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How do people decide on a path, and find the drive to pursue what they want?

Ida struggles more than other young people to work this out. She can shift between parallel universes, allowing her to follow alternative paths.

One day Ida sees a shadowy, see-through doppelganger of herself on the train. She starts to wonder if she’s actually in control of her ability, and whether there are effects far beyond what she’s considered.

How can she know, anyway, whether one universe is ultimately better than another? And what if the continual shifting causes her to lose what is most important to her, just as she’s discovering what that is, and she can never find her way back?

246 pages, Paperback

First published December 6, 2016

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About the author

Alison Evans

11 books187 followers
Alison Evans is the author of Ida, which won the People’s Choice Award at the Victorian Premier’s Literary Awards 2017.

Their second novel, Highway Bodies, was published earlier this year and they are a contributor to new anthology, Kindred: 12 Queer #LoveOzYA Stories.

They are based in Melbourne.

You can find out more at alisonwritesthings.com

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5 stars
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Displaying 1 - 30 of 146 reviews
Profile Image for Caz (littlebookowl).
301 reviews40.2k followers
April 12, 2018
This has an incredibly fascinating concept and such a wonderfully diverse cast of characters!
My main concern with this book, however, is that the world-building and some details regarding some of the characters aren't explained enough or very clearly, leaving me feeling quite confused.
Profile Image for rachel, x.
1,725 reviews864 followers
May 9, 2018
Ida was a clever but downright confusing read with a choppy plotline. I went into this story with moderately high expectations - there were so many of things that could have gone right, I couldn’t see where it could go wrong - but the story’s less than stellar execution of its incredible-sounding premise left me unsatisfied.

The basic storyline follows Ida who possesses the ability to go back in time and change any decisions she has ever made. However, at the start of the novel, she realises that instead of time-travelling, she is actually switching between alternate timelines. Her constant use of this power means she has been creating millions of different timelines in a relevantly short period of time and it’s hit the point where the timelines are starting to blur together… Obviously, chaos is the result. I was in love with this idea. At least, I was at first. The consequence of having any form of superpowers is an aspect most stories avoid so I was eager to see how it played out. I also just love complex time travel stories. Yet, despite my enthusiasm for this concept, Ida did not quite go in the direction I thought it would. It went beyond merely being complicated - it was downright confusing. The plotline was choppy and all over the place. I found it incredibly difficult to follow what was happening, especially with the constant timeline jumping. I was too busy trying to piece everything together to pay attention to the smaller details so I often got lost or had to reread passages. The entire book felt about 100 pages longer than it needed to because of this. I disliked that the story made is a chore to keep up and the ending - which was rushed in my opinion - was icing on the cake.

The writing style did this story no favours. I don’t know how else to describe it other than vague. Everything about the story felt distant from us readers: the characterisation, the dialogue, the descriptions. All of it was described with the vaguest detail possible. There were far too many aspects of the character’s relationships that transpired through subtle body language or cryptic dialogue that the characters seemed to be able to decipher but left me a confused puddle of misery. I struggled to piece together events from these little vague statements and I hated that I felt left out of the story - like the characters knew way more than I did. I was often left wondering if I missed something. It was so frustrating.

However, despite my problems with this story’s execution, there was one element that exceeded all of my expectations: its representation. To my knowledge, this is an #ownvoices story and the author’s experience certainly shine through. There was never a moment where I was not impressed by the subtly of the author’s commentary - which raised a lot of relevant issues without making it an “issue” story - or the depth of the characters. Ida and Damaris both had such strong voices.

Ida - our main protagonist - is bisexual and biracial (Vietnamese-Australian). Her partner - Daisy - is a genderqueer POC who uses them/they pronouns. I have never read a character who was genderqueer before and I appreciated how organically Evans incorporated discussion about society’s approach to pronoun usage and non-binary gender identities.

While I did feel like many aspects of Ida and Daisy’s relationship, I did think that it could have done with more screen time - as a lot of it is told through flashbacks, due to the time-travelling/altered timeline aspect of the story - and having Ida simply telling us about their relationship was not enough for me to understand their relationship dynamics like I would have liked. I also felt that many aspects of Daisy’s home life were glossed over. We knew that their parents were having problems but it was only hinted at - maybe their father was abusive or alcoholic? I just don’t know. It was never addressed or explored like I would have preferred. This meant that I struggled to understand Daisy fully as a character and definitely retracted from my investment in their relationship with Ida.

On top of that, our other protagonist - Daramius - who was genderfluid and had a genderfluid love interest (!) did not get enough screentime. I really liked her spunk and her personality. She was the type of character that I could really see myself getting behind if I had had the chance to get to know her on a more intimate level. I also just did not feel her relationship with her LI - whose name is escaping me at the moment - was too reliant on past feelings that we did not know about. I did not particularly care whether or not they got together and I really wanted to.

I also want to quickly note that there was a prominent secondary character - Ida’s cousin, Frank - who is a transboy. The reason I mention it is that Frank talks about wearing a binder (and experimenting with different kinds). It was something that I had never seen mentioned in a YA story before and thought it was amazing that it was incorporated, even in passing.


