by Gina Linko
Published: October 23, 2012
Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers
All Emery Land wants is to be like any other 17-year-old—to go to school, hang out with her friends, and just be normal. But for as long as she can remember, she’s suffered from seizures. And in recent years they’ve consumed her life. To Emery they’re much more than seizures, she calls them loops—moments when she travels through wormholes back and forth in time and to a mysterious town. The loops are taking their toll on her physically. So she practically lives in the hospital where her scientist father and an ever-growing team of doctors monitor her every move. They’re extremely interested in the data they collect when Emery seizes. It appears that she’s tapping into parts of the brain typically left untouched by normal human beings.
Escaping from the hospital, Emery travels to Esperanza, the town from her loops on the upper peninsula of Michigan, where she meets Asher Clarke. Ash’s life is governed by his single-minded pursuit of performing good Samaritan acts to atone for the death of a loved one. His journey is very much entwined with Emery’s loops.
Drawn together they must unravel their complicated connection before it’s too late.
This is a very hard review to form. There was so much about Flutter that I loved, yet all of it is dashed by the ending. I promise no spoilers, no matter how hard they are to avoid!
Linko has a beautiful writing style. The story had at times an almost otherworldly tone to it that I felt really built up the looping and the daze that Emery's life has become. The concept was awesome. That Emery is looping to another place or time was such an interesting idea. I loved that this wasn't an easy ability. By that I mean it wasn't something she just did with no consequences or notice. Her looping caused extended seizures which were causing her organs to shut down. She was dying and people around her were attempting to place a scientific explanation on it.
The main characters are very well developed. Emery and Asher are complex people and each have their own secrets. While Emery struggles to trust Asher, he is driven by guilt to protect her and everyone else. Their romance builds slowly and it progressed naturally. That said I felt that the 'villians' in the story felt one dimensional. Oh, there were hints that maybe there was something more about them, but in the end they are simply bad guys doing bad things.
So with an amazing concept, beautiful writing, and great characters, why didn't I love it? Two words. The ending.
I stayed up until one in the morning reading Flutter, anxious to find out what happens and when I got to the last few pages I just felt let down. I wanted an explanation. I wanted a real conclusion to the story lines and closure to relationships. I got none of that.
I've been going back and forth on my rating. I rated it a 3 at first, but I'm leaning more to a 4. The longer I think about it the more I realize that if I hadn't truly enjoyed the writing and story, I wouldn't have felt so let down by the ending.