by Abbie Emmons
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Pub Date 19 Sep 2023 | Archive Date 31 Dec 2023
Orca Monroe wants only one thing for her eighteenth birthday: to experience the Otherworld—the mysterious “mainland” across the sea that her father has forbidden her from visiting.
Growing up in a lighthouse on a remote island, Orca has lived isolated from the world… until one day when she finds a cell phone washed up on the beach. Orca has her first conversation with Jack Stevenson, a young man whose older brother, Adam, has gone missing after crashing his seaplane off the coast. Orca becomes Jack’s lifeline and his reason to hope that Adam is still alive. While her father is away, she scours the island for the missing pilot—determined to help Jack find his brother and prove to her father that she’s strong enough to take on the world.
One stormy night, Orca finds Adam Stevenson collapsed on her doorstep. As she nurses him back to health, she finds herself spellbound by his inquiring mind and rugged good looks. Simultaneously, Adam is captivated by her wild beauty and pure heart. But with a ten-year age gap between them—and her father’s determination to keep Orca protected from outsiders—Adam knows they can never be together.
Resigned to give Orca up, Adam returns to the mainland—but Jack refuses to leave her trapped at the lighthouse. Blind to the fact that his brother is in love with her, Jack offers to show Orca the world she’s always dreamed of. But when she leaves her island for the first time, Orca begins to realize that the mainland may hold more dark secrets than she ever imagined… and the two brothers she helped bring back together may be the very people she tears apart.
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Average rating from 182 members
This book exceeded all my expectations. I honestly don’t even know where to begin. After reading 100 Days of Sunlight, I have seen SUCH an amazing improvement in Abbie’s writing—even on top of the immaculate pieces she was creating before.
I completed this book in one sitting, and there wasn’t a single part that made me not want to continue. I NEEDED to know what happened at every single part. The book was so intricately plotted out to sustain reader’s attention—and boy did it work.
I cannot get over the romances in the book. It was a love triangle, so nicely written that I was CONFLICTED up until 60% of the book. I genuinely could not tell who was better and I think THAT’S what makes love triangles work. And then when I did, it was so beautiful I cried. Several times. I cried happy tears, anxious tears, angry tears. I feel like I know the main character, Orca, from the inside out. And I am so so SO happy with how everything turned out.
If I had a physical copy, there would be over a hundred lines I would be highlighting and circling and making doodles around because they were just that good. I just had to pause for a second after reading each one and think—oh my gosh, Abbie is an absolute mastermind for thinking this. And to be able to hone in on a character and wrap such intricate beliefs and theories into their personality? That is such raw talent I can only aspire to have one day.
I am so grateful to have been given the chance to read this book, and I know it will not be my last. I will keep coming back to this book, before release, after, because it left a life-changing impression on me. I see things differently, I see things more CLEARLY. And I am so happy that this was the book that has allowed me to feel this way.
Where to even begin? I’ll start by saying I read this book in less than twelve hours. I was so completely sucked into the story and the characters, I absolutely could not stop reading. It was so sweet and sincere, and the character work is breathtaking. Orca, Jack, and Adam all feel so unique—I didn’t have to look at the name at the top of the chapter to know whose point of view we were in.
I’ll start my actual thoughts by stating the obvious: this is the plot of Tangled, just without the evil Mother Gothil and a bit more misunderstanding and brotherly banter. I absolutely adored the relationships, and oh my goodness the writing. Emmons does such an amazing job of painting a breathtakingly gorgeous picture without dipping into purple prose. Every word is carefully placed exactly where it needs to go, and it’s beautiful.
No story is perfect, and I there were a few things I didn’t LOVE (the romance felt a tad too fast for me, and I honestly wasn’t a huge fan of one of the brothers), but if I enjoy a book to the point where I don’t want to take a break to eat, that’s five stars for me.
If you like a whirlwind romance with fantastically developed characters, and/or you adored the movie Tangled, this book is for you. I’m so grateful I had the opportunity to read an advance copy, and I can’t wait to see what Emmons does next.
I thoroughly enjoyed diving into this book! It’s not only a romance with a juicy love triangle, but it’s also a well-told story about family relationships, particularly the profound love between parents and children and how those bonds change as children move into adulthood. All the characters feel like real people and the dialogue is dynamite throughout. There were moments that brought me to tears – it was particularly poignant to see how the love between the two brothers evolved over the course of the book.
