Book Review: The Girl Who Could See

by | 27 March 2018 | Books | 18 comments

Sometimes I get time to read books…only to pick up my book and realise that I have totally forgotten everything about what was happening because the last chance I’d had to read was two weeks beforehand.

Cue sad Jane. Also cue Jane having to go back and scan over half the book again.


On the other hand, there’s some books which really stick in my head and I’m not sure I’d be able to forget them for a while even if I tried.

The Girl Who Could See (Kara Swanson) was one of those books. And—to add to the bargain—it was a lovely little novella, so I finished it in two reading sessions.

Honestly, it’s a win-win.

Also notice my header image. The girl who could sea. 😉 Get it? Okay, yeah, that was terrible. I’m not apologising though. 😛

Great story. Great puns. There’s just no lose to this book at all.


The Book

All her life Fern has been told she is blind to reality—but what if she is the only one who can truly see?

Fern Johnson is crazy. At least, that’s what the doctors have claimed since her childhood. Now nineteen, and one step away from a psych ward, Fern struggles to survive in bustling Los Angeles. Desperate to appear “normal,” she represses the young man flickering at the edge of her awareness—a blond warrior only she can see.

Tristan was Fern’s childhood imaginary hero, saving her from monsters under her bed and outside her walls. As she grew up and his secret world continued to bleed into hers, however, it only caused catastrophe. But, when the city is rocked by the unexplainable, Fern is forced to consider the possibility that this young man isn’t a hallucination after all—and that the creature who decimated his world may be coming for hers.


The Review


I’ve been seeing this book around the place for almost a year now, and every time I saw it I was really intrigued and curious to read it, so when I finally got my very own copy I was so excited to actually get to read it.

Did it live up to my expectations?

Yes. Yes, it did.

This book was absolutely amazing. The concept, the prose, the characters, the theme. And also the cover. Just look at how gorgeous that is. 😯

Starting off, even the core idea is so cool. A girl’s imaginary friend was actually real? And she has a special ability to see through to his world, which no one else thinks exists. Very cool, if you ask me.

Both Fern and Tristan had a depth to them that was amazing for such a short novella. They definitely had personalities, and there was actually a heap of character development in such a small space of words and that’s very uncommon, so I’m very pleased about that.


This book made me cry. Repeat: yes, I cried. I don’t cry a lot in books, but I cried in this one. I’m just such a sucker for happy endings that when the second last chapter looks like doom and despair the tears just start coming. (Happy ending = happy Jane Bookworm.) Never fear, though, this book does have a happy ending despite everything.

Even though it’s a novella, the action and plot didn’t feel forced or too jam-packed into a small space of words. It was just a smaller version of a novel. Once or twice the flow had to be a little more rushed, but that’s just because there’s so much in this story for the small amount of words.

I know, I keep saying that. But really. It’s impressive. 😛


Speaking of impressive…This is a self-published book but GUYS, it was edited really well and is practically up to par with most published books. Yes, I found two or three mistakes but they were tiny details that are very easy to miss. No book is perfect. I’m pretty happy with this.


Content-wise: (mild spoiler warning) There was some romance, but it wasn’t at all inappropriate. One kiss scene, but not ‘ew’ sort of kiss. It was totally fine.
A little violence, but pretty much just the sort of violence you can normally expect from this sort of dystopian/sci fi book.


Overall: The Girl Who Could See was lovely and wonderful and I loved it and help, I’m a total fangirl. It was absolutely worth reading and I’m so glad I finally got to. I definitely recommend it to sci fi and dystopian readers (13+) who are looking for a quick, but well-crafted read.



Your turn! Do you have to reread chapters of books because you’ve forgotten what happened? What’s the most memorable book you’ve read this year? Have you ever read The Girl Who Could See?

Jane Maree

Jane Maree

Jane Maree is an Australian writer, adventurer at heart, beloved daughter of the King of Kings, and believer in at least six impossible things before breakfast. Raised on fairy tales, scraped knees, and makeshift swords, she has yet to outgrow any of them. In her day job, Jane teaches music and freelances as an editor, but by night she crafts daring stories of broken heroes overcoming extraordinary odds.


  1. Faith/Florid Sword

    Man, I freakin’ loved this book. <3 So, so good, and I absolutely agree with you about the character development! SO STRONG AND SO GOOD!!!!!

    • Jane Maree

      Ahh, yes it was amazing. I’m still so impressed that the theme and character development was done so well in a novella! *happy Jane*

  2. Jenna

    thank you for the review! 😉

    • Jane Maree

      YES, YOU DO. But maybe finish some of those other books first. 😛
      You’re welcome! Thanks for reading.

    • Jane Maree

      It absolutely lives up to all the good hype. Thanks, Catherine! 😀

  3. Sam Kowal

    😀 Okay. I be needing to read this, after my huge stack of other books is all done.
    *glances at the stack of books with a fond smile, but also slightly furrowed brow*

    • Jane Maree

      You definitely do be needing to read it. I agree. 😛 But shh don’t tell the other books or they’ll get jealous.

      • Sam Kowal

        😀 And some of the books on my shelf, I don’t want feeling jealous. Like Stormlight- luckily I’ve already read them, if those were jealous… well, they’re heavy enough to leave some marks

        • Jane Maree

          Oh my word yes. Watch out for the thick books. They’re the worst ones to have coming after you. 😉

  4. Quinley

    I have never read The Girl Who Could See, but your review makes me want too!:)
    P.S. Are you excited for Camp NaNo?

    • Jane Maree

      Ahh well if you ever get a chance, I definitely recommend it. 😀

      I’m so pumped for Camp. It’s going to be a heap of fun.

  5. S.F. Dekreel

    Oh, my word. I TOTALLY get you on the forgetting-how-the-book-goes thing. ARRRGH!

    As for the book, <3 <3 <3 I need it. It sounds amazing. And TRISTAN! TRISTAN IS LIKE ONE OF MY FAVORITE NAMES EVER!!!
    AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA Okay I'll stop being weird now. Maybe… X-P

    Wow. Now I wish I had a semi-real imaginary friend!


    • Jane Maree

      Haha well it’s good to know I’m not alone. xD

      O-O REALLY? SAME. I really like the name Tristan too. 😯

      I think it’s actually pretty affordable on amazon, but I haven’t actually checked it out myself so don’t quote me on that. 😛

      • S.F. Dekreel

        Really?! Oooh, do you know how you started liking the name Tristan? I got it from one of my favorite TV shows…

        • Jane Maree

          I don’t actually know why I started liking it? It just always struck me as a cool sounding name.

  6. J.A.Penrose


    *adds to list* Oh wow. When will I get to reeeeead all of these???

    It sounds SO GOOD though. Ahhh, such a cool concept and yessss, that cover! It looks so preeeetty!

    • Jane Maree


      Good good. You will get time at some point. You must. 😛

      It really is! I enjoyed it a heap. And the gorgeous cover is a definite bonus. 😉

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