ARC Review: Damselfly by Jennie Bates Bozic

How did I get it? Netgalley

Genre: Science fiction, dystopian, YA

Synopsis: 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.

Review: This was one of those books I just had to have. I have a love of fairy tales and I couldn’t wait to see what the author did with her world and her characters. The combination of fairies, Bachelorette-style reality TV, and a dystopian setting where starvation is looming, had me intrigued and I was curious to know how it all fit together.

I read Damselfly in one sitting, and although it wasn’t addictive at first, by the time I’d gotten halfway through, I was hooked. The author has a way of writing in a way that’s very simple and straightforward while still managing to confront difficult topics with maturity. Her main character, Lina, is likeable but still with some serious flaws and personal obstacles that she has to learn to overcome as the story progresses. Her love interest, Jack, is absolutely wonderful and I love how unique he is as a person; he’s certainly not perfect, but he’s a lovely, rounded character with a good deal of depth to him. I liked him almost instantly, and he actually made me tear up at one point, which I was really not expecting.

I will admit that the reality TV plotline didn’t grab me. Bozic introduced these six “Toms”—little male fairies engineered to reproduce with Lina—and I was really looking forward to getting to know them, but in the end only three or four were actually near memorable. Most of them were given potential room to grow and develop as characters, but that potential was sort of left hanging. I felt a bit cheated because I would have loved to have more attention given to the five other Toms, especially Blue and Shrike, but they were just left waiting in the wings instead.

That being said, there were a lot of great things going on in this book. I adored the characters and my friends can tell you how much I was fangirling because I had to stop after every chapter to share my emotions and do a little dance-jig thing that made my dog run away in terror. The glimpses of the dystopian world Bozic built were fascinating and I loved the way she threaded hints of the state of society into conversations and plotlines. It felt very authentic and unique.

I’m just really hoping that the author isn’t planning on leaving us with that ending. I’m not sure what her companion novelette is going to contribute, but I will track her down and demand a sequel if I have to, because I’m not ready to let this story or these characters go just yet.

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Other Books By the Author: Ms. Bozic has also written a companion novelette for Damselfly called Sugar Plum which has not yet been released, but I am definitely going to be waiting in line to get it. And bonus: it’s free! To keep up with the release, you can check out her website here.

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2 thoughts on “ARC Review: Damselfly by Jennie Bates Bozic

  1. Pingback: Netgalley November Update | The Nighttime Novelist

  2. Pingback: Netgalley November Update | The Nighttime Novelist

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