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I received a free ecopy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.
Cailin, a pixi, is forced to serve her father's oath of servitude owed to a man called Owen Ainsley. Years ago, Owen saved her father from certain death, and now Owen needs help with his son, Teague. Teague lost everything when he went blind in a baseball accident and has begun drinking like a fish, left school, and refuses to go to his therapist. Cailin's father decides he isn't going but is going to send his daughter to fulfill his promise by staying with the family for a year and trying to help Teague as much as she can. Cailin knows little about humans and is only twelve inches tall. Her father hopes that by fulfilling this oath will keep her out of the Darkness, a horrible place where pixi's are punished. In Cailin's case, she may have been sent because she doesn't follow the traditional pixi beauty standards (she dyes her hair and wears heavy makeup), and one of the pixi's of the Portune really has it out for her family, and is just itching for an excuse to send her entire family to the Darkness. Now, Teague has no idea pixi's exist and no idea who Cailin is, let alone why he should let her into his home for an entire year. Both will have to figure out how to make things work if they want to stay out of the Darkness.
I like the concept of this book. I haven't read many YA fantasy/paranormal books featuring pixis and the author does a good job of giving the pixis a distinct and unique sound in comparison to the human characters. Both Cailin and Teague had unique voices and felt pretty realistic. I liked that we could see them bring out the good in each other, but not too quickly.
However, the world-building left a little to be desired. I wanted to know more about the pixi as a culture/people. Sometimes Cailin seems so different from Teague, but then at other times I couldn't really tell the difference because she felt very human, just a little on the short side. I also would have liked to know more about this Darkness place, and what exactly is Lennox's problem? I also didn't quite understand the oath aspect. Cailin is sent to the human world in order to work to fulfill a promise made by her father to Owen, but it seemed to me that Owen had to do the most work. He has to keep her safe, in more ways than one, make sure she doesn't leave, and make his home more pixi-accessible. I also don't quite get what he was expecting her to do - how would her presence be better than a human therapist? I also thought the love-triangle aspect at the end was unnecessary as was the romance angle between Cailin and Teague.
Overall, I enjoyed this story even if I found myself with more questions by the end, and spotted a handful of typos sprinkled throughout.
I read this from September 6 - 16, 2014 and my review is also on Goodreads.