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.

The Girl Who Could See Details

TitleThe Girl Who Could See
Author
FormatPaperback
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseJun 1st, 2017
PublisherCreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
ISBN1542515483
ISBN-139781542515481
Number of pages200 pages
Rating
GenreFantasy, Young Adult, Science Fiction, Speculative Fiction, Romance

The Girl Who Could See Review

  • Abigayle Claire
    May 2, 2017
    Once I finally stopped staring at the stunning cover and began reading the book, I was not disappointed! This felt like one of those really cool crazy person TV shows from the very beginning. It's a novella with the end-of-the-world, get-the-FBI-to-listen stuff. With the distinct feeling that the fantasy and 'imaginary' elements were add-ons to a realistic 'real' world, it had the flare of modern Marvel movies. I tend to like that sort of thing when it's well done, so I enjoyed the book from the Once I finally stopped staring at the stunning cover and began reading the book, I was not disappointed! This felt like one of those really cool crazy person TV shows from the very beginning. It's a novella with the end-of-the-world, get-the-FBI-to-listen stuff. With the distinct feeling that the fantasy and 'imaginary' elements were add-ons to a realistic 'real' world, it had the flare of modern Marvel movies. I tend to like that sort of thing when it's well done, so I enjoyed the book from the very beginning. The small amount of jumping around in time was easy to follow. All of the characters had a purpose, became distinct in my mind, and were easy to get attached to even in the span of a novella. So much so that some certain main characters made me cry while reading it and it wasn't even 2am! I thought the blend of fantasy and reality was excellent, as was the blend between gravity and levity. While I can understand wanting more of a story, I found the length of this one to be perfect. Not all novellas fell like a c0mplete and well-rounded story, but this one did. I was thrilled to receive an ARC from this author and look forward to more work from her!
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  • Bethany A.
    May 2, 2017
    Oh my word.I stayed up until 4 AM reading this, desperate to see how it would end. Sometimes I had to set the book down and take a deep breath before I could keep going because it was SO intense and cut right to the heart (oh the feeeeeels).Fern was so relatable and real, and I ached for her struggles - her "insanity" drew me in from the get-go, and it was a thrill to watch her overcome her trauma and step into her strength. And Tristan!!! So tender and snarky and epic. <3 <3 Elinore was a Oh my word.I stayed up until 4 AM reading this, desperate to see how it would end. Sometimes I had to set the book down and take a deep breath before I could keep going because it was SO intense and cut right to the heart (oh the feeeeeels).Fern was so relatable and real, and I ached for her struggles - her "insanity" drew me in from the get-go, and it was a thrill to watch her overcome her trauma and step into her strength. And Tristan!!! So tender and snarky and epic. <3 <3 Elinore was a sweet element, as well. All of them won my heart the moment they appeared on the page. And I loved Barstow; he was fun!The romance took me off guard, in part because I wasn't expecting it, but also in part because it was so powerful despite being very delicately and deftly woven through the story. It was sweet and totally satisfying.The tension didn't let up. I want all the characters to be real. And the ending was superb and perfect. Can I give this story 10 stars?? <3(I was given an ARC by the author in exchange for my honest review. ^_^ )
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  • Amber Stokes
    May 4, 2017
    My endorsement for the book! :)Kara Swanson's novella pulses with action and beats with a love that longs to look beyond self. It's a vivid, imaginative story that encourages you to see what the world refuses to accept. An exciting read!—Amber Stokes, author of How a Star Falls*With thanks to the author for providing me with a complimentary e-ARC of the book.*
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  • Emily
    April 28, 2017
    I recently received an ARC from the author, and this book made me want to laugh and cry in the same breath throughout the entire read. Tristan is a a lovable, sassy, and dependable dork. While Fern is strong, yet falling apart at the seams. One cannot help but love the characters, holding their breath in suspense to the very last moment. It's a testimony to what good tension and developed characters look like. I only wish I could have crawled inside this story and lived there I definitely. My fi I recently received an ARC from the author, and this book made me want to laugh and cry in the same breath throughout the entire read. Tristan is a a lovable, sassy, and dependable dork. While Fern is strong, yet falling apart at the seams. One cannot help but love the characters, holding their breath in suspense to the very last moment. It's a testimony to what good tension and developed characters look like. I only wish I could have crawled inside this story and lived there I definitely. My fingers are crossed for prequels and sequels.
