All Emery Land wants is to be like any other 17-year-old–to go to school, hang out with her friends, and just be normal. But for as long as she can remember, she’s suffered from seizures. And in recent years they’ve consumed her life. To Emery they’re much more than seizures, she calls them loops–moments when she travels through wormholes back and forth in time and to a mysterious town. The loops are taking their toll on her physically. So she practically lives in the hospital where her scientist father and an ever-growing team of doctors monitor her every move. They’re extremely interested in the data they collect when Emery seizes. It appears that she’s tapping into parts of the brain typically left untouched by normal human beings.
Escaping from the hospital, Emery travels to Esperanza, the town from her loops on the upper peninsula of Michigan, where she meets Asher Clarke. Ash’s life is governed by his single-minded pursuit of performing good Samaritan acts to atone for the death of a loved one. His journey is very much entwined with Emery’s loops.
Drawn together they must unravel their complicated connection before it’s too late.
Raise your hand if you have ever finished a book and been flummoxed by the ending. Befuddled by it. Bewildered, maybe. These are all adjectives that accurately describe my state of mind upon finishing Flutter.
I had been enjoying it until the end. The paranormal aspects of it is original, the idea of a loop is, to me, new and I liked the fragile fierceness of the main character. It was a pleasure to accompany her on her escape from a madman for a father and go out into the world to answer the summons of a boy she only saw during the loops she experienced. I liked that though the interest in the guy was instantaneous, the love was not. It appeared gradually as they got to know each other and explored the facets of each other’s’ personalities. I liked that though these two seemed fated, the dreadful term did not appear. I liked how Linko increased the tension in increments, built the anticipation and got the reader ready for a roaring finish.
Which then fell flat as things went south of Nowheresville with a detour in WhattheHellJustHappened-ville. I am going to be completely honest with you, guys. To me, and this is a personal theory, it felt that the author got stuck in a corner scrambling for a conclusion and this is what she came up with. Because it came out of nowhere. There was no buildup, no hint and, as I will discuss under a spoiler tag, there were several unanswered questions with the direction the novel ended up going. It felt like the author got us prepped for an explosion Mission Impossible style and we ended up with a balloon pop instead. It felt like a massive copout and I sat at the end of the novel frantically clicking the next page, hoping my Kindle was fooling me and that what I had just read hadn’t happened.
I had been riveted by the novel. My heart had been racing! And then boom.
So, here’s where I head to a spoiler (highlight to read) and you should skip to the end of the review for my closing statements.
Flutter should be marketed as a modern Romeo and Juliet without tights and roses and other stuff because the stuff at the end? The dying? Remarkably similar. I don’t understand how Linko jumped from time travel to going to freaking heaven every time Emery looped. There are so many holes in that direction. For example, if Emery goes to heaven, what version of heaven is it? In the novel, I see only Caucasian people end up there – so does it mean that Heaven is only for the White Man? Is it a Christian heaven? There must be some kind of theological discourse present – ah, the love interest does talk about God for like 3 lines. Is that supposed to be the foreshadowing? And also, the doctors note high brain activity during the main character’s “loops” suggesting that she is using more than the usual amount of brain matter but how does that pertain to experiences of life after death. Your brain does not exactly work after you’re dead – that’s why you’re dead, remember? Also, does this mean that Heaven is another dimension? And do the main character’s experiences with heaven suggest that you don’t necessarily need to be dead to go there? And if there’s heaven, is there hell? What is the criterion for ending up in one place and not the other?
See, these questions are not answered at all. And all it does is make my non-Christian, non-white self feel pretty alienated.
The conclusion? Read this book, guys. Even though the ending is totally unexpected, it is still well written and engaging. Also, I want to see your reactions to the conclusion. Then we can discuss the heck out of it. Have fun.