Golden Girl: A Chick Lit Wednesday Review

“Once upon a time in Kansas, there was a normal girl called Callie. I thought she was me. I’d been told all my life she was me.

“Turns out, all my life I’d been lied to. Turns out, I was about as far from a normal girl as you could get.”

Golden Girl by Sarah ZettelAfter a hard-won victory, Callie LeRoux has finally made her way out of the Dust Bowl. Her small life in a small Kansas town is miles and miles away, along with any believe Callie had that her life would be normal. Now she is in the bright, sunny world of California with her friend Jack looking for her kidnapped mother and the father she never got the chance to meet.

Now that Callie knows the truth–that she is part Fairy complete with the magic that comes with it–she is running out of time. Enemies are closing in and Callie still has a lot to learn about her powers and the prophecy that predicts she will change the entire Fairy realm.

With missing parents to find, Fairy monsters to dodge and a very annoying child star to tend, Callie has her hands full. She will have to muster all of her strength (not to mention her magic) if she wants to save her parents and get free from the Fairies in Golden Girl (2013) by Sarah Zettel.

Golden Girl is the sequel to Dust Girl and the second book in Zettel’s American Fairy Trilogy.

Golden Girl picks up with Callie and Jack settled in California as they negotiate Hollywood’s studio system to try and find the Fairies holding Callie’s mother captive. Zettel once again brings a piece of 1935 to life–this time with vivid descriptions that are as bright as any technicolor films.

The story is also, once again, imbued with music throughout: chapter titles come from Gershwin hits and spirituals. A list of recommended listening (and watching) can be found at the back of the book along with an author’s note about some historical details.

Callie is one of my favorite narrators. Her voice is perfect for the time period and her story. Zettel’s writing seems effortless with crisp dialog and evocative scenes of both the human and fairy worlds.

Although Golden Girl refers to earlier events (and, of course, has some loose ends to deal with in the final book), this book is a largely complete story that works well on its own. While fantasy readers are the obvious audience for this book, Golden Girl is also a delightful choice for fans of old movies and music as well as anyone interested in the 1930s. Zettel once again demonstrates her abundant talent as an author in Golden Girl.

Possible Pairings: Midnight at the Electric by Jodi Lynn Anderson, The Darkest Part of the Forest by Holly Black, The Diviners by Libba Bray, The Dark Unwinding by Sharon Cameron, Graceling by Kristin Cashore, Enchanted Ivy by Sarah Beth Durst,  A Creature of Moonlight by Rebecca Hahn, The Ten Thousand Doors of January by Alix E. Harrow, Fire and Hemlock by Diana Wynne Jones, The Iron King by Julie Kagawa, A Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula K. LeGuin, The Perilous Gard by Elizabeth Marie Pope, Vassa in the Night by Sarah Porter, Extraordinary by Nancy Werlin, Paper Valentine by Brenna Yovanoff