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  • Kara
    April 23, 2017
    my rating is 4.5 :)"They say every child had an imaginary friend. Mine never left." This begins Fern's story and once you start it, it will have you captivated until the very end! Loved Fern's character (I picture her to look like younger version of actress Karen Gillian)! She's taking care of her niece, working hard and TRYING to live a normal life....this tends to be a challenge with her ominous visions and Tristan's constant attempts to get her attention (should she ignore him this time or te my rating is 4.5 :)"They say every child had an imaginary friend. Mine never left." This begins Fern's story and once you start it, it will have you captivated until the very end! Loved Fern's character (I picture her to look like younger version of actress Karen Gillian)! She's taking care of her niece, working hard and TRYING to live a normal life....this tends to be a challenge with her ominous visions and Tristan's constant attempts to get her attention (should she ignore him this time or tell this imaginary person to back off and risk others looking her way with concern?).I TRULY loved her character growth and how she finds the courage to face a childhood trauma leading to much needed answers. I shake my head and rub the bridge of my nose. "There's a whole lot more at stake here than just my happiness, so I'll let the doctors do whatever tests they want and answer any questions they have. But after that we save the world. And then we move on, okay?"Some of my fave parts of the story are....how she faces a monstrous bully, when a certain FBI agent gets a revelation and the imaginary friend becomes more real, loved how the niece trusts Fern, also loved it when Fern realizes her value is beyond being normal and she understands her identity even better.Even though Tristan is also a great character and Fern's best friend, I considered Fern the true hero of the story. She is finally able to use her gifts in ways that matter instead of pretending they don't exist. "I knew what it was like to be trapped by a monster, with no hope of escape-only my demons had worn lab coats instead of a hide of sand. Still, I hated bullies, no matter what shape they came in."Am hoping if there is a sequel that Fern will continue seeing more worlds in trouble beyond Earth and helping them. Swanson is utterly talented in speculative fiction and I look forward to more of her books!I want to thank the author for the review copy provided, all thoughts and comments are my own.Meet Fern!Me: *pulls out faded pad of yellowed paper and pen tucked behind ear*“Alright, Miss Johnson. Let’s get down to business. I have a list of some very important questions. Please answer them all honestly. Shall we get started?”Fern: *nods, gingerly sliding into her seat across the table from me. She smooths out her red skirt, and leans forward.*“Yes, let’s start…”Kara: What did you eat for breakfast?Fern: *Her eyebrows rise* Um…I made eggs, I think. This is your important question?Kara: Do you have a pet? Fern: For most of my life it’s been hard to take care of myself, let alone an animal. But my niece, Elinore, would love a puppy.K: Are you an only child? How many siblings do you have? Are you close or are you estranged?F: I’m actually the middle child of a very large family. Most of my siblings and I aren’t close. Our parents were…disreputable. They didn’t really care what we did, as long as we didn’t draw any attention from the cops, so we all got into a lot of trouble. My sister now has children of her own, but is about as responsible with them as my mother was, so I take care of her daughter—my niece, Elinore.If I ever get married, I’d love to have several kids—but I’d want to love them each and make sure they all feel like they’re seen.K: Do you put both socks on first, or one sock, one shoe?F: Eh—I’m not sure. Don’t really think about it. Probably both socks first. Maybe?K: Do you iron your clothes? Who does your laundry? Do you do it yourself or do you have a maid?F: (Who came up with these questions, again?) I do all my own laundry. *laughs* Wouldn’t a maid be nice…K: Are you married?F: No. Most guys aren’t into the hallucinating-psychotic-and-crazy type.K: Can you explain that?F: I guess it was going to come up at some point. I see things. Things that aren’t really there. Rusted pieces of metal and crumbling buildings and desolate wastelands. But mostly, I see him. Tristan. The blonde imaginary friend who’s been there for nearly as long as I can remember. The young man who’s never left—and is the reason I’m always one step away from a psych ward.K: Do you live in an apartment or a house?F: I share a small apartment with Elinore, my niece, in the less-glamorous side of LA.
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  • Annie Twitchell
    April 24, 2017
    I received an ARC of this book from the author.Five stars. The Girl Who Could See is a gripping, enthralling story of Fern, caught in two worlds - her imaginary world and reality. Believed to be insane, she struggles through daily life, work, and taking care of her niece. I got sucked into this novella like I haven't been sucked into a book in a long time. I read half of it in one sitting and the rest as soon as I had enough minutes lined up in a row to be able to finish with it interruption. I I received an ARC of this book from the author.Five stars. The Girl Who Could See is a gripping, enthralling story of Fern, caught in two worlds - her imaginary world and reality. Believed to be insane, she struggles through daily life, work, and taking care of her niece. I got sucked into this novella like I haven't been sucked into a book in a long time. I read half of it in one sitting and the rest as soon as I had enough minutes lined up in a row to be able to finish with it interruption. I could tell a few pages in that I wouldn't want to put this one down. Tearing myself away halfway through wasn't easy. Fern is real; I can still taste her emotions. The pain of seeing what shouldn't be there is raw, vibrant, and aching. I feel as of I, too, am seeing other worlds. Tristan is rich, magnificent, and at the same time he is what I would call an unbearable tease. The story is well-written, well developed, and achingly beautiful. The beauty of this story is deep, and it can take you places where most people are scared to go - and does so with grace, tact, and a peculiar kind of gentleness and right-ness.Highly recommend to young adult readers.
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  • Sarah Grace
    May 5, 2017
    Wow, that was . . . just wow! This book is pretty awesome, ya'll.First things first: THAT COVER! *swoon* I am in love! So gorgeous and so perfectly portrays the story! Simply lovely!While the paranormal\speculative\sci-fi genre is not one I often read, and I have very few favorites, I was immediately drawn into this one! The character of Fern was realistic and relatable (even if you don't still have an imaginary friend. :D) from the very first page. I also love her niece, Elinor. The author did Wow, that was . . . just wow! This book is pretty awesome, ya'll.First things first: THAT COVER! *swoon* I am in love! So gorgeous and so perfectly portrays the story! Simply lovely!While the paranormal\speculative\sci-fi genre is not one I often read, and I have very few favorites, I was immediately drawn into this one! The character of Fern was realistic and relatable (even if you don't still have an imaginary friend. :D) from the very first page. I also love her niece, Elinor. The author did a great job with her character; some people struggle with writing little children, but Kara hit the nail on the head! I could completely picture her adorable little-girl actions and expressions. Super sweet! Tristen was also a great character. I think my favorite character is FBI agent Barstow; sarcastic, and quite crusty, but you find out he does have a heart! And, he's an FBI agent, I mean come on! It doesn't get much cooler. ;)The story was very well done and very believable - I mean, as believable as a story in this genre can be. The little bit of time jumping was well written so as to not be confusing. I struggled a little bit to understand some of the parallel world stuff, but that's probably just me, as my brain does not work that way. The end climax was quite well done and wrapped everything up neatly. The little twist at the end was both surprising, heart-breaking, and very welcome! (Yes, that's contradictory, but you'll just have to read the book yourself!)One thing that I loved in particular was the romance, or should I say, lack there of. It was kept to a bare minimum, which I appreciated. Kara definitely could have made it MUCH more romance, but I am very glad she didn't! It was more of a natural afterthought, than an obtrusion or main storyline. CONTENT NOTE: There is practically no content! A few mentions of a wound and blood, but nothing terribly graphic, the violence was pretty minimal and mostly talked about, not actually portrayed. There was one kiss that went on a bit too long for me, but under the circumstances, it was rather understandable and easily skimmed. Some "thematic elements" may be a bit graphic for younger readers, like (view spoiler)[ a girl being kidnapped and being used for scientific experiments (hide spoiler)], so I would recommend it for ages 14-15+. All in all, very well done! I really enjoyed this book, and there were numerous times I just could. not. put. it. down. Gripping, exciting, and an all round enjoyable read! I will definitely be buying a paperback as soon as this releases! Highly recommended!
