Book Review: Dust Girl by Sarah Zettel

Title: Dust Girl
Author: Sarah Zettel
Genre: YA/urban fantasy/historical
Date Read: 09/08/2015 – 14/08/2015
Rating: ★★★★


dustigrlcoverThis is another book that I’ve had on my TBR and only just got around to. I think I enjoyed it a little less than I was expecting (both my GoodReads friends who’ve read it gave it five stars), but it was still a quick and enjoyable read.

Callie is a biracial teenager living in a small town in the midst of the Dust Bowl of the 1930s. Callie has never known her father, but she and her mother try their best to run a hotel originally opened by Callie’s grandparents, but with more and more people leaving town, it’s becoming harder and harder. Then one day, Callie’s mother disappears, she meets a mysterious Native American man, and gets attacked by giant locusts disguised as human. She also meets a boy called Jack, who theorises that the people after her may be fairies. This is just the beginning. Now Jack and Callie are running away from Slow Run, and are caught in a battle between the Seelie and Unseelie Fairy Courts.

They style of this book is very different to most contemporary YA. I think the historical setting has a bit to with that; Callie’s style of narration reflects the times, as well as the place where they live. This was a really nice relief; there comes a time when every YA first person narrator starts to sound the same.

Jack was a pretty standard character – he helped when he needed to, he caused some conflict and he had a bit of his own back story and reasons for doing things, but I never really got that invested in him. There is definitely the set-up for a romance in later books, though that was very vague in this one.

I really loved the world-building, and how the traditional ideas of the Seelie and Unseelie Courts were transplanted into that era of American history. I’m not American, but I’ve read enough books and seen enough movies to have a vibe for that setting, and this fitted in perfectly. The fairies hung around jazz clubs and creepy amusement parks, making the humans think that everything was perfect when in actual fact it was anything but.

While I definitely enjoyed the book, and while it definitely sets itself up for the sequel, I’m not actually 100% decided if I am hooked enough to keep reading. This is primarily because my library doesn’t have the second and third books, and I’m actually not sure that I have enough of an investment in the continuing story to actually spend money on it. Having said that, I’ve added book 2 to my TBR. It’s something I can always come back to later.