High school senior Jonathan Aubrey has a secret: He is a world-maker.
Survivor of a plane crash that killed his family and left him in a three-month coma at the age of 8, Jonathan woke up with the ability to will new worlds into existence. Years later, a lonely and physically scarred Jonathan creates Kylie-Simms-is-my-girlfriend, a world in which the beautiful and popular Kylie Simms is his, well, girlfriend; he is sure the real Kylie has never even looked him in the eye. When Jonathan confuses the real and created worlds, the two girls begin to merge: Real Kylie becomes obsessed with Jonathan, while made-up Kylie questions her love for him. When another world-maker offers to help Jonathan set things right, Jonathan must decide whether to complete the merging of the Kylies and destroy the made-up world in which he is successful and loved and accepted by his peers. Brooks is a competent worldbuilder, adhering to the rules of her novel’s world(s), but the pacing is slow and the story bland. A plot twist about 50 pages from the end finally speeds up the pace, but by then, readers aren’t likely to care what becomes of the flat, one-dimensional characters.
Though it has an undeniably thought-provoking concept, this debut doesn’t reach its potential. (Fantasy. 12-15)