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  • Emily Mundell
    May 16, 2017
    Such a unique and beautiful novella! Fell in love with the two main characters. My only complaint is that it's not a full-length novel! I can't wait for more from Kara Swanson!**UPDATED***Now that the book is (kind of?) releasing itself into the world, I thought I would go into more detail with my review. First off, that cover though. *dies* I don't know how she got such a beautiful thing made for her book, but man, it's such a beautiful thing. The Girl Who Could See is the story of Fern Johnson Such a unique and beautiful novella! Fell in love with the two main characters. My only complaint is that it's not a full-length novel! I can't wait for more from Kara Swanson!**UPDATED***Now that the book is (kind of?) releasing itself into the world, I thought I would go into more detail with my review. First off, that cover though. *dies* I don't know how she got such a beautiful thing made for her book, but man, it's such a beautiful thing. The Girl Who Could See is the story of Fern Johnson who has been struggling with visions of her "imaginary friend" and glimpses into his "imaginary world." Things which have been plaguing her since a traumatic childhood incident. People think she's crazy, mentally unstable, she's been to therapy but Tristan, the man in her visions, won't leave. When he shows up begging for her help one day, everything Fern knows takes a dramatic twist with life-changing possibilities. Kara's premise had me hooked from the start. I love what she did with her plot and with her characters. She took a totally "out-there" situation and made it completely believable. Her main characters, Tristan and Fern really endeared themselves to me and I love that she was brave and free enough to indulge in a little humor/sarcasm with them as well, despite the plot's serious undertones. There are not enough awkward characters delivering dry and cynical one-liners, just saying. In the span of a novella, Kara really got me to care about her characters, rooting for them to win (among other, more romantic things). I was totally enthralled the whole story long. My one complaint would be the fact that, as mentioned above, it is only novella length. I wish as a reader that I'd had more time within this world, but that does not at all detract from the story. I think it is fabulous. Great work from Kara Swanson!
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  • Terri Rand
    April 28, 2017
    I received an ARC of this book from the author. An immensely good read. Everyone believes Fern is crazy, even she is beginning to believe it. An imaginary friend, two worlds bleeding into one, a scary creature, this story has it all. I really couldn't put this story down. Fern is a young girl with an imaginary friend, caring for her young niece. She comes to life as the story unfurls. Tristan is her imaginary friend, the hero who has seen her through a very tumultuous childhood. The characters a I received an ARC of this book from the author. An immensely good read. Everyone believes Fern is crazy, even she is beginning to believe it. An imaginary friend, two worlds bleeding into one, a scary creature, this story has it all. I really couldn't put this story down. Fern is a young girl with an imaginary friend, caring for her young niece. She comes to life as the story unfurls. Tristan is her imaginary friend, the hero who has seen her through a very tumultuous childhood. The characters are so well done!! The imaginary friend only Fern could see and refused to acknowledge as anything else then a figment of her imagination. The boy who wanted desperately to be recognized as flesh and blood, not an insane vision. The creature intent upon destroying our world. I could not put this book down. Great read for young adult readers and those not so young anymore.
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  • Rachelle Cobb
    April 28, 2017
    The Girl Who Could See beautifully blends the genres of fantasy and sci-fi together into a suspenseful read that kept me on the edge of my seat! The deep journeys these characters experience in a short novella is amazing. Perfect for a summer read at the beach.
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  • Karen
    February 2, 2017
    Intriguingly creative premise, with characters who make me care! The Girl Who Could See is a quick read with heart and dimension (in more ways than one). If you like an element of weird with a romantic undercurrent and characters willing to risk everything, you'll love The Girl Who Could See!
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  • Queen Of Narnia
    April 28, 2017
    The Girl Who Could See, is a very unique and interesting story.Fern is a girl who loves her niece and just wants to have a normal life.That's where Tristan, her 'imaginary' friend, comes in.(And may I say, Tristan is pretty amazing ;)He tells her he needs her help, and that she's the only one who can stop the destruction coming. I really enjoyed the relationships in this book,Fern and Tristan, they are so cute together<3I love how Tristan is so protective of Fern<3Fern and her niece, I lov The Girl Who Could See, is a very unique and interesting story.Fern is a girl who loves her niece and just wants to have a normal life.That's where Tristan, her 'imaginary' friend, comes in.(And may I say, Tristan is pretty amazing ;)He tells her he needs her help, and that she's the only one who can stop the destruction coming. I really enjoyed the relationships in this book,Fern and Tristan, they are so cute together<3I love how Tristan is so protective of Fern<3Fern and her niece, I loved how protective and loving Fern was with her niece<3Only bad thing I have to say, is that I wish it was longer XDbut I also enjoyed the length and loved it...I'm confusing, I know XDBut that is how I feel about all novellas(and most books).This novella was so amazing, I would definitely recommend it :)Some Wonderful Quotes:What makes you different makes you exceptional, Fern.(Page, 78)"If I'm not broken, then what am I?"Tristan's voice softens. "You're the only one of this planet who is truly whole."(Page, 78)I received an arc from the author.
