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Over the Rainbow Paperback – July 31, 2013
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Read author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more at the Amazon Book Review. Read it now
"I absolutely loved Over the Rainbow. The characters were wonderful, and I loved the parallels between it and The Wizard of Oz" - Burning Impossibly Bright
"Over the Rainbow is a surreal road trip unlike anything I have ever read" - Fighting Dreamer
"This was a fantastic book! As a longtime fan of The Wizard of Oz I'm always interested in alternate versions and inspired works, and Over the Rainbow just made my list" - Noemi Betancourt
"This book has such a quirky, fun, and positive story that made me smile and root for Zippy from page 1" - In Love With Handmade
About the Author
Brian Rowe is a writing fiend, book devotee, film fanatic, and constant dreamer. He's written ten novels, dozens of short stories, five feature-length screenplays, and hundreds of film articles and essays. He is currently pursuing his MA in English-Writing at the University of Nevada, Reno, and is hard at work on his next novel.
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
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About the Book:
Zipporah has fallen in love with a girl. She never wanted to happen, but it did. When her father discovered the truth, being a conservative and religious man, he made the decision to send his only daughter to an anti-gay camp.
At the airport, Zipporah has to make a decision, will she be willing to go to an anti-gay camp and pretend that she was ill and needed to be cured? Or will she follow her heart and look for the one she loves?
The decision was clear, she had to see her, she had to see Mira. That's why she decided to sneak onto an airplane headed to Seattle. Halfway, the plane lost control and it crash down, knocking Zippy unconscious.
When Zippy woke up, she realized that half the passengers were gone, and the others were dead, except from one. Another teenager was alive, together, they explored where they were.
In their exploration, they met an old man and a child.
The four of them took to an estrange journey where 70% of the population has gone missing and has been replaced by extinguished creatures.
Will they survive this journey? Will Zipporah's father get what he wants? Will Zipporah find her true love?
We have received an ecopy of Over The Rainbow via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
I don't intend to offend the Author with this review, and I apologize in advance if any words in this review may be an offence to the Author or anyone reading this. I just want you to have in mind that this is my mere personal opinion and I will try my best to give my opinion with due respect.
I have been seeing this book everywhere for a while, and I mean EVERYWHERE! Wherever blog I entered, there it was! A review, a promotional post, or just the cover. So I thought "This is a good book!" Right? It had to be. So, when we saw it was on Netgalley we decided to ask for a review copy. Luckily, they approved our request.
After a few pages, I was certainly that Over The Rainbow was going to be a fun read. I liked the first part of the book, where Zippy was dealing with her "illness" (she being gay). Mr. Brian shows the behavior of some extremist religious people, it was something that made me think. I don't want to go against anyone beliefs, but I think that they are people, not monsters! And I really like how he portraits this difficult reality, even though the book is set on 1999, it easily could be apply to this same year, because we still don't accept/respect gay people. I don't know about you, but I respect and admire Mr. Brian for writing about such a delicate topic.
Everything was fine, I was happy reading about Zippy, I thought it was going to be a romantic story with its obstacles and maybe some supernatural event, but then something happens that baffled me, people started to disappear, extinguished animals appear out of the blue, weird dreams (really weird). I was so confused, I'm still confused. I started to believe that people were disappearing because of the rapture, but then it turned out it wasn't, so I have no clue what was going on! I mean, 70 % of humanity has disappeared and you don't tell me why? And then dinosaur appear from nowhere...I recognize I was frustrated, I think I still have some frustration, because even when the disappearance happened, I thought the author would come with something huge like Martians, or something cool, but I was left with my pile of doubts. I think that the idea was good, but something was missing, information and credibility. I know it sounds weird, asking for something realistic when it is a fiction book, but even when you are writing a book about something impossible, you have to make it seem real.
What I know for sure about Over The Rainbow is that in between the book, Mr. Brian makes reference to Alice in Wonderland, and in a way, it is a like a new and modern Wizard of Oz mixed with Jurassic Park, and maybe the Bible too, this last thing I'm not so sure (because of the rapture or whatever it was).
Another thing that confused me a little was this reference to Alice in Wonderland, I was just reading how Zipporah has survived the airplane crush, and then she was in Wonderland. I admit at first I was lost, but then it was kind of fun.
However, the lack of information and realism was something I couldn't ignore. As I have said before, Mr. Rowe had good ideas, but they weren't connected with each other, making the whole book a bunch of great ideas but without connection between them.
As for the characters, I started to have strong feelings for one special character, and not the I-am-falling-in-love kind of feeling. My not-so-good feelings were directed to Zippy's father. I did not like him at all, how could you treat your own child like if she/he has the plague? And what's worst it was not just because his beliefs, but because he was worried of what would people think about him having a lesbian daughter. At the end, though, he ended accepting his daughter. But still, I can't take the first image of him out of my head.