This story had a lot of potential as something fresh and different in the sci-fi genre. The premise was there and ready to wow us but its execution was too choppy to be entertaining. I struggled to follow what was happening and the vague writing style compounded this issue. I did really love the diversity - especially the genderqueer and genderfluid rep. - and felt that they were incredibly well-written. This is not something that I would recommend on a whim but I do think it is worth keeping an eye on this author.

Review copy provided by the publisher for an honest review.
159 reviews13 followers
February 20, 2017
I know sometimes I rip my 3-star rated books apart, but this one's definitely a positive, "would recommend" 3 stars.


Ida has a secret power: she can undo any decision and choose a different path. She thinks it's time travel until she starts seeing doppelgangers, copies of herself that seem to be following her - and growing more dangerous each time they appear.

I'd classify this book as New Adult, not Young Adult, and would really like to see more stuff like this in that genre! Ida is out of high school but hasn't gone to university. She's at a weird, in-between stage in her life where she doesn't know what she wants to do next. She's not a teenager but not quite an adult either. This isn't just a racier version of a YA novel (there are no sex scenes at all) - it's firmly NA. It's just not labeled that way, which is unfortunate, because this is what I want to find when I search for NA books (rather than the solid wall of erotica that I usually encounter).


The Good:

My favorite thing about this book hands down is the diversity. Ida is a bisexual, biracial Vietnamese girl. The supporting cast includes her genderqueer partner, a trans boy and two genderfluid characters (who were the most interesting part of the book - I'll get to them later).

For a time travel/alternate universes story, it's pretty light on the sci-fi. Much of the conflict is internal, so Ida gets a lot of development - I'd almost call it a character study. The main conflict has to do with her examining the choices she makes and their consequences, and finally trying to return to her "real" or original timeline.

I found the prose a little cut-and-dry but fitting for the story. It was a really easy read and I liked Ida right away. She's a practical, down-to-earth narrator with just enough vulnerability and self-doubt to be relatable.

The Bad:

A few things. Some parts of the plot were confusing (I wish more questions had been answered) and as the story went on I became more interested in Damaris & Adrastos than in Ida (I kind of wish they'd been the main characters instead).

1. You don't get any explanation of why Ida has this power, and who Damaris and Adrastos really are. These are the two genderfluid characters I mentioned earlier. They have the same power as Ida, and seem to be part of some secret organization that uses it to do...? Something? You never find out. The conflict is very narrow, focused solely on Ida, but there are hints at a bigger world within this story that I found myself wanting much more of. Also, the more you learn about Ida's power the more confusing it gets. Semi-major spoiler:

Other unanswered questions (major spoilers):

2. Because Damaris & Adrastos were so mysterious, I kept wishing for more of them and less of Ida. But it's not just them - I wanted more of Daisy and Frank, too. Ida spends a little too much time alone. Also, while I like her and felt emotionally invested in her story, she spent a lot of time reacting to and not enough time making active decisions. She doesn't retake control of her story until about the last 20% of the book; she was too passive the rest of the time.

3. While the pacing was pretty good, the action never quite kicked in when I thought it would. The sense of urgency was there but the plot has this meandering, cluttered feel. And the ending is VERY abrupt.


I cared about the characters and enjoyed the plot. While I wished there was more to it, there's definitely a place for lighter sci-fi stories that are more about a character's internal struggle & growth than they are about epic, world-changing plotlines & technobabble. If you like short sci-fi and diversity, read this.
Profile Image for Jeann (Happy Indulgence) .
1,010 reviews4,130 followers
June 26, 2017
3.5 stars

Ida was so gripping I read it in one sitting. It's so rare to have a SFF book about time travel and parallel universes that is also an own voices book featuring so much diversity, and I really enjoyed it while reading.

Full review to come.
Profile Image for Deborah Ideiosepius.
1,671 reviews131 followers
December 5, 2017
Ida is a young woman living somewhere in Victoria with her dad and cousin. Like many younger people she seems aimless and lacking in direction to her father, but Ida has greater struggles than the normal ones; she can shift through time.

Driving home from work one day she is in a car accident, but, no worries, she shifts back in time so it never happened, this is the norm for her; spill a coffee - shift back, car accident - shift back, missed a phone call - shift back.... It is all part of her pattern and if it does seem to make it a little difficult to figure out what 'time' has been, well, she has coping mechanisms.

Slowly though, things go out of control, doppelgangers's of herself are appearing more and more frequently, a strange woman who knows her name seems to be trying to contact her, and then finally she starts shifting in time to places where she cannot find her family or her lover.

This was a very addictive book; I pretty much couldn't put it down, I loved the plot, the character and their situations. It also had what I felt was a really strong 'Australian' feeling, the characters, locations and voices all 'sounded' like contemporary Australians in my head . This is a complement, because it can be hard for people to write characters who are identifiable as a given nationality without lapsing into stereotypes and there are definitely no stereotypes here. Ida's lover, Daisy is a non traditional gender and prefers the pronoun 'they' rather than 'he' or 'she'. Her cousin who lives with Ida and her dad appears to have some fluidity of identity also. I would have been keen to read more about the side characters too, they were vivid and interesting. I did feel that many of the side characters and their internal landscapes remained sketched rather than filled in, the plot stuck very solidly to the central character Ida, and the central plot, shifting.
Profile Image for Taylor.
767 reviews422 followers
April 1, 2017
I have some mixed feeling about this book.
The synopsis sounded amazing but the actual plot is kind of confusing. I really paid close attention, thinking I wasn't reading it well enough, but it was just confusing to me. I don't know if it's just me or others have had the same problem but I just couldn't follow along with the plot.
I loved the diversity of the characters. There was a lot of different aspects of diversity in this book and I thought that was pretty great. However, I couldn't connect with the characters because the writing style is so plain and even a little emotionless at times.
I really wanted to love this book because it's so diverse but in the end, it just wasn't as good as it could have been. If you're looking for a super diverse read, I'd say take a chance and pick Ida up. But this isn't the highest quality of writing I've read.
Profile Image for K..
3,796 reviews1,021 followers
January 26, 2017
3.5 stars.