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  • Castin Chamberlain
    April 24, 2017
    ** Received an ARC of this book ( LAUNCH TEAM FAM *fist bump* ) ****SPOILER ALERT**Wow.. I am amazed.The opening scene is, “They say every child had an imaginary friend. Mine never left.” -- This opening statement intrigued me insanely. I was already hooked, ready for a night of reading! By the way, when I read this it was 7PM Sunday night and I finished at 11PM. It was so fun! :) Every moment my eyes were GLUED to the page, wanting more and more! The first scene I highlighted was the quote, “I ** Received an ARC of this book ( LAUNCH TEAM FAM *fist bump* ) ****SPOILER ALERT**Wow.. I am amazed.The opening scene is, “They say every child had an imaginary friend. Mine never left.” -- This opening statement intrigued me insanely. I was already hooked, ready for a night of reading! By the way, when I read this it was 7PM Sunday night and I finished at 11PM. It was so fun! :) Every moment my eyes were GLUED to the page, wanting more and more! The first scene I highlighted was the quote, “I turned to confront my stalker.” I chuckled so hard! Fern has such a love/hate relationship with Tristan at first. It was like a leader and follower relationship. I love it.When Tristan leaves Fern alone in the interrogation room, “I’d wanted him gone. But now that he was, I felt strangely empty.” That was the first time where I had a really down-to-earth moment with Fern. Fern has a bad moment when she misses Tristan, which reminded my of a lot of grief and sadness, so I can relate ( In a good way ) ! All in all, this book is a 5 out of 5 stars. I love it! I will call it a classic in my book! :)
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  • Sarah White
    May 18, 2017
    The Girl Who Could See is a fast-paced, emotionally resonant story that combines world-ending stakes with a deeply personal character journey.From the gorgeous cover to the cool sci-fi concept, this book is unique and well-done. The action kept me turning pages while still leaving plenty of room for the main character’s potent internal journey. Fern is an effective, relatable protagonist, and I enjoyed seeing the world(s) through her eyes. The interactions between Kara and Tristan were both pote The Girl Who Could See is a fast-paced, emotionally resonant story that combines world-ending stakes with a deeply personal character journey.From the gorgeous cover to the cool sci-fi concept, this book is unique and well-done. The action kept me turning pages while still leaving plenty of room for the main character’s potent internal journey. Fern is an effective, relatable protagonist, and I enjoyed seeing the world(s) through her eyes. The interactions between Kara and Tristan were both potent and adorable, and I love how the relationship pushed Kara to grow in so many ways. Plus, the ending!!! I won’t give anything away, but it was perfect.The only reason I’m giving this book 4 stars instead of 5 is because it felt rushed at times. The book tackles a big concept with a lot of interconnecting threads, and I would have enjoyed a little more explanation and foreshadowing at certain points.Overall, though, there’s a lot to appreciate about this novella! Kara Swanson is a promising young author, and I’ll definitely keep an eye out for her books in the future!***I received a free ARC from the author in exchange for an honest review***
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  • J.C.
    June 2, 2017
    I LOVED THIS BOOK. So much. It was so clever, concise, tied together, and full of beautiful Christian themes. I loved it to pieces. Suspense, tension, amazing characters, a little of the paranormal, mysterious, sweet, tangible…I loved this book so much. Fern was so realistic and lovable. Tristan was amazing of course. Elinore’s tie in was beautiful. I loved the essence and the heart beat behind the book. It was concise and unpredictable, yet structured and solid. Highly recommended to any and al I LOVED THIS BOOK. So much. It was so clever, concise, tied together, and full of beautiful Christian themes. I loved it to pieces. Suspense, tension, amazing characters, a little of the paranormal, mysterious, sweet, tangible…I loved this book so much. Fern was so realistic and lovable. Tristan was amazing of course. Elinore’s tie in was beautiful. I loved the essence and the heart beat behind the book. It was concise and unpredictable, yet structured and solid. Highly recommended to any and all.
