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Earth Girl by Janet Edwards {4 Stars}

Earth Girl by Janet Edwards tells the story of a future where you can instantly portal from Earth to any settled planet, as long as you aren’t Handicapped. Jarra is one of the few people who are for some reason allergic to any planet other than Earth, but she isn’t letting that hold her back. Earth Girl tackles tough issues related to ableism while introducing readers to an immersive futuristic Earth (complete with awesome new slang!). If you enjoy sci-fi, then you really can’t miss Earth Girl!

Note: I received Earth Girl from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Small note: the text of the US finished copy of Earth Girl is quite small, so if you have difficulty reading smaller text, you might want to get the e-copy instead!

Earth Girl by Janet Edwards {4 Stars}

Earth Girl by Janet Edwards (Earth Girl #1)
Published by Pyr on March 5th, 2013
Genres: Sci-fi, YA
Page Length: 271 pages
How I got my copy: Publisher
Amazon - IndieBound - Book Depository - Goodreads
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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.

4 Stars

Strengths:

  • Earth Girl is narrated in first person from Jarra’s perspective and she is hilarious! All of Earth Girl is basically Jarra telling the reader a story after the events of the book have taken place, so Jarra doesn’t resist throwing in some commentary when appropriate ;-).
  • I really appreciated the perspective that Earth Girl provides on living with a handicap, but in a context separate from present day. While I don’t have firsthand experience with ableism, I thought that Earth Girl did a good job at portraying the experiences of being handicapped in a futuristic world that still has relevance in the present.
  • Futuristic settings can be tricky, but Earth Girl did a great job of building a future Earth (and Language) that I believed but could still follow along with. Language has changed in various ways (“butt” is a swear word, “legs” is the more appropriate term, hehe), but I was able to pick up on the various new meanings quickly.
  • Jarra is a history geek and because Earth is the home to most of Humanity’s “pre-history”, all history students have to spend a year at dig sites on Earth! The archeology angle involving digging up our future and Jarra’s past was so much fun to read.

Weaknesses:

  •  The plot of Earth Girl got a bit random for me in the middle. Everything is going along as expected with Jarra’s master plan and then a couple of rather coincidental things happen all at once that had me tilting my head with a confused look. While it is completely possible for these types of coincidences to occur, obviously, I ended up feeling not entirely satisfied with where things went.
  • While I appreciate the message that Earth Girl is conveying, it does get a little heavy handed at times. You will be quite clear from beginning to end that Earth Girl is showing how damaging ableism is.

Summary:

Earth Girl is a sci-fi story quite different than you’ve probably read before, which makes it all the more exciting to experience! If you’re looking for something fresh in this genre with strong characters and a very touching view from a different perspective, Earth Girl is your book. I’m so glad that us US readers have been able to read it, and now it’s finally time for book two!

Anya from On Starships and Dragonwings

Have you read this one? What did you think? Are you excited for it if you haven’t gotten to it yet?
– Anya

 

 Earth Girl by Janet Edwards

© 2014, Anya. All rights reserved.

Comments

  1. This sounds so cool. I’ll have to keep an eye out for this one for sure.
    Sarah recently posted…Review: WakeMy Profile

  2. This sounds very interesting! I love reading books that address important social issues and the world building in this one sounds good as well.
    Katie @ Doing Dewey recently posted…The Impaler LegacyMy Profile

  3. I’m teetering on the fence. It is also interesting to note that I haven’t seen this one featured anywhere else, and this is the first I have heard about this book.

    Thank you, Anya!
    Lyn Kaye recently posted…Graphic Novel Review: Sailor Twain by Mark SiegelMy Profile

    • This one was originally a UK release a few years ago and then released in the US by a small pub last year, so I’m a bit behind and it’s small pub, so I suspect that’s why it didn’t get much attention, hehe. The second book is coming out in the US this month though!

  4. Brittany says:

    Going to give this one a try, thanks!

  5. I like what you mentioned about looking for something new because sci-fi is a huge hit or miss genre for me and I usually don’t like the ones that follow the ordinary recipe. Plus, the world building sounds pretty good, which is definitely a good thing in a book like this.

    And I hate when the text is small! My copy of Angelfall is like that and that’s why I’ve been putting it off xD
    Alise recently posted…Do You Watch Book Trailers?My Profile

    • So agreed, I dislike a lot of the more traditional sci-fi recipes, though I plan all the gatekeeping blahness in the community :(

  6. Hmm…I’m not generally a fan of “heavy handed” messages in my reading, but the sci-fi elements do sound pretty cool. I may give it a shot, provided the text isn’t too too small.

    Also, I added an RSS button which (fingers crossed) should be working. :)
    Kel recently posted…Updates: Cooking, Cleaning & BooksMy Profile

    • Do you read ebooks? That might be the better strategy for the text size on this one D:

      Yey RSS button!

      • I read more ebooks now than I used to, but usually just ARC’s and the occasional library book. I’m too much of a cheapskate, and, when buying books, I prefer ones I can show off on a shelf. ;)
        Kel recently posted…Updates: Second WinterMy Profile

        • I’m definitely with you on that, though Earth Girl is one where I personally would buy the hardcover for the shelf and the ebook for my eyes >.>

  7. Yay I’m glad you liked it! I was waiting for your review to see what you thought ever since I saw it in your new book pile a bit ago. If I haven’t already added it to my wishlist, I’m doing so in a second. I still love that cover too.
    Thanks for reviewing!

  8. I agree! There really were those coincidental things that happened that three me around the point when she conveniently forgot them. I loved the book so much though.
    Tabitha (@Pabkins) recently posted…Review: The Ophelia Prophecy by Sharon Lynn FisherMy Profile

    • Yeah, the forgetting plot line was a bit odd, but definitely not something I’ve read before ;-) Just got Earth Star in the mail :D

  9. The setting and Jarra’s love of history were definitely some of my favorite things about Earth Girl when I read it. While, off the top of my head, I cannot remember what I didn’t like about it, it ended up being quite interesting.

    The font was definitely on the small side.
    Orchid @ The Haunting of Orchid Forsythia recently posted…Wish List WednesdayMy Profile

  10. This is one that I’ve heard some mixed reviews about, but the plot seems like one that stand a good chance of enjoying, so I’d definitely like to give it a read for myself at some point.

Trackbacks

  1. […] technology :D. There are major spoilers below for the first two books, so check out my reviews of Earth Girl (4 stars) and Earth Star (5 stars!) instead to be safe. Before you do that though, know that […]

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