Title: Earth Girl
Author: Janet Edwards
Source/Format: Purchased, UK Paperback
More Details: Science Fiction, Young Adult
Publisher/Publication Date: Harper Voyager, August 16, 2012
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Synopsis from Goodreads...
2788. Only the handicapped live on Earth...
Eighteen-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 makes up a fake military background for herself and joins a class of norms who are on Earth for a year of practical history studies excavating the dangerous ruins of the old cities. She wants to see their faces when they find out they’ve been fooled into thinking an ape girl was a norm. She isn’t expecting to make friends with the enemy, to risk her life to save norms, or to fall in love...
The story follows Jarra after she signs up for a class that's not based on Earth. She was considered “Handicapped” because she had a disability that limited her to Earth. She couldn’t travel to other worlds, and thus, she and other characters with similar disabilities experienced prejudice just based off things they couldn’t control. So, when Jarra came up with a plan to fool the "Norms", I was sold on the story. I was also really curious to see how Jarra’s scheme turned out.
I absolutely loved Jarra as a character, and I could understand why she would do what she did. Jarra’s disability was one of the main focuses of the book, and I think Edwards did a good job at depicting the prejudice that some “Norms” had towards the majority of the residents on Earth. Jarra was out to prove a point, and I did enjoy seeing her evolve and grow as a character. She showed a wide range of emotion—joy, anger, and even bitterness—while also maintaining her passion for history and her enthusiasm to study it.
The setting was really cool. I liked getting to see common places in a new way. Edwards did an excellent job reimagining such locations as excavation sites, rather than as they are today. I enjoyed the vivid details, and it made it easier to picture the sites. Another aspect I liked happened to be the world itself. There were a lot of cool ideas, and for me it just worked.
In the end, I ended up enjoying Earth Girl, and I’m glad that I finally got around to reading it. I'm looked forward to reading the rest of the trilogy soon.