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The Girl Who Could See

4.08  ·  Rating details ·  676 ratings  ·  270 reviews
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
Paperback, 208 pages
Published June 1st 2017 by CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
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Gray Cox Yes, but it is very minimal and innocent.
Abby Elissa Yes! There is some romance (including one kiss) and some violence, but I'd still consider it clean. No cussing.…moreYes! There is some romance (including one kiss) and some violence, but I'd still consider it clean. No cussing.(less)

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Average rating 4.08  · 
Rating details
 ·  676 ratings  ·  270 reviews

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Gray Cox

I'm going to review this on my blog probably on Wednesday, so I'll post a link then. :D
It's up!
(Also I took a TON of pictures because THAT COVER, and they are featured in my blog post, so yeah). Y'all are welcome. ;)
Elizabeth Dragina
Oct 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: memorable
Oh my poor, sad heart.

(( Just as a side note, cuz, I though you should know. . . It took me an hour to read this. :P ))

There was a moment of desperation, where I actually thought this was a tragedy -- O.O 😥 -- and I literally screamed and jumped around the room in relief because of the ending. Oh that ending though. So perfect. So cute. (( if that was spoilers...I'm sorry that I just ruined your life--not. ))

Because of how fast I read it I'm still reeling from shock and I don't quite know how
Kate Willis
(Originally posted on Lilian's blog as part of a very fun collab) ;)

First off, is it weird that I want to enlarge this cover and hang it up like a movie poster? Because I do. XD (And the birds, guys!!!)

I actually read this book twice in a row to get all my thoughts about it together. The first time I read it, I was pretty keyed up from something unrelated to the book plus the SUSPENSE that is this story that I felt like I definitely missed some things, so I read it again to get all the richness.
m a r y l i z
Aug 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
*clutches heart* Can I just say there's a reason the cover is so beautiful?

BECAUSE WOW. This novella made me cry. Laugh. Smile.

It made me sit and stare at the wall and stroke the cover because it's that kind of a book. The kind that leaves a mark on your very soul and becomes a lasting part of who you are.

That's what The Girl Who Could See is to me.


Okay, you want an actual review?

Lovely Things:


- All right, but the characters. Fern and Tristan and darling Eli
Abigayle Claire
May 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Once I finally stopped staring at the stunning cover and began reading the book, I was not disappointed! This felt like one of those really cool crazy person TV shows from the very beginning. It's a novella with the end-of-the-world, get-the-FBI-to-listen stuff. With the distinct feeling that the fantasy and 'imaginary' elements were add-ons to a realistic 'real' world, it had the flare of modern Marvel movies. I tend to like that sort of thing when it's well done, so I enjoyed the book from the ...more
Lisa Elis

I basically never read novellas because SHORTNESS. But I have heard people raving about this forever so, why not? And I went in prepared for its shortness so it did not disappoint ;D


+ FERN. She is so vulnerable and relatable and heroic all the same ... *hugs her*

+ TRISTAN. He was awesome of course ;D imaginary friend, anyone? He's the PERFECT imaginary friend lol

+ AGENT BARSTOW. hurray for the FBI!! We need more GOOD law enforcement people in books, and eve
Fern is the girl who can see. Following an accident aged 8, Fern has been able to see and hear more than most people, including imaginary friend Tristan. But Tristan isn't imaginary, he's from another world. A world destroyed by the Rhoon, who want nothing more than to consume Earth. And the only way to do that is use the connection Fern has...

