Nov 15, 2013

Review: Damselfly by Jennie Bates Bozic

Title: Damselfly
Author: Jennie Bates Bozic
Publisher: Jennie Bates Bozic LLC
Publishing Date: November 11, 2013
Pages/Format: 205, eARC

In 2065, the Lilliput Project created Lina - the first six-inch-tall winged girl - as the solution to a worldwide energy and food crisis. Isolated in a compound amidst the forests of Denmark, Lina has grown up aware of only one purpose: learn how to survive in a world filled with hawks, bumblebees, and loneliness. However, on the eve of her sixteenth birthday, she discovers that she’s not the only teenager her size. Six 'Toms' were created shortly after Lina, and now her creators need to prove to the world that tiny people are the next logical step in human evolution. In other words, they need to prove that reproduction is possible.

Um. No thanks. Lina's already fallen in love with a boy she met online named Jack. Only he has no idea that thumbelina1847 could literally fit inside his heart.

When her creators threaten to hurt Jack unless she chooses a husband from among the ‘Toms’, Lina agrees to star in a reality TV series. Once the episodes begin to air, the secret of her size is out. Cut off from any contact with the outside world, Lina assumes Jack is no longer interested. After all, what guy would want to date a girl he can’t even kiss?

Slowly, very slowly, she befriends the six young men who see her as their only ticket to happiness. Perhaps she can make just one guy’s dream of love and companionship come true. But her creators have a few more twists in store for her that she never thought possible. 

She’s not the only one playing to the cameras.

Initial Reaction of Book in One Word: Fun!

When I first heard about Damselfly, I was very, very intrigued--it's a retellingof/based on Thumbelina! I just thought that was so cool, especially since I haven't seen any retellings of that. I was fortunate enough to receive an eARC from the author (thanks, Jennie!), and once I sat down and put all my focus on the book, I found it to be fun, fast-paced, and enjoyable.

Damselfly is a modernized version of the Thumbelina tale. It's told from the POV of Lina, a six-inch tall creation, based off a damselfly's DNA (I think), and the DNA of several humans, so she basically looks like a very miniature human, but with wings. In short, Lina is a science experiment, and in many ways she is treated like she's just that: she can't leave the compound, a lot of what she can and can't do is controlled, and she believes she is the only one of her kind. However, she also thinks that when she turns sixteen and becomes an adult, she'll be free to leave. EH, WRONG ANSWER. She gets told that she will always be part of the Lilliput Project, and that there are more people her size--six Toms, and through a reality television show, she must choose one to be her husband and mate. Lina would maybe be a little more open to this if she wasn't forced to do it...and if she hadn't already fallen in love with Jack, a full-sized human she met online.

I liked the story. It was interesting to see how Lina handled things and to see how different each character was. Her and Jack's online dates were cute (he doesn't know she's teeny tiny). When I first met the Toms, I liked them--each one had their own personality, and I think Row was probably my favorite. Of all her choices, I think I most wanted her with Jack, but because of their size difference, I went with Row. I liked the nice scientists, but I despised the evil scientist Dr. Christiansen.

If there was one thing I'd change about Damselfly, I think I'd add more. It had a nice storyline and good characters and a pace that made it easy to flip (electronic) pages, but some scenes were quick or I could've used more backstory in some cases. That's not to say that what's there doesn't work, because it does. But it's simple, and I wouldn't mind knowing more. Especially with the Toms--I'd love to hear more about them, as a group and individually. I also wouldn't mind having more from the reality show they all compete in.

In the end, I feel like my review is insufficient. I really did like this book, much more so than not. It's an interesting take on the story of Thumbelina, and one that I would love to hear more about. (Is there going to be a sequel? After that ending--which wasn't bad--I feel like there could be...?) Damselfly features readable writing, a quick pace, and a good story with a likeable cast of characters. Really, this was just one of those fun, breezy books that can put/keep you in a good mood. I smiled and I gasped, and I enjoyed reading it. (There were some TWISTS that I really, really did not expect or see coming. And I loved that.) Was it what I expected it to be? No. But I most certainly do not regret reading it, and I hope you'll check it out, too.

Did I like it? Yes!
Did I love it? No, but not in a bad way.
Would I reread it? Possibly!
Would I purchase it? I wouldn't mind having a physical copy on my shelf.
Who would I recommend it to? If you're looking for something light, quick, and fun, I'd suggest this. Also, it's a modernized retelling of Thumbelina. That's cool!


  1. I do want a physical copy of this one! I thought it was unique, and i'm a sucker for retellings haha. I liked that it wasn't all * fluff * It got pretty dark a couple times there! I think your review got your point across and I hope people pick it up because of that! Here is my review :D

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