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  • H.L. Burke
    June 3, 2017
    The Girl Who Could See is a tightly paced contemporary SciFi with tight but evocative writing and easy to follow, compelling action.The book isn't without its flaws. I think my biggest gripe is the fact that in the beginning (the very first chapter) the main character is being interrogated about how she knew that a building which has recently collapsed was going to collapse. Immediately following this, we flash back to before the building collapse for some back story, and I kept expecting to com The Girl Who Could See is a tightly paced contemporary SciFi with tight but evocative writing and easy to follow, compelling action.The book isn't without its flaws. I think my biggest gripe is the fact that in the beginning (the very first chapter) the main character is being interrogated about how she knew that a building which has recently collapsed was going to collapse. Immediately following this, we flash back to before the building collapse for some back story, and I kept expecting to come back to the building collapse … and it never happened. We eventually skip back to the time set up in the first chapter, skipping over the building altogether. This was disappointing because A. It left out what I was hoping to be a really exciting, tension filled section (of her finding out the building is going to collapse, of trying to get someone to believe her, maybe trying to save the building's inhabitants), and because it left me with a ton of questions (DID she manage to save anyone? Did a lot of people die there? How exactly did she know it was going to collapse? ). It felt as if a major plot point had just been cut out for no particular reason.Similarly, I was confused by certain “how things work” points. An issue for me personally is how her not-so-imaginary imaginary friend interacts with the world. At first I thought he was a ghostly presence, meaning he can't interact with anything, but later he mentions how he used to protect her from bullies, so he must have some ability to interact physically with the world, but it is never really explained under what circumstances he can or can't interact with things other than the MC. A lot of the plot depends on no one believing that he is real, and therefore people think that the MC is crazy. If he can reach out and touch people (which you'd think he'd have to in order to protect her from bullies) can he also move objects? It seems like he'd be able to make himself known in some way, at least to the extent that he could make someone believe her that something out of the ordinary is going on. Little things like that make me feel almost that part of the book was missing. In other places this “not bothering to stop and explain” style helped the pacing. Like we don't get a lot of motive behind certain shadowy forces/organizations, but we don't really need to. Her backstory and his are treated with just enough hints to give you a sense of who it made them without getting bogged down in a lot of details. If you're looking for a quick paced read that doesn't bother to stop and explain itself—leaving details up for your imagination—this might be your thing. For me, personally, I wanted more details and answers in the end, and I would've preferred to see the book about three chapters longer in order to fill in some of the missing areas.
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  • K.L. + Pierce
    June 10, 2017
    The Girl Who Could See is definitely one of my new favorites! Fern Johnson has been told that she’s been insane her entire life. But Fern is the only one who can truly see the danger that is threatening our world. With the help of her imaginary friend, Tristan, they have to try to save it. I absolutely adored both Fern and Tristan. Fern’s reactions to the situation often had a dry sense of humor, while also seeming perfectly natural to the situation. Tristan is a warrior has seen the loss of his The Girl Who Could See is definitely one of my new favorites! Fern Johnson has been told that she’s been insane her entire life. But Fern is the only one who can truly see the danger that is threatening our world. With the help of her imaginary friend, Tristan, they have to try to save it. I absolutely adored both Fern and Tristan. Fern’s reactions to the situation often had a dry sense of humor, while also seeming perfectly natural to the situation. Tristan is a warrior has seen the loss of his world, but still maintains a joking attitude around Fern. They have such a playful banter, even as Fern thinks that Tristan is just a hallucination. It’s really fun to read.The plot itself was very well paced, with the stakes steadily rising, both for the world and for Fern personally. While I was able to predict the ending, Swanson held out long enough to make me second guess my predictions at several points. So I had to keep reading! The only critiques I have was that some of the backstory surrounding Fern, and how she gained the ability to see Tristan and his world were somewhat rushed. There were also some logic questions that I wasn’t quite able to answer, however these were minor. There is definitely a balance between putting enough information and keeping the story going. Swanson did a sufficient job at that.A very enjoyable read that has quickly become one of my favorites. Looking forward to more from this author!
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  • Fiction Aficionado
    June 19, 2017
    This was a great YA scifi/urban fantasy read. I’m not sure I’ve ever read anything in this genre before, but to completely honest, I couldn’t resist the cover. What an eye-catching cover! Well, the cover and the premise, really: They say every child had an imaginary friend. Mine never left. I mean, come on! How could you not want to know the story behind that?!In some ways the story is simple, but it’s also vivid and engaging in its execution. Fern and Tristan have a quasi brother/sister type ba This was a great YA scifi/urban fantasy read. I’m not sure I’ve ever read anything in this genre before, but to completely honest, I couldn’t resist the cover. What an eye-catching cover! Well, the cover and the premise, really: They say every child had an imaginary friend. Mine never left. I mean, come on! How could you not want to know the story behind that?!In some ways the story is simple, but it’s also vivid and engaging in its execution. Fern and Tristan have a quasi brother/sister type banter that holds an undercurrent of something more as the story develops, and their humour tended towards dry and, in Fern’s case, slightly self-deprecating, which I always enjoy.The first part of the story alternates between the present and ten days earlier. Ten days ago, Fern was trying to convince her persistent imaginary friend that he doesn’t exist. Skip forward those ten days and Fern has a slightly more difficult task: She has to convince the FBI that her imaginary friend DOES exist. Hmm... Just how exactly would you go about doing that?The tension steadily builds through the second half of the novel as Fern and Tristan try to discover where and how to close the rift that is putting Earth at risk from the Rhoon that destroyed Tristan’s world. Not only does Fern have to face the memories of what happened to her as a child, but her niece is now in danger of suffering the same fate. Although I probably should have seen the solution to closing the rift coming, I didn’t, and I’ll confess, my stomach bottomed out with an accompanying ‘Nooooooo!’ when it came. However, all things work together for good, and although the result was an obvious ‘moral’ or lesson for Fern tied up in a neat little bow, it was still quite satisfying.I look forward to seeing more from this author.I received a copy of this novel from the author. This has not influenced the content of this review, which is my honest and unbiased opinion.