This book was kind of amazing, especially where diversity is concerned. But it's also a book that hurt my brain. So.

Let's start by talking about diversity, because there is a LOT of it.
- The protagonist, Ida, is bisexual. She's also biracial - her mother was Vietnamese and her father is German-Australian. And she's overweight, to the point where she was described as "the fat kid" all through school.
- The protagonist's love interest/partner, Daisy, is genderqueer and uses they/them pronouns.
- The protagonist's cousin, Frank, is transgender and is living with Ida and her father because his father didn't handle this news well.
- Periodically, we switch to a different perspective from some kind of.......I don't even know how to describe it, but they're people who can travel through time and also the parallel universes that Ida creates, and they keep an eye on things to make sure everything doesn't unravel?? Anyway, both Damaris and her boss Adrastos are genderfluid, though they use she/her and he/him pronouns respectively.

Like I said, it's a lot. And Alison Evans is genderqueer, so it's an Own Voices book. HUZZAH.

Now. As far as the plot goes, it was...a tad confusing. Essentially, Ida can close her eyes and go back to any decision that she's made and make a different call. So if she turns left and ends up in a car accident, she can go back to the intersection and choose to turn right. As the story progresses, it becomes apparent that Ida isn't travelling in time. Instead, she's moving through parallel dimensions where that dimension's version of Ida made a different decision.

And as she moves further and further from her main timeline, things start to become more and more different from the world she knows. There are worlds where she and Daisy aren't together. Worlds where Daisy's dead. Worlds where Frank doesn't live with them. Worlds where her father's dead and her mother's alive. Etcetera.

So with the constant jumps between universes, it definitely gets confusing trying to keep track of things. The author's note at the end says that they initially planned Ida as a screenplay, and I can definitely see this working AMAZINGLY as a film. On the page, however, it took quite a while to wrap my head around how Ida's power worked and how everything was starting to unravel.

I also would have liked more explanation about Damaris and Adrastos, because we really didn't seem to get much on that front.

But on the whole, this was pretty stinking enjoyable and chockerblock full of diversity.
Profile Image for Jananee (headinherbooks).
178 reviews297 followers
March 5, 2017
As rare as it is to see a new addition to the #LoveOzYA SFF category, it's even more rare to see one that is as fantastically diverse as Ida. This book follows our main character, Ida, who has the power to reverse any decision and event that she experiences by simply going back in time, or so she thinks. What follows is unique science fiction novel that introduces a lot of interesting, albeit at times confusing, concepts. The idea of parallel universes and "multiple selves" is something that has always been really interesting to me and so it was interesting to see Ida's take on it. I also really enjoyed Ida as a main character and really enjoyed joining her on the journey that she takes through the book.

In regards to the writing style, it was a little jarring and underdeveloped and, as a result, was disruptive to the flow of the story at times. The setting of the book would have benefited from some extra attention and more detail to the world building itself would have made for a more vivid story overall.

What is particularly brilliant about this book however is the amount of representation Allison Evans chose to include. Ida is half-Vietnamese and bisexual and is in a relationship with Daisy, who is a genderqueer and uses they/them pronouns. The relationship is developed before the book starts and I really enjoyed this - stable, long-term and healthy relationships are too often foregone in YA. Frank, Ida's cousin, is transgender and we get to follow his character quite closely as well, along with multiple other LGBTQ+ side characters. It was refreshing to read a YA novel that just gets it so right in terms of diversity and for that reason, I definitely think this would be a good book to pick up if you looking for a quick SFF read!
Profile Image for Kelly (Diva Booknerd).
1,106 reviews299 followers
January 30, 2018
Genderfluid, bisexual and transgender characters with a wonderful emphasis on each characters preferred pronouns. Ida is bisexual and biracial, of Vietnamese heritage. Blended with a captivating urban science fiction narrative, it's thought provoking and beautifully diverse. There were too few pages though. A longer narrative would have allowed for further explanation of how Ida's ability progressed and of Damaris and Adrastos' characters.
December 31, 2017
Check out my book blog for more book reviews and other bookish posts!

I received an ARC of Ida from Netgalley. I chose to read it because I had heard a lot about this book, and I really liked the cover.

It’s #ownvoices for genderqueer and bisexual representation.


I am a huge fan of the writing in this novel. The writing style is rather disruptive, jumpy and jaggered. I feel like that captures the essence of the story. It’s a story about parallel universes, and the main character is going from one universe to the other. Thus, it makes sense that the writing would portray the constant shifting of the universes as well as the constant shifting of how Ida feels due to her experiencing different universes. I’ve read reviews that state that some questions were left unanswered, however once again, I feel like this is part of the essence of the story. We don’t understand everything as Ida herself is thrust into a new situation of knowing that she hadn’t thought of before.