I thought from the title that there might be a sci-fi angle to the story, but that is not the case. Orca has been brought up in total isolation on a small island where her father is the lighthouse keeper. The “Otherworld” mentioned in the title is the rest of the world, which Orca has never seen. Although she loves the simple life they live on the island, she longs to explore the secrets and treasures of Otherworld. (I was reminded somewhat of The Little Mermaid at times, especially because of the ocean theme of the story.)
The story opens on Orca’s 18th birthday, a milestone she believes will lead to her being able to visit Otherworld because she is now an adult. Her father soon discourages her of that belief. Orca’s father has filled her with stories of the dangers of Otherworld and does not want her to ever visit there. Eventually she does, of course, and it’s so much fun to see 1990s Seattle from her unspoiled point of view. The author has thoughtfully recreated that world with its music, movies, and the overall optimism of a simpler time before 9/11 and without smartphones or social media.
When her father temporarily leaves the island for a few days of training, he leaves Orca in charge of the lighthouse. In his absence, she finds a waterproof survival bag washed up on the shore and inside is a phone and identification for Adam Stevenson. Her curiosity is aroused and she sees that there are many missed calls from “Superman” on the phone. She decides to break her father’s rules about having no interactions with the outside world and calls Superman back. This sets her on a life-changing course that propels her towards her future and a greater understanding of her past.
No book is perfect, but my complaints are minor. A couple of points in the beginning of the book seem a bit implausible. And sometimes the story seemed a bit rushed, such as when Orca is searching for her roots.
Despite those minor points, the story captivates with truly engaging characters, plenty of plot twists, and an entirely satisfying ending.
Thank you to Net Galley and Abbie Emmons for sending me an ebook ARC for The Other World!! I truly had the best time reading this story and getting to know the characters. Overall, I really enjoyed the writing and think this book is perfect for anyone who wants a romance that has to do with a lighthouse and lots of honesty. Abbie did an incredible job making me fall in love with Adam, one of the main characters, and even the brotherly bond between Adam and Jack. I love this book so much and will 100% be buying a physical copy when it comes out in September!!!
I haven't read such a gripping story in a while. It made me go back to 2013 in the most wonderful and nostalgic way possible. The descriptions weren't overwhelming, which i something i highly value, since English isn't my native language.
The island where Orca grows up seems like a place straight out of a fairytale and Abbie manages to write it so flawlessly you would want to go there yourself and admire the beauty of nature.
Moving on to characters, we have 3 different points of view, which was intriguing for me. But what surprised me even more was how well the characters were written. You could easily tell who's point of view you are reading, just by the thought process of the characters themselves. Each of the main and side characters had a purpose in the story, which is something i rarely see in books nowadays.
Orca easily wins a top spot in my book for a well-written strong female character. And along the book she faces many obstacles, which i think we're handled incredibly well by the author.
The Stevenson brothers were so different from each other in the best possible way and were balancing out each other throughout the book, Although i loved Jack Stevenson and the way he was portrayed, Adam holds a special place in my heart.
Overall, the characters were complex and i loved the fact that we got to see the way they each view the world around them. The romance in the book was incredibly wholesome and will leave you wanting more. The plot twists are so unexpected that when i read the first one i was "wow, i did not see that coming at all". There are so many lessons you can learn from this book and i highly recommend that people read it, because it genuinely gave me back my desire to read.
10/10 recommend, thank you NetGalley and Abbie for letting me into the world people are yet to see this September and trusting me to be among the few who got to read your book prior to publication.
Orca Monroe was raise by her dad on a small island, living in a lighthouse, and has never had any contact with anyone besides her father. Shortly after her eighteenth birthday, her dad disappears for a few days on a business trip to the mainland.
Orca finds a washed up backpack on the beach while her dad is gone, then she finds an injured stranger on her island. This is the story of Orca, Adam (the injured pilot), and his brother Jack in an epic love triangle about innocence lost.
4.5⭐ Fascinating story, complex and relatable characters, and delightfully lyrical writing. So many great quotes I highlighted in this amazing book! I loved every minute of this story.
