Friday, February 5, 2010

Tithe, by Holly Black

Kaye is your typical 16-year-old, but doesn't really live a typical 16-year-old's life. She spends most of her time traveling with (and taking care of) her rock-star mother. However, when her mom's boyfriend tries to attack her, they make the decision to go back to New Jersey and live with Kaye's grandmother. There, Kaye reunites with her old childhood friend Janet Stone and her gay brother, Corny.
While loitering around the docks with Janet and some other friends, Janet's boyfriend Kenny tries to "seduce" Kaye, and Kaye runs away upset into the woods and there encounters Roiben, a silver-haired faerie knight hunk. Not long after, Kaye discovers that she herself is a changeling - a faerie child switched with a human child.
Now is when the true plot comes out - the faeries of the Unseelie Court (or the dark faeries) have disguised Kaye as a human so they can use her for the Tithe. Tradition in the Unseelie Court dictates that every 7 years a mortal must be sacrificed as a Tithe, but if the Tithe doesn't happen, then the Unseelie faeries are free for 7 years.
But of course, as always must happen, some unexpected twists and turns in the plot occur, and Kaye and several people she care about are put in danger, and she has to make some difficult choices. In the end, Kaye discovers that having one foot in the faerie world and one foot in the human world is a challenge.

The whole story has an edgy feel to it, but is still totally readable. I give Tithe 4 out of 5 stars.

review by Katie Gisi

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