E. J. Wenstrom

YOUNG ADULT/ SCI-FI: Evalee has known the day she was going to die since the day she was born. The date is even tattooed onto her body. She’s been planning her departure party for weeks, wanting it to be just right. When the moment finally arrives, Evalee finds herself quite the opposite of dead. The Directorate doesn’t want this nasty secret getting out. Her sister, Gracelyn, seems to know something is up. She uses her being a model citizen as the perfect cover for her digging behind the scenes at the Directorate office. In doing so, she learns that everything is not quite as it seems. Evalee narrowly escapes Directorate confines thanks to a group of rebels, Evalee is thrown into a world she never knew existed – one that goes against everything she’s ever been taught, and one that gives her a chance to actually have a purpose in life.

Unique and immersive, “Departures” pulls readers in and doesn’t let go until the final page. Evalee is a compelling heroine who instantly gains sympathy as she is thrown into a world of corruption. Gracelyn acts as a secondary narrator whose perspective helps fill in some of the gaps from the life Evalee left behind. There are two romantic stories intertwined in this story as well, and they are beautifully written. The world building is realistic and raises a lot of questions about the future of the world, questions that will resonate with readers long past “the end”. 
Ms. Yetter gives a strong performance! Her emotional connection to both the perspectives in the novel is strong. It is easy to get lost in her voice and listen for hours. She keeps the pacing on point so that even the slower, more detailed portions remain interesting. The action scenes are enhanced! Her ability to create character differentiation with a slight change in tone is fantastic! Every so often, Evalee and Gracelyn sound similar, but the confusion is only present for a few seconds.

This is a great tale for lovers of YA and dystopian adventures!

Chelsea Andersen