Seventeen-year-old Rue doesn’t need any friends other than Ghost, her not-so-imaginary best friend. They’ve been inseparable for as long as Rue can remember and Rue shares everything with Ghost.
The day before Rue returns home from school for the long holiday, Ghost disappears. Ever-fretful Rue tries to tell herself it’s fine, but she knows something is horribly, terribly wrong. She’ll have to overcome her anxiety find her courage and push her boundaries further than she ever thought possible in order to save her best friend, and perhaps make some new ones as Rue finds herself drawn into the fringes of a secret battle for human survival.
Soft science fiction meets fantasy in this exciting novella-length adventure of daring and friendship.
Source: Bought it
Disclaimer: Lynn is a very good friend of mine and I read this story through many varying stages of its life. However, I have tried to be as honest and impartial as possible in my review.
Rue is not your average heroine. Oh, plenty of stories have ordinary characters doing extraordinary things, but they usually have positive characteristics to help them along the way. Not Rue. She’s neither brave nor confident, in fact she frequently calls herself a coward, she’s not particularly clever, she is naive and privileged and snobby through ignorance and has some rather serious anxiety issues. However, she’s also loyal, so when her only friend goes missing she simply has to find a way to save her.
As you may guess from that, this is a rather unusual tale, and not just because it’s set on a space station – in truth, the sci-fi elements are pretty light. Nor is it unusual simply because Rue’s best friend is actually a ghost. It’s strange and unusual because of Rue and how she finds her courage, not just to track down Ghost, but to venture outside alone, to run on the grass (trust me, that’s a bigger thing than you’re probably thinking right now), to go beyond the boundaries of her home, to make new friends, to face up to her own ignorance (which she doesn’t do particularly brilliantly – she mostly bursts into tears about it), to keep going despite her anxiety and to face down bullies.
This is a quiet tale, though there is a bit of action at the end. Rue does change and grow throughout it, but the thing I liked most is that Rue doesn’t become someone else. She’s still her at the end, just a stronger version with a smidgen more confidence. Oh, actually, I lied. The thing I liked most about this tale is Priti, one of Rue’s fellow students who gets bullied just as much – if not more – because of her trans status. Priti is awesome. No matter how feeble or fretful Rue gets, Priti doesn’t lose patience with her. Priti is a saint and only gets annoyed when Rue is particularly obtuse regarding wealth and status. I loved Priti and would happily read more about her doing pretty much anything.
So in all this is a story with a difference – a different kind of heroine and a different kind of plot. It’s about friendship and anxiety and doing the best you can, even if you aren’t one of the universe’s natural warriors. We can all make a difference, we can all matter, but we have to believe in ourselves and those around us in order to make the change. Rue might not be to everyone’s taste, but have a little patience with her, because her story is an important one that can apply to many. And if she does get too annoying, don’t worry, Priti will make it better.
Courage is the Price is Out Now!
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