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Ein Familiengeheimnis das alles verändertKansas 1935 Inmitten des schlimmsten Staubsturms aller Zeiten verschwindet die Mutter der 13 jährigen Callie spurlos Plötzlich taucht wie aus dem Nichts ein Fremder auf – und schickt Callie auf eine mysteriöse Reise um das Geheimnis ihrer Herkunft zu lüften Wer ist ihr Vater? Warum wartet ihre Mutter schon seit Callies Geburt auf seine Rückkehr? Und Wo ist ihre Mom? Gemeinsam mit dem Jungen Jack macht Callie sich auf den Weg Der Beginn eines fantastischen Abenteuers – denn Callie entdeckt nicht nur die Wahrheit über ihre Familie sondern auch ihre Gefühle für Jack Eine starke Heldin eine zarte Romanze und eine außergewöhnliche ReiseFesselnde Mischung aus Abenteuer History und Romantik


10 thoughts on “Dust Girl

  1. says:

    What makes a five star read? For some people a five star book might mean near perfection in storytelling characterization plot prose pacing theme and enjoyment For me however a five star read usually must have all of the following a certain degree of uniueness to the story's execution great characters whom I come to love a high level of enjoyability and most important of all a story that grips me from beginning to end If a book can grant me all of those things then said book and I will undoubtedly have a wonderful reading courtship Dust Girl by Sarah Zettel was one such bookJust a few hours ago I honestly didn't expect Dust Girl to garner a five star rating from me My misgivings were many since fairy centric books have become a bit of a tired trend in the past few years How many times can we read about secret fey heritages the Seelie and Unseelie Courts warring as only light and darkness can and creatures of fairy tales and legends who are often just as horrific and monstrous as magical and mysterious? Added into the mix were an American Fairies spin and a setting of 1930's Kansas two things that could have been downfalls if not executed properly In a lesser writer's hands Dust Girl might have been a disaster a book full of good ideas that never met their full potentialbut Sarah Zettel is definitely not a lesser writer since her book soared and broke through the barrier of my expectationsIn dust ridden Slow Run Kansas day to day life is a struggle for Callie LeRoux The dusty air clogs up her lungs and makes breathing nearly impossible at times; her mad mother refuses to leave the dying town all because of a long ago promise that seems unlikely to be fulfilled; and her lack of a father is a detriment as well as a mark of scorn and judgment in society As and people leave Slow Run desperation clings to Callie Will both she and her mother die in this abandoned town? But the dust is stirring with a changing wind to comeAlmost all the ualms I held about Dust Girl were thrown away as soon as I began reading Callie's voice is sympathetic and realistic tugging at the right heartstrings and making you care about this girl whose struggles are burdens upon her shoulders The feel of the setting and time period is believable and vibrant as if Zettel had used a time machine to go back in time and take notes on just the right things to make her story's world grounded but not overbearing Even before I reached the author's note at the end I knew that a lot of time care and research had gone into making the historical aspects to this tale as true and honest as possibleThat's actually what I appreciated most about this story its truth and honesty Even with creatures and magic and otherworldliness present in the plot the story is very grounded in portraying humanity and the struggles many people face while living in normalcy Though there are shades of optimism and idealism to the story many of the characters have faced very real hardships such as poverty abuse hunger ridicule and judgment I think it's a trend of our modern materialistic society that many historical fiction novels tend to follow middle or upper class people while forgetting or downplaying the great majority who often struggled to surviveAs for the fairies in this story they are very much a presence and even a threat in this first installment but I think this novel has only just grazed the surface of Zettel's American fairy mythology Already the mythology feels familiar yet uniue with both light and dark factions of fairies as well as animal spirit guides and creatures hiding in human skins I definitely look forward to how the mythology will expand over the series and what the revelations will mean for Callie and her continuing adventuresThough I know that I may end up being in the minority with my love for this book I really hope that readers will give Dust Girl a try since it is so much than a historical fiction novel or another spin on fairy lore It's a journey an account of a girl trying to survive and managing against all odds to bear the rough winds that life sends her way and to me that's definitely the kind of story worth reading Note I received an advanced copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley


