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The Embarrassing Book That Changed My Life

The Embarrassing Book That Changed My Life

By Rachel Korowitz

I know you're going to want to fill my locker with dog food, steal my inhaler, and then give me a millennium of swirlies while doing the "why are you hitting yourself?" thing. I don't care.

I'm still going to tell you that the book that changed my life is:

The Last Unicorn.

Heard of it? It's THE book—the one that made me go, "Oh, so THAT's what an epiphany is," and then coin a new term for crying and laughing at the same time. (It's called "craughing." You're welcome.)

This is the best possible kind of story for fantasy genre stuff, which means that, sure, there are unicorns and wizards and witches, but also that every character feels personal and real. You can't help but care about everyone--even the bad guys or the background people who pop in just to be like, "Hey! I'm in the book! See ya!"

I won't bore you with a plot summary. Instead, I'll tell you about the parts that rocked my world. They include the ideas that:

  • immortality means always being a little aloof and removed from the world
  • what makes us human is our capacity to feel and act through love and regret
  • even subtle changes can be huge in the scheme of things
  • heroes aren't completely perfect, villains aren't completely evil, and both can have simple, small motivations

And then, there are lines like this: "I like being brave well enough, but I will be a lazy coward again if you think that would be better. The sight of her makes me want to do battle with all evil and ugliness, but it also makes me want to sit still and be unhappy."

(I should also mention that there's a character named the Red Bull, but it has very little to do with tweaking on caffeine.)

So, yes, The Last Unicorn probably wins the award for Brony-est Title Ever, and yes, the animated movie totally belongs in the dear-lord-why-does-this-exist category, but you guys, the book? Is amazing. It's the masterwork of author Peter S. Beagle, and if I ever get the chance to shake his hand or talk to him or talk to someone who once talked about him, I might just have a cardiac event.

Confession over. Let the swirlie procession commence. It's worth it.

Have you read this book? Have you seen the movie, which your Sparkitors secretly love?

Related post: We Have the Recipe for Unicorn Salad

Topics: Books
Tags: books, books we love, unicorns, fantasy novels, books week, the last unicorn

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