Journey Elizabeth Gordon has always been different from other girls her age, and never really fitting in. Frilly dresses and heavy makeup is just not her style. When her mother dies, her life shatters as she and her little sister leave for their father’s secluded cabin deep in the mountains of Colorado. A father the girls have not seen or heard from in over six years. Journey believes she’ll never be happy again, until one morning when a strange man suddenly appears on their doorstep. With this stranger, Journey’s life takes an unexpected turn into the bizarre. Journey’s father tries to help her accept new world. Journey is no longer in South Carolina, but living in the Fornax galaxy billions of light years away from Earth. But then she meets the dazzling exotic boy, Takoda. Takoda is a Sweetacha from the blue sister world, Traveler. His skin is lightly colored, his hair is a deep auburn, and his eyes are amber, just like hers. Her heart pounds and her mind goes blank when she sees him. But any relationship beyond friendship is forbidden by law. A law established by her family many generations ago through the Council of Elders. A law, Journey has decided to change. Through Takoda, Journey is introduced to his culture and his people. An exciting world of ancient ruins and hidden secrets that shed an ominous light on her ancestors. Her heart grows daily for Takoda and through that love they enter the forbidden world of racial tension and a forbidden love. Together they struggle to understand the past while piecing together a future they can share and love. A love that would mean instant death if her Council family should discover the truth.
Rating: 2/5 Stars
Reflection is in interesting tale about aliens, universes, planets, and forbidden romances. In it, we follow Journey as she discovers a whole new way of life with her father after her mother dies.
The plot and the overall premise of this story had so much potential. I had no expectations when I started reading, and so through all the flaws, I still found enjoyment. There were some great descriptions, build-ups, action scenes, and there were a lot of points where I had hope for character development. I didn’t feel the urge to never put it down, but I still liked reading, even if it was only because I wanted to know how it would end and if anything would be solved.
The author came up with some wonderful twists. I never saw some of them coming. There were situations full of angst and fear, and while they usually ended up with our MC having a temper tantrum, they were still enjoyable to read. The different emotions and experiences are probably what saved this book from a DNF. Each new place Journey and Takoda explored had something interesting happen in it, and while it may not have ended in anything overly spectacular, it was still intriguing made the book more enjoyable. I loved learning about the other planets and species, the different foods and cultures and beliefs. I just wish we had more on that.
Journey’s family stuck by her through everything. That was a key point for me, because I knew that no matter what happened, she would still be supported and loved. I ended up predicting a lot of things that never happened, and one of them was a war of sorts that ended in many deaths. Another was that Journey would be Queen and take care of her people, but had to leave her family without a word to do so. Neither happened, but if they had, it was nice to know that she would have a family who loves her no matter what.
However, I had a huge problem with this book. Many twists and situations happened that I love, they were built up well and I definitely couldn’t wait to see how they would be solved. But that’s just it. Nothing gets solved. Every problem or troublesome twist they experienced was essentially ignored. Journey’s romance with Takoda is forbidden (and instant), and they fought it at first (barely), but once they stopped fighting it’s like they didn’t even care any more. Their family found out, people at their school probably figured it out, people on other planets knew, and yet they aren’t reprimanded, they aren’t tortured or punished or killed for breaking one of the most important laws. Instead, Journey’s family decides a simple way to solve it, even though they never actually did it: change the rule. Boom. Problem not solved. They go to another planet to do some work and what happens? They find things out about the ancients and the oppressed, but they ignore it because they realize they’re not supposed to know about it. They literally do nothing but claim to want to make things better, while ignoring all the important problems. These problems were well executed, well written, and were serious issues that I enjoyed reading about so much that I wanted them to be solved and freed and fixed. But the solutions never came.
Journey annoyed me. At first it was okay because with all the screaming and the crying and the tone of her character, I thought she was 10 or 12. Nope. She’s 16. She yells a lot, cries and screams and demands, she’s not very understanding, and she’s rash and impulsive. At first, it seemed like she had a kind heart and like she could connect with anyone, considering her time at the graves. But after realizing a few important things, she demands answers and threatens people to get them. How can she think that’s alright? How can they be okay with her treating them as such and act as if she’s the loveliest person in the world? She also runs from literally every argument or embarrassing situation unless she’s alone with Takoda.
Overall, Reflection had a lot of promise, and it did not shy away from problems or twists. But with no solutions and an annoying character, it fell flat.