Nissa by Bethany Lopez
Publication: April 23rd 2013
Genre: YA Contemporary Fantasy
From the author—
At 900 years old, Nissa is finally ready to follow her mother’s path and become the best Fairy Godmother she can. She’s not thrilled when her first assignment turns out to be a teenage human girl with self-esteem issues, but she knows she has to start somewhere. Her assignment has dealt with bullies since her freshman year and they haven’t let up. If Nissa can’t help her regain her self-confidence her future is bleak.
To complicate matters Nissa experiences all the signs that she’s met the being fated for her. This impossibility distracts her from her purpose. After all, fairies and humans aren’t meant for each other. How can her heart believe otherwise? Can Nissa successfully complete her first assignment as a Fairy Godmother? Will the fates allow Nissa and Levi to be together? And even if they do, will Levi believe Nissa once she reveals the truth?
Everybody needs a little fluff in their lives sometimes and Nissa filled the bill for me just fine. There’s no heavy-duty story here, just a refreshing little tale of romance made more interesting (to me who doesn’t really like to read romance) with the addition of fairies. Nissa is a charmer and, if there’s anything I would have preferred in the story, it would have been a higher sense of tension. Brandon is very unlikeable but, otherwise, there really is no one to bring conflict even though bullying is the issue. If anything, the rest of the characters, especially Vicky and Levi, are just a bit too wholesome and sort of perfect.
Nissa is labeled as young adult fiction but really may be better suited to the middle grade audience. Except for one rather white-washed scene, there really is no reason for the younger teens not to read this and I think they might enjoy it more than the older set.
Ms. Lopez has a fine eye for details. For example, Nissa and other fairies have a high concentration of zinc in their skin, thus preventing sunburn. Also, a fairy’s right hand tingles when she (or he) meets “the one”. It’s this creative quality that really appealed to me the most, followed closely by a very nice aura of pure fun.
There are some construction flaws, such as incomplete sentences that are not part of dialogue and contractions where they don’t belong such as the constant use of “I’ve” when “I have” would be appropriate. Also, at one point, Levi asks if he might someday meet Nissa in Ireland, implying that’s where she lives, but there had been no earlier mention of Ireland being her home nor any indication of her having an Irish accent. In fact, we’re told she’s from the Redwood Forest in California and that she “will remain in California” for her first mission so why is there any reference to Ireland?
When all is said and done, despite any shortcomings, Nissa gave me an afternoon well-spent enjoying a few hours of entertainment and that’s a good feeling, isn’t it?
Reviewed by Lelia Taylor, April 2013.
About the Author