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Flutter by Gina Linko

Tuesday, October 16, 2012
Synopsis: All Emery Land wants is to be like any other 17-year-old—to go to school, hang out with her friends, and just be normal. But for as long as she can remember, she's suffered from seizures. And in recent years they've consumed her life. To Emery they're much more than seizures, she calls them loops—moments when she travels through wormholes back and forth in time and to a mysterious town. The loops are taking their toll on her physically. So she practically lives in the hospital where her scientist father and an ever-growing team of doctors monitor her every move. They're extremely interested in the data they collect when Emery seizes. It appears that she's tapping into parts of the brain typically left untouched by normal human beings. Escaping from the hospital, Emery travels to Esperanza, the town from her loops on the upper peninsula of Michigan, where she meets Asher Clarke. Ash's life is governed by his single-minded pursuit of performing good Samaritan acts to atone for the death of a loved one. His journey is very much entwined with Emery's loops. Drawn together they must unravel their complicated connection before it's too late.

Review: Flutter by Gina Linko pulls readers along with Emery Land as she questions what is happening in her loops and what is happening in her life. These are difficult questions to answer. I mean, if someone told you that she was time traveling, would you believe her? Most likely, each and every one of you would have a different reaction. Linko does an excellent job of depicting these different reactions with the people who make up Emery’s world. First, there is Emery’s father, a scientist who is most concerned with keeping Emery alive even if he doesn’t quite know how to show it. Second, there are Emery’s doctors, so determined to find an explanation that they treat Emery like a specimen instead of a human being. Then, there is Gia, Emery’s best friend. Gia allows Emery to think that she believes her, lets Emery down when she needs her most, and then finds Emery when no one else can. Lastly, there is Ash, who believes in Emery’s loops with all his heart, possibly because he is so close to them. Of all of these characters, Ash is easily the most likeable. Ash is the type of boy all girls fall for even though they know they shouldn’t. He is tortured and potentially dangerous, but that just means that he needs a girl to fix him. Ash’s character arc is probably one of the most touching I have ever seen. The guy who sleeps outside Emery’s cabin turns into the guy with secrets. Once his secrets are revealed, there is nothing—well, almost nothing—keeping Emery and readers from falling for him. Linko’s use of first person narration allows readers to be right there with Emery as she struggles to find answers before it is too late. I was able to feel Emery’s desperation—her desperation to understand the loops, her desperation for her father to understand her, her desperation to be with Ash. Emery acts exactly like someone who knows she doesn’t have all of the time in the world to live would act, and I appreciated the realism of that. I have seen Flutter referred to as science fiction, but to me, it’s a mystery. What are Emery’s loops? What is Ash’s secret? Will Emery’s loops kill her? Will Ash ever forgive himself? I cannot even begin to describe how amazed I was by the answers to these questions. Gina Linko has written a novel filled with questions that seem impossible to answer and then answered them in the most breathtakingly beautiful way imaginable.

Reviewed by: STEPHANIE

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