Jennie Bates Bozic
Despite the fact that this book nearly killed me early on (death by sweet tea and a well placed screen name- what a way to go), I really enjoyed it. It was a light, quick, well-paced dystopian read. It was also a hell of a lot of fun.
The story centers around Lina (Thumbelina if you’re feeling formal) who is a six inch tall Lilliputin. Think pixie- wings and all. Her days are spent in lessons and training for survival with the scientists who are the only people she has ever been around. Her free time, however, is spent in virtual worlds connecting with her only real friend, Jack. He is a regular, full-sized, human boy and is completely clueless as to Lina’s real identity. She is eagerly awaiting her upcoming sixteenth birthday since she believes that once she hits this adult age she will be allowed to leave. When her birthday finally arrives she is crushed to learn that not only is she not being set free, she is being forced to participate in a The Bachelorette style reality dating show. Six Toms (Lilliputin males she never knew even existed) will be competing for the chance to be her mate.
I really liked the unique set-up of this. I’ve read a gazillion vampires, shifters, fairies, aliens, etc but I have never read a book where the main character could fit (comfortably, no less) in my purse. The dystopian elements in the story were interesting but due to her confined environment we didn't get to see much of what the outside world is really like.
Lina was a very likeable protagonist. She has lived a very controlled and confined life but she rolls with changes remarkably well. She experiences all the emotions and uncertainty a young girl in her situation would, but she doesn’t wallow in them thankfully.
The Toms were interesting, but with the exception of a couple most of them felt like window dressings. I’m really hoping we get to learn more about them and their individual personalities in the next book. Particularly Blue, I never quite figured out what he was about but he definitely caught my interest.
Jack was totally adorable. His screen name still makes me chuckle. Watching the relationship slowly build between Lina and him was just sweet. It had all the wonder and innocence of a first love and I couldn't help but be charmed by it.
This was a really good first book that sets the stage for what could be a really great series. If you’re in the mood for a quick, fun read with a unique premise I would definitely recommend giving this one a shot.