Book Review | pt. 2 of a collaboration with Kate Willis

HELLOOOOO. *eats the people*

Today we’re following up pt. 1 of the collaboration (Choose What We Read) with pt. 2! So, to summarize part one.

  • We (Kate from Once Upon An Ordinary & I) each chose five books that we really wanted to read and explained why.
  • Y’all voted on the ones you wanted us to read the most in the poll.
  • We read the voted-upon book in the span of one week and write a review.
  • Finally, we’ll post the review of the voted-upon book on each other’s blog (so I’d post my review of the book y’all voted for me to read on Kate’s blog, and vice versa for her book) – this is what we’ll be doing today.

Here’s a picture of the poll! The Girl Who Could See clearly won by 48%, and Finding Joy and The Mysterious Benedict Society and The Perilous Journey were the runner-ups.

Guess which one I voted on for Kate? Comment. 😉

Alright, now it’s time for Kate’s book review of The Girl Who Could See! I’m so excited to see what she thought of it! *swoons from the cover* Also, Kara knows how to write a good blurb. 😀

The Girl Who Could See


All her life Fern has been told she is blind to reality—but what if she is the only one who can truly see?

Fern Johnson is crazy. At least, that’s what the doctors have claimed since her childhood. Now nineteen, and one step away from a psych ward, Fern struggles to survive in bustling Los Angeles. Desperate to appear “normal,” she represses the young man flickering at the edge of her awareness—a blond warrior only she can see. 

Tristan was Fern’s childhood imaginary hero, saving her from monsters under her bed and outside her walls. As she grew up and his secret world continued to bleed into hers, however, it only caused catastrophe. But, when the city is rocked by the unexplainable, Fern is forced to consider the possibility that this young man isn’t a hallucination after all—and that the creature who decimated his world may be coming for hers.

First off, is it weird that I want to enlarge this cover and hang it up like a movie poster? Because I do. XD (And the birds, guys!!!)

I actually read this book twice in a row to get all my thoughts about it together. The first time I read it, I was pretty keyed up from something unrelated to the book plus the SUSPENSE that is this story that I felt like I definitely missed some things, so I read it again to get all the richness. 😉


Fern was a very interesting character in that she was so normal. It sounds weird, but I mean that she wasn’t super rebellious or brilliant or skilled at anything in particular. She could have been you or I. I especially liked how she was doing her best to take care of Elinore. ❤ That was super sweet and showed her strong inner character. Also, I need more heroines with untamable hair, because that is the most relatable thing ever. XD

All of her banter with Tristan was hilarious! I loved the easy way they talked with each other, even when she was trying to get him to go away. 😉 Honestly, I think “Plant Girl” is the most adorable nickname, and I’m gonna start calling him “Post-Apocalyptic Macho-Man”. (I definitely do ship it, guys. And I appreciated how appropriate and sweet everything stayed.)

The worldbuilding was really fascinating. Talk about a very, very destroyed world. O.o. Some of that and a certain aspect of the plotline were reminding me a little of one of my favorite Doctor Who episodes. 😉 Between the world-jumping, (intense) flashbacks, and a time skip, it could get confusing sometimes, but I followed (at least on my second read-through). 😉

The FBI agent Barstow was an interesting and competent side character. I like what ended up happening with him.

Okay, but the spiritual themes! O.o. I understood them sooo much stronger the second time, and I was tearing up a bit at certain parts. 😉 Something that really hit me near the beginning was how easy it was for Elinore to believe in Tristan, and how Fern needed to go back to the trust and belief she had as a child. Definitely a message to us young adults who have begun to experience the world that calls us crazy for our beliefs. And the theme of a valuing love that sets people free. And Tristan’s reply to Fern’s question at the end. So amazing. I’m trying not to spoil anything, but I loved it. 😉

Just a note, some of the post-apocalyptic situation and medical details (including children) could be disturbing to young children. Some of the descriptions of wounds/blood got to be a little too much for me, personally, at times. Also, one redacted swear word and a slang phrase were used.

(All the best quotes are spoilers. Sorry, guys. Just read it.)

Altogether, I’m glad I tried this book, and I very much enjoyed the sci-fi-ness and the allegorical themes. 😉 I definitely want to try this author’s Peter Pan inspired book when it comes out, and I want her to write something Nutcracker-ish next. A girl can dream, right? 😉

And there’s her review! I’m so glad you enjoyed it, Kate, and I can’t wait to dive into it myself as soon as possible! 😀

Now, if you want to see MY review of the book y’all voted upon for me, head over to Kate’s blog! Crossroads by Paul Willis ended up being the book the won the majority of the votes, so I read that! 😛

Thanks so much for reading and hanging out with us for this collaboration, friends! ❤

If you’ve read The Girl Who Could See, how many stars did you rate it? Give me your best shot and explain why I should read it. 😉 Don’t forget to check Kate’s blog for my review of Crossroads!

7 thoughts on “Book Review | pt. 2 of a collaboration with Kate Willis

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