Babs is made of fire and sometimes goes invisible and Iris grew from a seed and is made of plants, and they become friends, then meet the boy who hasn’t found his name yet. They go searching for the witch who cursed Babs and are helped and hindered by faeries and other mystical creatures.
I both loved and hated this book. I loved that it is about growing up queer and trying to figure out what that means and how the world around you can support and challenge this. And I kind of liked the strange fairy tale nature of the world. But I found it really confusing at times because I struggled with whose story was being told, and the mix between fantasy and reality was unclear at times. I absolutely loved passages and elements, and those are the parts I’ll hold on to.
Ida has this kind of magical power. She can think back to a point in time and be there, reliving moments to make a different choice, perhaps to avoid an accident or an uncomfortable situation. But when she finds herself in different realities where her partner, Daisy, doesn’t recognise her, or her father is behaving strangely, or she’s seeing a ghostly version of herself… then she starts to really wonder what’s going on.
I loved this book, and part of it was figuring out what was happening. It was confusing to have these jumps and not know why, to have new characters appear being mysterious, to things not being at all as they should be. Bit that good confusing, where you want to read on and find out what it all means.
Ida won the People’s Choice Awards at the Victorian Premier’s Awards 2018.
I’m a bit of a fan of the zombie genre. The idea that people suddenly find themselves in a world where everything that is important to you is challenged, that those who were once normal people suddenly are a threat, where every corner holds danger and you need to find allies to survive. But who to trust?
Imagine my excitement to discover a YA novel where there is a zombie event which takes place in regional Australia. There are a handful of teens who are trying to survive, some alone, some together, trying to get information and find safety. It’s awesome. I am also a huge fan of books which have gender diverse and queer characters whose their gender identity and attraction is not a key part of the story, it’s just who they are, and their survival is the story. Alison Evans is one of my favourite YA novelists at the moment, I look forward to much more Evans fiction.