The Almost Girl (Strange Chemistry) Paperback – January 7, 2014
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- Publishers Weekly
“A riveting union of science fiction thriller, romance, family drama, and conspiracy theory, The Almost Girl had me wishing I could crawl inside the pages and join Riven on her epic journey between parallel worlds. Amalie Howard¹s writing is sharp and smart.”
- Page Morgan, author of The Beautiful and the Cursed
“Amalie Howard writes a fast paced and thrilling story with a kick butt, authentic heroine and a brilliantly crafted world.”
- Eve Silver, author of Rush
“The Almost Girl is a feminist tour de force. It is filled with powerful, interesting female characters. Riven is one of my favorite fictional characters ever; she is fierce, passionate, funny and smart. This sexy, fast-paced story is impossible to put down. A must read! Fans of Divergent will love it!”
- Kim Purcell, author of Trafficked
About the Author
She received a bachelor’s degree from Colby College in Maine in International Studies and French, and a certificate in French Literature from the Ecole Normale Supérieure in Paris, France. Traveling the globe, she has worked as a research assistant, marketing representative, teen speaker and global sales executive. She currently resides in New York with her husband and three children.
She is represented by the Liza Royce Agency. Visit her at www.amaliehoward.com or on Twitter (@AmalieHoward).
- Grade Level : 9 - 12
- Item Weight : 12.5 ounces
- Paperback : 416 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1908844809
- ISBN-13 : 978-1908844804
- Product Dimensions : 5.1 x 1.05 x 7.7 inches
- Publisher : Strange Chemistry (January 7, 2014)
- Reading level : 14 and up
- Language: : English
Best Sellers Rank:
#6,416,141 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- #6,289 in Teen & Young Adult Science Fiction & Dystopian Romance
- #6,366 in Teen & Young Adult Dystopian
- #26,340 in Teen & Young Adult Action & Adventure
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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Entertainment is defined as: The action of providing or being provided with amusement or enjoyment.
Now, I’m sure you are all wondering why I felt the need to give you an English lesson, and I promise I’ll get to the point, but first…let me tell you a little story.
Every morning I wake up at the butt crack of dawn do two things. 1 – Take my children to school. 2 – Workout.
The first is fairly simple, but the second…well…it kicks my flabby white tush. I am NOT the girl that can step onto a treadmill with a little background music and knock out an hour long workout. Nope, I need a distraction. Sometimes I play a movie on my iPad, but most of the time…I turn on whatever rainforest soundtrack sounds soothing that morning and I read. Not a magazine, not my Facebook feed or some random article on Buzzfeed. I read a book. The only problem with this is that I have to read a very specific type of book when I’m working out. It can’t be sad. (Because ugly crying in the gym is a big fat no-no.) It can’t be smutty. (Because George likes to read over my shoulder.) And it can’t be too complicated. (Mostly because it’s hard to drown out the screams of pain coming from my thighs.)
The only thing it has to be is entertaining. My overly analytical brain need not apply, in fact…it can check out all together if it likes, I need only the part that allows me to turn a book into a moving picture in my had. The more action the better.
That is exactly what Amalie Howard’s novel “The Almost Girl” was for me. An entertaining distraction.
I’m not going to lie to you, this book was a hot mess. Or more specifically, sloppy in it’s make-up. The world building was fairly decent, but Howard’s main character Riven (and her male counterpart) Caden were one exhausting literary trope after another. One was supposed to be unflinchingly strong and savvy (they were constantly hurt, passing out, or being taken advantage of) while the other is what one would call a Mary. (Practically perfect in every way.) (Two point to those of you that got the Mary Poppins reference.) It didn’t make them difficult to read (hell, I actually enjoyed it when Riven got a swift kick in the ego) it just means that they were doomed to be predictable. As was the plot.
Even with the amusing introduction of zombie-esq robots, very large mechanical lizards, and one mad scientist father, I figured out ALL of the twists a good twenty pages before each happened. And this is where this book is going to lose readers.
Let’s lay all of the cards on the table shall we?
This book is going to be a book that draws two very different responses. Love or Hate. There will be no middle ground for the bulk of it’s readers. Why? Because it’s a book that you have to be in a specific frame of mind to enjoy.
Jim Rohn once said:
“Don’t just read the easy stuff. You may be entertained by it, but you will never grow from it.”
Read the easy stuff when it’s necessary. Life is too short to be so serious all of the time.
All of you should know by now that I LOVE serious literature and everything that reading it entails, but it can also drain you. Sometimes you just need to check out of yourself. Let an angry 17 year old who lives in two different worlds take you on a wild ride. Let secret factions ramble about things that aren’t so secret, and enjoy the simplicity of a first kiss. Yes, the character cliche’s might get a little annoying from time to time, and suspending reality is a must, but when all you need is a distraction from everything going on around you, and a book like this could help…why the hell wouldn’t you read it?
It’s got clones for heaven’s sakes. CLONES! (Sci-fi win!)
My recommendation, download a sample and start there. If you find that you’ve rolled your eyes more than 10 times by the end of the sample…cut your losses and move on. Life’s too short to be annoyed. BUT, if you find yourself intrigued by Riven and her evil zombie robot killing, king saving, high-school experiencing ways, then buy yourself a copy and dive in. You never know…you might enjoy the mental vacation.
What I really liked about The Almost Girl:
1. It’s different from most of what is available in YA fiction. The plot is great, and the setting is interesting and well thought out.
2. Caden and Shae: Even though I think the entire relationship between Riven and Caden developed way too quickly, I still liked him. He was the complete opposite of Riven, so it was a good balance. And Shae, well, I liked her from the beginning.
3. The technology: Howard has clearly thought everything out in this world. The technology was interesting, and I liked reading about it.
4. The relationship between Riven and her mother: The scene when Riven learns the truth is wonderfully written. I enjoyed watching their relationship develop over the course of the story.
While I did enjoy The Almost Girl – and I did – I found myself struggling with the romance. I get that certain relationships were meant to make Riven appear less closed off, but really, the romance with Caden just never seemed believable to me. The “L” word was dropped way too soon, and in all honesty, for me, it took away from the story because it seemed to become the central arc of the entire second half of the book. With such an interesting concept, and a character that’s so different from other YA heroines, the focus on the romance just seemed unnecessary. There’s such an interesting world at the center of this story, I would’ve loved to have seen more focus on that.
I know that I pointed out a few reasons why I didn’t love The Almost Girl, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t a book worth reading. I still enjoyed it, and I have every intention of reading any sequels. Would I recommend checking it out? Yeah, if you like science fiction it is worth a read.