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  • Meghan Gorecki
    April 20, 2017
    A heart-tugging story of strength in vulnerability, perseverance, and fight in the face of doom, with plenty of heart-stopping moments in this riveting page-turner.This book may yet make me a fan of the genre, which I admit to seldom reading. It is Swanson's deft hand with vivid descriptions of Fern's world clashing with Tristan's that first pulled me in. Add to this&mdashthree-dimensional characters and a rollercoaster of a story that left me up far too late reading it&mdashthis story h A heart-tugging story of strength in vulnerability, perseverance, and fight in the face of doom, with plenty of heart-stopping moments in this riveting page-turner.This book may yet make me a fan of the genre, which I admit to seldom reading. It is Swanson's deft hand with vivid descriptions of Fern's world clashing with Tristan's that first pulled me in. Add to this&mdashthree-dimensional characters and a rollercoaster of a story that left me up far too late reading it&mdashthis story has it all. From Fern, the overcomer of so much trauma with one of the biggest hearts I've ever read, to Tristan. Oh, Tristan. That boy. I'm telling you, these two leapt off the pages and hooked me captive into their worlds, their hurts, their loyalties and the struggle to bridge the gap between two very different worlds&mdashtosave them both.It's hard not to go on about this novella, whose only flaw is that is *is* a novella! I only wish it were longer, but when it did end? Oh, what a spectacular finish it was. Both surprising, and gratifying after the rollercoaster ride this talented author takes the reader on from page one. You'll just have to see for yourself.
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  • Faith
    June 14, 2017
    So I'd heard quite a bit about this book thanks to many of my friends here on Goodreads, and when it went on sale, I snagged it. Sweet deal - $.99! I started it in the afternoon and read until ten o'clock, when my dad made me go to bed with literally two pages to go. So I got up at 5:30 in the morning to finish it. And it was SOOOOOOO GOOOOOOOD, y'all. Amazing. Totally worth the hype. Likes:-Fern. She was a very unconventional heroine, and I just loved her so much. She was realistic for all the So I'd heard quite a bit about this book thanks to many of my friends here on Goodreads, and when it went on sale, I snagged it. Sweet deal - $.99! I started it in the afternoon and read until ten o'clock, when my dad made me go to bed with literally two pages to go. So I got up at 5:30 in the morning to finish it. And it was SOOOOOOO GOOOOOOOD, y'all. Amazing. Totally worth the hype. Likes:-Fern. She was a very unconventional heroine, and I just loved her so much. She was realistic for all the stuff she'd gone through, and her character arc was nicely done for such a short book. -Tristan. Can I just say that when male leads are well-done, with their own reasons for loving people and fighting and existing, it makes me so happy? Tristan can take care of himself, and he's been protecting Fern since she was a little girl. But she has to learn to come out from under his wing, and he has to learn to let her. -Again: can I just say these character arcs were golden?-I really loved Elinore also. She was the sweetest little thing. -The FBI aspect of it. I've never read that kind of book, and it was really cool. I also liked that Agent [Barstow?] wasn't a bad guy. I feel like this kind of story tends to make the cops bad, and while he isn't a cop, neither he nor his guys are bad.-The pacing. Especially in the second three-quarters of the book. The first quarter was a little off to me. But that's a complaint for a different section.(view spoiler)[Can I just mention the romance? Because it was SO WELL DONE and I loved it with all my heart. And that part when they thought Tristan died? Oh my word. I died too. And let's talk about the ending O_O (hide spoiler)]Dislikes:-Probably that the first quarter was a little bit hard to get into? It wasn't slow, and it was definitely necessary, but I had a little bit of a hard time throwing myself in headfirst.-I noticed a few typos here and there, but for the most part this was a very well-made book, especially since it's self-published :)-I wished it was longer :)4.5 stars. I totally recommend this one. It was amazing and I already want to re-read it.
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  • Josiah
    June 7, 2017
    Entertaining story with a decently-good voice and an imaginative scenario. Read it in only two sittings, but I would have read it in one if I wasn't in the theater watching Wonder Woman between reading sessions. The middle of the book admittedly lost me for a bit. There seemed to be several plot holes (view spoiler)[(If Fern has been diagnosed with mental issues, why had they never done a brain scan before now to see if there was anything in her brain? And there were some other things that I fee Entertaining story with a decently-good voice and an imaginative scenario. Read it in only two sittings, but I would have read it in one if I wasn't in the theater watching Wonder Woman between reading sessions. The middle of the book admittedly lost me for a bit. There seemed to be several plot holes (view spoiler)[(If Fern has been diagnosed with mental issues, why had they never done a brain scan before now to see if there was anything in her brain? And there were some other things that I feel like Fern should have figured out already in the six to eight years she had someone in her mind.) (hide spoiler)], the world-hopping was a bit confusing (though that could have been my fault for reading it too fast because I was pretty engaged in the story), and it also seemed to be turning into a generic save-the-world plot, which worried me. To the author's credit, however, a lot of my worries were negated by a climax with a surprising character revelation/character arc moment that saved the story from simply being a generic save-the-world plot and gave the story some thematic potency, which is always nice to find in a story. The last plot twist (view spoiler)[(Tristan not being dead) (hide spoiler)] also genuinely surprised me.Overall, a pretty quick and entertaining story with enough of a theme sprinkled in to feel like the story was worth my time.Rating: 3.5 Stars (Good).
