“Which Reality Would YOU Choose? Seventeen year-old Emily’s dad is in prison for securities fraud and her mom’s strung-out on pain meds, leaving Emily to parent herself and her younger brothers and sister. She’s got things mostly under control until a couple weeks before Dad’s release, when voices start whispering in her head, and Gabe, the hot lifeguard at the pool, notices the strange brands engraved on her arm…the ones she’s trying desperately to hide. Emily doesn’t know how the symbols got there or what they mean. They appeared overnight and now they’re infected and bleeding. She’s pretty sure she’s losing her mind. Stress, insomnia, and her wounded egos drive Emily to self-medicate, which has to be why the nightmares from her childhood have resurfaced, why they’re commandeering her conscious even when she’s awake. It has to be why the fairytale creatures she created as a little girl insist they need her help. Triggered by the return of her childhood abuser and unable to cope with reality, Emily slips completely inside her elaborate fantasy world. She’s powerful in the First Realm, maybe even more powerful than her attacker. It would be so easy to stay there, to lose herself in enchantment…to lose herself in love. But something sinister lurks in the forest shadows. Emily soon discovers her demons have followed her inside her fairytale. They’re hunting her. With the help of the Fae, she frantically searches for the weapons she needs to defeat her greatest fears and escape back to reality before the man who tortured her can prey on her younger brothers and sister, too. Time is running out…”
I have to say that this was quite a unique book – nothing like I expected at all. I received a copy from the Publicist, Paula Margulies, (thank you for that!) after I was asked if I’d host a book spotlight. Paula was generous enough to send me a hard copy of the book (which I always loveeee receiving) and I flew through the book! Well…flew through it in university free time standards.
So the book covered some interesting themes from child abuse to managing depression. This kind of theme is generally glossed over in books now as children don’t like to read it, parents don’t like their children to read it and authors don’t write it because they know it will not sell. However, this is an incredibly important topic to cover in book, especially in a way that children will understand. Childhood depression, child abuse, and struggling for children is a common thing that they encounter and if they don’t understand what they are facing, they won’t know how to deal with it or how to properly address it. So that is one reason I really did like the book. The book ended with a reminder of who to contact if you, or someone you know, was struggling with abuse.
Now the story itself was a little confusing to me, but I did still enjoy it. It kept mixing between this fantasy world which Emily created to escape reality and reality. As the book progressed, you started to understand that there was a clear parallel between the fantasy world and the world which Emily was living in with the boys she started to like, her family and her father (being the bad guy). There wasn’t tons of character development until the end when the protagonist realized what she needed to do and the fact that she wasn’t alone and could do this. However, it wasn’t a completely neat ending as there are three more books to be in the series. I don’t know how the series will go, and I may check up on it in the future to see what the other two books will cover, however one book would have be sufficient in my opinion.
I don’t know if I will be picking up the other books in the series, as it’s not really my kind of story, however I do recommend checking this kind of book out because it was just so unique and beautifully covered the struggle which children can face. It also wasn’t a difficult read so it won’t take too long to get through.
I give this one 4 out of 5 tea cups! Go check it out!