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Friday, February 25, 2011

Fairy Tales Can Come True by Silver James

Fairy Tales Can Come True by Silver James
Class of ’85 series
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (84 pgs)
Heat Level: Sensual
Rating: 3.5 books
Reviewed by Poinsettia

Going home for her 25th class reunion isn't on Alex London's radar until her assistant pulls out the fairy godmother card. News correspondent, Deke Carpenter would rather cover the nearest war than attend the reunion--yet deep down he hopes to encounter the girl who got away, Dorothy Reagan, now well-known fashion photographer, Alex London.

Alex, on the other hand, has hopes of seeing the boy she carried a torch for all these years--basketball player Marty Keegan.

In one whirlwind weekend, surrounded by the ghosts of high school past, Alex and Deke discover each other and the unwritten rule of fairy godmothers everywhere: Fairy Tales Can Come True.

Will Alex stop hiding behind her camera?

One of the things I liked most about Fairy Tales Can Come True was that I found the basic idea of going to a high school reunion very relatable. While I’m sure many people are very excited to attend such an event, I’m also sure just as many people experience a mix of dread and anticipation, like Alex and Derek. Alex dreads seeing the people she went to high school with since she was never very popular, but she also hopes that she might see the boy she had a crush years ago. It is an opportunity she can’t pass up. Derek also has some reservations about attending the reunion, but also decides to go on the chance that he might see someone special, Alex.

I thought that Alex was a very interesting character. Throughout the story, she keeps trying to bolster her confidence by telling herself that she isn’t the same person she was back then. However, as I read the story, I became convinced that Alex was very much the same person she was back then. She’d run away to a different continent, and changed her name, but inside, she was still an insecure teenager. In a way, part of her is still living in the past. Even the excitement of seeing Marty is rooted in the way that she remembers him all those years ago, but is her memory accurate? Even though she was apprehensive about going to the reunion, I liked the fact that she faced her fear and went anyway. I enjoyed watching her face the past and come through the experience a stronger and more confident woman.

Derek was a great hero and was much more confident about his place in life than Alex. He’s a successful reporter based in New York. His mother still lives in his home town, so he returns to the area periodically. He isn’t very close to any of the people he graduated with, but he doesn’t harbor the same fear that Alex does in attending the reunion. To Derek, high school is a thing of the past, and while he’s excited to see Alex, I liked that his excitement is very much about what the future might hold if he and Alex were to become involved.

One of the things that I alternately liked and didn’t like about the story was that many of the secondary characters were stereotypical. On one hand, I didn’t like this aspect of the story because that meant that these characters weren’t very interesting. On the other hand, I can see how keeping those characters a bit generic can let the reader fill in their own details. For example, as the reader learns about Alex’s crush on Marty, they might remember a boy they always had a crush on.

I also liked the message of Fairy Tales Can Come True. High school is a unique time that shapes a person, but it doesn’t control the rest of their life. In high school, Alex discovered her passion for photography, and Derek discovered his talent for being a reporter. However, Derek doesn’t let memories of high school control his life. As the story progressed, it was a pleasure watching Alex learn to let go of some of her old fears and memories too.

Fairy Tales Can Come True was an enjoyable short story. Anyone who’s ever faced the challenge of going to a high school reunion is sure to relate to Alex and Derek’s predicament. I recommend it to anyone looking for a quick, fun read.