Me, My Elf and I by Heather Swain
(Speak, Paperback, June 2009)
New York City is completely different from Zephyr's home. In Averland, Zephyr and her family are free to roam around the countryside and be their magic elfin selves; in New York City, Zephyr must hide her magic and her heritage. It's not so easy to do because magic is second nature to Zephyr and, like all elves, she's tall and gorgeous. With the help of a few friends, Zephyr begins to fit in. But will the jealous queen bee of her high school force Zephyr to show her true self?
Bonus points for a story written about elves...vampires and werewolves are so passé. Zephyr was a likable character, naive but self-assured. The theme of family was a central focus of the book and Swain did a good job showing that Zephyr's confidence was the result of her upbringing. The concept of an elf family in New York City lost a bit of charm for me, however, due to the thinly veiled influence of Gossip Girl. Bella, the most popular girl in school, declares war on Zephyr and she mainly does it through a very public blog. This blog appears throughout the story, being the main source of school gossip and the driving factor behind some of Zephyr's actions. The originality of Zephyr's heritage was dulled by the unoriginal gossip website. Despite this setback, Me, My Elf and I is an enjoyable story and I'd love to read more about Zephyr's world. Heather Swain has a unique set of characters here and I hope that she writes a second book that further develops this world.