A Crack In Everything by Ruth Frances Long is a YA story of old Irish magic and enchantment, and how cruel and formidable it can be. Set in Dublin, it shows old Irish ways and folklore in a darker light while placing them in a modern setting.
Isabelle Gregory, or Izzy, is on her way to her friend Dylan’s band performance when she’s mugged and her phone gets stolen. In her shock she rushes after her mugger and ends up in an unfamiliar place she’s never seen before, instead of a dead-end Dublin alley. It’s there she meets Jinx, an “unbearably handsome”, not-quite-human stranger who chases off her mugger and escorts her to safety.
This starts the chain of events that will turn Izzy’s world upside down, and leave her looking for answers to questions about a world she always thought non-existent. Suddenly plunged into this world full of Aes Sídhe and Cú Sídhe, angels and demons, and strange customs and unknown dangers, Izzy only has Jinx to go to for answers. Unknown to Izzy, Jinx has been sent by Holly, one of the most vicious Aes Sidhe, to bring her back to her.
The book is told from both Izzy’s and Jinx’s viewpoint, and it switches between them as the worlds that they’ve lived in change and interlock. Jinx, who has known nothing but cruelty, torture and pain since he was young, is unsettled by Izzy’s innate kindness, fierceness and stubbornness, and is forced to help her when she saves his life, even though this goes against all that Holly is forcing him to do. Izzy’s world is falling apart, and Jinx and everyone else she meets just add more complications to her life.
A Crack in Everything is full of twists and shadows, and shows the darker side of Irish magic and mythology. It allows the characters Izzy and Jinx, as well as Dylan, Silver and the backdrop of other human and non-human characters, to develop and push the plot along excellently. Izzy grows as a character almost without us realising it, and ends the novel a very different character than the one she started out as, though still with her own personality intact. It’s a great book for anyone who enjoys books about magic, or Irish mythology; it links modern Ireland and old Irish stories of magic extremely well, and was a very enjoyable read, while still having tension and suspense.