Thursday, July 16, 2015

Earth Girl (aka summer reading list #2)

2788. Only the handicapped live on Earth. Eighteen-year-old Jarra is among the one in a thousand people born with an immune system that cannot survive on other planets. Sent to Earth at birth to save her life, she has been abandoned by her parents. She can’t travel to other worlds, but she can watch their vids, and she knows all the jokes they make. She’s an “ape,” a “throwback,” but this is one ape girl who won’t give in.

Jarra makes up a fake military background for herself and joins a class of norms who are on Earth for a year of practical history studies excavating the dangerous ruins of the old cities. She wants to see their faces when they find out they’ve been fooled into thinking an ape girl was a norm. She isn’t expecting to make friends with the enemy, to risk her life to save norms, or to fall in love.

GOOD: there was one main aspect of the book that I loved: the book was set in a utopian future, not a dystopian future. the difference? dystopian means the world ended but the people survived and everything is terrible and the government is possibly bad and controlling. utopian means that the world didn't end, everyone is in agreement on what the government does, and changes have been made to make peace between people and people, people and nature, people and deity. So, in this book, Jarra is stuck on earth becuase her body goes into shock if she does, but other people can leave earth for other planets (outside the Milky Way) which is how everyone lives today: making use of other planets out there. even though she hates it, Jarra has to stay on earth. Really, the conflict isn't between her and an outside force (government or nature) but between her and herself. Jarra has to come to terms with who she is. I liked that.

BAD: it was slow. very slow. I actually took the opportunity to skip ahead oh, 80 pages or so. it didn't really make a difference. i did go back and read the whole thing becuase 1, i was feeling listless and i do pointless things when i feel listless, and 2, i did miss a part of the plotline that WAS THE plotline, so i had to unskip. See, books like that bother me. You shouldn't have to spend 200 pages getting your book set up for the plot line. Your reader should know when they're getting to the big main good part. and you should start your reader IN the conflict, or at least right before it. Earth Girl was lacking in this area.

DIFFICULTY: this one was harder to read. it didn't seem to flow. there were long passages of description that weren't description, just facts thrown together in a jumbled heap. there wasn't much of a plotline...i had to convince myself  finish it.

1-10 SCORE: i'm giving this one a 2. (oh, i'm cruel...) like i said. it just didn't go with me.

OVERVIEW: there were good parts. like when Jarra decides that maybe the norms aren't so bad after all. when she realizes that she's just like them, and that prejudice can be two-sided. when she realizes that she has made friends that are like family, and even though she lied to them they are standing by her. overall though, it was fairly disappointing. it reminded me of my dad's old BB gun (the pellets ROLL out the end of the barrel, and then pathetically drop to the ground.) maybe that's a bit harsh, but that's what i got out of it.

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