Author: Lou Aronica
Description: Becky is 14 and splits her time between her squabbling divorced parents. Chris, her dad, regrets that they have grown apart, but isn’t quite sure how to heal the widening gap between them. He recalls how years ago, when Becky was undergoing treatment for childhood leukemia, the two of them would make up stories every night about a fantasy world called Tamarisk. One night, Becky actually travels to Tamarisk and meets Meia, the young queen. Tamarisk is facing an environmental disaster, which Meia hopes Becky and Chris can help her solve. Meanwhile, is Becky’s leukemia returning?
Review source: this was a free book from Amazon for the kindle.
Plot: The plot moves back and forth between earth and Tamarisk and the narrative is from various points of view: Becky’s, Chris’s, Meia’s, and even some secondary characters. For me, this made the novel uneven and sort of “jerky.” There were several plot points that were not cleared up (not sure if that means there will be a sequel or not).
Characters: The main character issues are that Becky is a teenager and has difficulties getting along with both of her parents, who have major problems getting along with one another. Meia had to abandon a romance when she became queen and now struggles with loneliness and isolation. On the whole, the reader is told about a lot of personal difficulties, but the story doesn’t really support them. For example, why do the parents hate one another so much? Polly, Becky’s mom, announced she wanted a divorce, but we’re never really told why. Why can’t they just get along better? Why did Meia have to give up a romance? There’s no law against the queen being married. Etc.
Writing style: As you might have sensed, I had some problems with the writing style. I’ve already mentioned the abrupt shifts in point-of-view and narrative. Then there are the Tamariskian features. So Becky and her dad made up all these weird animals, foods, substances, etc. for Tamarisk, and we’re introduced to a bunch of them. Way too many. All these made up words just to show us that things are different there. Yawn.
Audience: The book doesn’t appear to have been written for the YA audience, but that’s how I’d class it. There’s no graphic anything.
Wrap-up: I did finish the book, but I was underwhelmed by it. 2.5/5*