I Belong to the Earth
By: J.A. Ironside
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
( I received this book free from the author in exchange for my honest review )
This was a different read for me, so far out of what I normally read. Not in genre but in the story and plot itself. This book is more than your run-of-the-mil YA supernatural/paranormal romance. It felt, to me, like a true ghost story. It wasn't about saving the world; it wasn't about anything other than a broken girl trying to save what little of her family she had left, while trying to come to teams with her own demons. I don't believe I have ever been so emotionally invested in a story before. My heart is still pounding.
If I wasn't given they ages beforehand, I wouldn't have known that this was a YA. The depth, sold plot, and lack of any YA cliché had me thinking I was reading classic.
I loved all the characters, even the minor ones. Emily, I felt so much for her. The struggle of having lost her mother and being emotional disconnect from her father made me fear, that she wasn't going to gain her footing again. I was scared that she was going to give up. At times I wished I was there, so I could be a friend. The emotions are real, the denial, the rollercoaster of grief, real, more then real, it made me feel the heartache like it was my own. It wasn't just Emily that portrayed this; her sisters and father were just as notable.
The father, though he isn't present a lot, and didn't say a lot, he was in there enough for you to get him, to not forget him or dismiss him. At times I was pissed off at him, other times I wanted to slap him silly. But, I didn't hate him. That cloud of depression was just too strong for me not to pity and relate.
The progress of this story was near perfect. The flow was smooth and not once did it stray from the plot, or nor did it ever get left behind. The breadcrumbs of clues were spaced perfectly, with the right amount of nail bighting spook action, to keep you reading. Before Emily even steps foot onto the grounds of her new home, she's assaulted from gut ranching fear. She knows that the house isn't safe, but there's nothing she could do about it.
My favourite scene was when she's meets the potential love interest. For one, she's thinks he's going to kill her and screams bloody murder and two, he's a nice guy. Why is it so common for YA's to have the nice guy lose and the bad boy/misunderstood cliché win? I don't like those cookie-cutter stories or plots; they’re frankly put, boring.
Back on track..
The romance, sweet, I'm a sucker for sweet. It wasn't forced, they clicked naturally and when the ghost weren't playing stupid with everyone’s emotions, it had me going aww.. I have a new favourite couple.
Aside from that little sweetness, the mine focus, I feel, was Emily and her family; a family trying to pick up the pieces that were left behind by the accident. And the constant struggle of trying to fit the jagged edges back into place, only realize that the gaps are too wide. It was hard seeing that, feeling that tug-a-war between each family member. How do you fix shatter glass, without adding fire? The love was still there, you can tell they all still loved one another, but no one knew how to break the ice. It's this bitterness and grief that helped fuel the ghosts. It helped them latch on and set the whole story into motion.
Those points of connections, seemless.
There was one scene that I simply loved. Emily had to choose who to follow, who to save, and to my complete surprise, because you know the formula (not all but most), she didn't go after the love interest, she chose her sisters, her family.
(Though that didn't go as planned. Stupid Helen, hag got what she deserved)
Then, aside from the min story and plot, there was the supernatural one. A loop in time that can’t seem to stop repeating itself, two lovers forever stuck in death and unable to be with each other. They use the bodies of the living, ones they deem fit, to relive their last moments, just so they can have a few precious moments together. They don’t care if it’s hurting the living, or their families, no; these lovers are just too selfish for that. I almost want there to be a side story about them, their past. Their cruel beauty is intriguing.
I'm feeling quite satisfied with this book. The ending ties everything together and there were no loose ends. A little bittersweet, but, there was a hint of hope that everything was going to be alright. Not everything was fixed, but, it's takes a long time to smooth those jagged edges, so that they fit, somewhat back in place.
I highly recommend this book, it's different, original, heart pounding and will pull at those heart strings, and then some. This book will have you thinking about the things that you can’t see, about the evil we all have, and about, what you would do to protect your family.
I would like to thank J.A. Ironside for giving me the opportunity to read this masterful work of art.