Flutter by Gina Linko

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Flutter by Gina LinkoFlutter by Gina Linko

Rating: 3 of 5 stars

All Emery Land wants is to be like any other 17-year-old—to go to school, hang out with her friends, and just be normal. But for as long as she can remember, she’s suffered from seizures. And in recent years they’ve consumed her life. To Emery they’re much more than seizures, she calls them loops—moments when she travels through wormholes back and forth in time and to a mysterious town. The loops are taking their toll on her physically. So she practically lives in the hospital where her scientist father and an ever-growing team of doctors monitor her every move. They’re extremely interested in the data they collect when Emery seizes. It appears that she’s tapping into parts of the brain typically left untouched by normal human beings.

Escaping from the hospital, Emery travels to Esperanza, the town from her loops on the upper peninsula of Michigan, where she meets Asher Clarke. Ash’s life is governed by his single-minded pursuit of performing good Samaritan acts to atone for the death of a loved one. His journey is very much entwined with Emery’s loops.

Drawn together they must unravel their complicated connection before it’s too late.

The supernatural genre, or the highly popularized “paranormal,” is always a hinky deal. Because, going in, you usually know there’s gonna be a swirling of romance intermixed. Just how much of it is dependent on the romance, however, is always a tossup.

In some books, you’ll get a relationship that buds and flowers and flourishes but is a supportive backdrop and not the mainstay of the novel progression or conflict. (Think: Anna Dressed in Blood, Strange Angels, The Demon’s Apprentice, Loveless, Volume 1. All come very highly recommended from me, by the way!)

In other books, it is quite apparent that the plot is merely a vehicle constructed around two characters whose relationship is literally the epicenter of their existences. (Think: Hush, Hush, Twilight, more books on my “nah playa that shit ain’t me” shelf than you can throw a rock at.)

Flutter definitely tries to disguise itself as the former in its earliest chapters but quickly sheds its meager facade in favor of showing its true colors–this is a romance. It just so happens to involve a time-traveling epileptic and a man riddled with guilt. It just so happens to include minor aspects of the supernatural. And, really, it’s kind of pseudo-sci fi in spurts, too.

So Emery (points for the awesome name) has lived her whole life with these episodes where she goes into seizure-like convulsions, and in recent years her father has taken to confining her in the hospital with a team of doctors who study, study, study her like a lab rat. In her loops, she meets a little boy who gives her hints that she needs to visit the town of Esperanza Beach, so she finally strikes out on her own for the town, enraging her father and setting loose his hounds, which clues her in to the darker ongoings of his experiments–and her abilities.

In Esperanza Beach, Emery meets Asher (more points for another awesome name), and they embark on this crazy to-and-fro and eventually get all nummy nummy.

So. I actually didn’t expect to like this book much. After Nafiza’s lukewarm review, I went in with a bit of a dismal outlook, and the boring beginning chapters didn’t seem to want to prove me wrong. But once Emery made it to Esperanza Beach (and, admittedly, once she met Asher), things got a little more interesting. I don’t get why she acted like such a crazy brat towards him, and for so long, but since he also acted like a go-to mysterious guy, I let it slide. They were both sleazy towards each other, and they deserved the treatment. Finally, though, they got over themselves, and they made it to a reasonable point of two reasonable people who like each other.

And, for a very, very long time, that is all the book was about. Sure, Emery made half-assed attempts to figure out the mystery behind the visions in her loops, but we all know what’s really going on when she goes to the library for hours and comes back out empty-handed for, like, a week straight! It’s just filler until the next time Asher comes around. It’s all good. I ain’t mad at ya. :P Although, it was a little overbearing, the importance of her relationship with Ash, only exacerbated by the ending and that whole mess.

Because, let’s be honest, if that ending wasn’t more Romeo and Juliet than the real thing, then I just don’t know what else is. In the end, this book had some issues, but the most important part is that it was gripping. Once I got into it, I was into it. And it was very readable. I don’t commend average writing, usually, because I’m of the opinion that writing shouldn’t be published if it’s just bad, so writing that doesn’t suck is a given, right? But Linko’s writing is a rung above average, and there was something about her words, her construction, her verbage, that pulled me and kept me going. And in this genre, broad as it is, and polluted as it has become in the past few years, that is worth mentioning.

Go ahead. Give it a shot. I’m glad I did.

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