DNF: Dust Girl by Sarah Zettel


12795973Callie LeRoux lives in Slow Run, Kansas, helping her mother run their small hotel and trying not to think about the father she’s never met. Lately all of her energy is spent battling the constant storms plaguing the Dust Bowl and their effects on her health. Callie is left alone when her mother goes missing in a dust storm. Her only hope comes from a mysterious man offering a few clues about her destiny and the path she must take to find her parents in “the golden hills of the west”: California. 

Along the way she meets Jack, a young hobo boy who is happy to keep her company—there are dangerous, desperate people at every turn. And there’s also an otherworldly threat to Callie. Warring fae factions, attached to the creative communities of American society, are very much aware of the role this half-mortal, half-fae teenage girl plays in their fate.


I tried so hard to get into this book…you have no idea. I made it over 100 pages and then I just had to stop because it was so damn weird! It’s about this girl named Callie who lives in Kansas, where it just happens that dust storms are pretty common. Dust has been piling up in Callie’s throat for over a year now, and it’s very hard for her to breathe. One night a dust storm hits and Callie’s mom goes missing and some random guy shows up and gives Callie 3 wishes. From there, Callie learns that she is part fey and has all of these creatures out to capture her and bring her back to the Seelie King.

My biggest problem with Dust Girl was that it was super cheesy. Sarah Zettel usually writes for a younger audience and it’s totally obvious in this book. I’m honestly a little confused WHY this book is considered YA. I don’t think it is. I would consider it MG..but…to each their own, I guess. About the time that half human/half bug creatures showed up was about the time that I realized that this book was not going to do it for me.

Another problem that I had with Dust Girl was that I hated both of the main characters. Callie was very young, naïve, and…really just sort of bland. When Jack came in the picture it got even worse, because I could not stand him. He was immature, rude, only cared about himself, and was just totally unlikable. There was no romance in the book from what I read. I’m not sure if that changes later on. I hope not because the characters seemed super young and immature to me.

What I did like about Dust Girl was that it strayed away from an all white characters. The main character, Callie, is half black. That’s not something I’ve seen in the YA genre before, and I think that’s really going to appeal to a lot of people. There are also Indians and black people who make appearances in this book. I loved that. I loved that Sarah Zettel didn’t need to have an all white cast in her book. I definitely want to see that branch out more in YA books, and I really think that the variety of culture will be a big hit in this book.

In the end, Dust Girl was not for me. I didn’t love the characters, the plot, and I found it very cheesy. I feel that Dust Girl is going to be a big hit for younger teenagers and for people who love to read about fairies. I don’t….and I never have. In fact, I can’t think of one book about fairies that I loved. I loved The Mortal Instruments, but fairies were not the main characters. They are in this book, and I found that that bothered me. If this book sounds like you might like, go ahead and pick it up!

Pages: 304

Publication Date: June 26th, 2012

Publisher:  Random House Books for Young Readers

Source: Finished copy provided by publisher

Rating: N/A due to DNF


Teaser Quote: “Bullets sound like hornets when they pass too close to your head. After a while, the world closes down. You can’t hear much, you can’t see much, just the way ahead, the next slat, the next open gate. All you know is running; the only place that’s real is away.” 

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