Is That...A Diverse #OzYA SFF?! | Ida Book Chat

by - Thursday, March 09, 2017

Ida No Spoiler Book Review | sprinkledpages


So last time I posted I was determined I wouldn’t let there be a bigger than 3-4 day gap in between but because I got completely bogged down with school work, I have had basically no time to do anything other than that and my blogging has just flown out the window! 

But I’m trying to get back into the groove and I have the upcoming long weekend to do that too so hopefully the next few weeks are going to be better in terms of blog posts (ha! A girl can dream right?).

Today I am reviewing Ida by Alison Evans! So I was mostly drawn to this book because it is written by an Australian author – and more specifically a Melbournian author (whoop whoop!!) and I had heard some fantastic things about the diversity! 

The cover of this was also really cool and I try not to talk about covers too much in my review because I feel I don’t have very intelligent things to say about them (other than they’re pretty and I love them so much and I’m drooling – basically it’s 100% me fangirling) but I really wanted to chat about the cover of this because not only is it gorgeous, it was another major aspect of what drew me into the book! I loved the eeriness of it + the same figures on the book had me super hyped for what it was going to be about. 

I’ve decided to do a different style of book review today where I’m doing a book chat instead! So the structure I usually stick to is completely thrown out the window – enjoy ;)

About the book. 

Book: Ida
Author: Alison Evans
Pages: 224
Publisher: Echo Publishing
Release date: 30 January 2017
Australian RRP: $19.99
Synopsis: How do people decide on a path, and find the drive to pursue what they want? 

Ida struggles more than other young people to work this out. She can shift between parallel universes, allowing her to follow alternative paths. 

One day Ida sees a shadowy, see-through doppelganger of herself on the train. She starts to wonder if she’s actually in control of her ability, and whether there are effects far beyond what she’s considered.

How can she know, anyway, whether one universe is ultimately better than another? And what if the continual shifting causes her to lose what is most important to her, just as she’s discovering what that is, and she can never find her way back?  (source)
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Sci fi
Recommended for: Anyone 13+

Thank you to Bonnier Publishing for sending me a review copy however all thoughts and opinions are my own and this is an honest review. 


My thoughts.

Let me just start off by talking positives. 

The diversity was such an A++ aspect of this book I have never read a book with a genderqueer character that uses they/them pronouns before so this was a first and I felt this was just so well done and I believe it’s #ownvoices too so that is pretty much why it was so spectacular! Other than that, there is relationship with the main character being biracial (half Vietnamese) and bisexual. There is also a transgender character in here who is Ida’s cousin Frank. 

If that isn’t considered diverse I don’t know what is! 

Disclaimer: I am not going to be discussing the representation as I am not qualified to comment. However if you know of a blogger who is qualified to comment because they are genderqueer, please do let me know in the comments so I can link back to their post. 

Ida No Spoiler Book Review | sprinkledpages

Other than that, I really wanted to read this book because I had heard some fairly positive things from my blogger friends and was quite interested to see what all the hype was about! I also wanted to read more diverse #ozya and share the love on my blog so that more people would be inclined to pick it up! 

What let me down however was how confusing the whole story was. The idea was pretty great and very unique but I had no idea what was going on half the time. The storyline was too fast paced and often not well explained and not very captivating. It had so much potential but it really let me down!

The setting of this world would have benefited from extra attention to detail to the world building. It was left a little underdeveloped and it wasn’t very ‘zoomed out’. The focus simply remained Ida and her friends and family which I found quite odd in a book where Ida’s actions resulted in serious consequences. 

The writing style was also a little jarring and difficult to get into because it threw you into the action from the very first few pages and while I usually like that in a book…it didn’t work with this one.

I found myself not really loving the characters either. The book is quite short and there isn’t much character development that really makes you ‘click’ with the characters. They were always held at a distance and it made it difficult for me to really love either Ida or Daisy. 

Unfortunately, other than the diverse aspects (which were really phenomenal) and the idea, I didn’t really enjoy this book that much just because it was a little too underdeveloped for me to really get into it.

However, this is quite a short and diverse SFF read by an Australian author so I do recommend you pick it up as I have a lot of friends that did really enjoy it and I don’t want my review to put you off!

OVERALL RATING:


Have you read Ida? What did you think? And if not, is it on your TBR? And what is one of your favourite diverse SFF reads? (That is, science fiction/fantasy). Let me know below!

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14 happy thoughts

  1. I've been seeing this book everywhere! I haven't had the chance to read it, and I hadn't even heard of it until like a week ago, but it sounds AMAZING. It is a bummer that you weren't able to really fall in love with any of the characters in this book though - that can really ruin a book for me sometimes.

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    1. Yeah! It is amazing for sure but unfortunately not all elements worked for me! But I do still recommend it and I hope you enjoy it when you get around to it!

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  2. I will have to check this one out. Great review!
    Sam @ WLABB

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    1. Thanks for reading and commenting Sam!

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  3. Aw that's too bad! The cover caught my attention right away, and the summary sounded amazing! I'm sorry that despite the diversity, that this book was underwhelming :( Hope your next read will be a better one! Lovely review :)

    Brittany @ Brittany's Book Rambles

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    1. AHHHH THANK YOU SO MUCH BRIT <33

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  4. I felt the same way too Anisha, while I loved the diverse range of characters and the focus being on identity and sexuality, I was confused and disconnected to the actual storyline. From other bloggers who have identified with the characters, it's a brilliant representation and an own voices author who should be celebrated. Wonderful review! <3

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    1. NAWWW Kelly thanks you lovely human being! <333 and yes the representation in this book is amazing!

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  5. Aww such a shame you didn't love this but I completely understand, I need to know where the book I'm reading is going or what is happening at the time. Lots of confusion baffles me but I'm so happy to hear how diverse this book was. We definitely need more of this in YA. I hope your next read is much better for you.

    Great Review <3

    Cody @ Literary-ly Obsessed

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    1. Thank you so much for reading and commenting Cody!

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  6. Glad to hear there is so much diversity in this one! I did not realise it had a biracial protagonist as well, especially a Vietnamese one, this increases my interest tenfolds! Thanks for your honest review.

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    1. No problem An! Thanks so much for reading and commenting <3

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  7. This sounds like such an interesting book! I like zoomed in books, so that aspect might not bother me. I don't like being thrown straight into action though since that always makes me confused too. And I like lots of character development :-/ But it still sounds like it could be trippy and a good read... I'm undecided! But great review :-)

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    1. AHA thank you so much Kristen and you never know, this might be something you really enjoy! :)

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