Synopsis: 2788. Only the handicapped live on Earth. While everyone else portals between worlds, 18-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…
Title: Earth Girl
Author: Janet Edwards
Publisher: Harper Voyager
Everyone needs a bit of YA in their life. Why? You may ask. Well, for young adults they’re easy and exciting reads that can indirectly teach morals etc. etc. etc. (the Song of the Lioness quartet made me the over-achieving feminist that I am). But why should adults read it? Well, for exactly the same reason: it’s an easy, entertaining and an exciting read. Duh.
If I read literary, award-winning novels and non-fictions all day I’d probably self combust – either from all the metaphors, judgement and moral teachings, or from the overly complex prose. Sometimes I like to read something that’s effortless yet still entertaining; that doesn’t always have to take the moral high ground; and yes, that has a certain level of escapism to it – what is the problem with that?!
Earth Girl is a YA novel that fits the bill exactly and I couldn’t have read it at a better time – I had just gone through a bout of reading non-fiction and literary works of genius and, quite frankly, I needed a break.
The story is fun, exciting and even tense at some points (I admit I was at the edge of my seat for a few parts). It’s the first YA I’ve read that’s set in the future and not a completely new world and I actually enjoyed the spin of seeing our present day life being portrayed as ancient history; Edwards manages to pull off a refreshing twist on the YA dystopian genre.
I did, however, find a few things mildly annoying:
- I really didn’t like the term ‘ape-girl’. I realise this is the point – but really, couldn’t we use any other term?
- The protagonist, Jarra, has an irritating name – you can go as far as saying its jarring… get it? (Terrible, I apologise, feel free to shake your head at me with a disapproving look on your face.)
Other than these two points, Earth Girl is fast-paced, light and fun. Although the end was slightly predictable (there always has to be a happy ending right?); I actually find myself being slightly excited about reading the sequel, Earth Star.