Friday, June 30, 2017

Review: The Girl Who Could See by Kara Swanson

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My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Book title: The Girl Who could See
Author: Kara Swanson
Release date: June 1, 2017
Genre: Science Fiction/Urban Fantasy/Young Adult

All her life Fern has been told she is blind to reality—but, what if she is the only one who can truly see?

Fern Johnson is crazy. At least, that’s what the doctors have claimed since her childhood. Now nineteen, and one step away from a psych ward, Fern struggles to survive in bustling Los Angeles. Desperate to appear normal, she represses the young man flickering at the edge of her awareness—a blond warrior only she can see.

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.

First off, let me just say that the cover of this book is what drew me to it first!  It's stunning! :)  And then, of course, the synopsis intrigued me also.

I really enjoyed this YA Sci-Fi/Urban Fantasy story about a young woman who has been labeled crazy by doctors.  Because, after all, who still sees their imaginary friend from childhood?  But Fern's friend is more than just a friend, he's a  warrior and her hero.  So is Tristan more than just imaginary and is he trying to get Fern to realize that her world is in danger?  And that what happened to his world may be about to happen to hers?

This is a gripping, suspenseful story with characters that are vivid and engaging.  I liked how real Fern's struggle was and how she overcomes her fears and finds the courage to do what she can to save her world.  I liked Tristan's  strength and selfless determination to help Fern in spite of what it might mean for him.  I got totally pulled into this novella and was engaged enough to get emotional at several points in the story.

With enough action, suspense, and danger to keep your pulse pounding, I have no doubt that you'll enjoy this story.   It's a quick read but with enough depth that I didn't realize it was a novella until after I'd read it.  :D

*Thanks to CelebrateLit for a complimentary copy of this book. I was not paid or required to write a positive review and all opinions stated are my own.*

View all my reviews

As the daughter of missionaries, KARA SWANSON spent sixteen years of her young life in the jungles of Papua New Guinea. Able to relate with characters dropped suddenly into a unique new world, she quickly fell in love with the speculative genre and was soon penning stories herself. At seventeen, she independently published her debut fantasy novel, Pearl of Merlydia. Her short story is included in Kathy Ide’s 21 Days of Joy: Stories that Celebrate Mom. She has published many articles, including one in the Encounter magazine, and she received the Mount Hermon Most Promising Teen Writer award in 2015.

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. 🙂

To celebrate her tour, Kara is giving away a $25 Amazon Gift Card!! Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries!

June 29: Genesis 5020
July 1: remembrancy
July 4: Book by Book
July 6: Baker Kella
July 9: A path of joy
July 10: Henry Happens