Bookworm's Reviews > Genesis

Genesis by Aurelia Haslboeck
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's review
Aug 02, 2012

really liked it
Read in August, 2012

Julia is a thirteen year old going through a tough time. Her parents are recently divorced, her mom works long hours and now her summer trip to cheer leading camp has been cancelled. She is to stay at her grandmothers house on the lake at Cedarwood Ridge for the summer instead. Added to that, Julia's grandpa has recently passed away and the family is struggling with this loss.

John Freeman is six months Julia's junior, with his being a native of Cedarwood Ridge, these two have spent plenty of summers by the lake together. Now that they are thirteen, each is wrestling with teenage hormones and is worried if things will be different.

John and Julia are like night and day. She likes to shop at the mall and made the cheer leading team. John is bookish and shy.
On top of all that, the world that John and Julia inhabit is full of magic and mystery.
A group of other worldly beings called "The Twenty-Two" are watching over John and Julia and they want to answer Julia's prayers for happiness in her life. These twenty-two can bend and shape people's realities.

This is a coming of age story as well and in a world where there is magic and fantasy, baddies exist as well. John and Julia's adventures grab the attention of the evil Niem Vidalgo Oten who wants world domination.

My Thoughts:
What a fun ride The Journeys of John and Julia was! I couldn't turn the pages fast enough.
I enjoy YA Fantasy but I don't make much time to read this genre, so it's refreshing to find one that I really enjoyed.

The storyline is very entertaining. The book starts off with the twenty-two having a conference in the middle of the woods. This cast of magical beings is discussing Julia's dilemma. This group reminded me a bit of the Order of the Phoenix, from the Harry Potter books. I like the idea of these beings keeping watch over those who need help.

I found the characters in the story to be nicely developed, and I really liked the relationship between John and his mom Sarah. She's a writer of children's books and it was sweet the way they spent their time together and had their chats.

Julia's mom Elizabeth is struggling with her divorce, with the passing of her dad and with the tension between she and her teenage daughter. I was surprised by her thoughts and as I read I found myself wanting to know if this single mom would be alright.

"Waking up was never pleasant for her, but with a busy schedule to keep, it was a lot easier to deny the tragedy of such a condition. As far as she could think back, the pressure of having to radiate confidence when all she felt was helplessness greeted her every morning, like a shadow standing at the side of her bed."
p.181, The Journeys of John and Julia

I think the way the adults are portrayed in this book drew me into the story even more. As I read mothers Elizabeth and Sarah's points of views, I could relate to some of what they were thinking. Especially Sarah in regards to her son growing up.

Julia is a favorite character as well. As much as she tries to put up a strong face, her heart is broken over her parents divorce. At one point she just wants to be allowed to have a good cry. She thinks her dad doesn't love her enough.
John is too cute with the way he thinks about life in general. He's more receptive to the idea of fairies, ghosts and psychic phenomena.

I was totally swept into this book and I found this a great start to a fun new series. I can't wait to read what comes next. I want to know more about baddie Niem Vidalgo Oten.
I recommend The Journeys of John and Julia to fans of fantasy and YA or to anyone looking to get swept up in a sweet story with bits of magic weaved in.

"Truly he thought of himself as the kind of kid fully able to handle the extraordinary. After all, he knew how the whole universe was nothing but patterns of vibration dancing in a constant state of quantum flux.
No, his honesty gene kicked in. He had read that in one of his books..."
p.105, The Journeys of John and Julia

read my full review here

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