Title: We Other
Author: Sue Bentley
Genre: YA Fantasy
Publication Date: April 28, 2017
A gripping fantasy for young adults and anyone who enjoys a journey into a twilight world. Sue Bentley is a master story teller.
Family secrets, changelings, and fairies you never want to meet on a dark night.
Jess Morgan’s life has always been chaotic. When a startling new reality cannot be denied, it’s clear that everything she believed about herself is a lie. She is linked to a world where humans – ‘hot-bloods’ – are disposable entertainment. Life on a run-down estate – her single mum’s alcoholism and violent boyfriend – become the least of Jess’s worries.
Hello, friends! It’s been such a busy month—I apologize for my absence. Life is finally starting to settle back down, though, and I couldn’t be more excited to jump back into the book blogging community with my stop on my very first blog tour!
Today, on behalf of Rachel’s Random Resources, I’m bringing you my thoughts on We Other, a delightfully dark young adult fantasy novel by Sue Bentley.
The blurb for Bentley’s first foray into the YA field caught my eye from the start because YA fantasy might be a favorite genre of mine, but urban fantasy is the niche that really caters to my tastes. I lover the magical realism that gets layered over familiar environments. Add in the coming-of-age element that’s often so prevalent in young adult novels, and you’re in for a wild ride as characters struggle to come to terms with their place in a world that’s more complicated than they could have ever imagined.
This is exactly the dilemma that Jess Morgan is faced with in We Other. While Jess’s life has always been a far cry from easy, nothing could have prepared her for the confusion and chaos that ensue as she begins to discover her connection to the faery world right as her alcoholic mother needs her most. Jess’s journey brings her to meet eccentric characters, including a pained artist and a young shop hand with big dreams, as well as gives her the opportunity to confront the dark secrets of a family torn apart and an entire world she had no idea existed.
We Other is on the darker side, which is how I’m finding I like my fantasies. It’s worth noting that the grittiness here is balanced out by Jess’s snark and wit, making for a fun and entertaining read. Fair warning, it’s a rather long book at over 500 pages. I found the exposition to be a tad cumbersome, stretching on nearly the first half of the book, but there was plenty of room to come to appreciate Bentley’s richly descriptive style. The chapters bounce between narrators and timelines, and it takes awhile to get used to the shift, but they’re thoughtfully paced and the perfect length to not seem jarring. Perhaps the strongest part of the whole novel is the vivid contrast between the mortal and faery world, both dark and gritty in their own ways but also with just enough room for hope and light to shine through.
We Other is a delightful first young adult novel from Bentley with intriguing characters and rich descriptions. I’m so grateful to have had the opportunity to participate on this blog tour and lose myself in Jess’s world!
Win a signed copy of We Other and a personal letter (open internationally)*
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About the Author
Sue Bentley discovered a love of books at an early age. She worked for Northamptonshire Libraries for many years, while teaching herself the craft of writing. She is the author of the worldwide bestselling Magic Kitten, Magic Puppy, Magic Ponies, Magic Bunny series for age 5-9 years. She also writes for children and adults under various pen names. A lover of English Folklore, her books often contain elements of the otherworld and the darkness within the everyday. Her books have been translated into around 20 languages. We Other is her first book for Young Adults.
Warm thanks to Sue Bentley and Rachel’s Random Resources for providing me with a digital copy in exchange for an honest review.