Eleanor by Johnny Worthen

Book Review: Eleanor by Johnny Worthen

Eleanor by Johnny WorthenReview by Mike Cluff

There are certain things, horrible things, that a person should never see, let alone experience. These moments carry their own particular flavor of immediate horror, but what about those moments and lifetimes after?

Some people attempt to go back to normal life and have those occasional nights, like Jon Voight’s character at the end of Deliverance, where they wake up screaming from suppressed memories that manifest in dream. Or, in the case of young Eleanor Anders, whose family was slaughtered in front of her, leaving humanity behind helps cover the pain and bury the horror.

However, it is when Eleanor Anders rejoins humanity that she has to deal with the inevitable process of facing her past and living once again as a human.

In Eleanor, Johnny Worthen takes the coming-of-age story and transforms it into a paranormal tale like no other. Eleanor isn’t exactly human and she has a difficult time blending in with the citizens of a small Wyoming town. And to top it off, she’s a teenager. Her adopted mother is dying and Eleanor would much rather just disappear into the wild. That is until, David — the only other human apart from her adopted mother that has ever cared for Eleanor — moves back into town.

I can honestly say that Johnny Worthen has created in Eleanor one of the most multi-faceted (on a few levels one might not suspect), conflicted, and beautiful characters that I have ever read. My one complaint is that we only get snippets of her history, which I imagine the author did on purpose.

In addition to the characters, the quality of writing proves that Johnny Worthen is no accidental author. Readers need to go into the book expecting paranormal elements, but also be aware that this book is very honest (no flashy nonsense) and grounded in a world young adults and adults alike can all easily fit into and accept, but a world that Eleanor cannot. That is what makes the book so compelling.

The first in a new series, Eleanor will leave you wanting more.

  • Paperback: 360 pages
  • Publisher: Jolly Fish Press (July 1, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1939967341
  • ISBN-13: 978-1939967343
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