Author: Gina Rosati
Publication Date: August 7, 2012
Publisher: Roaring Brook Press
Reading Level: Young Adult
Pages: 304 (ARC)
16 year old Anna Rogan has a secret she's only shared with her best friend, Rei; she can astrally project out of her body, allowing her spirit to explore the world and the far reaches of the universe.
When there's a fatal accident and her classmate Taylor takes over Anna's body, what was an exhilarating distraction from her repressive home life threatens to become a permanent state. Faced with a future trapped in another dimension, Anna turns to Rei for help. Now the two of them must find a way to get Anna back into her body and stop Taylor from accusing an innocent friend of murder. Together Anna and Rei form a plan but it doesn't take into account the deeper feelings that are beginning to grow between them.
Wow! I really enjoyed this one! It was full of so many unexpected surprises that kept me flipping the pages eagerly. I wish I could explain to you how much I enjoyed this one, but I want to give you the same opportunity to be shocked by the plot like I was, so I'm just going to make this is a short review.
Rosati completely blew me away with this one. I love books having to deal with supernatural phenomenons, but this book is utterly unique with its main concept of astral projection. I have never come across anything of the sort before, nor have I ever thought of something quite like it, so its use in literature both shocked and astounded me. Rosati easily held my interest with this concept and continuously wowed me throughout the novel.
The characterization in this book was genius as well. Anna serves as our vessel for emotion and she's a strong vessel at that. She has a great sense of humor and desire to do good, even if she's stuck in one of the worst situations. She also has a dysfunctional family centered around her father's alcoholism. It is evident that he is part of the reason that Anna is the way she is, but he caused her to be a strong girl that we can respect. She always finds ways to work through her problems at home instead of dwelling on them and looking for pity like a lot of main character's in young adult literature do these days.
What I really want to address in relation to this book is cliches. I'd be lying if I said that this book didn't have any, but the cliches in this one worked. There's the good type of cheesy and a bad type of cheesy, and this book's unique plot coupled with the good type of cheesy thrown into the characterization and partially the ending created a great story for the reader. And when I say good type of cheesy, I'm referring specifically to Anna's best friend and secret crush, Rei. Rei would be the boy next door, if there was such a thing. He's perfect in every way. He's got a nice body, he's well-behaved, he's got the kindest heart and an amazing brain, and he's been with Anna since childhood. He would never pick anyone over her. It's only logic that they would eventually get together, but the romance was only part of the subplot and they weren't together for a large part of the story. As enjoyable as the romance was, the main focus of the story was entirely on how to get Anna back in her body, which I enjoyed because it kept the cheesiness from overwhelming readers.
I would recommend this book to pretty much anyone who enjoys fantasy or supernatural phenomena. It is unique and explores a concept that is virtually unparalleled in young adult literature today. Entirely unique and full of mind-blowing creativity, Rosati's debut novel is one that can't be missed. She has a promising career ahead of her as a young adult author.