Thursday, July 8, 2010

Avalon High

Avalon High, by Meg Cabot.

Ellie Harrison is bummed. Her parents, medieval studies professors, have taken a year’s sabbatical to write their very boring books – her father’s book is about some rusty old sword, and her mother’s about Elaine, the Lady of Shallott – the Arthurian figure for whom Ellie was named. What this means to Ellie is that she has to move to the Washington D.C. area, and spend her entire junior year in a brand new school, where she knows noone and has no friends.

Things start looking up when she meets Will, the very hot quarterback and president of the senior class, who seems very interested in her and tells her that he feels like he knew her in another life. That would be even more flattering and exciting (if still a little weird) if Will weren’t already dating Jennifer, the head cheerleader and best-looking girl in the senior class. Regardless, Ellie finds herself drawn into Will’s circle, with Jennifer and Lance, Will’s best friend. Of course, that means she has to interact with Marco, Will’s nasty step-brother who seems to have a grudge against his new sibling.

Mr. Morton, Ellie’s world studies teacher, is another dark spot in Ellie's days. He seems overly interested in Ellie’s new friends, and also seems very interested in throwing Ellie together with Lance, and keeping her away from Will. Plus, he’s even more obsessed with medieval junk than Ellie’s parents – apparently, he believes that King Arthur of Camelot will be reborn and return – and that maybe he already has.

Events start moving more and more quickly, and Ellie begins to realize that she and her new friends are in real danger – and, very possibly, the entire world is at risk as well. Everyone, including Mr. Morton, begins to abandon them, but Ellie is determined that she will stay by Will to the end, a vow she may be called to make good on.

I liked this book a lot. It’s a great book for an Arthurian junkie, and if you’re a real buff (for instance, if you spent approximately $15,000 worth of your college education on classes about Arthur and medieval lit), you might even spot the twist ending a little ahead of time and feel majorly smug with your bad self. Even if you don’t, though, it is a compelling, fast-paced story with great characters and just the right hint of light romance.

Another positive aspect to this book is Ellie’s relationship with her parents. Despite the fact that they have their differences, they are a close and affectionate family. Will frequently comments on that, as Ellie’s relationship with her parents is a foil for Will’s dysfunctional home life. It's nice to read a YA book where the parents aren't dead or evil.

The one weakness involves that character of Mr. Morton. He’s a device by which the main characters begin to realize what’s going on, but he’s not much of a character in his own right, and the whole “revelation” he presents to Ellie is a little awkward. If he were more developed, or even more a part of the action of the novel, his actions would incorporate more smoothly with the storyline. But that’s a small bump in an overall great book. If you enjoy these characters, and would like to see more of them there are three sequels, written in graphic novel form: The Merlin Prophecy (Avalon High: Coronation, Volume 1), Avalon High: Coronation #2: Homecoming, and Avalon High: Coronation #3: Hunter's Moon.

1 comment:

  1. this series sounds good too and i think that i will checkit out.
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