Genres: Dystopian, Sci-Fi, Science Fiction, YA, Young Adult
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Why haven’t you read this book yet? This is one of my favorite books I have read this year. Althea lives in a future earth, where the planet has been taken over by a race of aliens who have shrouded the minds of the remaining humans. Everyone is happy. No one really knows what’s really going on, except that The Others came to earth and look after them now. There is no history of earth from a time before the others. No one questions this, or anything. There is no hate, or anger, or bitterness, or broken hearts, no real emotions of any kind. There are a lot of other things missing too, like music. There are only a few approved television programs for everyone to watch. They don’t even do their own shopping. The Other’s deliver their pre-made food. There are no animals either. All the inhabited cities are fences off from the wilds, where all the animals roam. There are no domesticated animals either.
There are several people who are unaffected by the shroud. The one we get to know is Althea. She and others like her mysteriously travel or “hop” through different seasons, landing in a different city for each season, and a whole new set of people to get to know, and three sets of parents, who don’t seem to miss here while she’s gone to the other seasons. Then in the autumn of her last year, before being paired with a boy, and officially becoming an adult, she meets a boy, who smells of Pine, Pine Boy. She herself has a very distinctive smell, that of Jasmine. Together they must race against time to save humanity and find others like themselves.
I bought this book for the cover. It’s simply stunning. It should be an example to authors everywhere on how to make sure your cover conveys what’s inside. I can’t find a single flaw with the cover. It’s perfect. By the first page I realized that I was going to be in the love with the prose just as much. I can always tell if a book is going to have me hooked in the first couple of pages. I try to give every book the old college try, but some you just know are going to be unforgettable. This one feels like that for me. When I read most books I kind of skim over the physical characteristics. They don’t do much for me. This book however was different. Most of the time the first characteristics described is the eyes, or the hair. What I found compelling about this, is that the first thing we learn about our heroine is that she smells of Jasmine. She has this smell in every Season she hops into it, and she isn’t even sure why. It was an intriguing idea to me, and interesting to read something with a fresh perspective. It feels a bit more science fiction than dystopia, though it could be classified as either.
It conjures up that question that you find in science fiction occasionally whether or not you would rather be blissfully unaware of any heart ache or pain, with no control over your life, or aware of everything you are missing and fighting for survival.
While the book is technically a self-published book, it does not read that way at all. I would have sworn this was a book published by a big box publisher, and assumed as much, until I was looking up additional details to write this review. I am beyond overly impressed with this book. I think it has so much potential, and when it gets a movie deal, the big boy publishers will be kicking themselves for not snatching it up sooner!