I had no idea what to expect when I started this book, but I'm so glad I did.
Emily Alvey is trying so hard to be a typical 17 year old girl and raise her three siblings, but that's hard to do when your father is in prison and your mother is drugged up...
One day she wakes up with runes burned into her arm. The hot lifeguard, Gabe, happens to notice them, but ignores it and takes an interest in Emily, even though she kicks him square in the face and proceeds to have a panic attack in his presence.
That day the voices start back, the little girl and the stern older lady begin telling Emma how she should live her life. Could it be because her father is getting out of prison? Could it be because there's a new boy hanging around? Could it be because her mother is finally in a good mood instead of a drug induced coma? It's possible... But it's actually a combination of all of those. The voices started when she was a little girl. "Hannah" the child in her mind, wants to keep her innocence and believe in magic. But Margaret wants to protect their secrets.
The First Realm was created by Emily in a fairytale she told her siblings. However, Emily can see the Fae and the Faeries. She can talk to the insects. She can cross between Realms. When she begins telling the story again, picking up exactly where they left off years earlier, she gets stuck in a trance and cannot break free even when her mother has overdosed. She believes her family has to fight the crimbal to save her mother and all the power she holds.
Aunt Nancy, Aunt Meg, and Uncle Ian intervene and start taking care of the siblings, but why? They don't like the family... While Emily and her siblings are in their care, Emily's vision start getting worse. Her trances are lasting longer. The voices are getting stronger. Another voice has emerged. But what do they want from her?! Nancy suggests listening to what the voices are trying to say...
Could that hurt Emily?
Could it all be in her head?
Mental disorders are growing in our society. We cannot turn a blind eye to the things that are happening all around us. Yes, it's scary to think about. But some people need our support and help. They don't understand what is happening to them. Fantasy becomes reality and that is accurately portrayed in Jane Alvey Harris's debut novel. I love that someone finally tackled this topic and even made it a teen novel!
If you or someone you know is experiencing something like this, get help.
Mental and physical abuse happens daily.
Please utilize these resources if necessary.
Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline: 1-800-422-4453
Adult Survivors: www.ascasupport.org