I thought it was really chilling, however, I’ll admit that I get scared really easy. But seriously, don’t tell me that seeing a person who looks just like you and who looks you straight in the eye won’t creep you out.

Since, it was so scary and intense, I couldn’t stop reading. I just can’t go to bed when I’m in the middle of a story like this, and I also am not able to put the book down, thus this book was also really fast read.

It has a diverse cast. Ida is biracial (Vietnamese and German Australian) and bisexual, and she has asthma. Daisy, Damaris and Adrastos are genderqueer. Frank is a transgender man. I can only speak for the biracial rep and asthma rep, and I thought that both were done quite well.

I would be totally interested in a sequel that takes place a few years after the events of Ida, as I think that a new story in the Ida universe would be fascinating. If that happens, please let there be more Damaris!


I recommend Ida to everyone who enjoys a fast-paced and original story.
81 reviews1 follower
January 9, 2019
Why the lungs? Why so many lungs, all the time?

Others may think of this book as 'Why so many genderqueer people, all the time?' And indeed, it's a strange coincidence that by page 59 we've met 6 characters: universe-switching protagonist Ida, her formerly female-identifying and now genderqueer lover Daisy, her trans cousin Frank, the genderfluid Time Travel Squad Officer Damaris who's about to start looking for Ida, and Damaris' genderfluid boss. Oh, and Ida's dad.

That level of coincidence is so unlikely that it distracts from the story. But I could certainly manage it without THE LUNGS. I'm only on page 69 out of 244, dammit, and these pages are small! With big type!

Ida often forgets how to breathe. When she does breathe, it's described thusly: "I breathe through my nose all the way to the bottom of my lungs" or "My lungs deflate".

Page 28 features "My lungs have disappeared", followed - appropriately, I suppose - by "I am up the stairs, not breathing. I am only a heart." Looks like more than just your lungs disappeared, Ida.

The section from Damaris' point of view didn't feature any lungs, but I'm afraid I just can't rely on those alone. I've got to stop reading this.
Profile Image for Hedi.
318 reviews34 followers
July 3, 2017
I recieved a copy from Netgally for an honest review

Well.. what can i say, this wasn't my favorite. It was just okay, short from DNF.. There were aspect from this book that i really liked, like the way there was so much diversity. The main character was a child of Vietnamese and German parents, had a genderqueer partner and a transgender cousin. Also the plot of 'timetraveling' or 'dimention jumping' was really fun and different.

But now the things i really didn't like.. and there are e few things:
- In the way that i like the diversity i also found it lacking. It didn't add anything to the story. At times it was really confusing, like when Daisy was introduced in the story. I never understood why the used the pronounce "they" untill her cousin made it clear that see was genderqueer and you should ask how they would like to be pronounced.. Also the fact that it didn't ocure to me that Frank was transgender untill someone in the reviews pointed it out to me. Tottaly missed that.
- There wasn't any worldbuilding. I found out that the story took place in Australia when a different character said something about it.. You just didnt know anything about the surroundings.
- Damaris and Abratros , they just came out of nowhere. I couldn't find their meaning in the story, what exactly was that they were suppost to be or do.. They were just there and Damaris tried something..
- The writing was more than confusing The writing style did this story no favours. I don’t know how else to describe it other than vague. Everything about the story felt distant from us readers: the characterisation, the dialogue, the descriptions. All of it was described with the vaguest detail possible. There were far too many aspects of the character’s relationships that transpired through subtle body language or cryptic dialogue that the characters seemed to be able to decipher but left me a confused puddle of misery. I struggled to piece together events from these little vague statements and I hated that I felt left out of the story - like the characters knew way more than I did. I was often left wondering if I missed something. It was so frustrating.
- There is also a whole story going on with Daisy but you never find out what is going on in her household. See is just there to be here girlfriend..

Overall, this story had a really good chance to be fun and refreshing. But the writingstyle fel short and was vague. I had high expectations when i read the premisis, it was something new and not really done before. I couldn’t see where it could go wrong - but the story’s less than stellar execution of its incredible-sounding premise left me unsatisfied.

Also i wanted to quickly note that the author wrote this story to be a screenplay. I can see why, but still would have some issuse with it. It just lacked for me, if the things i pointed out that were not so great were rewritten i could see something happening.. but so far not sa good. I will leave it at that.
Profile Image for Tara.
601 reviews3 followers
September 25, 2018
3 and a half stars. I did enjoy the story and I quite liked Ida as well as Daisy and Frank and I really enjoyed how easy Ida’s relationship was with both of them but I felt there was something missing. Not quite sure what though as it was an interesting story and I was keen to find out what was going to happen in the end, I think I felt that the story didn’t go deep enough so I wasn’t able to connect with Ida or the story. But I will put this one down to ‘not the right time for me’ and a keen to read more from Alison Evans.
Profile Image for Avery (Book Deviant).
398 reviews89 followers
April 22, 2017
See more of my reviews on my blog the Book Deviant

I would like to thank the people at Echo Publishing for allowing me to have an ARC of this book via NetGalley.

