Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Debut Review: A Girl Called Fearless

A Girl Called Fearless: A NovelAuthor: Catherine Linka
Publication Date: May 6, 2014
Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin

Avie Reveare has the normal life of a privileged teen growing up in L.A., at least as normal as any girl’s life is these days. After a synthetic hormone in beef killed fifty million American women ten years ago, only young girls, old women, men, and boys are left to pick up the pieces. The death threat is past, but fathers still fear for their daughters’ safety, and the Paternalist Movement, begun to "protect" young women, is taking over the choices they make. Like all her friends, Avie still mourns the loss of her mother, but she’s also dreaming about college and love and what she’ll make of her life. When her dad "contracts" her to marry a rich, older man to raise money to save his struggling company, her life suddenly narrows to two choices: Be trapped in a marriage with a controlling politician, or run. Her lifelong friend, student revolutionary Yates, urges her to run to freedom across the border to Canada. As their friendship turns to passion, the decision to leave becomes harder and harder. Running away is incredibly dangerous, and it’s possible Avie will never see Yates again. But staying could mean death.From Catherine Linka comes this romantic, thought-provoking, and frighteningly real story, A Girl Called Fearless, about fighting for the most important things in life—freedom and love.

I rage at the darkness in my life
The stolen love, the stolen light
Death was silent, but I’m
Not silent anymore.

She’d grow up in this world never knowing what she’d missed.

Dad stalked off, leaving me in the hall, my voice as dead as my mother.

This was a new take on a dystopian novel for me. While most dystopian novels that I have read take place in a new, revolutionized world, this one is far from it. Ten years ago a synthetic hormone in beef killed fifty million American women, leaving young girls, boys, men, and elderly men and women to make sense of all that was left. Women’s rights are diminished in this society that Linka has invented, and Paternalists are ever fearful that something else will happen to their beloved women. Avie, our main character, is faced with a decision that will change her life forever. After finding out that her father is going to force her to marry, she decides that running away might be the better alternative. Along with a lifelong friend who calls her “fearless”, Avie decides to make a decision that might ultimately give her a chance at adventure and a life free from angst and disappointment.

The concept behind this book was very interesting and intriguing. Of course, being the feminist that I am, I had some issues with the patriarchal dominated world which Avie lived in. However, I thought that Linka’s world and the idea that all of the women were killed off years ago, was all very powerful. It added a lot of angst and emotion to the characters, and it was easier to understand them because as a reader I understood their world and why it was the way it was. Understanding Avie’s background helped me to put some of my hesitations about her behind me and give her the benefit of the doubt.

I love short chapters and books that are light enough for me to fly through in a short matter of time. This book was full of action, romance, and drama; it was a constant thrill from start to finish. The romance in this book was not overpowering, but was like other dystopian novels: full of emotion and all about taking chances. The romance was just enough for me!

***A free copy of this book was provided to me by the publishers at St. Martin’s Griffin in exchange for my honest review***

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