Review: Ida – Alison Evans

30720860Ida has always been able to skip back through time to a choice that didn’t go well, but she’s never really thought about it too much. It’s just one of the few things she can actually do. But after seeing a doppelganger of herself in the train, she wonders if her power is all she thinks it is.


Why this book?: Heard it had genderqueer representation! Had to jump in this one, especially since the author confirmed it to be #OwnVoices!

I would like to thank the people at Echo Publishing for allowing me to have an ARC of this book via NetGalley.

Wonderfully diverse

Ida is not promoted as something that will be filled to the brim with diversity such as it is. I originally found it through a chance retweet post that brought genderqueer representation to my attention. But that’s not all that was in the book. Daisy, the genderqueer character that uses they/them pronouns (which was so refreshing) is a person of color, while the main character, Ida, is half Vietnamese, half European, as well as identifies as bisexual. That doesn’t even go into the two genderfluid characters, and the transgender character.

Of all these characters, I adored every single last one. Ida and Daisy’s relationship was very charming, and not overdone. In fact, I was hoping that there would be more Ida and Daisy, and possible learning more about Daisy’s home-life, which was constantly hinted at throughout the novel.

Intriguing plot

While the writing was stilted in some places, I found it overall adequate for the story Evans was trying to tell. Everything came across in clear words, and I rarely felt confused in a topic that often loses its readers. Time travel and paradoxes are a difficult thing to get across to a reader, and I was only once confused at the end as this complex theory was being explained.

With the way Evans wrote the plot, all characters expect Ida are dropped off with a half to a quarter left in the book. Despite my love for Ida and her character, I was disappointed in not being able to spend more time with Daisy and Frank, and even her dad. All of the characters in this book were either interesting or enjoyable, and, while not exactly stifling, I feel like the ending, or at least the building action, would have been more satisfying if Ida had not been alone.

Final Rating: ★★★★½☆

Overall?

Evans has a gift in crafting characters that you grow to love, and I can only wish that they’ll write a sequel to Ida to revisit these characters, and possibly that job offer that Ida received. Ida was an engaging, quick read that I’ll never forget, and probably reread multiple times.

Would I Recommend?

Looking for a diverse time-travel book that is not confusing? This book is for you. The amount of diversity that Evans managed to include is the basically the amount of my dreams. I will never not recommend this book, despite the few confusions and preferences.


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Additional Information:

Published: January 30th, 2017

Publisher: Echo Publishing

Page Count: unknown

Genre: YA/Science Fiction

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?

‘Ida’ is an intelligent, diverse and entertaining novel that explores love, loss and longing, and speaks to the condition of an array of overwhelming, and often illusory, choices.

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