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Reviewed by Trisha Dawn for Readers' Favorite
Emily has been in charge of her siblings Aidan, Jacob and Claire ever since their mom got sick and decided to stay in her room indefinitely. Although Emily seems to have things under control in their household, there are aspects in her life which she does not: repeating junior year soon, friendships falling apart and her dad coming home from prison after years of incarceration. In addition to all of this, she woke up one morning to find festering weird cuts on her arms, which she had no idea how she got in the first place. Gabe, her new friend, has been trying to shower her with care and support, but more and more things are unraveling. Refusing to face her cruel past and her depressing present, she turns to medicine and fairy tales. In Riven: My Myth Trilogy Volume 1 by Jane Alvey Harris, Emily’s reality starts overlapping, little by little, with her seventh kingdom fantasy of faes and elves until the latter becomes her truth. Such is the story of Riven.
This novel is a beautifully written masterpiece. The hard truth of serious issues going hand in hand with the comforting escape a fantasy world can offer has been a reality among many victims of abuse, but has never been written down as accurately as in Riven. Author Jane Alvey Harris’ empathy towards victims is the underlying factor of this story. It has made the story relatable, even to someone like me who has not experienced abuse. The way she wrote it tugs at a few issues we have with ourselves, like our refusal to see problems as they are or our denial of the bad things that broke our hearts at one point. There were a lot of dark and sensitive parts, but they were written with caution. The end product is that these parts don’t seem vulgar at all. As for the characters, they are great representations. Emily or Emma is an embodiment of those people who really had it rough in their lives. Her family and relatives have done what anyone would do. Meanwhile, bad people are everywhere and they can even be at a close proximity to us. Riven is eye opening. The way it is written will help people understand how abuse changes a person. It’s definitely a must-read.