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About the Book
Tristan was Fern’s childhood imaginary hero, saving her from monsters under her bed and outside her walls. As she grew up and his secret world continued to bleed into hers, however, it only caused catastrophe. But, when the city is rocked by the unexplainable, Fern is forced to consider the possibility that this young man is not a hallucination after all—and that the creature who decimated his world may be coming for hers.
The Girl Who Could See by Kara Swanson is a fast-paced Young Adult Science Fiction/Fantasy novella that is a quick read. It will mostly likely satisfy readers who enjoy this genre and want the ending neatly tied together.
For me, however, this is an “almost” book.
It is “almost” in the fact that I liked it, but not well enough to try anything else by this author. It almost hit emotional notes in me and it almost worked as a complete story. But a few niggling thoughts dampened my engagement in this book.
The main character, Fern, has almost a complete turnaround on her “imaginary” friend in a scene that is about four sentences long. As a novella, I expected the accelerated pacing, but after ten years of ignoring him and trying to convince herself Tristan wasn’t real, her sudden belief in him and what he was saying about the world destroying danger did not feel earned.
The book is told entirely in first person, a staple of the Young Adult genre and one that generally turns me off from reading in this particular genre. Ms. Swanson handles the first person POV well, but I wanted more insight into both main characters, especially Tristan. His world sounded fascinating and we don’t learn much about it.
For a book that deals with heavy subjects, including kidnapping and experiments on children, it lacks depth. The characters, premise, and setting are all very thin and I did not feel as if the characters were real people.
Present tense is hard to pull off, and Ms. Swanson doesn’t quite manage it here. There are tense changes that interrupt the flow of the book and jumping back and forth in between the past and present times also interrupted the pace of the story.
I can see the foundation for a good book here, and it almost gets there. Unfortunately it doesn’t quite gel into a complete story.
I am giving this book 3/5 stars. I can recommend it to fans of the YA genre who like quick, light reads but for readers who are looking for a story with in-depth character moments and an engaging setting, I would skip this one.
**I received a complimentary copy of this book from CelebrateLit. All opinions are my own.**
About the Author
Guest Post from Kara Swanson
Did you have an imaginary friend growing up? I did. And I think most of us probably understood what it was like to use our childhood imaginations to create friends and take us places.
The Girl Who Could See follows Fern Johnson, a young woman who’s imaginary friend, Tristan, first appeared in her life when she was eight years old—and has never left. Now nineteen, Fern still sees Tristan, only he is no longer her friend. Now he is her curse. The source of her insanity. The reason Fern cannot keep a job and has been passed from one psychologist to another. The reason she is one step away from a psych ward. However, Tristan disagrees. He says that he’s not a figment of Fern’s imagination and is determined to prove it. But, if his existence is real, it has dangerous implications not only for Fern, but for her world. Because the creature that decimated Tristan’s planet is coming for Earth—and only the girl everyone says is crazy can stop it.
I wrote the novella as a way to explore the idea of what would happen if someone had an imaginary friend who never left. What would the psychological and daily implications be? And what if that imaginary friend wasn’t imaginary? The story that grew from those sparks of ideas became an adventure that I hope you’ll enjoy as much as I did.
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June 27: A Simply Enchanted Life
June 27: Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations
June 28: Kristin’s Book Reviews
June 28: Christian Chick’s Thoughts
June 29: Fiction Aficionado
June 29: Genesis 5020
June 30: Smiling Book Reviews
June 30: The Fizzy Pop Collection
July 1: Blogging With Carol
July 1: remembrancy
July 2: Inklings and notions
July 2: Ashley’s Bookshelf
July 3: Zerina Blossom’s Books
July 3: Margaret Kazmierczak
July 4: Book by Book
July 4: Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses
July 5: Dragons Read History
July 5: Through the Open Window
July 6: It’s Storytime with Van Daniker
July 6: Baker Kella
July 7: Pause for Tales
July 7: Edits and Reviews By Leslie
July 8: Books, Books, and More Books.
July 8: Pursuing Stacie
July 8: The Important Things in Life: God, Books, & Chocolate
July 9: Reader’s cozy corner
July 9: A path of joy
July 10: Neverending Stories
July 10: Henry Happens
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Writer/Editor. Voracious Book Reader. World Traveler. Veteran.