Wonderfully diverse

Ida is not promoted as something that will be filled to the brim with diversity such as it is. I originally found it through a chance retweet post that brought genderqueer representation to my attention. But that's not all that was in the book. Daisy, the genderqueer character that uses they/them pronouns (which was so refreshing) is a person of color, while the main character, Ida, is half Vietnamese, half European, as well as identifies as bisexual. That doesn't even go into the two genderfluid characters, and the transgender character.

Of all these characters, I adored every single last one. Ida and Daisy's relationship was very charming, and not overdone. In fact, I was hoping that there would be more Ida and Daisy, and possible learning more about Daisy's home-life, which was constantly hinted at throughout the novel.

Intriguing plot

While the writing was stilted in some places, I found it overall adequate for the story Evans was trying to tell. Everything came across in clear words, and I rarely felt confused in a topic that often loses its readers. Time travel and paradoxes are a difficult thing to get across to a reader, and I was only once confused at the end as this complex theory was being explained.

With the way Evans wrote the plot, all characters expect Ida are dropped off with a half to a quarter left in the book. Despite my love for Ida and her character, I was disappointed in not being able to spend more time with Daisy and Frank, and even her dad. All of the characters in this book were either interesting or enjoyable, and, while not exactly stifling, I feel like the ending, or at least the building action, would have been more satisfying if Ida had not been alone.

four and a half stars - Overall?

Evans has a gift in crafting characters that you grow to love, and I can only wish that they'll write a sequel to Ida to revisit these characters, and possibly that job offer that Ida received. Ida was an engaging, quick read that I'll never forget, and probably reread multiple times.

Would I Recommend?

Looking for a diverse time-travel book that is not confusing? This book is for you. The amount of diversity that Evans managed to include is the basically the amount of my dreams. I will never not recommend this book, despite the few confusions and preferences.
Profile Image for Rachel McDonald.
177 reviews6 followers
July 30, 2021
This was an interesting premise, but very poorly executed. I continued reading in hope that the idea would develop, but in the end only finished it because I could see the end (and it counts to my Goodreads challenge). Reading the acknowledgements, this novel came from a 15 page script, which makes sense. I think the writing is that of someone more visual than verbal. The overuse of phrases (especially about lungs and forgetting how to breathe) was jarring. I have a feeling that this storyteller would have probably made a fantastic graphic novel from the source material - shorter with more visual punch.

I found Ida, the main character, unlikable. She lacked real emotional responses to the cyclic loss of loved ones. Her relationships bore very little strain as a result of her changing timelines, which for me was beyond suspension of disbelief. Despite a desire to improve her life, the lead character only used her power for shampoo choices and breaking cups on a daily basis. Cheating death was, even more unbelievably, presented as basically unimportant. Mortality and its implications barely got a tip of the hat. The interesting question of race and the ongoing challenges that may have led Ida to the sense of hopelessness was never developed in a meaningful way, which was disappointing.

The supporting characters were one dimensional and soulless stereotypes. Daisy and Frank just seemed to be put in there as representatives of non-binary and transgender individuals and had no real depth. I had no attachment to the relationship between Daisy and Ida at all. Again, hints at an interesting story with Daisy was brushed over, so seemed completely out of place. The characters of Damaris and Adrastos had no real purpose. The author also gave Ida the gift of omnipotence in identifying Damaris as gender fluid.

The world building was poor. Consequences were unclear, and what Damaris and Adrastos were involved for or with is beyond me. Where were they from? Was their Earth stationary where they knew of all this, or did they come from somewhere else? Any exposition would have been good. The first sign of any real action in the narrative was well past the midway point, and it didn't develop after that.

Ultimately, this book became painful to read pretty quickly, and the promising premise wasn't developed. How do people decide on a path, and find the drive to pursue what they want? No idea, and this book isn't going to help with that. Cluttered, boring and lacking emotional weight, the best thing I can say is that I finished it.
Profile Image for Lori Murray.
409 reviews33 followers
May 25, 2017
I just couldn't finish the book it just wasn't going to happen. I really did want to love this book but I knew I wouldn't be able to give the book the love a book should have.
I really liked the main character, so because of her, I gave the book 1 *.
I am sure other individuals would love this book, it just wasn't meant to be for me.
I would love to think the publisher, Author, and Netgalley, for allowing me to try and read the book, once I requested it to read. This opinion was my very own, and no one else's.
Profile Image for Jess Best.
200 reviews14 followers
November 22, 2017
It is ALWAYS either:
- about to rain
- raining
- about to stop raining.

This was actually pretty good! Kinda the right amount of freaky because I'm scared easily but it still had an eerie feel to it. This would be the sort of book to read in one sitting on a cozy day in bed with hot chocolate.
Profile Image for Bren MacDibble.
Author 29 books72 followers
September 4, 2017
Loved this book. Ida captures that sense of becoming an adult in a time when it's so hard to get a break that loads of young people have no idea how to get started at adulthood, and when every direction feels wrong, perhaps it's just easier to slide sideways.
I adored the relationships in this, and whenever Daisy went missing, or Dad was shut down, my heart broke for young Ida.
The sense of menace from the dopplegangers was great. Ida battling them all was so cool.
The end, realising the past was a place where mistakes were made, accepting that, taking responsibility for it, and making the best choice available now, was perfect.
Profile Image for Sprinkled Pages.
394 reviews144 followers
March 9, 2017
i thought this was an interesting read. the rep was really, really good and is #ownvoices so yay! the writer is an australian author which i absolutely love bc #loveozya and i thought the idea of this was quite cool + the cover is very awesome.