I'm struggling really to come up with any real emotions about this novella, which I think is its biggest downfall. The characters, storyline and writing d
Hann Remraf
I totally get why everyone loves this book now. And I, along with everyone else who's read it, it seems, would recommend it, too XD ...more
Jan 26, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Incredible book


... Dang. Pretty powerful book. I would definitely recommend this for those readers who love sci fi and romance -- such a great book!
Lindsey (Books for Christian Girls)
About this 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, savi
Gracelyn Buckner
Mar 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Anyone
5 Stars

Wow! This was so good! I don't read speculative fiction very much, but I'd heard so many good things about this, that I stepped out of my comfort zone. I don't usually spend that much money on one book, either, but it was so worth it. Someone mentioned that it was a Christian allegory, and I was watching for that. I could see some of it at the beginning. At the end I was a bit confused as to how it fit into a Christian worldview (not that it was un-Christian or anything). But all in all,
Mar 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Well. That was absolutely amazing. The concept, the prose, the characters, the THEME 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.

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. (view spoiler)
Megan McCullough
Jun 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
So umm I accidentally read the entire thing in almost one sitting. This book was absolutely INCREDIBLE. So well written and the pacing was amazing. Can I give it 100 out of 5 stars?

You can always tell when a book is an author's passion story. THIS IS KARA'S PASSION, and it comes through so beautifully on the page. This is Kara pouring her heart out, and the results are beautiful. Definitely give this book a read.
Bethany Jennings
May 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Oh my word.

I stayed up until 4 AM reading this, desperate to see how it would end. Sometimes I had to set the book down and take a deep breath before I could keep going because it was SO intense and cut right to the heart (oh the feeeeeels).

Fern was so relatable and real, and I ached for her struggles - her "insanity" drew me in from the get-go, and it was a thrill to watch her overcome her trauma and step into her strength. And Tristan!!! So tender and snarky and epic. <3 <3 Elinore was a sweet
Lila Kims
Okay... so this was EPIC.

It took me about half the novella to really get into the story, but that might be my fault, idk. This book is beautiful and inspiring, featuring characters I was absolutely in love with by the last page. Fern and Tristan are amazing and I can't get enough of them.

The premise is SO original! What the author did with the whole imaginary-friend, rift-between-worlds idea... It was just brilliant. And I thought it was especially cool how Fern could see both worlds at the same
Claire Banschbach
I'm at like 4.5-5 stars right now. This was super cool and fun!

I loved the concept of the imaginary friend who's actually real! I kind of love stories with alternate worlds/realities, and this was fantastic. At first I thought there was no way everything could be resolved with how short the book looked, but it ended up being maybe just the right length. I did want a bit more detail on things, like the science-y stuff, but it works as is.

Loved all the characters! Fern was great and I enjoyed se
WHAT?! I literally read this in one car ride. This was EPIC! Please read this!
Deborah O'Carroll
Jul 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
4.5 stars

This was a completely fascinating book and I'd never read anything like it! Hospitals etc. give me the willies which is why it doesn't get ALL THE STARS but otherwise I really enjoyed it and especially loved Tristan! :D Delightful and unique! *hugs story*
R.F. Gammon
So I'd heard quite a bit about this book thanks to many of my friends here on Goodreads, and when it went on sale, I snagged it. Sweet deal - $.99! I started it in the afternoon and read until ten o'clock, when my dad made me go to bed with literally two pages to go. So I got up at 5:30 in the morning to finish it.

And it was SOOOOOOO GOOOOOOOD, y'all. Amazing. Totally worth the hype.

-Fern. She was a very unconventional heroine, and I just loved her so much. She was realistic for all the
Sarah Grace Grzy
May 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Ages 14+ for thematic elements
Wow, that was . . . just wow! This book is pretty awesome, ya'll.

First things first: THAT COVER! *swoon* I am in love! So gorgeous and so perfectly portrays the story! Simply lovely!

