Review: Fiendish {Brenna Yovanoff}

Written by Brenna Yovanoff
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Clementine DeVore spent ten years trapped in a cellar, pinned down by willow roots, silenced and forgotten. When Clementine was a child, dangerous and inexplicable things started happening in New South Bend. The townsfolk blamed the fiendish people out in the Willows and burned their homes to the ground. But magic kept Clementine alive, walled up in the cellar, until a boy named Fisher sets her free. Now, Clementine sets out to discover what happened all those years ago. But the truth gets muddled in her dangerous attraction to Fisher, the politics of New South Bend, and the Hollow, a fickle and terrifying place that seems increasingly temperamental ever since Clementine was set free.
Magic realism is one of my favourite things and Fiendish embraces the nuance of magic in an otherwise ordinary world, combining the wonderful with the everyday. And, in fact, making the wonderful into everyday.

Clementine DeVore spent ten years in a cellar and, somehow, she survived. When she returns to the world with her eyes sewn shut, she finds that nobody remembers she existed. The same magic that kept Clementine alive, erased her from the world.

New South Bend has a rustic feel, like a town caught somewhere between time, never sure of where exactly it belongs. It's the modern world, but it's not. There's something of the past layered deep within, and the old South feel makes for a perfect setting, both wild and homely.

 With a mix of families who know craft and those that don't, a constant tension exists that's only made worse when Clementine returns and the magic of the town grows stronger. The loyalty between the 'crooked' folks and the 'ordinary' folks was interesting; how in the worst times they banded together to destroy each other

The town being split by the strange and the normal was a nice touch and makes you think about good and bad and what it is that puts a group of people into either of those categories.

Clementine is one of the best characters I've read about. She wasn't a bad-ass fighter, but she was strong in another way: strong-willed. A heroine who said what she thought and did what was best, at any cost. Her determination to set the world right and to always be kind, even when people were not being kind to her, was admirable and showed an inner strength we don't often see in YA. 

Her relationship with Fisher was wonderful to watch unfold. Their dialogue lit up the pages, with each snappy conversation stapled by more tender and sincere moments. Two people who were so very different and yet so very much the same and who seemed to bring out bravery and power in the other.

Brenna Yovanoff's writing was as mystical as her story, with a dreamy and evocative prose that was almost poetic. Yovanoff knew when to be creepy and surreal, and when to pull it back. Her writing was just the right thing at just the right moments and the story unfolded at exactly the right pace, giving me a book that earned its place in my favourites.

I was too little to think a miracle could be anything but good."

It's always amazing when you find a new favourite book – something that just seems to grip onto you and refuse to let go. A book you carry with you for a long time after you've finished. Perhaps, even, for the rest of your life. After reading Fiendish, Allie realised she had found yet another one of those books and she was pretty pleased with herself.