  2. says:

    A splendidly well written book set in the Dust Bowl of the 1930s Callie's mom has gone missing but a mysterious stranger points her to the golden country around Hollywood if she can get there somehow Traveling with her is Jack a hobo boy who knows how to survive in the cruel world of the Great Depression and who doesn't mind that Callie obviously has Negro blood or is it blood from a people far outside human experience even than the blacks of the 1930s?Callie and Jack have embarked on a wild ride one that includes the Seelie and Unseelie fairy courts giant humanoid locusts that eat everything in sight the old spirits known by the Native Americans and some things that defy description and spoilers I think this is one of the most uniue fantasies I've ever read written by one of my favorite adult writers who is now turning her hand to YA Give it a try and see if you can't pick up that jazzy beat


  3. says:

    It took me half the book to get really invested into the novel and Callie and I think a lot of that has to do with the fact that Callie reads very differently as a character I would have said differently than I am used to but really that is not the case I can’t uite put my finger on the exact reason why it’s difficult to get immediately immersed into the story but I think it might be because Callie’s “voice” is much younger than what I was expecting There’s this skein of immaturity running through her observations which while not unattractive is a bit jarring Plus I think I had a bit of problem with the world building I would have appreciated some details about what’s happening something exactHowever once the novel finds its pace and gets comfortable with the story it’s telling it becomes compelling and the reader me is able to make a connection to Callie her parental issues and her burgeoning feelings for the boy who has become the impetus for the journey she is undertaking And okay I have a gripe with the cover of the novel Callie is clearly African American so why is the model on the cover white? I would understand if the issue remained ambiguous in the novel but her colour is one of the themes of the novel and since it is such a strong theme I would have appreciated that the cover reflect the protagonist because generally that’s what covers are meant to do no?The mythology needs to work The thing is the novels functions very strongly where the characters are concerned Callie’s voice is distinct the other characters are solidly developed and the internal conflicts that occur within Callie are well portrayed The second half of the book is way stronger than the first in terms of plot pacing and development And it ends on a good note too which makes me have higher hopes for the second book in the trilogy I just hope there’s world building and the cover story is straightened out Gah my review is definitely scattered but take this from it if you will if you can get yourself to read beyond the first half you will definitely enjoy the book It’s a different take on the fairies and I actually appreciate the way Zettel has woven in African American culture into her narrative But what the novel is trying to do is undermined by the cover andyeah


  4. says:

    Maybe 3 12 stars It did keep me zooming along Callie LeRoux and her mother operate a hotel in Slow Run Kansas in 1935 or at least they did until the Dust Bowl came and the guests dried up right along with everything else Now they just go through the motions while their town dies around them One day Callie's mother demands that she call her long missing father for help by playing his piano But when Callie does her mother disappears and a string of mysterious strangers begin arriving starting Callie on a wild journey as she seeks her parents and the truth about herself This book was fast paced but managed a good balance between action and character development The Depression era Dust Bowl setting is done really well; I could feel that dry air and the dust in my own throat as well as the sense of hopelessness pervading the entire region The prejudice of the time is shown well too as Callie is half black and her traveling companion Jack is Jewish So are the fears and animosity that come out in hard times a couple scenes in this book are shockingly violent and frightening I loved Callie's voice it's solidly Midwestern and the author throws in just the right amount of Depression era slang to anchor the time without overdoing it All of the characters were well drawn and interesting Minuses of the book would be that I didn't uite get a sense of what makes American fairies versus say British fairies fairies aren't exactly Native American mythology are they? and the Seelie Court versus the Unseelie Court set up felt a bit bog standard to me Overall though I enjoyed this enough that I do plan to look for the two seuels soon


  5. says:

