Series: Earth Girl #1
Published by Pyr on March 5th 2013
Buy on Amazon
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.
Every now and then, you find a read that sweeps you off your feet. A read that you never saw coming from miles away. Earth Girl was that type of read for me.
I have a healthy love for science fiction books. But thus far, it has been hard to find many YA science fiction books that have true depth. Depth of characters. Depth of concept. Depth of world and world development. Usually, something is lacking, somewhere. With Earth Girl, it was at times hard to find true faults. Are there some? Absolutely. But nothing so large that I became disappointed with Earth Girl overall.
Earth Girl is a fully developed novel that took me away into this world at page one. The read starts off by slowly introducing our main character, Jarra. Her initial narrative, honestly, is what made me want to continue. It is slightly saucy with a hint of bitterness. As a Hanicapped, aka an ape girl, Jarra is stuck on Earth due to an immunity disorder while the rest of humanity is off exploring and colonizing other planets and their star systems. Jarra's bitterness stems from not only her insecurity about being Hanicapped, but also from not being able to live the life that she feels everyone should have access to. Early on, it was easy to relate to Jarra. I sympathized with her for feeling like the odd (wo)man out. But really questioned her motives for doing what she does by entering into a 'norm' school. It felt petty and childish.
As the story continues, we watch as Jarra is transformed into a young bitter teen into one that learns acceptance not only for who she is, but what she can accomplish. While I loved watching the transformation, I will admit that the story line sometimes dragged due to the constant showing of how amazing Jarra is. Although, I am hard pressed to say if I would have liked it better if I have seen less.
As for our romance, here things get a bit tricky. Janet Edwards took her time setting up the romance in Earth Girl, which I will be forever grateful for. However, the love interest, Fian, seemed a little off for my tastes. At first, I thought he would be a perfect match for Jarra. Yet, as Earth Girl continued his weaknesses became more apparent. Fian began as a strong character that overtime faded more and more into the background until he was almost white noise. There were times that there was magic between these characters, but overall, I wanted more from Fian. And Fian, please grow a backbone.
Earth Girl is hands down one of the best science fiction reads that I have come across in sometime. I devoured this book in a couple of hours, and left feeling satisfied.
Will I read this next installment?
Based on Goodreads, it appears that there will be more. While Earth Girl didn't leave me feeling that there is an immediate next story that needs to be told, I am not disappointed to see that we will be getting more of Jarra and her adventures. And maybe the next time around there will be more of Jarra throwing Fian around…