[Thanks to Netgalley and Ms Emmons for the eARC in exchange for an honest review!]
Thank you to Abbie Emmons and NetGalley for providing me with a free ebook copy of The Otherworld in exchange for an honest review.
I was so excited with I saw that my request for an ARC had been approved. I jumped straight in and read it anytime I had the chance. It was GREAT.
The Otherworld is an amazing 3 POV character-driven novel that follows Orca, an 18-year-old girl that has only ever known life on her small island. She longs to discover the mainland but soon enough the mainland comes to her. I would highly recommend jumping blindly into this novel to experience Orca's discoveries with her and fall in love with her home, and with the people she meets along the way.
I thoroughly enjoyed the setting. The way Orca describes her lighthouse and the island was captivating. It felt like I was right there with her. I could see the landscape unfurling in my mind thanks to the detailed descriptions.
In terms of the characters, I appreciated the fact that no one was perfect. The conversations they had, and the emphasis on seeing all sides of the story, all felt real in a way I have rarely read. Everyone had flaws and made mistakes, but the genuine love between all of them always brought them back together in a very touching way.
This novel captivated me from start to finish, the five dozen highlighted quotes I keep going back to attest to Abbie Emmons's impressive way with words.
If you want an emotional Tangled meets The Summer I Turned Pretty, but set in the 90s and with seaplanes (and more importantly their pilots), The Otherworld is the novel to pick up!
I finished this new standalone novel called The Otherworld today and I am still feeling giddy about it! This was the sweetest book I have read in a long time and I absolutely adored it! It is about a girl who lives in a lighthouse with her protective father, and two brothers' lives whose lives are forever changed by that girl... We meet simple and naive Orca, fiery and carefree Jack, and mature and passionate Adam. The interactions and relationships between these three was constructed and portrayed so brilliantly and perfectly, I love them and would love to continue reading about them (hint hint Abbie)!
I would say this novel could be classified as young adult genre, but definitely not limited to that by any means. It is honestly so sweet and tender, and so incredibly hard to put down. I fell in love with every single one of the characters, with the amazingly interesting storyline, and just everything about this book.
Abbie Emmons has a true talent for turning storytelling into cute romance novels with poignant streaks of truth running through them. I just love her writing style and hope to read more by her!
#theotherworld #netgalley #bookreview #abbieemmons
I am completely blown away by The Otherworld. Abbie Emmons' beautiful and heartwarming literary style paints this gorgeous tale of love, chaos and pain through the eyes of this eclectic group of people who were forced together by acts of nature. You are taken on journey of self actualization through these characters that really leads you to question your own moral fortitude and combat your misbeliefs in tandem.
Orca Monroe's battle with everyone's preconception's of her was riveting. I was nervous about this character because I find that the "sheltered girl" trope can very easily be made as weak, naïve, and just completely unappealing for a story. However, Orca exploded my expectations and challenged me as a reader. She was refreshing and proved to be far beyond the sum of her parts. She was empowered and not willing to let others dictate her action because they felt they know what is best for her. She stuck true to herself which was truly brilliant and humbling to watch her explore the unknown and herself outside of her safety net.
I loved this book so much. I am excited to read it again.
Abbie Emmons' "The Otherworld" takes readers on a captivating journey filled with mystery, romance, and self-discovery. Set against the backdrop of a remote island and the allure of the forbidden mainland, this novel weaves a spellbinding tale of love, family, and the pursuit of one's dreams.
At the heart of the story is Orca Monroe, a young woman who yearns to experience the Otherworld—a mysterious mainland forbidden by her father. Living in isolation on a remote island, her world expands when she discovers a washed-up cell phone and begins a conversation with Jack Stevenson, whose brother Adam has gone missing after a seaplane crash. As Orca becomes Jack's lifeline and partner in the search for his brother, she embarks on a journey of self-discovery and resilience, determined to prove her strength to her father.
Emmons skillfully depicts the evolving relationship between Orca and Adam as she nurses him back to health. The undeniable chemistry and connection between them captivate both characters, despite the ten-year age gap and her father's protective nature. Their shared moments of vulnerability and mutual admiration ignite a deep longing, making their love story both tender and heart-wrenching. The author's portrayal of their relationship is infused with emotion and depth, allowing readers to become emotionally invested in their journey.
