Today’s post comes from Youth Advisory Board member Molly who recently read “Flutter” by Gina Linko. The YA novel is about Emery, a teenage girl whose mind travels through time while her body suffers from seizures. In her time loops, Emery sees people she knows, and others who she doesn’t, including Asher, a boy who she’s somehow linked to. Instead of being “studied” instenly in the hospital until she dies, Emery decides to escape and meet Ash in real life. The novel follows Emery throughout her journey to figure out their connection. It’s a unique and gripping story as Molly explains that’s as much a coming of age novel as it is a mystery.
YAB Review: “Flutter” By Gina Linko
Flutter is about a seventeen-year-old girl named Emery who suffers from what appears to be seizures. She’s able to hide them from most people throughout her adolescence, attending a school for the arts and living a normal life, but her senior year, the seizures become so frequent and violent that she has to be hospitalized.
What Emery knows and tries to explain to everyone from her father to her doctors is that her seizures are not caused by epilepsy or any other disease; they’re a result of her time traveling. She has jumped forward in time to speak to her future dad, back in time to see her mom as a child, and most often, to a time and place she’s not familiar with, where she meets a young boy she somehow knows needs her help.
Sum it up
“Flutter” is, at it’s core, a mystery and an intense coming of age story. No one in the hospital believes that Emery is time traveling, but as more doctors study her, she realizes they do recognize that the intensity of the seizures are quickly killing her. Her dad, a scientist, seems to be concerned for her well-being only as a subject, not as a daughter. And when she becomes more and more convinced that her travels are happening with a purpose, a purpose that will lead her to help the little boy she keeps coming back to, she decides to run away, or run towards the clues she’s gathered through jumping back and forth through time.
What makes the mystery all the more thrilling is the fact that the clock Emery is racing against isn’t just set by the threat that her dad or her doctors might track her down…it’s her own mortality, whether or not the next time traveling jaunt, and accompanying seizure, will be her last.
When were you hooked?
I was hooked not only by the way “Flutter” presents time travel as something so uncontrollable and so big that it would cause the time traveler’s body to seize, but by the protagonist’s sense of isolation. Her mother is dead, her father seems to think of her as nothing more than a science experiment, and even her best friend, who she trusted and relied on more than anything else, doesn’t believe she’s really time traveling. While the fantasy of jumping through time is what makes the novel exciting, it’s the feeling of being completely alone in something that makes the book so powerful and accessible.
“Flutter” is an exciting read, but more importantly, the protagonist is relatable and likable. Emery is brave, ready to help others she doesn’t even know, and doesn’t wallow in self pity. She could have easily stayed in her hospital bed wondering why the seizures had to happen to her, but instead she chose an adventure, she chose to act.
Molly is a freelance writer who’s covered everything from Wrock concerts to classic lit, though she specializes in geeky lists and book reviews. An aspiring YA author, when not writing she can normally be found reading the latest contemporary YA novel or re-reading Harry Potter. Born and raised in Bristol, CT, she now lives in New York City and while she loves the excitement and the culture, she sometimes misses Connecticut’s trees.