While the paranormal\speculative\sci-fi genre is not one I often read, and I have very few favorites, I was immediately drawn into this one! The character of Fern was realistic and relatable (even if you don't still have an imaginary friend. :D) from the very first page. I also love her niece, Elinor. The author did
Jul 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Whew!!!!! That was AMAZING!
Victoria Howell
Oct 08, 2017 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed it. It was creative and I loved the concept. :)
S.G. Willoughby
Jul 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A fun, clean, and readable story! They say not to judge a book by it's cover... normally, I'd agree wholeheartedly, but the story in this book is just as cool as the book's amazing cover. ;) And the climax scene was just epic! The only thing that threw me off a bit was the jumping back and forth in time. Usually that wouldn't bother me, but it felt like I was missing a few scenes. (Though it made quiet a bit more sense the 2nd and 3rd time around ;) ) . It could just be my brain, of course! :D O ...more
Essie-Marie W.
I finished The Girl Who Could See, and OH MY WORD it was amazing!!! 😍 This book got me hooked from page one and left me in a squealing mess (which is a compliment in its highest form) at the end. I'm so glad I got to read it. I highly recommend it to anyone and everyone. I don't care what genres you read. You have to read The Girl Who Could See. It's phenomenal. EEEEEEEEEEEEKKKK!!!!! The story is original, the plot is intriguing, and the characters are phenomenal. Go read it. Now. ...more
ashley nicole
Aug 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Seeing Tristan had never been the nightmare. My desire to be 'normal' was - to become something I was never meant to be. Safe and complacent. To survive, but not to live.
"There's so much more than that."

I saw the raving reviews on here and I was just like "I've got to read this one". First off, I'm not a huge fan of science fiction and this book started off a little rough for me, but once I got into it I really enjoyed it! There are so many great themes about being different, letting go, and sa
Nicole Dust
Oct 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
Honestly I don’t know what I think about the story. I’m just happy that I was able to finish a book. XD When I reread I will do a proper review.

Fast-paced, heartwarming, and unique story. If you're looking for a quick read that gives you all the feels then be sure to check this one out! 😉

Clean Rating 5/5
Clean besides some mild violence
H.L. Burke
The Girl Who Could See is a tightly paced contemporary SciFi with tight but evocative writing and easy to follow, compelling action.
The book isn't without its flaws.
I think my biggest gripe is the fact that in the beginning (the very first chapter) the main character is being interrogated about how she knew that a building which has recently collapsed was going to collapse. Immediately following this, we flash back to before the building collapse for some back story, and I kept expecting to com
Angela Watts

Besides being occasionally difficult to imagine and sometimes things weren't too vivid (might just be my over-stressed brain, though), the story was fast-paced and so sweet!

I loved how the plot never grew boring. Novellas can either be too crammed with action or too slow. This one was a great balance.

It also never got "dumb". As in, it was a good sci-fi without mumbo-jumbo or pushed agendas. That made it lots of fun as the story unfolded and the other world was explained.


The theme o
ryan elizabeth
✦ 4.5/5 ✦

I've been reading so many awesome books lately! The Girl Who Could See is one of my new favorites, and I'm SO glad to have read it.

What I Liked:
- TRISTAN. What an incredible character, the concept behind him was pulled off so well.
- Actually, all of the characters are very well written, I really liked Fern.
- The fantasy element was just so so cool.
- Her writing style is a favorite!
- It was so fast-paced (in a good way) and it pulled me in so quickly, couldn't put it down. I definitely c
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Who else thinks this book needs a sequel/prequel??? 2 10 Nov 27, 2017 04:22PM  

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As the daughter of missionaries, KARA SWANSON spent her childhood running barefoot through the lush jungles of Papua New Guinea. Able to relate with characters dropped into a unique new world, she quickly fell in love with the fantasy genre.

Swanson is the award-winning author of The Girl Who Could See and Peter Pan retelling/sequel Dust (Enclave Publishing, July 2020). She helps young writers ex

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“Why would you give up your life from a world that doesn't even believe you exist?'
A cough wracks his body, but his grip on me remains strong.
'Because I believe everyone should have the chance to live.”
“Today I am not the girl who's parents didn't love her. Or the women who's crazy. Or the aunt who can't keep a job.
I am the girl who can see what no one else can.
I matter, At least this once.”
More quotes…