I’ll admit, it took me two readings to get into Gina Linko‘s Flutter.  The first time through I just couldn’t connect with the story, the characters, or the premise.  So I took a break from it and after coming back to it recently, find that the second pass yielded a somewhat more interesting story and perhaps a more patient, attentive reader.  Which is fitting, in a way, since 17 year old Emery has spent her entire life revisiting a past or discovering a yet-as-lived future, when she “flutters” away from reality into a seizure-induced alternate state.  While she finds a calmness and peace in her “loops”, each time she travels to these alternate places and times, Em discovers new clues from the people she meets there that all seem to be pointing her in one direction.

Emery’s seizures have kept her hospitalized for years, tended to by her controlling father and team of experts intent on discovering the true nature of her episodes, despite the fact that they doubt she’s really time travelling. The intensity of her experiences has begun to overwhelm her, and both Emery and her father fear that she doesn’t have much time left.  So when the clues in her loops become too much to write off, Emery decides to escape from the hospital and follow them to what she is sure are both answers and, hopefully, a life that is not ruled by the flutters that lead to loops.

Following the clues, Em travels to Esperanza, a village in the upstate peninsula of Michigan where she meets Ash, a beautiful, haunted young man who is there escaping demons of his own.  They are drawn together almost immediately, in an intense way neither can explain.  Soon it becomes clear that Em’s loops are inextricably tied to a terrible secret in Ash’s past and only together can they hope to save each other and themselves.

Ultimately, Linko’s premise is interesting, but there’s just a little something that is “off” about the execution.  She lost me both times with the hints of a government conspiracy element behind the scientists treating Emery, and I still don’t feel satisfied with the ending.  It’s clear Flutter is going to be the first in an eventual series, so perhaps more patient readers will find answers in a forthcoming book to the clues introduced here.

  • Posted by Cori

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