Fairy Lies, by E.D. Baker (Bloomsbury, 2011, middle grade, 256 pages)
A few months after the end of her adventures told in Fairy Wings (originally titled Wings), fifteen year old Tamisin is growing restless. She finds herself drawn to the closed gate that leads to the land of the fey...a land where her birth mother Titania is queen of the fairies. She's not sure she wants to actually go back there anytime soon, and she knows her boyfriend Jak, who's magical in his own right, would far, far rather not.
But then her own wishes become irrelevant when the fairy king, Oberon, kidnaps her and claims to be her father. At first Tamisin is giddy with a happy sense of belonging, and relishes life in the fairy realm, but as she explores the strange society of Oberon's court, she learns that all is not as pretty as it first seems. In the meantime, Jak has set out to rescue her, and bring her home--despite the monsters and pitfalls that he must confront on his journey. Though he makes it to Oberon's kingdom, it's up to Tamisin to draw on all her cleverness and resourcefulness to get them out again...if she wants to leave.
Fairy Lies is a combination of mystery, adventure, and light romance, set in a world peopled by all manner of colorful mythological beings--goblins, sphinxes, unicorns, mermaids, sea monsters and more! The perspective shifts between Jak's more action and adventure arc and Tamisin's more thoughtful one, and although Tamisin's side of things might not have as much fast-paced zest as Jak's, I always appreciate a young heroine who becomes aware of injustice and activly opposes it!
Young readers (fifth grade girls, in particular) will probably love it--it's cute, and amusing, and has a nice bit of fairy princess wish-fulfilment. Although the main characters are high school students, they don't seem like almost adults, but more like kids who just happen to be teenagers.
This might make readers who are themselves teens impatient with both Tamisin and Jak's relationship, which never quite reaches a deep level of commitment, and with the light simplicity of the story telling. In short--if you find the cover appealing, you'll probably enjoy the book lots!
Speaking of covers and age levels, the original cover of the first book in the series (Wings/aka Fairy Wings) had an older looking girl; I'd give that book to a 12 year old. The new edition matches the more 10 year old girl feel of the second book (and of course the change to a pink tunic adds to its girl appeal!).
Disclaimer: ARC of Fairy Lies received from the publisher for review.