Tuesday, October 30, 2012
A novel about two teenage girls with superpowers and radically different agendas, destined for a collision that will rock the world.
Separated by thousands of miles, two young women are about to realize their extraordinary powers which will bind their lives together in ways they can't begin to understand.
Protecting others. Maintaining order. Being good. These are all important things for Bonnie Braverman, even if she doesn't understand why. Confined to a group home since she survived the car accident that killed both her parents, Bonnie has lived her life until now in self-imposed isolation and silence; but when an opportunity presents itself to help another girl in need, Bonnie has to decide whether to actually use the power she has long suspected she has. Power that frightens her.
Across the country, Lola LeFever is inheriting her own power by sending her mother over a cliff...literally. For Lola the only thing that matters is power; getting it, taking it, and eliminating anyone who would get in the way of her pursuit of it. With her mother dead and nothing to hold her back from the world any longer, Lola sets off to test her own powers on anyone unfortunate enough to cross her. And Lola's not afraid of anything.
One girl driven to rescue, save, and heal; the other driven to punish, destroy, and kill.
And now they're about to meet.
All right folks I'll say it upfront, I helped fund this book through Kickstarter. I also wanted the super duper deluxe edition with all the nifty extras which included everything from the Hardcover deluxe edition to so much swag I can't help but glory in it. This in no way biased my opinion towards the material however.
Honestly speaking I signed up and helped fund this because the book is damn good. Kelly Thompson takes superheroes, grief, growing pains and learning to adjust in a world that's treated you pretty badly from the start and mashes them together to create a cocktail of thoughtful, provoking writing. Bonnie, who loses everything in the car crash that changed her life and Lola, who thought she could have everything if she changed her life, have parallel stories of grief and searching for answers that come to several encounters that neither walks away from completely.
Even more than how they chose different paths in regards to their powers, I think it was interesting as they learn about their mothers and the paths they chose. We learn more of this from Bonnie's point of view passages then we do Lola's (which let me just say I think how Thompson denoted the different POV's was great. Subtle, yet very very effective). Bonnie is much more driven to find out the nature of what's going on with herself (and by extension Lola), though Lola is more of a trial and error girl. Their different approaches to figuring out their unique abilities are reflective of who they are. Bonnie is cautious and likes to think things through, Lola is more instinct.
The girls' journeys are parallels of each other. Lola obtaining her 'power' and Bonnie leaving the Orphanage she grew up in happen at relatively the same time. Though Bonnie has has her powers for longer, she didn't experiment with them too much so Lola is quicker on how to harness things. They almost meet briefly, but go in completely opposite directions across the US. Bonnie goes to NYC where she tries her best to make a life for herself (friends, place to live, boyfriend, job) and Lola goes to LA (eventually) where she does the same thing...just more violently.
While I rooted for Bonnie to win the day, I liked Lola. Putting aside her kill first attitude, I could relate more to her at times. Feeling let down by a parent, knowing there's something more to life but being unable to find it, finding it hard to find a 'friend'--I get that. And even though Bonnie goes through much of that as well, it was Lola's mistakes that made her more relatable. Even her mental instability after a tragedy was more relatable to me.
I'll warn that the epilogue is kind of like 'Ahaha no sunshine and rainbows for you!' kind of thing. I wasn't keen at first, but it makes so much sense within the context of the story that I couldn't outright say I hated it. Thompson is careful to make it clear that you can't have one without the other, that balance has to be maintained. Also, every action has a consequence.
Book Review: The Girl Who Would Be King
book reviews|Publisher - Small Press|superhero|urban fantasy|