My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Julia’s family is moving to the Amazon, from London, with next to no notice at all. Her father has found a new position there, and hopes to get out from under the family’s financial difficulties. In a sense, Julia and her mother ought to be happy for the trip, because her mother’s mother is an Amazon native, a member of the Kanauyed tribe. But Julia’s mother has always distanced herself from that heritage, which Julia can’t understand, and doesn’t want to leave London life-neither does Julia. But it seems they have no choice. What it all amounts to is a tremendous uproar for a sixteen-year-old, who has to abandon he r school friends, her home, and her Grandmother. Adding to her anxiety is a night-before-departure dream that escalates from simply puzzling, to bizarre, to terrifying and painful.
“Swirls” is more than just a YA-adolescent with tribulations story, though, and Julia’s dream will prove both prophetic-and incredible. Author Hershey does a fine job of weaving in paranormal and science fiction elements, while keeping the story line level and the reader intrigued but not skeptical or scoffing. In other words, the suspension of disbelief comes easily. This novel is listed as for YA readers or younger, but it’s certainly effective for older-that is, adult readers-as well.
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