As the story unfolds, the complexities of Orca's relationships with both Adam and Jack come to light. Emmons explores themes of loyalty, sacrifice, and the consequences of secrets. The tension builds as Orca grapples with the realization that her actions may inadvertently tear apart the very people she brought together.
Emmons' writing effortlessly transports readers to the island setting, immersing them in the beauty and isolation of Orca's world. The allure of the forbidden Otherworld adds an air of mystery and intrigue, drawing readers further into the narrative. The author's descriptive prose brings the settings and characters to life, creating a vivid and engaging reading experience.
In conclusion, "The Otherworld" by Abbie Emmons is an enchanting tale that blends romance, mystery, and self-discovery. The exploration of forbidden love, family dynamics, and the desire to pursue one's dreams creates a compelling narrative that resonates with readers. Emmons' evocative storytelling and well-developed characters make for an engaging read, drawing readers into Orca's world as she navigates the complexities of love, loyalty, and personal growth. "The Otherworld" is a delightful and thought-provoking novel that will captivate fans of heartfelt and introspective storytelling.
I went into this book blind, having seen only the cover and genre. Within the first ten pages, I was intrigued. By the time I got past 25 pages, I was hooked.
This story follows coming-of-age Orca Monroe’s situation being isolated from the rest of the world raised by her father on an island off the PNW coast. Her heart longs for the “Otherworld,” (her name for the rest of the world she has yet to experience).
This book tackles family systems in a way I found both tasteful and thought-provoking. I loved the way Abbie didn’t shy from going “there.” Family dynamics were addressed, tackled, and wrestled to the ground. Characters were given the time (great pacing) to come to their own conclusions. In my experience with fiction books taking on family dynamics, conclusions feel rushed to me, if not forced. That was not the case with this book.
I’ve been sitting on this for several days, thinking about how to best summarize what it was Abbie Emmons did to capture my heart with her story, because this story profoundly impacted me in a way I can’t quite put my finger on. Her characters lift up off of the paper—they feel so real. Paired with great dialogue, Orca, Jack, and Adam felt like friends of mine.
I hope readers will go in blind as I did. The romance component of this novel unraveled so beautifully. I’m so glad I didn’t have any insight as to what type of romance was unfolding (love triangle!). All I know is, I didn’t know how it was going to end, and Abbie didn’t disappoint.
The Otherworld, in many ways, is more than just a love story between two people, but a love story between brothers, and a love story between a daughter and her father. After reading this book, I hope readers can love a little deeper. And go give their Dads a big hug!
Having followed Abbie Emmons on YouTube for a considerable amount of time I was very excited to read the The Otherworld. I will not have any spoilers In this review as I do not want to ruin the plot for anyone reading this as there is a dramatic and heartbreaking twist in the middle of the story and towards the end, Despite not being a fan of romance novels I really enjoyed this book. Abbie Sets up the beginning exceptionally well and dives straight into the plot. From the start I was asking questions, especially about Papa and his motives from keeping her from the mainland or as it is known in the book, the otherworld. The descriptive parts of the story are absolutely stunning and is beyond beautiful. I feel transported to this island with every word. The pain Jack and his family are going through is clearly one of the best sequences and she shows the frustration extremely well. I rooted for Orca and Adam from the start. The connection between them is striking and reflected well in the writing. Unfortunately the pacing seemed very fast which is likely why I finished the book so quickly. Also the blurb reveals quite a lot of the story. I enjoyed seeing the story through three different points of view. It's interesting to see how the other feels within the scene. Overall I thoroughly enjoyed reading this and I will happily give this book 5 stars.
Wow! This book is absolutely amazing. The descriptions are so touching and vivid. As soon as I started reading it I couldn't put it down. I recommend this book to every other reader out there.
I absolutely fell in love with this book from the opening pages! The Otherworld is like an enchanting fairytale, urging you to lean in closer and listen to its whispered magic. It’s one of those rare books that’s luxuriously relaxing and cozy, yet so mysteriously intriguing I stayed up WAY past my bedtime reading it. I had to know what would happen as one chapter pulled me into the next!
