Friday, January 10, 2014

Review & Giveaway - Damselfly by Jennie Bates Bozic

Title: Damselfly
Series: Damselfly #1
Author: Jennie Bates Bozic
Release Date: July 9, 2013
Pages: 242, Paperback
Goodreads Rating: 3.9 Stars
My Rating: 4/5 stars
My Content Rating: PG (Nothing more than kissing, small amount of violence)

Summary from Goodreads: In 2065, the Lilliput Project created Lina - the first six-inch-tall winged girl - as the solution to a worldwide energy and food crisis. Isolated in a compound amidst the forests of Denmark, Lina has grown up aware of only one purpose: learn how to survive in a world filled with hawks, bumblebees, and loneliness. However, on the eve of her sixteenth birthday, she discovers that she’s not the only teenager her size. Six 'Toms' were created shortly after Lina, and now her creators need to prove to the world that tiny people are the next logical step in human evolution. In other words, they need to prove that reproduction is possible.

Um. No thanks. Lina's already fallen in love with a boy she met online named Jack. Only he has no idea that thumbelina1847 could literally fit inside his heart.

When her creators threaten to hurt Jack unless she chooses a husband from among the ‘Toms’, Lina agrees to star in a reality TV series. Once the episodes begin to air, the secret of her size is out. Cut off from any contact with the outside world, Lina assumes Jack is no longer interested. After all, what guy would want to date a girl he can’t even kiss?

Slowly, very slowly, she befriends the six young men who see her as their only ticket to happiness. Perhaps she can make just one guy’s dream of love and companionship come true. But her creators have a few more twists in store for her that she never thought possible. 

She’s not the only one playing to the cameras.

Damselfly is a very unique semi-dystopian fairy tale - you've never seen Thumbelina quite like this!

Lina is a tiny human hybrid who was created by scientists as part of the Lilliput Project.  She has grown up lonely, with only the humans who have been hired to work with her as companions.  But when she meets a boy named Jack in an online virtual reality game, she falls in love.  The only problem is that he has no idea she's only 6 inches tall and has wings.  But Lina discovers that she is not the only person of her kind, as she always thought.  There are actually 6 boys her age (and just her size) and Lina's creators insist that she has to choose a mate from among them or they will hurt Jack.  Lina reluctantly agrees, but finds that there are dark secrets that her creators are hiding - and that everything in Lilliput is definitely not as it seems!

The negatives:
  • Not quite enough world-building.  I call this a semi-dystopian tale because I wasn't 100% clear on what the situation outside of Lilliput was.  Apparently there was a food shortage, which is what prompted the Lilliput project.  I thought that this was kind of a crazy jump - there isn't enough food, so the most obvious solution is to create a race of tiny people who won't need to eat as much?  Really?  That's the best they could come up with?  It seemed a bit far-fetched to me, but I chose to suspend disbelief on this one and just enjoy the rest of the story.  We also knew (from Jack) that there was a second Civil War in the U.S., but I wasn't really clear on what the war was over or how it really affected the country.  Jack lived on a reservation, but he was Native American, so it was unclear to me if it was just a regular reservation or if there was more to it than that.  Since most of Damselfly took place in Lilliput (or at least in Lina's world), though, it made a bit of sense that we didn't see much of the rest of the world - I'm hoping that we get a bit more explanation about what's happening in the outside world in the next book.
  • The mystery.  From reading the blurb, I thought that this book was going to be mostly about the Bachelorette-type program that Lina was participating in, but this wasn't really the case.  I would say that the mystery of what Lina's creators were hiding was more the main plot with the TV show being the background for that story.  This was actually a pleasant surprise for me because, while I thought that the TV show idea was intriguing, I wasn't sure how I felt about the whole book being about that - especially when you knew that Lina was already in love with someone else and didn't really want to choose any of the Toms.  I thought that Bozic did a great job of creating mystery around what Lina's creators were up to - and I was surprised about the twist toward the end of the book when the show and the mystery converged!
  • Lina.  I thought that Lina was a great main character.  Even though she was tiny, she was still feisty!  She felt very much like an average, rebellious teenage girl who was living a life that was anything but average - I thought that it was a fun juxtaposition.  When Lina started making discoveries about her creators, she was not going to stop until she figured out what was happening - even when it started to look like that might be a bit dangerous for her.  
  • The Toms and Jack.  I liked all of the Toms, especially Blue and Row.  I do wish that we'd gotten to know them a little bit better, though.  The TV show itself was fun - I thought it was both interesting and a bit cruel that they based it all off of Lina's real (or, actually, virtual) relationship with Jack.  I thought that Lina and Jack were sweet together and I look forward to reading more about them in the next book! 
Damselfly was a sweet, fun read that seems perfect for a YA crowd (and would work well for younger YA). I give it  4/5 stars.

***Disclosure: This book was provided to me by the author in exchange for an honest review. No other compensation was given. All opinions are my own***

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About the Author
I'm a visual effects artist for film and television by day, and at night I don my author cape and pen stories for the YA crowd. I love a good fairy tale, especially if there's a creepy twist, so that's what I write.

I met my husband in the World of Warcraft and we live in Los Angeles with our cat. We spend our time playing video games, reading, hiking, sweeping up cat hair, and cursing the terrible traffic.

I have a bachelor's degree in Religion and Philosophy from Hillsdale College, and some of my past jobs have included: swimming lessons teacher, lifeguard, furniture salesperson, barista, and loan officer. I was especially terrible at the loan officer bit and that's what prompted me to make a major change and go off to Canada to get a diploma in 3D Animation and Visual Effects. After that, I moved to Los Angeles by myself and roomed with two crazy sisters I found on Craigslist. But that's another tale. 

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