Rating: 4.5 ♥ / 5 ♥ – I really liked it
Debra Barr was barely out of bed when she found herself thrust into a pivotal role in the future of the human race. Hey, she wanted to be more than just a small town girl, but this was ridiculous! Plucked out of her bedroom in small town Oquawka, Illinois to a future Earth destroyed and poisoned by a major asteroid impact, the future scientists explained how she could walk a few steps differently, and with YouTube, save the planet. But everything they told her was wrong.
Instead of returning to her bedroom, she appeared two hundred years in the past, in the wilderness on the banks of the Mississippi River and it was up to her to discover the rules of time travel without killing herself or anyone else in the process. Bouncing through time, only one thing was certain, anything she decided to do could mean life or death for her family and friends and the route she chose would likely cost her everything. Unfortunately, the more she discovered, the more she suspected that everyone was lying to her.
Golden Girl is an engaging, entertaining and enjoyable young adult sci-fi novel.
Debra is tasked with changing the future and saving millions of people from death. She winds up bouncing through time, changing history and at one point even disappearing from history itself (or does she?). There’s also a pretty neat use of the internet and what can only be Youtube involved.
At 267 pages, Golden Girl is a decent sized book. The pacing is kept steady with no lags in action or information, and the writing drew me in right away. Characterization was wonderful; Debra goes through major growth throughout the novel due to her time traveling and the burden that’s placed on her shoulders. As for plot? It was wicked. I was kept guessing at moments about what would happen next, and there’s one point in the story that involved Debra’s mother that made me freak out loud. As soon as the scene began I had a feeling about what was coming, and I was completely right – it was crazy. The time traveling is also a pretty imaginative explanation.
Of course, with time travel comes the immediate wonder about a paradox and how it can be avoided. The idea of a paradox (if Debra is brought to the future and told to change it, and she does, doesn’t that mean there was never any reason for her to be pulled into the future and so she wouldn’t have changed it, and…I could go on. You see my dilemma?) is not really touched on in great detail, and there were some instances I was a little conflicted about time lines. The concept may be a bit hard for a younger reader to understand if they’re not so well versed in abstract thinking (or sci-fi), but overall it was handled really, really well.
Debra’s solution to changing the future is hard and sad for a lot of people, including her, and though the book technically has a happy ending, I found it more bittersweet. It was a perfect ending for the book, though, it fit the storyline and overall feel of the novel. This is a great book for not only teens and pre-teens but adults as well, and crosses genre lines. Even if you’re not a huge fan of sci-fi, Golden Girl is worth the read.
Paperback copy provided by the author, Henry Melton, in exchange for my honest review. Thank you!