Spark, as always, completely captures the reader with her straight-on energy and wit. She is a master at this craft, always providing honest and intimate portraits of real, but sometimes quirky, humans. This is nothing new for her. What I find especially intriguing about this novel is the striking perspective it takes--that of a young lady diligently pursuing her destiny despite the hilarious, distracting, and downright mean actions of those more "adult" than she.
This perspective, of honest and thoughtful youth, I find refreshingly sane. The protagonist triumphs completely over the obstacles set before her by employers, publishers, and especially, friends, ultimately realizing her full potential and achieving success. She also defeats passion to some extent, by remaining thoughtful and true to herself, a lesson I find extremely important for young people in modern society, where so little guidance is offered in this area. Though overcoming passion, Fleur is by no means dispassionate, nor is she judgmental or moralizing. She simply recognizes and accepts others for what they are, choosing to spend her time at things most important to her. The clarity of self-perception Spark offers us is, I feel, poetic and inspirational. She manages to convey strength as a force of will and self-worth, rather then the all to frequent hodge-podge of money, appearance, peers, employers, etc., offered by the mass media to young people today.
I hope that this book would be used in cirruculum for teenagers or summer reading programs.