Even though it’s set in the realistic world of the Pacific Northwest during the 1990’s, the story loosely echoes aspects of Rapunzel and The Little Mermaid in a way that feels fresh and creative. Since childhood, Orca Monroe’s father has kept her isolated in their lighthouse home, nestled on a remote island paradise, hoping to protect her from the dangers of “civilization” and humanity’s less savory side. When a cell phone washes up on the beach after a plane crash, Orca’s quiet life is changed forever. The phone connects her with Jack, who desperately needs her help finding his missing brother. Until now, she’s had no contact with the “Otherworld” (aka the cities and suburbs across the ocean from the island) and everything from pizza to swimsuits holds a foreign fascination for her. I had so much fun seeing everyday items and foods from “our world” through Orca’s point of view!
Abbie’s writing talent shines, showcasing her gift for crafting emotionally gripping characters, well-paced plots, and gorgeously described, atmospheric settings. The island, with its idyllic beach views, cottagecore vibes, and glimpses of whale pods swimming through the ocean, reminded me just how wondrous nature can be when we pause to notice.
As for the romance, even readers who claim they’re “over love triangles” would struggle not to be invested in this one! I honestly couldn’t decide which brother I was cheering for until more than halfway through the book and, even then, I was in constant suspense over the outcome! The book rotates among all three points of view, so I enjoyed the chance to dig into their distinct personalities and understand what they were thinking as events and feelings unfolded.
Yet, the romantic tension is only part of what makes The Otherworld engaging. It’s a philosophical character study, exploring deeper questions about life, love, family dynamics, and the ways in which the choices we make cause a chain reaction that effects the people around us. It’s one of those books I didn’t want to end and I’m excited to revisit it when I want to escape into an immersive comfort read!
***Thank you to NetGalley and Abbie Emmons for providing an ARC copy of The Otherworld in exchange for an honest review.
It was a very deep and an intense read for me. As it made me emotional quite a number of time amidst reading it. I love it
The Otherworld by Abbie Emmons transported me to a beautiful all-encompassing environment. The descriptions of the natural environment only served to create a specific place and time in which the characters could be explored. The story that unfolds in this novel is touching and emotional on many levels.
Orca is a girl who longs to discover herself outside of the confines of her lighthouse home. She has spent her whole life wondering what life would be like in the "Otherworld"--mainland Washington state in the 1990s. Her deep love for her father is clear, but it is also apparent that she has deep wells of curiosity within her. She is finally able to learn more about the outside world and its inhabitants upon meeting the Stevenson brothers, Adam and Jack.
All three characters have distinct personalities that allow each of them to shine throughout the novel. I really enjoyed how different relationship dynamics were explored: familial, romantic, platonic, and even the relationship of knowing oneself and how that knowledge can change over time based on new experiences. Each character grows through challenges over the course of the book, and I loved every minute spent with them. I particularly enjoyed the discussion of Heart versus Head that was interwoven throughout the novel, specifically in regards to the character Adam.
The Otherworld transports the reader to a nostalgic time and a rapturous place, and you get to know heartwarming characters along the way. The friendships and relationships that are built along the way draws the reader in and makes them care about what happens to the characters. Also, any romance that occurs was sweet and focused on how such moments can be meant to showcase the bond building between characters rather than being exploitative. All in all, I thoroughly enjoyed reading this novel. I would highly recommend this novel to anyone interested.
Thank you to NetGalley for giving me the opportunity to read a review copy early.
I think Abbie Emmons has turned into my favorite author. As with 100 Days of Sunlight and Tessa and Weston: The Best Christmas Ever, she’s created another fictional masterpiece with The Otherworld that I didn’t want to put down.
Because I loved her previous books so much, I was worried that I wouldn’t feel the same about this one, especially since it’s completely different, with it's own unique storyline and characters. Rest assured: it’s incredible. I often read books that I feel mediocre about, whether they are too long, too dry, or, unfortunately, just forgettable. The Otherworld is none of that: it’s a feel-good story that has you rooting for the characters, thinking deeper about love and life, and leaves you feeling happy and light after reading.
The plot was well-paced, the events were interesting from beginning to end, and there were a ton of moments throughout where I couldn’t wait to read what happened next. If you’re unsure about starting this book- take the plunge. You won’t regret it.
Thank you, Abbie Emmons and NetGalley for sending me a DRC in exchange for an honest review.