Monday, January 21, 2013

Review: Flutter by Gina Linko


FlutterAuthor: Gina Linko
Release date: October 23rd 2013
Publisher: Random House BfYR
Hardcover, 352 pages
Buy: Amazon
         The Book Depository


I know I’m supposed to write a review with a head and a tail, start from the beginning and work my way toward the end (at least that’s the way I usually do things) but I’ll make an exception just this once and start with the ending, from which I honestly doubt I’ll ever recover. The ending of Flutter broke my heart, destroyed me completely, and then left me with a small sliver of hope to cure my wounded heart. It was both unexpected and unexpectedly gorgeous, one of those conclusions that take you completely by surprise, but when you stop to think about them, you realize there was really no other way to make things work. Those are the best endings, aren’t they? Even when they’re exceedingly painful and cruel, they leave an impression, something that stays with you forever.

And now, back to the beginning, I guess…

When Emery was just a little girl, she started having seizures that completely changed her life, only they aren’t seizures at all, they’re jumps through time, loops, as Emery calls them. Her father, the neurologist, refuses to believe her. Instead, he put together a team of scientists to work on her episodes and he treats her as no more than a lab rat. After giving the team, but especially her dad, more chances than they deserve, Emery decides to run. Lead by a little boy from her loops, she goes to Esperanza where she meets Ash, a kind, but strange young man who comes with his own mystery and problems.

Emery is the perfect heroine, truly she is. Her curly red hair and fair complexion make her beautiful, but she is too thin, almost transparent, completely exhausted by her condition. The lack of sleep and jumping through time always take their toll, and she is constantly dizzy and weak. On the inside, however, the girl is made of pure steel. She is decisive, strong and never afraid to stand up for herself. Since she has no one to care for her or care about her, really, these are the qualities she needs the most. A few insecurities occasionally did shine through, but considering her background, they’re more than understandable, and they felt genuine to me, not just sad, attention seeking behavior, but real doubts of someone no one ever saw for what they truly are.

The romantic element is very strong in Flutter, but never strong enough to overtake the plot. Emery and Ash shared a connection, yes, but they both kept their secrets for the longest time, and I truly appreciated that Emery never allowed herself to become obsessed with the mystery that was Ash and forget about the world of trouble she was in. Theirs was a romance I could definitely get behind, believable, but with a dreamlike quality that matched everything else Emery was going through. While I didn’t connect with Ash nearly as strongly as I connected with Emery, I sympathized with him immensely. His every act of penance was utterly heartbreaking and it made me feel oddly protective toward him.

It broke my heart to know that he couldn’t forgive himself, I couldn’t do that for him. I couldn’t take that on for him. If I could, I would. If I had learned anything from the odd little life that I had lived, especially in the last few years, it was that you had to be kind to yourself. Sometimes no one else was.


It’s obvious to me that Linko teaches college English; her writing is very clean, precise and grammatically correct. She isn’t fond of contractions (though she does use them occasionally, especially in dialogues) which makes her prose a bit stiff at times, but I enjoyed her style overall.

Unfortunately, the cover isn’t doing this book any favors. It does reflect the story fairly well, but it’s not nearly eye-catching enough. We all know that covers sell books – bad books, let alone the good ones. It always saddens me when, due to an unnoticeable cover, an excellent book doesn’t get the attention it deserves, while horrible books sell like cookies because of some girl in a pretty dress. Random House, I’m staring daggers at you! You better make sure that Linko’s next book, Indigo, gets the cover it deserves. I promise I’ll read it. (Oh, who am I kidding, I’d read it even if it came wrapped in greasy parchment paper. And you should too. Linko is that good.)

My recommendation? Read it now, cry for a while and then read it again.




24 comments:

  1. I totally agree with you about the cover. I've seen this book a few times and I haven't even taken the time to read the blurb. And yet, it sounds appealing to me now. Wonderful review as usual Maja :)

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  2. I have to admit that I've seen this around, but it's never really captured my attention until now. You're right, though. The cover is unappealing and that may be why. I'm glad the romance was believable and that it didn't take over the plot. Great review!

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  3. I agree that it is not a very pretty cover, but the story sounds really good. Great review. Adding it now.

    Jenea @ Books Live Forever

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  4. I agree about the cover. Even when it's very shallow, we all base a part of our opinion on the cover. This book sounds extremely good. I love MC's like that and I'm happy that the romance doesn't overtake the whole story. Believable relationships are the best :) and I can't wait to see the heartbreaking ending. Thanks for sharing your opinion and I might pick it up now!

    Mel@thedailyprophecy.

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  5. Not a fan of the cover too. The romantic element-- Dreamy and believable? My cup of tea :D Thanks for the review.

