Mirror In The Sky by Aditi Khorana
Release Date: June 21, 2016
Summary: For Tara Krishnan, navigating Brierly, the academically rigorous prep school she attends on scholarship, feels overwhelming and impossible. Her junior year begins in the wake of a startling discovery: A message from an alternate Earth, light years away, is intercepted by NASA. This means that on another planet, there is another version of Tara, a Tara who could be living better, burning brighter, because of tiny differences in her choices.
The world lights up with the knowledge of Terra Nova, the mirror planet, and Tara’s life on Earth begins to change. At first, small shifts happen, like attention from Nick Osterman, the most popular guy at Brierly, and her mother playing hooky from work to watch the news all day. But eventually those small shifts swell, the discovery of Terra Nova like a black hole, bending all the light around it.
As a new era of scientific history dawns and Tara’s life at Brierly continues its orbit, only one thing is clear: Nothing on Earth–or for Tara–will ever be the same again.
My Rating: ★★★☆☆ ½
My Thoughts: A wonderfully written debut that mixes Sci-Fi w/ Contemporary!
This felt very reminiscent of Tommy Wallach’s We Looked Up regardless, Khorana brings a very unique story with a variety of elements, like politics, race, even scientific theory!
When Terra Nova (a mirror planet to Earth) is first introduced I was definitely interested to learn more about its origins and how it would impact the lives of everyday people.
With news broadcasts, various theories + Tara’s POV this mirror planet brought up many fascinating questions of whether or not Terra Nova could possibly reflect an alternate timeline/universe which was fascinating!
However there were a few problems I had:
If a plot drags for a big portion of the novel, I will most likely not give it a full 5 stars and overall I found the pace for Mirror to be extremely slow.
Tara Nova was a very unique concept that I don’t think I’d ever read in another novel before. That said, I wish it was discussed more + given more of a central role in this novel.
Because in the beginning it is discussed, however the novel ended up focusing more on Tara’s new friends (popular kids) & the drama that goes on between them & Terra Nova was then left in the background.
It became more of a YA-Contemporary than the Contemporary/Sci-Fi I was expecting.
Leaving Tara all alone junior year, Meg leaves for the first semester to be in Argentina. Tara wishes things could be different. Soon she gets her wish.
After attempting to save Halle’s (most popular girl in school) dog, she soon becomes friends with the popular kids and her long-time crush Nick starts talking to her!
She believes it may be Terra Nova!
But soon things begin to take a different turn. Her mother becomes obsessed with Terra Nova & decides its best if she leave to not only find herself, but understand what exactly Terra Nova is!
Tara becomes tangled in friendship drama +comes to see the effects/reaction of Terra Nova brings to her school.
While the plot itself definitely introduced interesting elements + I really did enjoy reading from Tara’s POV (the politics of HS/some science here & there of TN + how she came to understand the popular kids + feel more connected with some of them) I felt the plot just mostly focused on the drama that went on w/ her new friends & I was expecting a more broad view of Terra Nova.
I will admit the ending was definitely unexpected (Halle’s disappearance) Did not see that coming!!
Now I really want to know what happened to her b/c that was such an open ending!!
While it wasn’t necessarily for me, it definitely delivers well developed/realistic characters + a variety of social/political elements with a unique concept!
Regardless of these issues, with a mix of genres, wonderful writing style and unique concept such as this, I am definitely interested to read more of Aditi’s work!