it let me down a little because i didn't really enjoy the plot because i was confused/wasn't able to keep up with what was happening and i didn't feel a connection to the characters quite sadly! the writing wasn't very special either.

overall though, do read it because a) it's got great rep b) its by an aussie author and c) it's quite unique!

for more, read my no spoiler book review here: http://sprinkledpages.blogspot.com/20...
Profile Image for hayls 🐴.
312 reviews12 followers
June 10, 2019
3.5/5. Love queer time travel sci-fi, I just wanted a bit more explanation and world building. But I was hooked as it was. It was also strangely comforting to me in this extremely shitty period of bereavement I now find myself in.
Profile Image for Louise.
87 reviews25 followers
February 4, 2017
I requested for this book because it’s all about travelling between parallel universes which was a concept that really intrigues me. So it was a pleasant surprise when I discovered how incredibly diverse this book was.

We start of with our main character, Ida, she’s bisexual and biracial. Then we have our supporting characters: Daisy (her partner) is genderqueer, Frank (her cousin) is transgender, and two other genderfluid characters that I’ll tell you more about later. I loved every representation in this book, it worked so well and you know how sometimes some diverse characters feel force (like they’re just there for the sake of being diverse), well it wasn’t like that here.

So going back to Ida, she has this ability where she can go back in time and change her past decisions. Well, that’s what she thinks she does but because I already read the synopsis and in there it clearly states that she can travel across parallel universes, I already knew that that what she was doing. Basically, as a reader, I already knew something that the MC didn’t know. This may sound cool and fun, it was at first, but then I discovered the plot was very focused on Ida discovering this. When she started seeing doppelgangers and losing control of her ability, she was confused because she thought that she was only time travelling but I knew in fact that it has something to do with parallel universes.

That’s one reason why I only gave this book 3-stars, another thing is that it lacked world-building. There’s these two genderfluid characters, Damaris and Adrastos, they have the same capability as Ida plus they run this some kind of business around it. I was SO intrigued by them, and it was sad that I only got a surface level of their story. Also, the why and how of the travelling thing wasn’t explained.

Ida is the character that you won’t have a hard time to love and care for, she’s very relatable because she just graduated high school and she doesn’t know what to do next with her life which something I can really relate to. The whole plot was focused on Ida so it felt like it was more of a character-driven story, we got to read about her dealing with grief, family, relationships, finding things about her ability and just coming in terms with her current life. She went through so much across these pages and I just couldn’t help but root for her.

I also loved the whole feel of the book, it had a dark and eerie feel to it especially on the latter half. The writing style was okayish, it worked well with the other elements but I just wished that it was less descriptive.

Overall, I loved the characters and diversity in this but the storyline was quite confusing and the plot lacked for me. The parallel universe idea was a great concept and I wished that there was more to it. Despite all that, still an enjoyable and recommendable book!

Thank you so much Netgalley and the publisher for giving me an eARC of this book.

MORE REVIEWS AND OTHER STUFF ON MY BLOG: https://geniereads.wordpress.com/

I was so intrigued by the synopsis that's why I requested this book. Seriously, PARALLEL UNIVERSES? SIGN ME UP. The concept of having the ability to travel across different/alternative paths of your lives is amazing. Plus all the representations in this book was a delightful addition. I only gave it 3-stars because despite the great concept, the plot felt flat for me. The whole plot line could have been so much better, and with a concept like that a lot could have happened. I may sound as if I'm attacking the author, I'm most definitely not! I really enjoyed reading, but it also felt lacking.

These are only my initial thoughts upon finishing the book, a full review to follow!
Profile Image for Mel González.
464 reviews64 followers
January 16, 2017
“It wasn't the first time I'd been with someone, but it was different this time. Maybe it was because when I told them I was bisexual they weren't like the girls who thought I was *really* a lesbian; they weren't like the boys who thought it was hot. Maybe it was because when they told me they were genderqueer I just said that I knew and they cried as they smiled at me. Or maybe it was just because our limbs fit together, maybe because it tasted like salt water and was the colour of sunlight through grass. Or maybe it was just all these things.”

*I received an ARC provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*

I'm not going to lie: this book is weird. Weird in ways I've never read before and weird in ways that are difficult to follow sometimes so if you're not into things that seem to not make sense at first and things you're going to have to pay attention to understand, you should stay away from this book. But if you like innovative, interesting plots with rich and colourful characters, with mystery aspects, but also sci-fi aspects and psychological thrillers aspects, with things that you might have to accept just because they are there even if they don't really coincide with what you think something should be, you should definitely try this book. It's a completely new experience.

This is a story of bad decisions, how to fix them and the consequences of those actions. But in its core, it's a story about love, family and mundane and simple things. Not a lot happens in this book at the same time that everything happens. I absolutely adore the already established relationship that Ida and Daisy had. The diversity of these characters was a key aspect of this book as well. Ida is biracial (half Vietnamese) and bisexual. The other MC we get is a POC genderfluid with another genderfluid love interest. Daisy is a POC genderqueer and uses they/them pronouns and there's another side character, Frank, who is trans. I adore that we had so many different expressions of gender as well, and everyone was different and it showed that not because a lot of people identify as something, they all have to act and express in the same way. These things were so important because even though they weren't the main thing of this book, they were all around it and represented the world we live in perfectly.

