Earth Girl by Janet EdwardsEarth Girl by Janet Edwards

Earth Girl

byJanet Edwards

Paperback | August 16, 2012

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A sensational YA science fiction debut. Jarra is stuck on Earth while the rest of humanity portals around the universe. But can she prove to the norms that she's more than just an Earth Girl?2788. Only the handicapped live on Earth. While everyone else portals between worlds, 18-year-old Jarra is among the one in a thousand people born with an immune system that cannot survive on other planets. Sent to Earth at birth to save her life, she has been abandoned by her parents. She can't travel to other worlds, but she can watch their vids, and she knows all the jokes they make. She's an 'ape', a 'throwback', but this is one ape girl who won't give in.Jarra invents a fake background for herself - as a normal child of Military parents - and joins a class of norms that is on Earth to excavate the ruins of the old cities. When an ancient skyscraper collapses, burying another research team, Jarra's role in their rescue puts her in the spotlight. No hiding at back of class now. To make life more complicated, she finds herself falling in love with one of her classmates - a norm from another planet. Somehow, she has to keep the deception going.A freak solar storm strikes the atmosphere, and the class is ordered to portal off-world for safety - no problem for a real child of military parents, but fatal for Jarra. The storm is so bad that the crews of the orbiting solar arrays have to escape to planet below: the first landing from space in 600 years. And one is on collision course with their shelter.
Janet Edwards lives in the Midlands. As a child, she read everything she could get her hands on, which included the works of many of the great names of Science Fiction. She read Maths at Oxford, and went on to suffer years of writing unbearably complicated technical documents. When the company she worked for entered the stormy waters o...
Title:Earth GirlFormat:PaperbackDimensions:368 pagesPublished:August 16, 2012Publisher:HARPERCOLLINS PUBLISHERSLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0007443498

