If you are like me, originality and uniqueness in a story go a long way when looking for new books to read. I have my favorite genres that I always look up when I’m perusing the bookstores, but even so, I like to see new ideas and concepts within them. I hate to see the same plots rehashed and reinvented over and over again, which makes every unique storyline that I run across a true treasure to find. EARTH GIRL, the debut novel from Janet Edwards, is one of those rare gems, a pure diamond in the coal-cluttered mine of Young Adult fiction.
If you are not familiar with EARTH GIRL, you will be very soon…I would wager that it is the next big series to hit the YA scene, putting it in the same caliber as the Harry Potter series and the Hunger Games trilogy. Here is the plot synopsis, courtesy of the author’s website:
The year is 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. But can she prove to the norms that she’s more than just an Earth Girl?
I will be blunt in regard to my overall thoughts on this book: EARTH GIRL is by far one of the best fiction titles that I have read in the past year. Make no mistake…this is a book that must be on your To Read List for 2012/2013.
The above plot synopsis is a bit vague, I will admit, but I am not going to go into great detail here, so as not to ruin the story for you. But I will tell you that the basis EARTH GIRL deals with the excavation of a couple of key sites in New York. Yes, you read that correctly: because the stars have beckoned to mankind, Earth has been forgotten over the past couple of centuries, rendering much of it to ruin. But humanity has finally realized all of the historical significance the planet has and is therefore sending teams to dig up its past. The story revolves around Jarra, as she poses as an off-worlder in order to work on the site.
As you can see, the story is a refreshing and unique concept, and EARTH GIRL is a very welcome addition to a YA market that is flooded with overused ideas. Edwards’ writes with a brilliant voice and her prose dances off the page with the grace of a ballerina. The pacing of the story is dead-on and the characters are all interesting and likable (except for one particular young man who goes out of his way to be an ass). I particularly enjoy how the story is told from Jarra’s point-of-view, which allows the reader to get into her head easier.
It pains me to state that there is not U.S. release date for EARTH GIRL yet (UPDATE: the release is scheduled for March 5, 2013), however it appears that Pyr will be the company that is publishing it. Still, you would definitely not be wasting your money if you decided to pay a bit extra and order a U.K. version later this year. I am considering doing so, if anything but to see what the decided cover of the book will be (the advance reader copy I received does not have a real cover).
Check EARTH GIRL out as soon as you can. It is vastly entertaining and immensely enjoyable. It is definitely going into my library, and I cannot wait to see what Edwards does next.