“Polly Isn’t Home” by AJR Traill

“Polly Isn’t Home” by AJR Traill 640 1024 Reader Views Kids

Polly Isn’t Home

AJR Traill
West Publishing (2023)
ISBN: 978-0645847215
Reviewed by Rachel Dehning for Reader Views (10/2023)

AJR Traill’s sci-fi novel, “Polly Isn’t Home: A Portal to Another Dimension Has Terrible Consequences” takes the reader on an otherworldly experience with 19-year-old Polly when she wakes among familiar surroundings yet has no recognition of the people around her. Polly is unique in that she has a power not found among humans and a suspicion that it somehow brought her into her current predicament. Taken in by Lily and Austin, a single mom and her son, Polly struggles with gaps in her memory, keeping what she remembers a secret, making appropriate friends, and determining who to trust – it could mean life and death for humankind. An underground lab known as Portal, reminiscent of Area 51, contains as many secrets as the mysterious Polly, who seems to have fallen from the sky.

“Polly Isn’t Home” contains various themes:  down-to-earth and otherworldly vie for the spotlight as seen through Polly’s internal struggle to figure herself out as a person and within the confines of her power and relationships. This is in addition to the blessing and curse her power holds over herself and her ability to fight against extraterrestrials threatening Earth physically and spiritually. Mental health and abuse issues present themselves in the background and play pivotal roles in the outcome. The title, “Polly Isn’t Home,” is seen and explained in various scenes throughout the story, showing Polly’s progression from curious, scared, and unsure to a final confident and secure woman. Characters present as strong females and emotionally relatable among the rest.

The length of “Polly Isn’t Home” is just right to sustain the reader’s focus, with several action and high-intensity scenes intermixed to allow for equal storyline and happenings. The storyline is primarily innocent, uncommon nowadays – an attraction between a guy and a girl is subtle. Descriptions related to aliens and the psychedelic environment/experiences are more detailed, graphic, and possibly tempting among readers that could frighten some, but not likely. “Polly Isn’t Home” will likely energize the reader and keep them on their toes as they wait for the next twist and turn, knowing what’s at stake.

“Polly Isn’t Home” is an exciting saga for all ages, especially those interested in sci-fi, with equal emphasis on science, fantasy, and strong female leaders. It’s difficult to stop talking or thinking about the story; it’s so easy to get sucked into the words. It will continue to stay with me for a long time.

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