In this fantastical novel, a teen is stolen from her home and taken to a place called Elsewhere, where nothing is as it seems.
Eva Emmetts thought she was like any other teen. Sure, she, a Native American, and her best friend, Jane, who is deaf, didn’t exactly fit in with their peers at their Idaho school, but they certainly made the best of it. After Eva’s mom left, Eva’s dad went crazy, and Eva has had to grow up and fend for herself. One day, after one of her father’s particularly troubling episodes in which he says he knows “where she is,” Eva goes to school only to be met by black-suited CIA agents. When Eva is ripped from her classroom without explanation and taken to an underground lair in the Nevada desert, like any best friend would, Jane follows, until she is taken herself. Chipped, tagged, and told not to speak, Eva meets Logan Colley, a cowboy intent on showing her Elsewhere, the place where they are now trapped. In Elsewhere, there are Neanderthals, a Great Wall of China, dinosaurs, and more—it’s like the regular world, only not quite. Why was Eva taken, and what does this have to do with her parents? Will she make her way to Jane? Eva must work with Logan and other characters to find her way. Imaginative and difficult to put down, the work is one that some young adults may finish in a single night. It’s hard to believe that author Gragg (The Fox Trot, 2014) is in high school—her writing is so adept. While a few minor errors appear in the book (“loose” instead of “lose”), they don’t overly distract. Because she is a teenager, the dialogue between the teens is actually believable. The tale is also beautifully paced, and the action never flags. With clever banter, plenty of action, and a touch of history, Gragg’s work is a welcome reprieve from the trending dystopian YA novels.
A lively, smart novel for teens and imaginative adults alike.