Shortcuts (Singularities) by Amy Bearce – Review by Francis O’Sullivan

Shortcuts (Singularities)Shortcuts by Amy Bearce
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Shortcuts is the first book in Amy Bearce’s Singularities series. It’s a fantasy novel aimed at older children (around KS2-3) with a gripping story that adults will also enjoy.
Parker is an attractive protagonist. With her popularity, talent and beauty, she’s someone many young readers will look up to and maybe even envy. Parker’s powers – her empathy – make her sensitive to the emotions of those around her. This makes Shortcuts a great book for encouraging empathy and discussions about emotions. It also shines a light on the potential burdens of being highly empathetic, which some readers might recognise in themselves.
There are complicated relationships of many kinds in this book. It examines how our emotions affect the people close to us, and how they are affected by our emotions. I was particularly interested in the dynamics between Parker and Mia as I think people can often feel overly responsible for the happiness of others.
For me, this is a five star book. I enjoyed reading it now, and I’m sure I would have enjoyed it just as much, if not more, if I’d read it when I was younger. It is well written for the age group, and would appeal to fans of superhero and magic stories. It would also be a good way into fantasy for readers who already enjoy books that focus on the drama of friendships and romance.

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