The Blue Girl by Charles de Lint.
The Plot: New School Year, New School, New Home: Imogene has resolved to start over. She's putting her bad-girl, gang-member past behind her. Everything is going according to plan: she's made friends with the shy and smart Maxine and she is not causing trouble, no matter what the popular jocks and cheerleaders say or do. Then Imogene meets Adrian -- the school ghost. Which attracts the attention of the fairies. Who feel a little threatened by Imogene and Adrian's friendship. And as we all know, fairies aren't always cute little creatures out of a children's storybook. They can be mean. But the fairies have chosen to mess with the wrong girl.
The Good: True confessions: this is the first Charles de Lint I've read. I know! Simply no excuse.
TBG is urban fantasy. While I also like traditional fantasy, there is something very appealing about fantasy that is part of the modern world.
I like the bad-girl back-story for Imogene; I liked it was something that was part of her, that she wasn't proud of, but at the same time, not ashamed. It made sense, and it gave her an edge that was needed when it was time to do battle with the supernatural.
I loved Imogene's courage and Maxine's strength. They need each other: as friends, but also as fighters as the battles with the fairies escalate.
Some of the characters were so fully developed that I began to wonder if they had been mentioned in other de Lint books, particularly that of Esmeralda.
Once the fairies and the supernatural make themselves known, I like how Imogene and Maxine respond. And part of the response? A trip to the library for research! (Yeah, it takes little to make me happy.)
Also good: alternating narrators. And an time line that cut back and forth between the present and the past, adding a growing layer of suspense.
To the Buffy fans: Imogene isn't Buffy -- she's Faith, and Maxine is Willow. And imagine if Xander had died a few years before -- that's Adrian.
To Supernatural fans: you could easily imagine Dean and Sam driving into town in the Metallicar to save the day, only to be told by Imogene sorry, dudes, day saved weeks ago, want to go out?