    -Dannielle

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  6. Gorgeous review, Maja! I'm adding Flutter to my wishlist and will get ready to cry a little when I read it... :)

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  7. This was a really unusual story! I enjoyed it, since it was so very different than most of the books out there. You're right about the cover, though. Very unattractive and my magpie self wouldn't have picked it up off the shelf.

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  8. You're right that this hasn't had nearly as much attention as some other Random House titles. I am aware of it, but I can't think of the last time I read a review for this book. Yours might be the first, actually. Anyway, I'm really curious about this ending now! I do love those sorts of ending sometimes, as long as they are not torturous cliffhangers. I'm glad you enjoyed this, Maja. I'll make an effort to add it to my pile. Lovely review as always!

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  9. Well, I don't know, I would say starting with the ending actually provided a really good hook for your review, haha! I mean, that ending sounds truly emotional and excellent. And the rest of the book, too! I really love paranormal books that have more of a contemporary base and it kind of sounds like this one does that so that's exciting. This is the first I'm hearing of it, honestly, and you're right - that cover would never have grabbed me. I'm never much of a fan of Random House covers, to be honest... If it weren't for your review, this one would have passed me by; instead, I can add it to my tbr - thanks!

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  10. i have seen this around and the cover is meh . adding this to my wishlist

    gr8 review

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  11. Beautiful review, Maja! I had no idea that this book was so good! You got me very interested in it. I'm a little scared of the ending though, but still it seems like it's definitely a book worth reading! The characters all sound great and I'm glad the romance doesn't overwhelm the plot!
    I agree about the cover. It's not very eye-catching!
    Lovely review, Maja! :)

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  12. There is no way to write a review!! haha. It's anyway you want. Chronologically, thematically it's your own to create.

    However, I loved your review. You're right, the cover is downright terrible. If it had not been for your comment I would have probably thought this to be some self-bodged job that wasn't worth my time.

    Now I shall be adding it to my to-read pile. Great review! :)

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  13. Maja, how do you do this? How do you break my heart and make me yearn for books I never even wanted to read before with just a few words? I keep thinking the last review I read of yours was the best, but then they just keep getting better and better. I love your writing. Please, writing a book one day, okay? :)

    Anyway, I wasn't planning to read this because *hangs head* the cover, as you said, did the book no justice. I figured it was one of those typical the-girl-takes-up-the-whole-cover books that never seem to be good but this sounds like a truly poignant read. I'm adding it to my shelves at once, be reassured. Beautiful, beautiful review, dearest!

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  14. Okay, now I'm both dying to read this one and painfully terrified of the ending. I know exactly what you mean when you say it's cruel and beautiful at the same time and I love those types of endings, but that doesn't make me fear them any less. I had absolutely no intention of picking this book up, and now I don't think I can go another day without reading it. Absolutely stunning review Maja!

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  15. Ok I am much more enthusiastic to read this now I have had a review copy for far too long. I read some not so great reviews but you and I always get sucked in by the writing and I know I am in the minority but I get irritated with ridiculous contractions and I rarely use them either so I already love that aspect. Oh now the ending will destroy my heart... what is it...

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  16. Yeah, that cover didn't get my attention, but your review did! I honestly didn't pay this book much attention at all, I'm not sure I even knew what it was about. But it sounds amazing! And I'm really curious about that ending!

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  17. Well, you've convinced me! I really am interested in the romance not taking over the plot. Very.

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  18. Awesome review and yeah i am not a fan of the cover but you have me so interesting in the ending!

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  19. Oh, Maja! I'm so ashamed to admit I passed on this one because of the cover - I know better! I will consider it a lesson learned after reading your lovely review. I LOVE unexpected and gorgeous endings, and I have been all about the heartbreaking stories lately. Wonderful quote! I'm definitely putting this one on my list.

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  20. Sold, Maja! This sounds amazing, even with the heartbreak. It is a shame when a cover doesn't do the story justice, because it has such a huge impact on whether the books sells or not. Brilliant review. :)

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  21. I haven't heard much about this one and considering the cover isn't that great, I probably wouldn't have thought about giving it a try if it wasn't for your review, Maja. I prefer books with subtler romances and strong heroines so it's nice to know that this one has both. I'll be adding this to my wishlist :)

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  22. Wow, your intro got my interest right away! I haven't heard of this, and the cover would defo put me off, but I am going to hunt this down because I love fantastic heroines and emotional reads!

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  23. I have not heard of this book. But, then again, it looks like it's not out until October of this year? Hopefully it'll get more hype as the publication date nears. I've read a few time travel books, but haven't really gone out of my way to read this genre. I think I'll make an exception for Flutter, however. It sounds like the conflict between science and Emery's reality could provide an interesting dynamic here. Emery also sounds like a great heroine. I'll definitely keep a lookout for this!

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  24. Geez, Maja. You're really starting to make a monster out of my Goodreads recommendation list! Lol! Glad this one was so good for you though! :)

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