Title: Earthbound (Earthbound #1)
Author: Aprilynne Pike
Release Date: July 30, 2013
Source: ARC from Publisher
Tavia Michaels is the sole survivor of the plane crash that killed her parents. When she starts to see strange visions of a boy she's never spoken with in real life, she begins to suspect that there's much about her past that she isn't being told.Tavie immediately searches for answers, desperate to determine why she feels so drawn to a boy she hardly knows. But when Tavia discovers that the aunt and uncle who took her in after her parents' death may have actually been responsible for the plant crash that killed them--and that she may have been the true intended victim--she flees for the safety of Camden, Maine, where the boy she sees in her visions instructs her to go.Now, Tavia is on the run with no one to trust. No one, that is, except for her best friend and longtime crush, Benson.Tavia feels torn between the boy who mysteriously comes to her at night and the boy who has been by her side every step of the way. But what Tavia doesn't know is that the world is literally falling apart and that to save it she will have to unite with the boy in her visions. Only problem? To do so would mean rejecting Benson's love. And that's the one thing Tavia Michaels swore she'd never do.
So this is the part where I admit that until I read Earthbound, I hadn't read anything by Aprilynne Pike. And now that I've read one of her books, I realise that I may have been missing out. Though Earthbound wasn't exactly what I thought it was going to be, I found myself enjoying the book more and more as I read it.
There is nothing Tavia wants more than to move on from the plane crash that killed her parents and left her a mess. Almost a year later, she is only starting to have a handle on her life again. And just when she thinks she finally has everything under control, weird things start happening around her. A strange boy only she can see starts appearing and she can suddenly make objects out of thin air. As things start unravelling, Tavia discovers that everything she has known since the crash has been a lie, and so she goes on the run with the one person she thinks can trust. But even then, everything may not be quite as it seems.
Here's the thing about Earthbound, despite having read the synopsis and having a vague idea of what the book was going to be about, it still ended up being something completely different. Right from the start, I was dragged into the story. Aprilynne Pike wrote a great opening, capturing my attention and leaving me with the need to know exactly what was happening in Tavia's life. But as much as the story captured my attention at first, part of the way through, I found myself struggling to stay in the story and the world that Aprilynne Pike created. It just seemed like events were moving but there were moments where I wasn't entirely sure why they were moving the way they were. Even though the more I read those gaps ended up getting filled, it was still a little hard to keep up at times. But even then, that didn't stop me in still being interested in the story. The mystery that was there throughout is what really captured my attention. I wanted to know what was going on with the three groups that had been talked about throughout the story. I wanted to know how it all fit together and who was actually supposed to be trusted and who wasn't. And eventually, I think I sort of found out. But based on the way things turned out throughout the book, I could still be completely wrong.
I'm not entirely sure how I feel about Tavia, both as a character and as a narrator. As a narrator, it felt like she sometimes forgot to explain, or at least allude to, how she got to certain conclusions. And that may have been why I felt like there were certain gaps in the story. Beyond her responsibilities as a narrator, I'm still not quite sure how I feel about Tavia. She definitely had a lot dumped on her plate and I don't know how I would have reacted if I had found myself in her position. I admit that what bothered me the most about Tavia is how she kept going back and forth between Benson and Quinn. Even though that eventually all got explained, it still made it difficult for me to appreciate Tavia. And the other characters, I'm also not entirely sure how I felt about them. I thought I had Benson figured out and I actually really liked him, but then that didn't exactly work out the way I had thought it would. And then with Quinn, well he was sort of what I expected him to be, but at the same time he was also a lot more complicated than just that. All that to say that I'm hoping that I'll be able to figure the characters out in future books.
Overall, Aprilynne Pike's Earthbound was an entertaining read even if I did have some issues with the book as I was reading. The concept was definitely interesting and I'm hoping that some aspects of it will be explored some more in future books.