Acne, Asthma, and Other Signs You Might Be Half Dragon by Rena Rocford was an Advanced Reader’s Copy from Curiosity Quills Press. The book will be published on November 23, 2015 and falls in the Young Adult fantasy category.
Allyson is your typical fifteen year old, acne and asthma included. She and her mom move around often so making friends has always been difficult for her, but that all changed when they moved to Albuquerque. Allyson and Beth became friends and the story begins with the two friends escaping kidnappers at the mall when Allyson breathes fire on the kidnappers. The girls escape but Allyson is utterly confused by the whole “breathing fire” ability. Beth is the one to explain to Allyson that she is half-dragon and her one friend is a Troll. Allyson is doubtful, after all trolls and dragons are the stuff of fairy stories not reality. Allyson’s world changes as Beth explains further and when the local gang of unicorns accuses Beth of kidnapping one their own, the girls go on the run to rescue the missing unicorn and to clear Beth’s name.
It is a well plotted fantasy novel with many twists and turns throughout. There are goblins, trolls, gryphons, unicorns, and dragons roaming the pages. There are loose ends at the end of the novel which leave open the possibility of more novels featuring Allyson and Beth.
Three flashlights out of five for the language and length of the book not the story telling. Story and characters were excellent and well conceived and the action was well paced throughout the novel. However, with a fifteen year old protagonist the language and length of the book fell short of the mark. To be honest, this would not have been a challenging read for me at age ten and any older than ten I would have been bored. There was a lack of challenging words thus failing to expand the vocabulary of the reader. It also was too short for books in this age range. Overall, it is a good book with the story ultimately let down by simplistic language and shortness.