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 (Earth Girl #1)
Published by Pyr on March 5th, 2013
Genres: Sci-fi, YA
Page Length: 271 pages
How I got my copy: Publisher
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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.
- 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.
- 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.
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!
Have you read this one? What did you think? Are you excited for it if you haven’t gotten to it yet?
Earth Girl by Janet Edwards
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