Then, there is Zippy (Zipporah); at the beginning she was really funny, how she evaded her father at the airport? Hilarious! But as I keep reading, I did not see this funny girl, I didn't see nor feel anything. She was an Ok character, but I couldn't sympathize with her, which is a shame because she is, first, the mains character, and second because she was a promising character. There are other characters, but it was just the same for me with all of them, I couldn't feel any emotions.
As for the end, it wasn't bad; I was left with a lot of doubts, though. I was hoping that by the end things like the rapture will be clarified, unfortunately it did not happen. Nevertheless, the ended wasn't lacking of happiness.
I was going to give it One gorjuss doll (or star), but I think that "hate" is not how I feel about the book, and second because I don't like the word "hate", I thinks it is a strong word for describing how you felt about a book, and I wouldn't use it with that porpoise, and even less with this one. Another reason why I don't consider Over the Rainbow a "one star" book, it is because even if I wasn't so into it, it was really easy to read. It took me a few hours to end the book, which is extremely surprising since it seems I have only been complaining about the book.
I also don't think that two gorjuss doll will be my rate for Over The Rainbow, because, at the risk of repeating myself for the hundredth time, there were so many things unlinked and left unresolved.
So let's just say that it wasn't my kind of read, and that's why I'm giving it 1 and a half gorjuss doll.
I like to think that people read our reviews, and follow our advices about books, so if you think that you won't like the book because of our review, (I'm sorry to say this) I'm really glad. But if you still want to give it a try, I would not interfere; I would even encourage you to do it, go ahead! Read Over The Rainbow, maybe it would be a fun read for you. If it wasn't my kind of book, doesn't mean it has to be the same for you.
I absolutely loved Over the Rainbow. The characters were wonderful, and I loved the parallels between it and the Wizard of Oz. Zippy's friends were all clearly in homage to the group that Dorothy has with her in. Frankie = Scarecrow, Mr. Balm = The Tinman, Elle = The Cowardly Lion, Judy = Toto and I also presumed that the dog alluded to the wonderful Judy Garland as well, and of course, Zippy acts as Dorothy and her father as the Wicked Witch of the West. I loved that the characters shared similarities with those in the Wizard of Oz, but I also loved that they fully became characters of their own and I loved the relationships that they all had with Zippy. I also enjoyed Zippy and Mira's relationship. I loved getting to read their email exchanges and I won't tell you if they actually meet up because that's totally a spoiler...but I will say that this book definitely does have a happy ending, so that may give you a hint about all that. ;)
Overall, I thought that Over the Rainbow was a truly wonderful story. I also appreciated Brian Rowe's efforts to get it out there! There really aren't many stories with lesbian main characters, and I may not be a lesbian myself, but I really don't think having a different sexual orientation from the narrator will hinder readers in any way, and it really shouldn't. Zippy isn't a stereotype, and she isn't defined by her sexual orientation...she's just herself, and she's trying to be happy, and to be happy she needs to be with the girl she loves, even if her father thinks the fact that she loves girls is a complete blasphemy.
Over the Rainbow is set in 1999 (for the most part, it also has several flashbacks that go further back), but I think that the different reactions to both Zippy and Frankie's sexual orientation are definitely authentic, and I like to think that we have come some way from there...and hopefully, with fantastic books like this, those that might think poorly on others based on their sexual orientation will finally see that who we love and are attracted to shouldn't be what defines us, and it really shouldn't be something that we judge each other for. We're all people who deserve to be treated with kindness, equality, and allowed the freedoms and rights that we all have been granted thanks to the people who have come before us.
I would recommend Over the Rainbow to anyone who enjoys a story that deals with overcoming obstacles to reach someone you love with the help of your friends. I also think fans of the Wizard of Oz who like quirky narrators, or people who like journeys and stories about friendship will enjoy this one. Also as I mentioned, the narrator is a lesbian in this book, so I definitely have to mention that anyone looking for interesting stories dealing with overcoming judgement and facing adversity because of sexual orientation will like this. Plus...there are dinosaurs, and some pretty trippy Alice in Wonderland-like moments, which I thought were pretty awesome. I loved it though, and I hope that you give it the chance and that you love it, too!
* I received an ebook of Over the Rainbow for being a backer in its Kickstarter campaign and to participate in its blog tour. All opinions are my own.
* This review also appears on my blog and on other social media sites.
Most recent customer reviews
Over the Rainbow was a fun, interesting, cute novel. It was a quick read that I couldn't put down.Read more