This month, I read Terra by Gretchen Powell for the Back to Her Roots’ book club. If you haven’t read Terra yet, you’re seriously missing out! As many of you already know, Gretchen is a fellow blogger at Honey, I Shrunk the Gretchen — she’s hilarious, honest, and adorable — go read her blog!
Besides the fact that it’s just freaking incredible that Gretchen wrote and self-published her own novel… the book is truly awesome! I’m sure you’re aware that there’s a recent trend of young adult dystopian novels (like The Hunger Games and Divergent), and Terra is along those same lines. I’m being completely honest when I say that I think Terra is better than The Hunger Games and, in my opinion, is about tied with Divergent.
GO HERE to find out all the places you can get her book (I got mine on my Kindle!).
After hearing Cassie rave on and on about this book, I knew that I just had to get my hands on it. And I wasn’t disappointed!
Here’s the synopsis from Amazon:
A broken and desolate Earth. A young girl struggling to survive. A lost boy with a powerful secret.
A discovery that will change everything.
In the distant wake of a plague that has decimated the Earth’s population, humanity is split in two: The rich and powerful live in skycities that float overhead, while those who remain on the ground have gathered in settlements strewn across a dying planet. Eighteen-year-old Terra Rhodon is a terrestrial–a denizen of the barren groundworld–who makes her living as a scav. Long abandoned by her father, her caregivers gone, Terra supports herself and her younger brother, Mica, by scouring the earth for discarded scraps and metals to recycle for profit. One day, while on a routine scavenging run, she discovers something that shocks her home settlement of Genesis X-16. When the value of her discovery is revealed, Terra’s world is turned upside down.
Terra suddenly finds herself asking questions no one will answer. Her search for the truth leads her to Adam–a beguiling skydweller unlike any she has ever met. But Adam has secrets and a quest of his own, and with him by her side, the world Terra thought she knew begins to unravel. Soon her discoveries unearth a terrifying conspiracy that has the potential to shatter everything–a revelation that will test the bonds of loyalty, family, and love.
The first book in debut author Gretchen Powell’s anticipated Terrestrials series, Terra catapults you through a story filled with blood-pumping action, intrigue, and surprising twists that will both wrench and warm your heart. As the hidden truths of this world unfold, new dangers that loom on the horizon are sure to leave you waiting breathlessly for the sequel.
This story sucked me in from the very first page. At first, I was a little suspicious of how similar it seemed to The Hunger Games — there was scavenging going on outside “the walls” and there is a big separation between the “rich” and the “poor.” But, after the first few pages, I realized that it is a much different story. While there are vague similarities, Terra is really nothing like The Hunger Games at all… It’s better.
I found that the book was very well-written. There was great character development, it really kept me guessing, and it was a good read for somebody my age while still being appropriate for a younger reader. I’m a little embarrassed by this… but, in all honesty, I finished this book in about FOUR HOURS. I stayed up all night reading it because I just could. not. put. it. down. And I’m going crazy waiting for the sequel!!
(** Spoilers Ahead! **)
In response to one of Cassie’s discussion questions, I was completely shocked when I found out Adam’s secret. I feel like I somehow should’ve picked up on it, considering the double-meaning of “terra,” but I seriously had no idea what was going on until the end (although I did realize that there was obviously something “up” with him and that he wasn’t quite who he said he was).
Another thing I wanted to mention is that, while Terra was an all-around awesome book and definitely at the top of its class, I had a small issue with the ending. I’m, of course, really happy that Adam and Terra ended up together in the end (you guys know I’m a complete sucker for that stuff), but I have to admit that the way it happened was just a little bit cheesy. But, considering that most YA novels have quite a bit of cheesiness, I feel that Terra’s one small cheesy flaw doesn’t at all take away from how amazing it is.
In particular, I just thought the whole “love can cure all… even this magic government memory-zapping potion!” thing was kind of far-fetched and a bit sappy. I also think that it was really obvious that Adam would come back for Terra in the end, especially because of the extremely palpable and exciting connection they share. While that’s fine, it might’ve been slightly overkill to try to hide the fact that he came back from the reader and try to make it into another surprise at the end. I was 100% sure that he was coming back and that she would regain her memory, so I do wish that it had been done a little bit differently or less-obviously.
I’m just trying to offer some constructive criticism towards the book and, to be honest, I think I’m being really picky.
(** End Spoilers **)
Overall, Terra was amazing. I absolutely never go back and read books a second time, but I actually want to with this one. Just that says a lot. I really don’t have much else to say about it, except that it’s definitely a must-read for everybody! GO BUY IT NOW!