, he falls for Imogene. But, Adrian is a ghost… with friends who are fairies. When he actually meets Imogene, he manages to get her into something dangerous. In the meantime, Imogene’s childhood imaginary friend, Pelly, shows up, but there’s something different about him.

I don’t believe any of my summary is a spoiler. It’s all on the blurb on the back of the book, and it’s all revealed very early on in the book. I really liked this! I do love the references to other characters in some of de Lint’s other Newford books, as well. The viewpoint changes between Imogene, Maxine, and Adrian, and a bit of back and forth in time, but you are told at the beginning of each chapter whose POV you are following and when, so I didn’t find it too tricky to follow. I would love to read more from Newford, but always hard to choose which one next!
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LibraryThing member plappen
Imogene is new to Redding High, in the town of Newford. Having left her previous school because of fighting and gang activity, she resolves to work harder in school, and otherwise re-invent herself. But she refuses to give up her punk/thrift store wardrobe.

Imogene's first friend is Maxine, who
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everyone thinks of as a loser. It's because Maxine's mother is extremely domineering. Oddly enough, the friendship works.

Trouble is brewing. Imogene is noticed by the school bully, who is also captain of the football team. She makes the acquaintance of Adrian, the school's ghost. He is a former student who fell off the multi-story roof. He has also developed a crush on Imogene. She gets on the wrong side of a group of trouble-making fairies (no, they don't have wings and carry magic wands). As if that wasn't enough, Pelly, Imogene's imaginary playmate from when she was a child, is now real.

Adrian, inadvertently, makes Imogene known to the Soul Snatchers, beings who are best avoided at all costs. Pelly finds a Soul Snatcher "repellent", which temporarily turns Imogene's skin blue. Halloween is coming, when the barrier between worlds is at its thinnest. Is it possible to convince the Soul Snatchers to leave Imogene permanently alone? Does someone else get snatched in her place?

This is a very enjoyable young adult novel. The author is said to be the founder of the urban fantasy genre, and it certainly shows. The depiction of high school is very realistic, and it is just weird enough, without being too weird. Teens will love this story; so will adults.
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LibraryThing member whatsmacksaid
I just finished rereading "The Blue Girl" for the first time in about four years (and unfortunately, only during this reading did I realize there are many, many more stories that take place in Newford). My favorite part about the story was Imogene's voice. She's brilliant and quirky and brave and
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fun, and of course, don't we all wish we were brilliant, quirky, brave and fun?

The adults--the parents, in particular, stood out to me as well. They weren't absentee parents, as is common in so many other YA books. Maxine's father didn't play much of a role in the story, and Imogene's father didn't at all, but both of their mothers featured relatively prominently. They were minor characters, of course, but what I like to call major-minor characters (as in, they show up and interact with major characters more than other minor characters). Maxine's mother even had her own character arch where she grew and began to recover from her divorce. It was interesting, because both mothers were very clearly supportive characters.

The best part of this story was when Imogene accepts the existence of fairies and realizes she hasn't been dreaming when she sees them. The reader already knew it, Maxine suspected, Christy knew it, Adrian knew it, Tommery knew it--it was totally common knowledge, and all that was left was for Imogene to discover her new reality. When she did, though--that one line ("It wasn't a dream.") was the single most chilling thing I've come across in I don't know how long. It was beautifully done, and it was a stroke of genius on Charles de Lint's part.

It was chilling because bad dreams aren't real. That's what everyone tells themselves, or each other, when we wake up in the middle of the night. "It's okay. It was only a dream. It's over now, it wasn't real. It was only a dream." But to discover that it wasn't just a dream, and that it isn't okay--that's one of the most horrifying things that can happen to someone.

After Imogene comes to that realization, though, the story drops off for a bit. It just isn't as exciting. The pace isn't kept up or anything; they're planning out how to defeat the bad guys and it's just unnecessary word fluff. I honestly got bored enough to think about quitting in the middle of the book, though I'm glad I stuck with it. The climax at the end is worth it.
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LibraryThing member the1butterfly
This is an earlier entry into urban faeries that I've only just discovered. So that's two Charles de Lint's about faeries that I've found so far (other was "Jack the Giant Killer"), which makes me suspect that I should look for more of his stuff. I was pleased with the way things ended up, though a
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sequel wouldn't come amiss.
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LibraryThing member gayla.bassham
YA but still enjoyable. I liked it as an adult, but I think I would have LOVED it as a preteen or teen. I'm passing it on to my daughter to read. The characters really make the book.




½ (431 ratings; 3.9)
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