My problem with this book was that I think there were some things that were left unexplored. I think we should have known more of Daisy because even though we can draw conclusions of what was happening to them as it was constantly hinted at, we never get to know them completely. I think if you're going to put something in the book, it should have a purpose. Also, the book ended so suddenly and there were things that still needed to be explained. I hated that Ida wasn't asking questions, she was curious to an extent but when things were going to hell, she was still not wondering what was happening and I know she stopped questioning it but I couldn't understand why. In general, this was a mind blowing book that made me question, think and even scared me at some points, it definitely has a creepy factor but it's so worth the read.
Profile Image for Stacey.
59 reviews12 followers
April 5, 2018
Thank you to NetGalley and the publishers for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

"How do people decide on a path, and find the drive to pursue what they want?

Ida struggles more than other young people to work this out. She can shift between parallel universes, allowing her to follow alternative paths.

One day Ida sees a shadowy, see-through doppelganger of herself on the train. She starts to wonder if she’s actually in control of her ability, and whether there are effects far beyond what she’s considered.

How can she know, anyway, whether one universe is ultimately better than another? And what if the continual shifting causes her to lose what is most important to her, just as she’s discovering what that is, and she can never find her way back? "

In this book, you follow Ida who possesses the ability to switch between alternate universes and change her decisions. However, the constant use of this power means that she is creating millions of different timelines and eventually, they start to blur together. I thought the premise sounded so interesting and I was looking forward to learning more about this concept but the execution wasn't quite there. Ida was, let's say, complicated. The plotline was choppy and when you add in the time jumping, it became a bit confusing. I've been left with more questions than I started off with.

Evans writing style is a little jarring. It was vague and, at times, underdeveloped which disrupted the flow. This is a very short book, and I felt that it lacked much-needed details. With the introduction of Damaris and Adrastos, there are hints to a bigger world which is never explained. I would have liked to have seen a lot more information about the parallel universes and the power that Ida had. I just wanted more. On top of this, the ending felt very rushed.

Despite my general issues, this book did have incredible diverse representation. This is the first book I have read that has a genderqueer character, and while I would have liked more Daisy, it was a pleasant experience reading about them. We also have bisexual, bi-racial, trans and gender fluid characters thrown in too. At no point did this feel forced either, which I liked.

This book did really have potential. With a little more fleshing out and more attention, it could have been a fresh and interesting take on the Sci-Fi genre. It just fell a bit flat for me.
Profile Image for Mishma.
352 reviews68 followers
January 7, 2017
What if you have the ability to go back in time and alter your choices? Move back 5 minutes to stop yourself from saying something stupid. Go back a few hours so you could pick your umbrella from home when you were setting out? That's the ability Ida possesses. Though at first it is cool, and extremely convenient, Ida starts to depend on her ability too much, and realises that all these time, she hasn't been time travelling but rather has been shifting into alternative universes, and has shifted too much to the point where the differences between these universes has become blurry.

I was pleasantly surprised by Ida. I have to admit that I wasn't expecting much, but I was really awed by the concept and how it was executed. I've always been fascinated with books and plots that deal with time, alternative universes and timeline, and Evans has taken an interesting spin on the concept. There was a constant thrill in the story, as we navigate through the threads of time and universes with Ida, to the point even our sense of it becomes blurry.

And Ida was extremely diverse! Our main character Ida is half Vietnamese, and bisexual. Her love interest - and I loved the fact that it was an established relationship - was genderqueer, and used they/them pronouns. Other than the F/F relationship here, we also have another main character - Damaris - who doesn't have much screen time as Ida, but has a prominent POV - who is genderfluid, along with another genderfluid love interest - I loved how Evans has mentioned that he wears suits and nail polish - plus I am also pretty sure Ida's cousin Frank is queer, though I am afraid I don't know how to classify him. The diversity in the book was amazing, it didn't take center stage, but there were enough instances where the characters' ethnicity or sexual orientation and gender identity played a role in their experiences.

Overall, I think Ida is an underrated hidden gem of 2017, which you should all try out!

Edit - Alison Evans let me know that Frank is a transboy!
Profile Image for Elizabeth.
Author 2 books235 followers
February 9, 2018
I whizzed through this fast-paced contemporary debut, which won People's Choice in the Victorian Premier's Literary Awards. The story's slightly fragmented form, which switches between numerous parallel timelines, made it a rather challenging read at first - but when I realised this disruptive mode of storytelling was allowing me to experience Ida's distress myself, I appreciated the story on a whole new level.

Ida, just out of high school, finds life dull, has trouble finding direction, and often experiences self-doubt. However, thanks to an unusual shifting power, she literally gets to change the decisions she has made in the past and explore alternate paths. Ida's power lands her in a mess of trouble when she realises that creating parallel timelines can lead to dire consequences. I really felt Ida's frustration, confusion and alienation as she switched between parallel lives. When not jumping between lives the author keeps us grounded with plenty of concrete images, visceral description, and often a shining clarity.

