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Reviewed by Nino Lobiladze for Readers' Favorite
Sixteen-year-old Nolan lost his mother and moved to his Uncle Bailey's house. Nolan disliked living in Eastside Morley, Maine, among rich snobs who had ousted his mother. But he befriended Harlow, his neighbor, schoolmate, and daughter of Morley's mayor, Matt Stevenson. Mountain Pass Trail was not far from their houses. It led to a pond. Nolan met a strange man named Topher on that trail. Topher claimed that he didn't belong to this world but used to live in the parallel Morley. The pond connected the two Morleys, and Nolan learned about it the hard way. He fell in, went underwater, and found himself in the city-state under the authority of the merciless Governor Matthias. Meanwhile, a boy named Nole, Nolan's double, took his place in Morley. Will Nolan find his way back home? Ripples by Jasmine O’Hea is for young adult fans of dystopia and adventure.
Ripples was not always an easy read, yet the book touched on important topics. Jasmine O’Hea describes a convincing dystopian city-state ruled by a cruel autocrat. The author urges us to ponder the meaning and cost of freedom and the dangers deriving from the lust for power. Mayor Matt and Governor Matthias are complete opposites to each other. Matt is a loving father and wise politician who listens to people, while Matthias is dazzled by power. Jasmine masterfully crafted these and other multilayered characters. Nolan had to grow up early. He is compassionate and insightful. Another profound character is Lolo. As a survivor in the dangerous world of her father, Governor Matthias, she faces remarkable moral choices. Beautifully written, Ripples gives us much to think about and offers thrilling adventures. I appreciated the dark element of dystopia, the nail-biting intrigue, and the astonishing ending of Ripples.