RATINGS: ***** Absolutely Loved It **** Really Liked It *** Liked It ** It Was Okay * I Couldn't Finish It

Tuesday 21 August 2012

Other Systems by Elizabeth Guizzetti

Other Systemsby Elizabeth Guizzetti
48 Fourteen
1st April 2012

Ten large ships race toward Earth, broadcasting in every language: "Brothers and sisters, we come in peace and in need. We have found our way home." The fear of a coming invasion begins the worldwide riots of 3062.

Yet, not all Earthlings fear attack. The newcomers, long lost descendants of Earth, speak of a paradise ninety-four light years away. Kipos is a land of plenty where there has never been hunger, murder, or war. However, they need more healthy young immigrants for the colony to thrive.

Many accept their offer to be tested. After assessment, Abby Boyd Lei is among the chosen. She leaves the protection of her family with dreams of higher education, a good job, and a kind-hearted spouse.

Will Kipos be everything she imagined? Abby is about to discover the cost of utopia

I am not a sci-fi fan. I’m not familiar with space stations, wormholes, deep space, or the solar system and aliens and the like do not appeal to me in any way but throw in a teenage girl, a bunch of heartache and a space crew looking for a planet to call their own and I was hooked. This book was nothing like I imagined it would be. It was a hundred times better. Guizzetti’s writing is really stunning and despite not understanding a lot of the terminology, it was an easy and enjoyable read. The way in which Guizzetti covered issues such as rape, suicide, homosexuality and abuse was breath-taking and I believe that this book required an impressive amount of research to complete and I have nothing but praise for her. Guizzetti created a completely new and believable world and her descriptions are beautiful, I could see every detail in my mind’s eye. I almost believe that Kipos is out there somewhere just waiting to be found.

Abby Boyd Lee was a character that completely blew my mind because despite all the suffering she endured and all of the heartache, she still came out on top as a strong independent woman and I have nothing but respect for her. Guizzetti wrote her beautifully and she was a believable and lovable character. In the beginning I couldn't help but be annoyed with how naive she was and how unrealistic her dreams for the future were but I realised that without her naivety the plot would have fallen apart. She dreamt of a better future for herself and made the ultimate sacrifice by leaving her family behind to travel through the stars. Unfortunately for her, not everything was quite as it seemed. She suffered trauma, loss and heartache before she found the space crew that would ultimately become her family. It took a long time for her to truly see herself as others saw her and be at peace with everything she went through.

Harden was one of my favourite characters and I couldn't help but love him, despite the fact that he barely shows any emotion besides anger and annoyance. He has suffered in different ways to Abby but like her, he came out on top. I believe this is why he forms such a sweet relationship with her. She looks to him as a father figure, always seeking his approval and in the beginning it seems that he wants nothing to do with her and despises her for even being allowed to become a part of his crew but in the end he treats her like a daughter, he protects her and tries to get her to reach her full potential. I love how this book became very much about him and Abby as opposed to being solely focused on Abby. The ending is sweet and emotional and shows a completely different side to Harden that I didn’t expect.

I really loved that this book was NOT a love story, there is romance and Abby has quite a few crushes (some that are really strange) but it isn’t solely based on two people falling in love and living happily ever after. Abby finds that although it was her dream to find a husband that loved her, she found something she never realised she needed. A family. Every character in this book is relevant and although they weren’t always at the centre of everything and some were only mentioned briefly, they were the elements that really made this book really come to life. I loved each and every one of them.

I can’t wait to read more of Guizzetti’s work and I really hope there will be a sequel to this amazing book.

Check out Elizabeth Guizzetti’s website here.
Rating * * * * *

- Stephanie

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