It’s a snowy day in the desert today, which makes everything feel hushed and magical. So really it’s perfect that I’m sharing a delightful story filled with magic and fairy tales.
Eleven year old Adela remembers when life in her small village was perfect. Her mother wrapped her in stories every night, her stepfather was kind, and the sun warmed her skin. And then one day it stopped.
Now, the sun never rises, her mother hardly smiles, and her stepfather is cruel. Desperate to escape, Adela ventures into the forest more and more until she meets a fox with a gift.
Suddenly, Adela can travel wherever she wants and at times, whenever she wants too. But when one of her adventures goes wrong, Adela discovers that a buried family secret may be the key to bringing back the sun and healing her family once and for all.
On The Tips Of Her Fingers is filled with gorgeous descriptions that really bring this magical world to life. The imagery is always vivid and every scene builds a sense of wonder in the reader. These landscapes are always very easy to imagine, while still evoking a fantastical feel, which I think makes this story appealing to younger readers. Even though this is marketed as YA, it reads on the younger end of that spectrum potentially even appealing to the older Middle Grade reader.
One of the strengths is Kerpcar’s ability to bring magic into the mundane. Even though Adela can travel magically, we still get taken through the world through a variety of ways. We travel by train, hike through woods, and my personal favorite, riding on clouds. It keeps the story moving through the various landscapes while giving us texture and depth to the world.
She brings this same sense of realism and wonder to the characters, giving them nuance and detail so they are easy to picture both physically and in their personality. Adela herself grows from a girl desperate to avoid confrontation to one who fights for the people she cares about. There were moments I think Kerpcar could have developed this stronger, for example with her friend, where we see more emotion than duty in Adela. But for an eleven year old girl struggling through various trials and tribulations over a matter of days, I think the growth fits and will resonate with younger readers.
Fairy tales are a huge facet of this story, woven into the actual stories Adela’s mother told her along with the stories of other characters. Kerpcar mentions fairy tales in her opening note to the readers. There’s power in letting stories raise us, giving children bravery and insight they never realized they had. But this power doesn’t die simply because we grow older, and Kerpcar brings this layered truth into her characters and her plot.
That being said, older readers may find the use of fairy tale cliches to both work for and against the story. It can make a lot of the plot feel predictable, and while stating the moral or solving the mystery outright for each step of Adela’s journey is necessary for a younger reader, it will feel cumbersome and obvious to an older teen.
There are also a lot of fairy tale characters woven throughout the book. This adds to the depth of the world in some ways, but because the characters introduced aren’t directly relevant to the plot, it makes the book feel like it’s almost a collection of fairy tales rather than one cohesive story. This is likely not going to bother some readers, but others will wonder at the relevance in keeping track of so many stories within the story, and could make it trickier for the younger reader to track.
These issues aside, the plot does do a good job weaving together these various stories into a plot that moves forward. It’s a lot for a short book, but for readers looking for momentum and magic, On The Tips Of Her Fingers offers that in abundance. From beginning to end, there is a magical sparkle to the story and it raises the nostalgia of being swept into the fantasy of an enchanting story.
Thank you Turn The Page Tours and New Degree Press for sending me a copy and including me on this tour.
Be sure to check out the rest of the tour and enter for a chance to win a copy!
New Degree Press
December 11th, 2020
Young Adult Fiction–Fantasy
“We create monsters in our lives. Our response to them determines how our stories unfold. You can choose to cower in fear and ignorance of them, or you can choose to confront them head on, gathering the intuition and courage to defeat them.”
On the Tips of Her Fingers centers around Adela, a young girl leading a seemingly quiet life, whose mother spins beautiful stories for her at night. A series of strange events lead to Adela being gifted with magical abilities allowing her to escape from her world. We travel with Adela far from home where she begins to unravel a family secret, stumbling as she learns to use her powers, navigating difficult situations and her own complex feelings about growing up, and meeting friends, magical creatures, talking animals, and evil villains along the way.
In a world that can seem complicated, Adela shows the reader the importance of perseverance, courage, and a little bit of magic. On The Tips of Her Fingers is a dark fairytale that will inspire fans of fiction, fairytales, and magical realism to grapple with the concepts of escapism and self-identity in a whole new way.
Grab a copy today!
Bibiana is an alumna of Georgetown University, where she graduated with a degree in Marketing, Management, and Entrepreneurship. She is an immigrant currently residing in Brooklyn, New York. As a child, she loved to read as a method to escape: in addition to helping her cope with challenges, she aimed to take inspiration from the books she loved growing up — ones that explored dark themes and forced characters to struggle, yet allowed them to come out of the experience with a newfound understanding of themselves and the world around them. During the day, Bibiana works in advertising, where she works with talented people to create amazing work. Outside of watching Slovak fairytales every holiday season, she enjoys cuddling up with her kitten and conjuring up fantastical worlds in her imagination.
Up for grabs, we have TWO (2) digital copies of On the Tips of Her Fingers by Bibiana Kerpcar! This giveaway is open internationally and will run from January 24th to January 31st at 11:59 PM CST! To enter, click the link below!