    Read This Review More Like It On My BlogAn unexpected delight were the immediate words to pop into my head upon my all too soon completion of this historical remake of America in the Dust Bowl with fairies Teaching me once again that assumptions are flawed from the outset both early and often Dust Girl exceeded my expectations I got a thoroughly developed and humanly flawed heroine a likeable rogue for a possible love interest a fresh envisioning of the oft used SeelieUnseelie Courts of fae and a very uniue background in which all these elements operate Oklahoma 1935 right in the grips of the Dust Bowl From the first page I was taken completely by the story Sarah Zettel has crafted so skillfully and truthfully? I didn't want to end the potential for awesome shown just in the creativity behind the ideas extends itself as well to the contents of the bookCalliope referred to as Callie and her mom are barely making do in their dying town of Slow Run Kansas With a long gone dad and a struggling mom Callie is older than her age mature and self aware Her personal evolution progresses right along with her travels to both find her mother and figure out her future the Callie sees and understands the she matures and figures things out independently She's a smart protagonist and it's easy to root for her with such a sympathetic voice Callie is also one of the few non white main characters in YA I've come across lately Shadows on the Moon's Suzume and The Immortal Rules's Allison are the only others I can recall but thankfully that is not the forefront of her characterization Callie's mixed race does play a part in the plot of the novel but it by no means defines who she is as a person or character I also wish cover accurately portrayed how Callie is described I also appreciate the subtlety in which Callie's race was used as a reminder of the horrendous state of American prejudices without Zettel overdoing it But what else doesn't define Callie? Her offbeat and thoroughly charming in a rogueish way love interest JackJack is a great addition to the story He balances out Callie's personality traits with flair history and wit of his own I have to admit one of the things I liked best about Jack was that he's not immediately introduced as some swoon worthy love interest nor is his and Callie's connection all about teenage fluctuating hormones In this very action packed novel Jack and Callie make for an unusual but oddly complementary pair They work well together despite the occasional bickering who hasn't been ready to kill him stone dead referring to someone they care about? and I liked them for one another not that anything progresses to that kind of crux view spoilerThey are two people used to hiding who they are Jacob for his religion Callie because of her multiple hidden heritages They make sense for one another they don't have to hide but can freely be themselves hide spoiler


  6. says:

    Far from perfect and some of the languaging was a little uncomfortable just in terms of cultural depictions etc but some really creative ideas By the end the plot had lost control a little but I would happily read the seuel


  7. says:

    It is honestly uite hard to find words to describe how much I adored Dust Girl I completely devoured this book from the very first page; it gripped me and would not let me go From the minute I started reading this book I knew it was exactly my kind of thing and I most definitely enjoyed every single second of it Dust Girl is a uniue book which will certainly stay with me for a long time and I'm sure I'll return to it than onceThe setting of this book is what made it very special and uniue to me Calliope lives in Kansas with her mother; her town is being destroyed by dust storms and times are hard I think Sarah Zettel did an amazing job at describing Slow Run and its dismal state and I had no trouble picturing it It all felt so real and seriously scary The mood of the town shone through easily and had me eager to find out what was going to happen When Callie's mother goes missing her life gets even crazierI loved Callie I thought she was simply wonderful She's a really refreshing and strong character who is incredibly easy to like Callie's been through a lot but her personality is still great and she seems like a person anybody would be happy to be friends with Jack was a great addition to the story and I found their interactions together really interesting I definitely enjoyed following Callie and Jack on their journey and I was genuinely terrified at times The mood in this book is so creepy and my heart was racing at some points I was so caught up in this story and I love when a book can do that to meI honestly did not know much about the Dust Bowl before reading this book and it has made me want to find out about this particular period in history So not only was this book captivating and entertaining it has also been educational for me I just loved everything about this book and I hope others will too It's an original and memorable take on fae and I can't wait to read by this author


  8. says:

    Faerie lore purists will probably hate Dust Girl for the same reason I love it This novel takes the ancient faerie stories seelie and unseelie courts and bastardizes it as only Americans can It's uniue and compelling weaving in American history and some of our own legendsCallie LeRoux has spent her whole life living in the small town of Slow Run Her mother operates an old empty hotel Their town is a dying community stuck in the middle of the Kansas dust bowl To make matters worse her mother has gone slightly crazy waiting for the return of her father a travelling black musician who promised to return someday When her mother disappears during a huge duster brought on by Callie's piano playing faeries descend on Slow Run She befriends a young hobo the charming and outspoken Jack With Jack's help Callie figures out she's not fully human She's not uite white not uite black not human and not completely fae She doesn't know what she isI love how they made the Seelie and Unseelie court fit into the American culture The Seelie or the bright ones are glowing white beauties operating Hollywood The Unseelies are black fae using jazz music and wishes to preform their magic The mythology blends seamlessly with American historyI found myself wondering if the inspiration for this version of faerie came from an old American legend I'm not sure if everyone has heard the story about the birth of blues where a musician meets the devil at the crossroads and sells his soul to become the best guitar player There is this almost mythical history of blues and jazz that ties in nicely to this novel


