I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Dragonfly Girl by Marti Leimbach
Published by HarperCollins Publishers on February 23, 2021
Genres: Young Adult Fiction, Nature & the Natural World, School & Education, Thrillers & Suspense
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In this spellbinding thriller and YA debut from bestselling author Marti Leimbach, Kira Adams has discovered a cure for death--and it may just cost her life.
Things aren't going well for Kira. At home, she cares for her mother and fends off debt collectors. At school, she's awkward and shy. Plus, she may flunk out if she doesn't stop obsessing about science, her passion and the one thing she's good at . . . very good at.
When she wins a prestigious science contest she draws the attention of the celebrated professor Dr. Gregory Munn (as well as his handsome assistant), leading to a part-time job in a top-secret laboratory.
The job is mostly cleaning floors and equipment, but one night, while running her own experiment, she revives a lab rat that has died in her care.
One minute it is dead, the next it is not.
Suddenly she's the remarkable wunderkind, the girl who can bring back the dead. Everything is going her way. But it turns out that science can be a dangerous business, and Kira is swept up into a world of international rivalry with dark forces that threaten her life.
I love picking up young adult books where the protagonist has a passion for something. Dragonfly Girl by Marti Leimbach appealed to me because the main character, Kira, is SO into science at basically the detriment of everything else. Plus, we have a little bit of romance and international travel as well as some shady dealings. So, of course, this book lit a fire in me to read it sooner rather than later.
Kira is a high schooler who has a lot on her plate. She works multiple jobs to help keep her household afloat – particularly as her mom is ill and in need of expensive treatments and her dad is dead. She struggles in all of her classes except for science, where Kira is essentially a genius. In order to generate more funds, Kira enters various science contests. One of the contests she enters is for people who have basically one year of post doctoral experience. Kira leaves that part of the application blank, yet is one of the finalists and wins a decent cash prize. Also? The contest winners all get a free trip to Sweden to present their papers in Stockholm.
Dragonfly Girl takes Kira across the world and gives her a glimpse of another life. Sure, there’s rivals and pettiness, but the horizon seems bright for Kira and science filled. Upon return home, Kira is offered a job in the lab. She makes more money than she ever did at her part time jobs. It feels like things are finally going well when Kira makes a huge discovery involving death and lab rats. While her discovery is miraculous, it also places her in danger.
I thought that Dragonfly Girl was a really quick read. One of the things I liked was that Kira wasn’t wealthy or upper middle class. Her financial situation was precarious and college was not a done deal for her. Plus, she’s not a genius at everything – just science. I enjoyed the intrigue and puzzling out the relationships between characters. However, I do wish that certain things were explored with more depth and felt like parts of this book just barely skim the surface. Like, the romance did not seem super developed. Also, there’s definitely a story there with Kira’s dad. Plus, the ending seems like there’s more to resolve and a lot of loose threads. Still, this is an enjoyable fast paced read and one that I would definitely recommend.
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