A lonely teen discovers a secret wormhole to a distant planet—and a distant boy who steals her heart—in this young-adult sci-fi romance.
High school junior Molly and her family have moved from a small town in New Jersey to Los Angeles, where Molly feels awash in a sea of strangers. Her overprotective father has finally allowed her some independence, and she uses her newfound freedom for some solitary hiking. During one of her jaunts, she discovers a wormhole in a cavern in the woods that leads to another planet. She’s thrilled by her discovery, and she soon makes friends on the alien world, Arkana. She instantly falls for the stoic Victor, who treats her like a criminal for her Earth heritage. He eventually makes her return to Earth and swear on her life to keep the wormhole a secret. But back on Earth, she finds that she can’t forget the magic she felt in the other world. Molly’s first-person narrative is peppered with her concerns about a boy who is clearly bad for her, her worries about her relationship with her parents and her desire to make new friends. However, readers may find that Molly never really comes alive as a character, although Victor’s inner turmoil is well drawn. Other characters, on Earth and in Arkana, are depicted with their own lives and problems, but although their complexity is hinted at, most are never fully realized. Often, they’re hampered by stilted dialogue (“‘Now you really got me interested,’ Weston admitted, his voice expressing his initial thrill.”). Despite these flaws, however, the novel’s take on otherworldly travel is a compelling one, and the romantic plot will likely appeal to Twilight fans.
A YA tale for teens who like their sci-fi served up with a heavy dash of melodrama.