*I received a free ecopy of this book from YA Bound Book Tours in exchange for an honest review.*
As excited as I was for this book, it had the potential to go very wrong for me. I don’t handle vague mysteriousness very well. If someone is trying to solve a mystery and just doesn’t have all the clues yet, that’s one thing. But when unexplained paranormal things start happening and everyone is just vague for no discernible reason, I usually feel like throwing my book across the room. And this book had a lot of vague, mysterious, paranormal stuff.
But the payoff was so worth it.
By the end of the book, I had every single answer that I wanted, and the explanation was quite a doozy, but in the best way possible! It was still in the realm of fantasy (maybe also a little sci-fi), but it made sense in that context and was shocking without making me feel like I was cheated or misled in any way.
But what I loved even more about this book was the way the chronic illness was included. Number one, this was a fantasy book with a chronically ill character. You don’t see that often. Fantasy is a genre severely lacking in diversity in that regard. Number two, the book wasn’t about chronic illness, it was about a character… whose life just happened to be affected by an illness. It played a big part, but it wasn’t the only part—more of an influence on things than a focal point. And number three, the illness was something very real, not something that turned out to be a paranormal thing in the end. And though I don’t know much about cystic fibrosis myself, it seemed like the author did his research. He also did a good job pointing out the types of things many of us without CF take for granted, like simply being able to cry when you’re sad without having to worry about making any lung symptoms worse.
As for all the rest, well, I ended up finishing this book in a day because I didn’t want to put it down, so I can safely say I really liked it. The plot was good, the writing was good, and the main character was determined and likeable. She made a lot of rash decisions, and a couple of them were not the best and didn’t make sense to me, but most of them were understandable.
Also, is that cover not gorgeous?!
Overall, I thought this book was great with a well done paranormal mystery that included chronic illness in a really good way. I’m even more excited for the next book than I was for this one!
Anyone who likes young adult, parallel universes, creative premises, and chronic illness rep.
More Books in the Series:
Synthia (Syn) Wade is a teenage girl who struggles with cystic fibrosis, an incurable life-threatening disease. One day she is pushed into a pond by an unseen figure and wakes up in a new world – a mysterious garden where illness and death don’t exist.
Welcomed by the garden’s residents and now free of her symptoms, Syn decides to stay. But, before long, she realizes that this apparent utopia holds many dangers and dark secrets.
Surrounding the garden is a fog that Syn is warned never to enter. She encounters bizarre creatures that defy reason. And always lurking in the shadows is a masked woman – a woman who may have a connection to the disappearance of Syn’s parents many years ago. A woman whom no one will speak of, but whom everyone fears.
While No One Dies in the Garden of Syn, Syn will soon discover that some fates are worse than death.