Monday, June 25, 2012

Elsa's Reality by Andrew Bellingham

Title: Elsa’s Reality
Author: Andrew Bellingham
Length: 1041 Kindle units
Rating: 4.5 stars

The Plot

Elsa doesn’t understand why she and her parents are moving to a new place with so many guards. And she doesn’t know why her new teacher is giving her such tiresome lessons, or why he seems to hate her stuffed Bear. But Elsa is starting to learn that she had better do what she is told, because the consequences could be dire for all involved.

The Good

Elsa’s Reality is one of those books that, if I tell you almost anything that happens in it, I’m spoiling it for you, so this is going to be a pretty short review. That said, the story was very good and involving. The naïve narrator is a hard thing to get right, and in this story, I felt like I was inside the head of a small child but at the same time was able to piece together most of what was actually happening to the people around her. Elsa’s Reality was both thought-provoking and emotionally stirring.

The Bad

Elsa’s Reality is not my usual genre, though I’m not entirely sure what genre I would call it. The story is told from the point of view of an eight-year-old, but the story is definitely not intended for people of that age. Given the young age of the main character, the narration focuses on how things seem to a young girl who does not understand her surroundings. Most of the time the reader can use his or her adult brain to fill in the missing pieces of what Elsa does not understand, but there was at least one instance where I got confused about what was going on. I still have no idea when and where the story takes place. On some level, this is irrelevant, but I wish I had more information about the setting. We do get one scene from the point of view of an adult character, which clears up some of the mystery, which was helpful, but which also felt kind of like cheating.

The Romance

Elsa is eight years old and consequently does not have any romantic subplots, though we do get a little bit of information about her parents’ relationship.

Will I read more?

I did enjoy the story, even though it differs from my usual reading material. I am pretty sure that this is a stand-alone story, though I could see there being additional works that give a larger picture of the world that Elsa lives in. Either way, I would not mind reading more of this author’s work.

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