Novella Review: Going Home by Emma Lindhagen

Title: Going Home
Author: Emma Lindhagen
Pages: 60
Published: December 11, 2014
Buy it: Amazon
Rating: 3.5/5
Going Home

Orryn ran away from home as a young teenager. After years spent trying to forget, she is forced to face the memories she’s been hiding from. 
Thea never understood why her sister left. Her childhood was happy and she lives her adult life surrounded by people she loves, but she never stopped wondering. 
When the two sisters meet again, a struggle to mend the bond they once shared, and reconcile their differing memories of their childhood, begins. 

In a world where blending in is valued above everything else, scars can be a dangerous thing to show. After years of drifting and hiding, Orryn returns to her homeland and must choose between baring her scars and losing her sister a second time.

This novella was provided by the author for an honest review.

I’m not too sure how I feel about this book. When I was approached by the author, she said it was a family drama in a dystopian setting and while it did have a dystopian setting, the dystopia part of it was really on the back burner. There are bits and pieces of what was the dystopian society, but I felt there wasn’t any concrete creation to the world itself. Normally I would like this approach, not having the dystopia control the story, even applauded it, but this story had the dystopian almost nonexistent. There’s very brief mention of the possibility of magic users in this world and about how it is a crime, but it’s so brief that I felt that it was unnecessary. I felt that if you changed it to something else in “our world” so to speak, it would’ve been the same.

That being said, I’m not saying it’s a bad story. It’s a very nice story about resolving family issues and rekindling old relationships. I just feel that the world isn’t very developed in the sense of dystopia. There are mentions of deviance or deviants as crimes and criminals, but that’s so late in the novella that it really didn’t pin to me as the dystopian stories that I’m used to reading. I understand why there is a dystopia in terms of plot, but again, it’s so distant that I almost feel like the dystopian part was completely unnecessary.

Now that I’m done looking at my biggest gripes, I’ll talk about what I did like. The story itself is very nice in terms of familial relationships. There’s a lot of heart in the novella and it’s good as a story about mending broken relationships and it’s very honest showing how Orryn and her sister have very different views of their parents because of how they were raised and because of how they were treated.  It’s also nice to see some diversity in this novella.

The book itself is quite short, only about sixty pages long and it’s only an ebook. I think what kept this book from being a four was a lack of world building. I know that with this kind of short story, it would be pretty difficult to do, but I felt that it was lacking and really only there to further the plot rather than be part of it… If that makes sense.

I feel like I’m almost bashing this book, but one thing that I really look at with a critical eye is world building. That’s just a personal preference of mine.

Final thoughts: Nice. Not amazing, but it wasn’t bad either.

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