Guys, I am back with a new YA series that you might just become obsessed with.
Ending Fear by Deanna Fugett brings readers to a new world. Fear is a 14-year-old girl who learns she was a parachute baby, dumped over the edge of the Gliding Lands as an infant. Since then, Fear has lived a hard life under the hands of her adopted “family”. Just as she is about to find happiness for the second time, her life is thrown into turmoil again when 8-year-old Happy is kidnapped by the Uppers and Fear vows to rescue her.
Even though it immediately opens with tension and hatred, this is overwhelmingly a story of hope. This is mostly presented through the strong presence of religion. Although religion is forbidden by the Uppers, many Downers still continue to believe in Abba and practice his ways. I have to admit that there is a lot of religious reference in this story and at times it feels like the author is laying it on a bit too think. However, it also made me reflect on my own Catholic upbringing and reminded me to embrace more the positive sides of religion, like forgiveness and kindness, and I guess that can’t be a bad thing.
The inclusion of religion will certainly be a breath of fresh air for younger readers who may have lived a similar life to Fear. We learn early on in the story that Fear was physically, mentally and sexually abused by her adopted family, which led her to believe she was worthless and any kindness must be repaid by unsavoury acts. But as the story goes on, we see her accepting genuine love and friendships and she is able to live her life more as the child she is than an adult and this is wonderful.
The theme of oppression also features in Ending Fear, with the Downers just living to serve the Uppers and becoming more and more void of any individuality or independent thought. Yet, we meet characters who rise above this in non-violent ways and win; another good message set forward by Fugett.
In the next books, I would like to learn more about the Uppers; I am quite curious to see how they will be developed. I would also like to have a more steadily paced read as I felt nothing happened in the first 60% of the book and then the story was just rushed. Anyway, I do recommend this book to anyone in search of hope – Ending Fear will certainly give it to you.
I was sent a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
PS. For all of you on the scavenger hunt, here is your last clue!