  9. says:

    Originally reviewed hereBefore I start my review let’s have a word about the cover Initially I really liked it And then I cracked the book and realized that our main character Callie is half black To me this makes the cover of Dust Girl the latest offender of whitewashing a practice that needs to stop My papa was a black man That made me a black girl That meant there was a whole world of things I couldn’t do and places I couldn’t go I couldn’t sit in the Moonlight Room or go to the white school or try on clothes at the emporium or ride in a Pullman car on the train if we ever went anywhere If anyone knew about Papa and I got caught doing any of those things I could end up in jail Or deadIs it the worst offender out there? No Callie is described as light skinned with grey eyes and black hair Her skin is light enough that she has been passing BUT this is only because she always wears a hat and gloves out of doors Throughout the story as she spends time in the sun it becomes clear through the narrative and people’s reactions that she IS NOT PASSING Also she describes the difficulty her mother has had taming her hair to stay flat which said to me that she had not only black hair but that of an African American texture The girl on the cover is light skinned with grey eyes and brown hair To me she does not look as if she could be half black I would really have liked to have seen a multi race model on the cover and feel this could have been easily accomplished I find whitewashing to be abhorrent especially when those authors who write these books are working to break down barriers and create multicultural books Please let the covers reflect this—white people will still read themDust Girl by Sarah Zettel grabbed me after a weekend of picking up and setting down book after book that just wouldn’t do Zettel has created a story that is eerie fresh grimy and full of meaning and I ate it up Callie is faced with the harsh reality that her mother is crazy and because of this Callie will die She will die because they live in Kansas at the heart of the dust bowl and Callie’s lungs are slowly filling up with dust literally drowning her in grime She is constantly coughing and struggling to breathe in a town that has been abandoned by nearly all of its inhabitants Her mother however refuses to leave She is holding on to a promise made by Callie’s father that he would return and has in turn let go of reality When in a desperate move Callie’s mother implores her to play the piano Callie rips her reality in twainCallie’s mother disappears in the biggest dust storm Kansas has ever seen and in her stead Callie saves a Native American man Baja Grateful he grants her three wishes All at once Callie can breathe and she knows where to find her parents but it will not be an easy road Callie realizes she is half fey and not entirely of this world Her father defied his people and a marriage arrangement to be with her mother and Callie is left the product of opposing factions She must decide which road to take and will face dangers no matter where she turns Together with Jack a young man who dreams of becoming a writer she sets off to create a story worth tellingTo me Dust Girl was a wonderful story that deftly combined American folklore Native American and Celtic mythology I was honestly astounded by how seamlessly these factors were woven together with a tale that could be seen as a very honest reflection of our nation’s history of racial tension Callie is a girl of many halves She is half mortal half fey but also half black and half white She doesn’t truly fit in anywhere particularly not in the 1930s Midwest She has always had to deal with that reality and has never been close to anyone other than her mother knowing that if they were to find out her truths she would be rejected or criminalized For this reason Jack a potential friend and the first to know the real Callie even as she discovers herself is the perfect companion “Jack are you really a Jew?””Yeah So?””Nothing” I said “But if you’re a Jacob Hollander shouldn’t we be callin’ you Jake?””Sometimes it’s not so good for people to find out what you really are” Jack crumpled the sandwich wrappers together and stuffed them into one of the stacks “Like for instance are you really a Negro?” he asked without looking at me I’d known that was coming But my answer didn’t have such a straight road to travel”I think my papa had brown skin but he was a fairy too so I don’t rightly know what I am”Jack was uiet for a minute “Well from what I seen so far being a Callie LeRoux is plenty good enough Maybe you should just stick to that”Callie’s relationship to Jack isn’t an instant attraction and honestly isn’t really overly romantic at all and I loved it They are partners of convenience Callie needs to get to California and Jack pledges to help her for a price He wants to be a writer and views this strange half fey girl as an opportunity to create a story eual to The Wizard of Oz The two certainly become to each other as the story goes on and I am certain romance will bloom but their affections for one another are always a subtle background to a story that has pressing concernsThose pressing concerns as it were have to do with the fact that both the Seelie and Unseelie courts are after Callie and will seek to gain control of her through trickery coercion or brute force There is an eerie creepiness throughout the events of Dust Girl and I felt that Sarah Zettel had the power of fear well in hand This story was full of action and incredibly fast paced without being muddled or overdone I loved that the traditional white and beautiful good and black bad notions were thrown completely off in Dust Girl The beautiful white and shining fey of the Seelie court were terrifying whereas the black and merry fey of the Unseelie court were much welcoming That doesn’t mean the Unseelie are ‘good’ and the Seelie are ‘bad’ they’re both uite terrible but I was happy to see this untraditional dichotomyDust Girl is an enchanting and terrifying start to a new trilogy and I cannot wait to see where the story leads The lore history and magic involved is uniue and rich and the characters read to me as very real I didn’t always love Callie in fact she is at times incredibly selfish short sighted and naive but she is also strong resourceful and dedicated The entire cast was well developed and I am personally loving Jack even so than our lead


