Some Faraway Place, the third Bright Sessions novel from creator Lauren Shippen, features Rose, who has her humdrum life flipped upside down when she starts to travel into dreams.
Rose Atkinson’s mother can see the future. Her father can move things he doesn't touch. Her brother Aaron can read minds. And Rose, well, she makes a mean spaghetti bolognese.
Everyone else in her family is Atypical, which means they manifested an ability that defies the limits of the human experience. At nineteen, well past the average age of manifestation, Rose is stuck defending her decision not to go to college and instead working in the kitchen of a local restaurant, hoping to gain the experience she needs to become a chef.
When a rollerblading accident sends her to the hospital, she meets a girl she can't forget and she starts to feel like maybe her life isn't quite so small. But when she starts falling asleep mid-conversation, she thinks, then again maybe I’m doomed to never have good things.
Rose should be happy to learn that she’s Atypical after all—that diving into dreams makes her a part of her family in the way she always wanted. But the more time she spends in the dreamworld, the more complicated her ability becomes. Trying to balance her work, her power, and a girlfriend who doesn’t know about Atypicals, Rose seeks help. But she soon discovers that being Atypical comes with dangers she never could have imagined. Even her carefully constructed dreamworld isn’t safe.
This is the story of Atypical Rose, who discovers that your dreams coming true isn’t always a good thing.
- National print and online publicity campaign
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- Education and library marketing including conference promotions
- LGBTQ promotions for Pride month
Available on NetGalley
(Minor spoilers in this review, but I tried to keep it vague) I'm a long-time listener of The Bright Sessions, and I think this book is a perfect book to wrap up the series. It ties up a lot of the loose ends in the series and answers a lot of the lingering questions I had. I can't speak to the experience of reading this as someone who knows nothing about The Bright Sessions-- I can't just forget the information I know from having listened to the podcasts in that universe-- but as someone who has listened, I loved the book and would definitely recommend it to people who want to know more about Rose and her family and Emily, and to people who want to find out a bit about what happened to Damien. The narration style and formatting are also incredibly fun and interesting and I love seeing all the different characters' thoughts and perspectives and how they view the world. The whole thing was very engaging and I ended up staying up all night just to finish the book and I cannot wait for the official release date so that I can listen to this book's audiobook.
I really enjoyed this book! It starts off with a sweet sapphic meet-cute, just as Rose discovers her cool ability, which totally hooked me. Overall, I liked Rose. Yes, she’s flawed and makes some huge mistakes, but she remains likable and relatable throughout the story, which is something I’m always relieved to find in a YA novel. There’s a strong theme of identity throughout the story. Multiple characters are trying to figure out who they are and how they fit into the world around them. I especially liked the contrast between Rose trying to figure out who she is now that she finally has an ability, just as her father is diagnosed with a condition that will make him forget who he is and that he even has an ability. Sometimes I can guess where the story is going. That was not the case with this novel! There was a mysterious POV that kept popping up, and I could not figure out how their piece fit into the story puzzle until their identity was revealed. I enjoyed the air of mystery around this character, it was in line with the identity theme, and left me wondering, “who is he really?” Some Faraway Place was a solid read. 4.5 stars rounded up to 5.