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  • Rachel
    June 28, 2017
    First off, let me just say that the cover of this book is what drew me to it first! It's stunning! :) And then, of course, the synopsis intrigued me also.I really enjoyed this YA Sci-Fi/Urban Fantasy story about a young woman who has been labeled crazy by doctors. Because, after all, who still sees their imaginary friend from childhood? But Fern's friend is more than just a friend, he's a warrior and her hero. As the story progresses, you'll learn that Tristan is more than just imaginary and tha First off, let me just say that the cover of this book is what drew me to it first! It's stunning! :) And then, of course, the synopsis intrigued me also.I really enjoyed this YA Sci-Fi/Urban Fantasy story about a young woman who has been labeled crazy by doctors. Because, after all, who still sees their imaginary friend from childhood? But Fern's friend is more than just a friend, he's a warrior and her hero. As the story progresses, you'll learn that Tristan is more than just imaginary and that he's trying to get Fern to realize that her world is in danger. The rift that is forming is putting the Earth at risk of being destroyed like Tristan's world was.This is a gripping, suspenseful story with characters that are vivid and engaging. I liked how real Fern's struggle was and how she overcomes her fears and finds the courage to do what she can to save her world. I liked Tristan's strength and selfless determination to help Fern in spite of what it might mean for him. I got totally pulled into this novella and was engaged enough to get emotional at several points in the story. With enough action, suspense, and danger to keep your pulse pounding, I have no doubt that you'll enjoy this story. It's a quick read but with enough depth that I didn't realize it was a novella until after I'd read it. :D*Thanks to CelebrateLit for a complimentary copy of this book. I was not paid or required to write a positive review and all opinions stated are my own.*
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  • R.J.
    June 2, 2017
    As a sucker for unique relationships, I definitely enjoyed Fern + Tristan in The Girl Who Could See. Their story felt like eating a cupcake with pop rocks on top instead of sprinkles! Explosive, fast-paced, epic action with enough sweetness to melt even the toughest heart and draw you into their emotions. The whole novella felt like an episode of Dr. Who to me, which was really, really fun.I have to dock a star, though, for a number of plot holes and continuity problems, but, ultimately, those d As a sucker for unique relationships, I definitely enjoyed Fern + Tristan in The Girl Who Could See. Their story felt like eating a cupcake with pop rocks on top instead of sprinkles! Explosive, fast-paced, epic action with enough sweetness to melt even the toughest heart and draw you into their emotions. The whole novella felt like an episode of Dr. Who to me, which was really, really fun.I have to dock a star, though, for a number of plot holes and continuity problems, but, ultimately, those didn't detract from my enjoyment, and I was able to close my eyes to those and enjoy the ride in one sitting..
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  • Lynda Edwards
    June 27, 2017
    I am always on the lookout for something new and different and this story fell right into that category. Intrigued by the premise, the fantastic writing dropped me into the middle of the action and immersed me in this place where the reader is unsettled from the start, right along with the heroine.This novella quickly captured my attention and engaged my emotions. Part of it is undoubtedly the first-person point of view, which lends urgency to the words and limits our knowledge to match Fern’s. I am always on the lookout for something new and different and this story fell right into that category. Intrigued by the premise, the fantastic writing dropped me into the middle of the action and immersed me in this place where the reader is unsettled from the start, right along with the heroine.This novella quickly captured my attention and engaged my emotions. Part of it is undoubtedly the first-person point of view, which lends urgency to the words and limits our knowledge to match Fern’s. The confusion and disruption are a bit disconcerting, but it is also a unique way to experience the story along with the main characters.The relationship between Tristan and Fern is already developed by the time we begin reading, but the interplay between realities and Fern’s sanity or insanity keep it questionable—having the narrating character unsure of what she sees keeps the reader guessing for a while, too. Her growth through the novella, gaining understanding and confidence along the way, makes this book a thoroughly entertaining read.I highly recommend this novella to fans of speculative fiction but it is also a good choice for those who enjoy something out of the mainstream. Content can be a bit intense due to some battle scenes, but is completely clean and I found nothing objectionable; readers 14 and up will find this an enjoyable, mind-bending read. I received a free copy of this book through Celebrate Lit, but no compensation for this review. I was not required to write a favorable one and the opinions expressed are both honest and my own.
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  • Carol Keen
    July 1, 2017
    Oh, I have enjoyed this book! Fern has an imaginary friend since she was eight years old, one that talks to her and drives her bonkers. She has seen doctors and shrinks but nothing works. Fern struggles to survive her life, because only people with mental issues have to ignore imaginary friends like Tristian, right? Fern is seeing buildings collapse and so much more. After all this, now Fern has to make the FBI understand that Tristan is real, not just the product of an unstable mind. The book s Oh, I have enjoyed this book! Fern has an imaginary friend since she was eight years old, one that talks to her and drives her bonkers. She has seen doctors and shrinks but nothing works. Fern struggles to survive her life, because only people with mental issues have to ignore imaginary friends like Tristian, right? Fern is seeing buildings collapse and so much more. After all this, now Fern has to make the FBI understand that Tristan is real, not just the product of an unstable mind. The book starts off with that, and then works forward through a ten day time frame to where it opens.Believing in the unseen, and strong friendships are some of the themes of this book with no lack of action or adventure. I really enjoyed this sci-fi/fantasy read. The characters and interactions are natural and engaging. Fern's task is daunting, Earth shattering you might say. This was my first book by this author. I hope there are more books in this series! My copy came from Celebrate Lit. I wasn't required to leave a positive review, and I leave this review of my own free choosing. My thoughts and opinions are my own.
