Book Talk: Warped by Maurissa Guibord

Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: February 11, 2011
Series or Standalone: Standalone
Format: Hardcover, 352 pages
Description: Tessa doesn't believe in magic. Or Fate. But there's something weird about the dusty unicorn tapestry she discovers in a box of old books. She finds the creature woven within it compelling and frightening. After the tapestry comes into her possession, Tessa experiences dreams of the past and scenes from a brutal hunt that she herself participated in. When she accidentally pulls a thread from the tapestry, Tessa releases a terrible centuries old secret. She also meets William de Chaucy, an irresistible 16th-century nobleman. His fate is as inextricably tied to the tapestry as Tessa's own. Together, they must correct the wrongs of the past. But then the Fates step in, making a tangled mess of Tessa's life. Now everyone she loves will be destroyed unless Tessa does their bidding and defeats a cruel and crafty ancient enemy.
First line: On a hillside stood three figures.

Can I say first how refreshing it is to read a story in third person? Maybe it's just me, but so much YA is in first now. I'm not saying first person is bad or anything--it's not. In fact, both are hard to do. But I really loved that about this book. I don't know the last book I read in third...maybe Clockwork Angel? Not only was the POV enjoyable to read, it made the book stronger. With this POV, we were able to see the past, Tessa's present, the antagonist's present and the fates better. It was all sorts of amazing.

In fact, everything about this book for me was refreshing. And when I say refreshing, I mean here's a glass of sweet tea while you're mowing the yard at noon in July in the armpit of South Carolina (or Georgia). That kind of refreshing. Yum! 

Tessa was a wonderful MC. She wasn't too average or too needy. She didn't really complain. She didn't have--or want--everything and she didn't need more than she had. She was very content, even despite all the sadness she carried around from the loss of her mother. That too was refreshing. She really was a good friend and a good daughter who happened upon a magical tapestry. A tapestry with a bleeding unicorn and a loose thread, which she pulled and then bam--cute British boy from the 1500s in her bedroom. And bam--story.

I'm trying to figure out what to say because all I have is praise. I was completely taken with this book from the first page. It was intriguing and woven together in such a way that you couldn't figure it out. At all. At least, I couldn't--and more, I didn't want to. I wanted to be surprised, to be carried away without know what was going to happen. That's a big deal for me because I like to be in control. Maurissa Guibord kept control of the story, of my mind, of me. I couldn't stop reading! 

This was a wonderfully written debut! The story was rich with details, emotion and so much mythology. I think that was my favorite part. Unicorns. Fate. Magic. Past and present.  Life as a thread. It poses *subtle thinkable issues in the middle of all the fun! How much control do we really have in our life? This is what Tessa tries to figure out. 

And Will. Will. William de Chauncy. (You love him already because of his name.) He's a great counter to Tessa. He's smart and calm. He makes a comment to her that she tries to fix everything--and he doesn't. He goes with it, figures it out as they move along. And for a guy who's tossed 500 years into the future, he handles it pretty well. I would've freaked out I'm sure. 

I keep replaying scenes in my head--and oh, how brilliant some of them were. I mean, really, really enjoyable. I'm a sucker for a story about magic and British boys. The only thing I can say bad about this book is that it ended too soon. I feel as if there's more to tell! And if she does, I will be reading it. 

*subtle, meaning they aren't the focus of the story, but are such a part of the story


  1. This book sounds really interesting! I'll have to check it out.

  2. Oh yes, I've always been a fan of the name Will! (ever since reading Philip Pullman's "His Dark Materials", and then all the other love interests after that named Will...).

    After this review I will definitely try and get my hands on this book! Can I add something else refreshing? (even though I haven't read it!) The fact that it's standalone. SO MANY YA books are part of a series now, and while I do love a good series, it kinda sucks always knowing from the outset that you won't get a proper ending because there's more to come still...

  3. Nicole--it was really lovely!

    Rachel--I like Will, too. :) You should find it--and you are right, standalones ARE refreshing as well. Great point!


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