"I used to hate my body; I was taught to hate it and I learnt so well. In school I was the fat Asian, words whispered through the hallways like they were poison, shouted through the hallways like they were poison, shouted like weapons, but then once I realised neither of those things were insults, it was better. Every body has these soft folds, the pimples in weird places, because no one's that shiny in real life..."

Reading Ida made me reflect on the ways we are pressured into presenting many different selves to others, of the anxiety this provokes, the sense of dislocation and alienation that can ensue, the disassociation that provides temporary relief. We are often pulled out of Ida's present timeline into another by fluid yet unusual descriptions like this one.

"Everything is white dark. I know this place, its coldwarm comfort. It's like I'm floating but there's no way to tell because I can't open my eyes. I can't move.

Peaceful calm.

The space is everywhere and although I am not bound, I know if I try to move my arms the space won't let me. Nothing but the lightdark embrace..."

The characters were perfectly pitched - somehow the author made me quickly care about all of them. The literary merit of this story makes it a great choice for advanced high school students or anyone interested in sci-fi with a psychological twist.
Profile Image for Pocket Full of Pages.
79 reviews17 followers
September 14, 2017
Thank you so much to Bonnier Publishing for sending us a copy of this novel to review❤️.

It’s not very often that you find a novel which features a great range of diversity, hidden within its cover! Also featuring a unique and fascinating plot about time travel, ‘IDA’ portrayed gender fluid characters and one character’s different personalities and events across parallel universes.

This novel was just spectacular with how it features different perspectives! We honestly just loved how diverse this novel was, giving each character their own individual voice.

We were just so excited to read this novel as we continue to hear positive thoughts and reviews from our friends and fellow readers! We were especially excited to pick up this novel to help share some #loveozya.

Although we really did enjoy this novel, we did find ourselves confused within some parts of the novel. This could be due to the amount of gaps we found, or just how fast paced we found this novel to be. We would have loved a bit more detail however, we did enjoy this novel.

The writing style in particular jumped head first straight into action! We found this to be good in a way to help make the overall plot and characters really intriguing however, we also just felt like by doing this we couldn’t really grasp a good handle on the novels world building.

We actually found ourselves really loving the time travel concept to this novel! Ida portrays a really interesting and unique ability to transport herself across parallel universes, creating changes to situations and the order of her life. She often finds herself using her ability for small things such as to change her shampoo, to change what she may have said in any situation or even to change any predicament she found herself in of which she didn’t particularly like. Due to her frequent shifting of time a paradox is created, which is one result of her time travelling ability.

We found this novel to be quite intriguing in regard to Ida’s ability as well as her journey to find her way back to her own time and family. We did find this novel to have gaps and loose ends however, we really did enjoy this novel so we would absolutely recommend it to you all!

Book Rating: 3.5/5 Stars⭐️
March 15, 2017
Talk about unrealized potential, man

Ida is the story of a bisexual, Vietnamese-Australian girl named, you guessed it, Ida. Ida has no idea what she wants to do with her life, but that's okay, because she's got a little trick up her sleeve that'll help her fix things until she figures it out. You see, she's a time traveler, and can just flip back in time whenever she needs to.

At least, that's what she thinks.

Things are a tiny bit more complicated than Ida thinks they are, and general chaos ensues.

As a book about time travel and alternate universes and timelines, Ida had a LOT of potential to be a great, great book. But, like I said earlier, a lot of this potential went unrealized. The pacing and the writing were incredibly choppy - one minute really damn good, and the next, slow and lackluster. The characters, despite being wonderfully diverse - bisexual, biracial MC; genderfluid established love interest (they/them pronouns); transgender cousin (Frank, for anyone who missed the clue)- weren't given the chance to become whole.

The only character that went through some sort of growth (and not very much) was Ida. And personally, I found her a little hard to root for throughout this entire novel. Maybe if she'd shown some substantial growth by the end of the story? But what growth she did go through was barely even a step in the grand scheme of things.

Even the conflict didn't pack as much of a punch as it could have. Because of the rushed writing and the lack of a build-up of suspense, everything sorta fell flat. If Ida spent less time telling us what clothes she was wearing and what food she was eating and all of the other mundane things she did, and more more time showing us what she was slowly starting to discover and realize, then this would have been a much better book.

Yes, the Show VS. Tell problem. Again.

I usually rip my 2 star books apart. I don't want to do this with Ida because, here's the thing. I enjoyed the book. The premise was, honest to God, amazing. The fact that Evans decided to make it as diverse as it was, was brilliant. With a little more time and editing, and maybe a few extra pages, this could have easily been a four star review. Which is what makes me so mad.

To paint you a clearer picture of how I felt about this book, let me tell you this: I read the author's note at the end, and I think that, as the basis of a short film this story works incredibly well. But as a full length novel about time travelling and alternate universes? It needs a ton of work.
Profile Image for tasha.
108 reviews
February 18, 2018
I wanted to like this book much more than I did! Four trans/nb characters and an nb author got me so stoked. Shame on me but I haven't read that many Australian authors so that was an added bonus. I liked the concept, reminded me kind of of Everyday by David Levithan. The first third of the book was amazing and I was so keen to see where it went. But then the plot lost me. The language was understandable but the structure and plot itself was super confusing. I think maybe if I read it a second time I might get it but I think it requires a lot of attention. Wonderful representation though and I've read far worse books.

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