cover image The Wizard, the Witch & Two Girls from Jersey

The Wizard, the Witch & Two Girls from Jersey

Lisa Papademetriou. Razorbill, $8.99 (273pp) ISBN 978-1-59514-074-6

Papademetriou (M or F? with Chris Tebbetts) sends up both teen chick lit and high fantasy in this comical page-turner. Bookish Veronica Lopez and vapid Heather Simms clash over the bookstore's last copy of an assigned novel, Queen of Twilight. Veronica's read it, but needs a new copy for reference; Heather needs it to pass. When the clerk's scanner misfires, the tussling girls literally tumble into the novel. Heather promptly, mistakenly dispatches Twilight's heroine, Princess Arabella, and the girls decide that their only hope of returning home rests with Heather assuming the Princess's role-she must free the peoples of Galma from the evil Queen's dominion. Papademetriou dabbles mischievously with stock fantasy characters and plotting. Other supporting characters joining the company: Strathorn, a Gandalfian wizard bent on restoring powers diminished by the Queen's stranglehold; Chattergee, a randy squirrel with an enlarged ego and a yen for Veronica; and Doggett, a stalwart ""Kiblar"" elf (who, lacking his clan's baking prowess, loyally serves Strathorn and Heather). These plus the Queen and her evil sisters, soldiering shrubberies, haughty but helpful Sylvan elves and more, jockey for readers' bemused attention as the company goes from one confrontation to another. Well-read Veronica namedrops furiously: Tolkien, Narnia and Redwall crop up as she (having read Twilight) helps Heather navigate the complex plot. And readers will appreciate watching shallow Heather grow up and into her role as ""The One."" Enjoyable as both spoof and tribute. Ages 12-up.