"It isn't easy to describe what I saw. It was a fragment of Josh, as if a mirror had recorded his reflection at the moment it shattered. It had one brown eye with heavy glitter liner, a sharp angle of incomplete nose, half of his voluptuous mouth. It was unmistakably Josh, but also not: Josh shrunken and reduced and ugly, a shard of imp. Two feet tall at most.
It glided along the wall's base, mostly flat but sometimes popping into three dimensions. There would be a thrust of cheekbone or a jutting elbow, just for an instant. I could hear its pained breathing. Its single nostril was broken off, after all. It saw me watching and flashed me a look: furtive and shamefaced, but also just a bit amused. The corner of its mouth hiked, but not enough to count as a grin."
Josh and Ksenia are in foster care and consider themselves brother and sister, but their foster parents plan to separate them by sending Ksenia away when she turns eighteen. Unwilling to lose the only family either of them has ever known, Josh persuades Ksenia to join him in a strange otherworld populated by the fairy court and other stolen children. The fairies are as cruel as they are beautiful, and accepting their gifts comes at a price. Ksenia wants to leave, but she won't go without Josh, and it may already be too late for him. Their friend, Lexie wants to help them find their way home, but she must risk her own safety to do it.
Never Contented Things by Sarah Porter is an eerie young adult urban fantasy novel. It takes the old trope of fairies stealing human children and leaving changelings in their place and weaves a macabre, but modern story about love, jealousy and trying to fit in. This is not the kind of young adult story with characters who are good role models. All the characters are deeply flawed teenagers who make a lot of mistakes. Don't read it if you are looking for an easy, comfortable read with a happy ending. Do read it if you want sumptuous language, complicated characters and really creepy fairies.
Disclaimer: I was given a complimentary copy of this book by Tor Teen, via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review.
Published: March 19, 2019