I started off my summer by reading the novella The Girl Who Could See by Kara Swanson, a fast paced tale of two friends—one of them imaginary (or so it seems).
I love when a book makes you feel as though the story was taking place before you began to read it and would keep going even if you stopped. That’s exactly how TGWCS opens. Fern, our heroine, is locked in an interrogation room. She’s being questioned about her foreknowledge of a catastrophe that happened only hours before. The story is already rolling and the reader is asked to match the speed.
The steady beat of the novella kept me turning the page, but it was the concept of having an imaginary friend—when an adult—that really intrigued me. Fern’s struggle to discern between the real and imagined gave me great sympathy for her. How would I react if I grew up seeing someone that no one else could? As Fern learns the answers to who this “hero” is and where he comes from, she also learns of a deadly evil threatening both their worlds. Coming to terms with the fact that she may be the only one who can defeat this evil means coming to terms with the fact that she has a painful past that she’s tried to forget. Her inner and outer conflict was enough to power the book to the end.
I will be honest; much of the time the dialogue was a bit too predictable and…nice? It fit too perfectly together and didn’t match the chaos of what was actually happening. There were, rightly, exclamations of horror or frustration in key moments, but the conversations could have been deeper, maybe revealing character flaws, as I really couldn’t find any in either the hero or heroine. They both struggle against a great evil, but there was no trace of evil in themselves, making them seem flat and unbelievable at times.
Regardless, I think the author built a fantastic story and packed a lot of action in a small space. If you’re looking for a fun weekend read this summer, try picking up The Girl Who Could See, by Kara Swanson and lose yourself in a mind-bending adventure!
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Buy the book here!