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  • Tabitha Caplinger
    May 24, 2017
    *I was given a copy of this book in exchange for an HONEST review*I wanted to read this book because of the cover, I mean its gorgeous! Isn't it gorgeous!?!? I rarely have high expectations for a book. I know, that's sad, but it's true. It takes a lot for a book to grip my attention and keep me reading. I read this book in less than three hours. (It's short but it was really that good.) I mean, I completely tuned out my children because I was so into this story. (Don't worry they were just danci *I was given a copy of this book in exchange for an HONEST review*I wanted to read this book because of the cover, I mean its gorgeous! Isn't it gorgeous!?!? I rarely have high expectations for a book. I know, that's sad, but it's true. It takes a lot for a book to grip my attention and keep me reading. I read this book in less than three hours. (It's short but it was really that good.) I mean, I completely tuned out my children because I was so into this story. (Don't worry they were just dancing to GoNoodle and then watching a movie, so they were safe.)Fern and Tristan, the main characters are wonderfully written. I felt like I knew them. I understood them. They weren't cliche. The story itself was fast paced, which I enjoy. The world-building wasn't overwhelming but just enough to spark my own imagination, which I also enjoy. My only critique would be that I wanted a little more. But not in a bad way. The author wove the characters' backstories into their present day and it was enough. I didn't need more, I just wanted more. Mostly because I didn't want it to end. If you are looking for a quick, yet engaging read I highly recommend this book.
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  • Becky
    June 27, 2017
    The Girl Who Could See is really enjoyable YA science fiction with just a touch of romance. I could tell I was going to like it when I read this at the end of the first chapter: "'I knew about the incident, Agent Barstow, because my friend warned me.' Throat dry, I look away. 'My imaginary friend.'" I mean, if that's not intriguing, I don't know what is!The Girl Who Could See moves at a good pace, and the plot kept me guessing throughout. This is written in a way that I could see it being made i The Girl Who Could See is really enjoyable YA science fiction with just a touch of romance. I could tell I was going to like it when I read this at the end of the first chapter: "'I knew about the incident, Agent Barstow, because my friend warned me.' Throat dry, I look away. 'My imaginary friend.'" I mean, if that's not intriguing, I don't know what is!The Girl Who Could See moves at a good pace, and the plot kept me guessing throughout. This is written in a way that I could see it being made into a movie—and it would be an enjoyable one, at that!I really enjoyed watching Fern and Tristan try to figure out how to save the world, and their budding romance was sweet. I also appreciated Agent Barstow, the FBI agent investigating Fern's claims. He was not a stereotypical FBI agent, and I enjoyed that unexpected twist.The only thing I didn't just love about the book was the ending—I figured it would probably turn out like it did (and it's how I wanted it to turn out), but the explanation was a bit too convenient. Still, I really enjoyed this novel, and I look forward to more from Swanson.Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free through Celebrate Lit. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.
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  • Kylie Gregory
    April 24, 2017
    I received an ARC of this book from the author.A parallel universe, an imaginary friend, and the monster just out of sight.Fern Johnson is crazy, or at least that's what everyone tells her. She might just be starting to believe it herself. But Tristan, the boy who has always been her hero, refuses to be chalked up to insanity. And when a ravaged world starts to bleed into hers, Fern has a decision to make. Is she insane, or is she the only one who can truly see?So first, the story itself. Obviou I received an ARC of this book from the author.A parallel universe, an imaginary friend, and the monster just out of sight.Fern Johnson is crazy, or at least that's what everyone tells her. She might just be starting to believe it herself. But Tristan, the boy who has always been her hero, refuses to be chalked up to insanity. And when a ravaged world starts to bleed into hers, Fern has a decision to make. Is she insane, or is she the only one who can truly see?So first, the story itself. Obviously it's sci-fi, but it has a little bit of mystery to it that will really keep you guessing. You can expect a couple of big plot twists and an ample dose of action. The characters are amazing. Each of them is deep and realistic. There is so much growth as well for Fern and Tristan and between the two of them. With a lot of novellas, they leave you feeling like you're missing something. But not this! It's awesome from the very first lines to the very last.I loved this book. LOVED it. I was up SO late reading this. I highly recommend!
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  • Lacey Loa
    June 3, 2017
    I love this story! The first chapter pulled me in quickly, and kept me engaged to the very end.Swanson's tale of a girl and her imaginary friend is so wonderfully described, as we see two very different worlds colliding, leading to events that are potentially devastating for the protagonists. I could picture all the scenery, and every character. I could feel every emotion, and it was as though I was standing right next to Fern, wondering, gasping, getting anxious, and smiling along with her as s I love this story! The first chapter pulled me in quickly, and kept me engaged to the very end.Swanson's tale of a girl and her imaginary friend is so wonderfully described, as we see two very different worlds colliding, leading to events that are potentially devastating for the protagonists. I could picture all the scenery, and every character. I could feel every emotion, and it was as though I was standing right next to Fern, wondering, gasping, getting anxious, and smiling along with her as she encounters each situation! I found myself wanting more early on, and even long after reading it. I would love to hear more about the stories of Fern and some of the other characters she interacts with.I couldn't help feeling like I could identify with the main character and how she felt in dealing with every day life, being told she was insane and having hallucinations. It was like someone knew what I went through all those times people looked at me like I was crazy, or tried to convince me to be practical when doing things God, who is unseen, was leading me to do. If God led people in scripture to do certain things, why wouldn't He also lead me? There are so many biblical concepts woven throughout the story, and as was the case with Pearl of Merlydia, I felt like God used Fern's story to speak to me, and show me His strength in my weakness and confusion.The Girl Who Could See was so beautiful, emotional, real, believable, exciting and wonderful. I was often on the edge of my seat, or crying, or relieved. It was such a unique idea, and so beautifully told. I definitely plan on reading it again!
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  • Mikal Dawn
    May 13, 2017
    I’ll be the first to say that Kara Swanson’s book, The Girl Who Could See, is not a typical genre for me. But I promised I would stretch my reading self this year and branch out. I don’t think I could have picked a better choice to stretch out with. This book is not just well-written, but creative, fast-paced, well-developed (especially for a novella!), and just…something I love. I was glued from the first sentence. And am so happy I branched out. So. Incredibly. Worth. It.
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