Marissa Guibord Warped
337 pp. Delacorte Press (Random House Children’s Books) 2011 ISBN: 978-0-385-73891-0
Summary (From the author’s website): Tessa Brody doesn’t believe in magic. Or Fate. But there is definitely something weird about the dusty unicorn tapestry that she discovers in a box of old books. The wild, handsome creature woven within it draws Tessa, and frightens her too.
Soon after the tapestry comes into her possession strange things begin to happen. Tessa experiences vivid dreams of the past and scenes from a brutal hunt. When she accidentally pulls a thread from the tapestry, Tessa releases a terrible secret-one that has been contained for centuries. She also meets William de Chaucy, a young sixteenth-century nobleman with gorgeous eyes, an odd accent and haughty attitude to spare. His fate is as inextricably tied to the tapestry as Tessa’s own. “His Lordship” is pretty hard to get along with but equally hard to resist.
Together with Will, Tessa must correct the wrongs of the past to defeat a cruel and crafty ancient enemy.
But what is she willing to sacrifice in order to do it?
Reading Warped was like eating the best kind of comfort food; it left me feeling cozy and happy. When I was in upper elementary and middle school I loved reading fantasies of all kinds, but especially stories with unicorns. This isn’t a unicorn story, of course, but it still holds the elements of fantasy that I love. There are quite a few fantasy novels out there, but Warped quenched my thirst for what I’ve been missing all these years.
I need to give major kudos to Tessa and Opal’s friendship. Opal is Tessa’s quirky best friend, but what I love most about her is that she never doubts Tessa. How many of you can honestly say that if you told your best friend “Hey, you know that unicorn in my tapestry? Well, it’s actually a guy that just jumped out and landed in my room” she would totally believe you and come straight over? Yep, that’s what I thought. I don’t think too many of us are blessed with a friend who is so loyal and, well, awesome. I know my best friend loves me, but I think she’d come over to make sure I didn’t have a concussion or something… Anyway, Opal is simply awesome and I love how she and Tessa interact with one another.
Of course I’m a fan of Will and an even bigger fan of him and Tessa together! Tessa doesn’t admit right away that she’s attracted to him, but I certainly knew she was! Their banter is enjoyable, but I did feel bad for Will at times. He’s coming from a different century, so while I giggled when Tessa would tease him for things he said or sarcasm he didn’t get, I felt bad because it’s not like he’s dim-witted or anything. However, this dynamic of their relationship made them more believable and lovable. I was definitely rooting for them!
My students who enjoy fantasy will definitely enjoy Warped, but I also suspect that those who like mythology will as well. Maurissa introduces the story with the Norn, otherwise known as the Fates. I like how she weaves them into the story (pun intended? I think so!). Their presence doesn’t overpower the story, but they add an element of suspense and intrigue–especially at the end!
I can’t recommend this debut novel enough. My students interviewed Maurissa in my Students Want to Know feature, and while she did say she isn’t planning a second book, I wouldn’t mind a sequel one bit!