- Series: Earth Girl (Book 1)
- Hardcover: 350 pages
- Publisher: Pyr (2013)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1616147652
- ISBN-13: 978-1616147655
- Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 1 x 8.8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars See all reviews (76 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #424,515 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Earth Girl Hardcover – March 5, 2013
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From School Library Journal
Gr 7-9-Just because Jarra is Handicapped doesn't mean she's a nardle-brain, and certainly not that ultimate insult: an "ape." Almost 700 years in the future, Earth has been largely abandoned, a huge data crash lost most of written history, and portals allow instant transportation across vast distances. Since the Exodus, most people live on other planets. Jarra and other Handicapped cannot use the portals, and for some reason (never made clear), they are considered less intelligent by the Norms, who portal here and there on a daily basis. Jarra decides to show them that she is just as good as they are and applies to an off-world college conducting an archaeology dig on the abandoned buildings of New York. Reinventing herself as Jarra Military Kid, JMK watches vids and takes combat lessons and thinks about how the Norm jaws will drop when she eventually reveals that she is Handicapped. Since she grew up on Earth and has been to the New York digs many times, her skills quickly allow her to shine, particularly when solar flares close the portal, stranding dig teams on Earth. Jarra is an independent heroine, though she giggles an awful lot. The future that Edwards constructs is creative and the dig descriptions are well thought out. The future society, with Twoing contracts before marriage and the varying sector Moral Codes, keeps things lively on the romantic level. The "person against nature" conflict with unstable dig conditions and solar flares makes a refreshing change from "person against paranormal" or "person against government" conflicts currently popular in many YA books.-Maggie Knapp, Trinity Valley School, Fort Worth, TXα(c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
*Starred Review* Tired of bitter, angst-ridden heroines and their associated dark dystopias? Look no further than Edwards’ refreshing debut, set in the darn-near-utopian universe of 2788 and starring a confident, motormouthed, giggly 18-year-old named Jarra. She’s Handicapped (an ape if you’re rude), the one-in-a-thousand born with a condition that doesn’t allow her to portal outside of Earth. And who wants to hang around boring old Earth? Nobody, unless you’re studying prehistory. So Jarra conspires to join a first-year college archaeology course of off-world teens to prove that an ape can sift through the ruins of New York City just as well, or better, than any privileged Betan or Deltan or Gamman. Make no mistake, this is hard sf (though not painfully hard) that largely forgoes heart-pounding drama in favor of fascinating technicalities and flawless world logic. Yes, there is a romance, but it’s far from the swooning sort: Jarra comes to respect the otherworld norms she has set out to shock and soon is considering boy and girling with Fian, or even entering with him into a Twoing contract. If these patient, intelligent particulars are making your eyes glaze over, that’s because they’re all too rarely found on Planet YA. As Jarra would (loudly) say, this book is totally zan! Grades 9-12. --Daniel Kraus
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Top Customer Reviews
Lately I’ve read a fair number of sci-fi young adult books and this one out-shines the rest. I am not kidding when I say I even teared up while reading it. I have a seriously soft spot for certain things when it comes to anything military, traditions and ceremonies.
Singing its praises:
- The main character Jarra! She has some issues but ones I think everyone can sympathize with. Her character depth and growth was so well developed that I became extremely attached to her.
- The world building details, I can’t go into them without spoiling the experience. But the basics are that portals were invented that allowed for colonization of new worlds as it made distance travel a non issue. But a small percentage of humanity cannot survive outside of the Earth’s atmosphere. Hundreds of years into the future those people are still on Earth and considered to be handicapped. When children are born off world that have the handicap they are immediately portaled to Earth and almost always abandoned by the parents such that these unwanted babies becomes ward’s of Hospital Earth. Jarra was one such baby.
- Earth Girl tackles issues of prejudice and discrimination as well as abandonment and self worth. Jarra is always struggling internally and I felt the way we witness this through the story and her actions was so well done.
- As Jarra is a student, among other student from different planets it allowed for an easily digestible delivery method for information about the world and the history of humanity.
- I adored the author’s vision of the military in humanity’s future. One particular honor ceremony really touched me emotionally.
- I’ve never loved history, but archeology has always been interesting. So it was really fascinating to see how archaeologists in the future might be doing to uncover things from our present.
- Those who like a touch of romance will also enjoy this. It’s there but it in no way overwhelms the main plot of the book.
My only negative thought is not on the content of the book but on the font size of the print version. I recommend the e-book version for those readers that prefer a standard size font. Originally I started out reading the hardcover version and then quickly purchased the e-book instead because the print version has a considerably smaller font than I normally see.
Ultimately, I can’t even explain all the things about Earth Girl that worked for me. I highly recommend it, mostly for Jarra’s personal struggle.
It's not a good feeling.
In a way, that very thing also reminded me of the main character in Earth Girl , Jarra. There is this whole universe out there, she knows it, and it's out of her reach. Jarra was not the type to mope silently about her crappy luck. She was a firecracker and one of the best teen characters that I've read. She's impulsive, aggressive, and angry to the point that I wanted to throttle her, but she was also very sympathetic. What if it was humanly possible to travel anywhere in the universe, and you were a part of that minuscule percentage of people who couldn't survive off-planet? Hell, most of the parents of these children just dropped them off on Earth and went on with their lives. It had to be hard, and Jarra was pissed and messed up over the way her cards were dealt to her. She wanted to follow her dreams in such a way that she could prove to those without her disability that she is just as good as any other human in existence, and I don't think she could've ever been happy without trying to do it.
She is clearly not the girl on the US hardback cover.
Basically, this book is about Jarra being a lying, confrontational teen who feels confined by her situation trying to find herself by proving her worth to people who would probably never have looked down on her because she was as prejudiced and discriminatory as she expected them to be. Wait, isn't that almost every teenager ever? Yes? Okay, now imagine the situation a few centuries in the future, and you have Earth Girl .
Yes, there is a lot more to the story than Jarra (along with some excellent world-building!), but she was really the driving force behind the novel. I want to try to avoid as many spoilers as possible when it comes to her, though there's nothing that would necessarily ruin the book. Let's just leave it at this - Earth Girl is truly unique and worth reading. Trust me.
To satisfy FTC guidelines, I am disclosing that I received an advance reading copy of the book for reviewing purposes from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed are rambling, honest, and completely my own.