Blog Tour Review: Imagining Elsewhere by Sara Hosey

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

An unputdownable paranormal thriller with a fascinating premise.

Thank you so much to TBR and Beyond Tours and Sara Hosey for allowing me to be part of this experience and also providing me with a complimentary ARC and media kit!

Book Information

Genre: Young Adult Thriller
Publishing Date: June 21, 2022

Being a better person can be a lot harder than it looks.

It’s 1988, and former bully Astrid is forced to move from Queens to the small town of Elsewhere. Although this town is totally weird, Astrid sees the move as a way to reinvent herself. That is, until Candi—the teenage tyrant with supernatural powers who rules Elsewhere—decides she wants Astrid to be her new bestie.

Having to choose between the perks and safety of being the Queen B’s best friend and the desire to be a better person could literally cost Astrid her life. As Astrid and her new friends begin to dig into the dark history of Elsewhere and the source of Candi’s powers, they form a dangerous plan to resist Candi’s compulsion and to escape Elsewhere, or else be doomed to live under Candi’s rule forever. 

Content and Trigger Warnings

For a list of warnings, tropes, and representation for this book, check out its page on BookTriggerWarnings.com.

About the Author

Queens native Sara Hosey is the author of a novel, Iphigenia Murphy, and a novella, Great Expectations, as well as short fiction appearing in publications including Cordella Magazine and Casino Literary. Sara has also written an academic book about popular culture: Home is Where the Hurt Is: Media Depictions of Wives and Mothers.

Sara has held many jobs—she’s been a nanny, a home health aide, a chaperone for exchange students visiting the United States, a relay operator for the hearing impaired, and a security guard at the US Open in Flushing. She has worked in retail and in restaurants, in theaters and on screen as an extra in an educational film. These days, however, she mainly teaches English at a community college and writes. When she’s not working, she likes to spend time with her family and pets in upstate New York.

Author Links:

Review (no spoilers)

If you’d like to follow along with the rest of the tour, you can find the tour schedule here.

This is probably a weird thing to say at the start of a blog tour review that I signed up to do, but I was not expecting to like this novel as much as I did. It was marketed as a paranormal fantasy and I tend to not enjoy fantasy novels much. I’ve also been in a bit of a reading slump in terms of not being able to fully enjoy many of the books I’ve been reading recently.

With Imagining Elsewhere I was happily surprised to find out that it’s more of a thriller/horror than a fantasy novel. Additionally, the premise and overall story was extremely captivating. The plot follows a teen named Astrid who, after being expelled from her previous school for bullying, finds herself moving to a small town named Elsewhere with her family. She quickly learns that the entire town is ruled by one of her classmates, Candi, who has a supernatural ability to control people’s actions. Unable to convince her mother of Candi’s power, she soon finds herself forced to find her own path to freedom.

I will start off by saying that this book is pretty brutal in terms of graphic helplessness and bullying/harassment due to the theme of mind control. Candi is a formidable villain in that she is literally a power-hungry psychopath. She is not afraid to hurt—or kill—those who try to defy her. Our main character, Astrid, is also extremely morally grey, having been the biggest bully at the school she attended previously. Honestly, I think the pairing of two bullies (one with a conscience and one without) was a great dynamic to follow.

The way this book was written added another layer of intrigue. The story is told through third person narrative, but there are several footnotes spread throughout as if the book was written by an unnamed third party informing us (in present 2022) of the events that happened back in 1988, kind of like a found footage type deal. The footnotes range from notes informing the readers of 80s culture/technology to personal notes full of sarcasm and snark. The ending of Imagining Elsewhere invites a sequel, should the author choose to go that route, and I’d very much be interested in getting my hands on any follow up stories.

Imagining Elsewhere was published today so you can pick up a copy at a bookstore near you!

3 thoughts on “Blog Tour Review: Imagining Elsewhere by Sara Hosey

  1. Gina June 28, 2022 / 4:18 pm

    You always inspire me to write better reviews! Great job, Jenny

    Liked by 1 person

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