  10. says:

    Dust Girl is unlike any novel I've ever read It's set in the 1930s in the Dust Bowl in Kansas and it's about a mixed race fae Callie and her need to reach California While Zettel's descriptions had me feeling as if I was actually in the Dust Bowl with Callie the world building itself was lacking Also the characters were flawed and believable but I found them hard to relate to Callie's race which always hovered in the background was a good reminder of which time period you were in but I don't like the incorporation of the random Native American which seemed rather racist on the part of the author As an American Indian Studies major political Anthropology and political History I am extremely sensitive to how American Indians are portrayed in novels and to what these portrayals do to them politically When Native American lore is presented in a decolonizing fashion such as how Bethany Wiggins presented Navajo mythology in Shifting I simply adore it Wiggins shot all of the settler colonial ideas straight to hell with her novel and really illustrated how American Indians are very much a part of contemporary society However when some random Native American is thrown in and acts all weird and mysterious simply because that is how Native Americans are viewed much of the time in contemporary society it irks me Yes I know it is supposed to be Coyote and Coyote is a trickster figure But Coyote isn't a trickster figure for all American Indian nations and just throwing Coyote in there to conveniently move the plot along only to have him disappear is a bit depoliticizing And I'm not even going to go into a literary reading of the whole idea of now that the Indian was helped and he did his part he'll disappear thing considering that the mid 1930s was the end of the Assimilation Era when they wanted Native Americans to disappearBut I digress deep breath Okay Moving on I couldn't really connect to Callie even though she was an extremely mature and strong character I just didn't feel any emotional connection with her at allEven though Zettel was good at showing the setting and time period she did telling when it came to the emotions Because of this and the huge political faux pas at the beginning I really didn't give a big crap if Callie made it to California or not Also while she and Jack seemed uite compatible there was no romance to speak of Just adolescent crushes and such I'm not sure I would have cared had there been a romance since I couldn't relate to the characters but generally that tends to spice up a dragging plotThis plot was fairly slow moving for me I mean I know they had insect fae and all of that which completely grossed me out I hate bugs but it still took me forever to get through this book It took me a long time because I was bored and because the plot was kind of random and didn't really make sense a lot of the time Things would happen without any lead up whatsoever which left me thinking where did that come from? Then I would ignore the next chapter or so trying to figure out why this random event occurred By the time I began to pay attention again something else random would happen I like a bit order to my stories than this Overall I'd say check this book out from the library before you buy it I know a lot of people have loved it and the setting is wonderfully done However the characters while believable are not easy to relate to at least in my opinion Also there are a lot of plot holes I wouldn't say avoid it completely but I would say try before you buy