ISBN - 13:9780007443499


Rated 3 out of 5 by from Meh It was ok, I liked the premise, but the delivery was a little bland I thought. I also think I have just read too many books like this for it to be anything new and exciting. Overall, pretty good.
Date published: 2017-06-23
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Original dystopia Some of the dialogue is a bit cringe such as the slang, and the future world could do with more development and detail, but this is a story more to do with socialist prejudice and one girl's journey coming to terms with her identity, loss, grief and acceptance. Read this for a story about character development not action or adventure.
Date published: 2013-10-26
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great Read Pros: fascinating premise; intelligent characters; great mix of humour and sadness; linguistic shifts, history and scientific cohesion give a sense of realism, minor romance / Cons: everything goes a little too perfectly for Jarra / Jarra is an ape, a throw back, a nean(derthal), handicapped: a human born with an immune system that won't allow her to portal to other worlds the way the Norms can. Dumped on Earth to be raised by Earth Hospital as a ward just after birth. She's fascinated with history, having worked on archealogical digs from the time she was 11. She wants to prove that she's as good as any Norm, so she enrolls in a pre-history course run by an outside university for the purpose of meeting, fooling, and then telling off some Norms. But as she gets deeper and deeper into her cover story, lying about most aspects of her life, she also realizes that maybe she didn't think her plan through very well. And maybe these people don't deserve her hatred any more than she deserves their derision. / Set 600 years in the future, the book touches on a lot of science (solar arrays, Planet First, colonization, and most importantly, transportation portals), but the main focus of the book is on Jarra's decisions. This is a character driven book that reads at a quick pace (I finished it in a day). / The author does an amazing job of making Jarra feel real. One minute you're laughing out loud and a few pages later you're crying. Jarra is almost a Mary Sue in that everything seems to go well for her, but she's definitely got some negative character traits. And around the half-way mark something goes very wrong that affects her deeply. / I loved the linguistic shifts that allowed the characters to swear without swearing, and showed how culture and morality had shifted (both due to time and on various planets). For example, Beta is more sexually liberated than the other systems, allowing for nudity and having triad marriages. Meanwhile Gamma, who runs the university course Jarra is on, is much more conservative. / While most of the characters were 18, there were a few instances when they acted younger (mostly when baiting each other at the beginning of fights) but they generally acted their age, learning more about the freedoms of adulthood without going overboard. / There's an understated romance that pops up about half way through the book. I really appreciated the mature way it was handled. Unlike most teen books where angst rules, here the characters thought carefully about the future and what their current decisions would mean for their future. I also liked that when Jarra was strong her beau went along with things, but when she needed help he stepped up, showing that they were both strong characters, but in different ways. / While in no way preachy, the book examines prejudice - and how it can hurt people on both sides. Facing your own beliefs - both positive and negative - is a part of growing up, and it was nice to see Jarra questioning her hatred once she's interacting with Norms, rather than watching them in vids. The Norms too, get some lessons on how important - and knowledgable - the Earth dig teams are, making them question their beliefs. / The book has a few flaws but I highly recommend it. The humour alone is worth the read.
Date published: 2013-04-11
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Review from Esther's Ever After The description for Earth Girl just SOUNDS so cool and science fiction-y. I love cool sci fi and I had heard a little buzz for this one so I was excited and decided to give it a try. When I finally did pick it up, I was curious enough and in the perfect mood for a good futuristic read but I wasn’t really sure what to expect either. It sounds a bit odd, right? I found the idea of the futuristic “handicapped” living on Earth to be interesting, but unfamiliar. So I was completely surprised when I was reading Earth Girl. Earth Girls is noteworthy for its unique and moving storyline, a well-developed world full of its own history and culture that stands out, and a character so different from any others I’ve read before. Reasons to Read: 1. Jarra is this daring, geeky sort of girl: And because of that she’s totally relatable. She dares to try and move past her biological and societal limits – she challenges them and isn’t afraid too afraid to fail that it holds her back. She’s bitter at first, but understandably so. And that is a huge part of her transformation throughout the book. And I loved how geeky she was when it came to history! I feel the same way and have my own little geeky quirks when it comes to interests I am PASSIONATE about! (Like books! And politics! And the law! And history!) 2. Suspenseful moments that’ll have your heart pounding: These aren’t your typical sort of suspenseful moments with the good characters running from the bad guys. It’s done in the semi-mundane practice of research and archeology. And that made it better in a sense, because it made you aware of just how brave and passionate you have to be to do the type of work Jarra hopes to do as a historian. There’s nothing boring about this – it feels very real and exciting. And there is some crazy weather going on, which is scary but exciting in the way some of our real weather can be. And people die in familiar ways too. So for a world set so far in the distant future (hundreds of years past beyond us) it feels remarkably familiar. 