Author: Katelyn Detweiler
Publication Date: October 4th, 2016
Publisher: Viking Books for Young Readers
Source: I received a copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Synopsis: A beautiful work of magical realism, a story about a girl in the real world who is called upon to be a hero.
When terrorists bomb Disney World, seventeen-year-old Iris Spero is as horrified as anyone else. Then a stranger shows up on her stoop in Brooklyn, revealing a secret about the mysterious circumstances surrounding Iris’s birth, and throwing her entire identity into question. Everything she thought she knew about her parents, and about herself, is a lie.
Suddenly, the press is confronting Iris with the wild notion that she might be “special.” More than just special: she could be the miracle the world now so desperately needs. Families all across the grieving nation are pinning their hopes on Iris like she is some kind of saint or savior. She’s no longer sure whom she can trust—except for Zane, a homeless boy who long ago abandoned any kind of hope. She knows she can’t possibly be the glorified person everyone wants her to be… but she also can’t go back to being safe and anonymous. When nobody knows her but they all want a piece of her, who is Iris Spero now? And how can she—one teenage girl—possibly heal a broken world?
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I was incredibly excited for this book, despite not having read Immaculate before wanting to read this one. However, I did pick up Immaculate and read it before I read this one, because I was looking forward to reading the first book that Katelyn Detweiler wrote. While I though Immaculate was a good read, I also really liked this book, and I believe that the writing in Transcendent was a lot better than in Immaculate. To be completely honest, you can read this book without first having to have read Immaculate, but reading the first book fills in a lot of background information, so I’m glad I picked that one up first.
Transcendent is about a seventeen year old girl named Iris. If you read the first book already, this will all make sense to you, but if not, that’s okay, too – you can pick it up as you go.
Iris thinks that she knows about her world – her family, her friends – everything is right. However, when a horrible tragedy strikes at Disney World, Iris is devastated like everyone else she knows. How could this happen? What will it mean for the people of the world and their faith in humanity and each other? But then another weird thing happens: a stranger shows up on her doorstep and tries to explain things to her – things that make her question her identity, her family, and why this person might believe that Iris could possibly be the saving grace that the world needs right now. After all, she’s just Iris, and she’s never met this person before. She doesn’t know what to think.
As time goes on and things get even weirder, Iris is left trying to figure out the truth while the press both tears her apart and boosts her up – claiming that she is the new “savior” of their world. When she isn’t sure she can handle anymore and is on the verge of finding out who she really is, she only has one person she can trust: a homeless boy named Zane, who doesn’t view the world with much optimism at all.
I loved Iris and Zane…they were both trying to figure out who they are and looking for the last remaining sliver of love in a world that seems so bent on hatred. The two of them seemed to work so well together, and they really made a good team. Zane was there for Iris when she wasn’t sure she could trust anyone else, and Iris offered Zane a friend when he felt like there were no more positive things left in the world. It was a beautiful friendship between them.
This book was even more powerful than the previous book by Katelyn Detweiler, and that’s saying a lot. It was nice to get to meet Iris, and see how her life had turned out, especially after enjoying Immaculate so much. This book explores the possibility of one girl being the savior of a world that is so devoid of hope and love. It was beautiful and inspiring.