Bubble World by Carol Snow

Freesia Summers is a bubbly and Barbie-like girl living on a seemingly perfect tropical island called Agalinas. Every day she ziplines to classes such as Spanglish and Korean Immersion to gossip about the latest news and eat ethnic food with her "friendlies". Freesia doesn't want anything to change; she thinks life is great just as it is. But that doesn't keep her from noticing some weird things happening around her. Sudden blackouts occur that no one else seems to remember, and she starts to become curious as to why she hears strange voices talking about her and why this island is so secluded in the first place. Freesia's life is about to be turned upside down when she finds out the truth about this place she calls home.

Review (with some spoilers!):

I found Bubble World by Carol Snow to be a refreshing read because of its unique storyline and characters. The book’s main character Freesia started off as being dependent on others and acting pretty shallow. However, the difference between Freesia and the strong female protagonists seen in YA novels these days is what made me want to read more. Seeing everything through her perspective was interesting as she can be both serious and comical. Her quirks started to grow on me and she became more and more likable as the story progressed, especially once she decided to brave up and face reality. Ricky's character was quite a contrast to Freesia's in the fact that instead of growing throughout the novel, more of his flaws (his stubbornness!) came out. At first, Ricky seemed perfect, but as the story developed, he became more suspicious and guarded and less like the guy he appeared to be. His refusal to leave Bubble World left me angry, yet somewhat sympathetic. I felt for the guy, and I wanted him to see his situation like Freesia did, but I also understood his wanting to turn the other way and live in ignorant bliss. Adam, I feel, was an essential character. He isn’t some super hot and unblemished guy like the avatars in Bubble World, but Freesia chose him over her virtual utopia in the end. That makes a pretty clear statement, doesn’t it? Todd Pilosky, the mastermind behind Agalinas, is despicable. Every story needs an antagonist, I suppose, but I couldn’t help but cringe at him, especially with some of the methods he used to talk to Freesia. As Freesia would say, he’s “odious”. Angel, Freesia’s younger sister, annoyed me when she was first introduced, mostly due to her early teen moodiness and the stark contrast between her and her Bubble World self. Despite that, she grew on me when her insecurities and closet adoration of her older sister were revealed. Pardon me for the Shrek reference, but Angel’s character is like an onion with many layers. She started off irritating, but became more lovable as the layers of her façade started peeling away. Aside from the characters, this book really got me with its plot. It would lead me down one path only to pull a twist I didn’t expect. Carol Snow, you devious mind… But it also brought up a bunch of ideas worth thinking about. Like education, for instance. Should there be a limit to its evolution? And is it really better to live in a utopia rather than with the rest of society in this imperfect world? What do you think? One thing I didn't like about Bubble World, however, was the ending. It seemed too rushed and strung together and I would have loved to see more development rather than such an open ending, especially after the previous drama. And perhaps some more Adam? His interactions with Freesia never failed to amuse me, what with me being such a sucker for romance. But despite my objections, I think this book is a gem worth indulging in and I highly recommend reading it.

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Aneta, the Anonymous Writers Group