3. A real sense and thoughtful consideration of the importance of treating others well: The very idea that only those “handicapped” live on Earth sounds weird. It’s a special immune system that means Jarra and her friends will literally die on any other planet – and this is in a world where that’s what everyone else is able to do. You get a very thoughtful insider’s perspective of what it means to be different from the norm, and treated inferior in many instances. I’ve never had any kind of a disability that held me back in any way, but I know what it feels like to stand out from the crowd and be unique. It isn’t always easy, and the way people act towards you can be extremely painful. And Earth Girl totally made me rethink how I perceive disabilities or unique traits (in a good way). I had to seriously reconsider whether that is such a bad thing, or whether it’s just different from me. 4. A heartbreaking, moving tale: I was rooting so hard for Jarra, and I desperately wanted the situation to be different. There are some incredible, life-changing discoveries made during the story and some of it works out well and some of it just falls apart. That pain Jarra felt was described so well that it was raw and truly resonated with me as a reader. I was in awe of how touching Jarra’s story was, and for this reason alone I’d recommend it to many, many readers. Jarra’s development is remarkable, but at one point it struck me as very odd. I don’t want to spoil anything but I’ll just say that it was the one part of the book that didn’t work for me because of how it was presented. It felt a little too out of left field and bizarre, not that she would act in such a way, but the way it was written and included in the story failed to persuade me and suspend my disbelief. I love reading imaginary, creative stories but the authors needs to be able to convince me that they’re real within the book. Jarra’s actions towards the latter half of the novel stood out to me from the rest of it because it didn't mesh as well with her character or the plot as everything else did. And it was such a pivotal moment that I can’t brush it off or ignore it. But in light of the book as a whole, it is fairly minor and didn’t overly detract from my experience reading it. Earth Girl is still one of the most remarkable YA books I’ve read, and I thought it was very well done. ARC received from HarperCollins Canada for review; no other compensation was received.
Date published: 2013-02-26
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Great premise but lacking follow through Earth Girl is an exciting new science fiction novel, with a foot in both the young adult and adult fiction worlds. I would hesitate to classify it as either one and because of that I think it will appeal to a wide range of fans once it hits shelves. In particular, readers are going to fall in love with the setting of this novel. The idea that Earth is no longer our primary location in 2788 was fascinating to me. Janet Edwards develops a really creative new system for our society to grow within and I liked learning about the different planets and what each one was known for. That being said, I was happy that the majority of the novel took place on Earth. Though it is interesting to see what would happen once we spread out across the galaxy, the history buff in me is fascinated with what would happen to the Earth after we leave it behind. This focus on history continued throughout. This was nice to see in a science-fiction novel - which are usually so focused on the future. Because Jarra is a history student the reader gets a slow and steady exposure to what has happened between the present day and the year 2788. We got to look back over the years and learn what we did wrong. This interesting perspective of looking back on things that haven't happened yet, might be just the thing needed to keep us from making some horrible mistakes in the future. In addition to the history, Earth Girl's complex and unique plot was able to explore some interesting questions. Such as the effect labels can have on a person and the importance of self identity. Jarra becomes an interesting character study over the course of this novel and I was fascinated with watching her change, devolve and evolve as the story progressed. Unfortunately, this character study was both a positive and a negative. Though this made her an interesting case to look at, it also made her hard to relate to as a person. I never felt a very strong connection with Jarra and because she was so central to the plot, I also never felt a strong connection to the novel. I also had some problems with the science behind this story. I'm willing to suspend a certain amount of disbelief with science fiction novels. It's one of the requirements of the genre. But Earth Girl pushed the boundaries of this suspension to the limit. Some things were just too far fetched, or just didn't make scientific sense. I think some better science could have greatly improved the believability of this novel. Earth Girl is an exciting novel with some unique and interesting ideas worth exploring. However, the character development wasn't as thorough as I would have liked and I often found it difficult to believe the explanations for what was happening. It's not a bad read, but it wasn't one I particularly loved either. Final recommendation: May appeal to science fiction and dystopian fans, but not recommended for those who enjoy the more "heady"/innovative versions of the genres. This and other reviews at Hooked on Books (
Date published: 2012-08-14
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Fast Paced and Unusual the orbiting solar arrays have to escape to planet below: the first landing from space in 600 years. And one is on collision course with their shelter The Good Stuff •Unusual storyline •Fast paced •Author is a gifted storyteller, I was sucked in by the story almost immediately. It made it very hard to put down •A strong character who admits her faults and tries to do better •Reminded me a little of Serenity at times -- One of the planets was Miranda and a couple of other little comments, author obviously a fan •Nice moral messages imparted •One of the only books I have ever read that had made up terms that didn't irritate the hell out of me. They actually work in this story •Nice light moments of humour •The science actually makes sense, you could see this happening •Characters emotions are believable for her age and her background •Liked the love story, it was sweet and fun and not all over angsty for older readers The Not So Good Stuff •Jarra got over things and plot points were solved a little too neatly and quickly •She was also too perfect at times Favorite Quotes/Passages "I really and truly hate to admit I'm wrong but sometimes I have to. Dalmora Rostha, the gifted daughter of Ventrak Rostha, born to be adored Alphan vid personality of the future, and a living embodiment of everything I envied, was nice. I'd fought the idea for as long as I could, but she really was. It was truly sickening that someone so perfect should actually be nice as well but..." "Amelia glared at him. "Being polite isn't on Miranda's planetary development plan until next year." "It took me a while to get it all sorted out, get past the pain of my parent's death, and realize what I had done." Who Should/Shouldn't Read •I would say a mature 10 - 11 yr old girl could also enjoy as well as the recommended age. There isn't too much violence and sex is hinted at but very subtly •Fans of scify, Dystopian and Post Apocolyptic will enjoy 4 Dewey's I received this from HarperCollins in exchange for an honest review
Date published: 2012-08-12

Editorial Reviews

'With a dash of action, sprinkling of romance, some teenage angst and a couple of collapsing skyscrapers, this novel contains everything you could possibly want to grab a teenage reader and keep them utterly enthralled'Starburst Magazine'A break from the norms'SFX magazine'In her debut novel, Janet Edwards has created an authentic futuristic world with enough history and adventure to keep readers captivated'Amazon Kindle Editors' Pick - August Book of the Month 2012