Terra by Gretchen Powell

in All Posts

I am so excited to write a book review of the new young adult novel, Terra, which was penned by fellow blogger (and e-friend) Gretchen Powell.

photo 1 (39)

Henry gives Terra two drooly thumbs up.


I am a huge fan of YA dystopian novels (The Hunger Games is just the tip of the iceberg…. I also love these dystopian novels).  Terra is part dystopian/part science fiction and all awesomeness.


Terra opens at some point in the distant future.  The world is no longer you like and I know it.  Wealthy, privileged people live in ‘skycities’ that hover over a ravaged, destroyed Earth.  The unlucky and poor live in settlements on the ground, barely protected from strong UV rays and acid rain.  Many of the ground-dwellers make a living by scavenging for materials that fall from the skycities, which they turn in to be recycled. 


Terra is the book’s compelling female lead.  She scavenges for materials to support her little brother, Mica; their parents and grandmother are gone, leaving the teens to fend for themselves.  I really like Terra’s character.  She is relatable and realistic.  She is strong and smart, but has weakness, too.  Terra begins with the title character discovering something… special… during a scavenging trip.  When she turns the item in, she gets the largest payout in her city’s history, enough to ‘retire’ on.  In exchange for her reward, the government instructs her to stop asking questions and essentially forget what she found.  Curiosity gets the best of her, and Terra ends up on a wild journey that leads her to the book’s main lead, Adam.


Adam tells Terra that he’s a researcher from the skycities; the two could not be more different.  And yet – opposites attract.  In the midst of developing feelings for own another, Terra, Adam, and Mica must grapple with the realization that they have stumbled upon something much bigger than themselves.  As the book’s tagline says, Terra’s discovery will change everything.


I tore through this book.  It is incredibly well-written.  The descriptions are great but not overbearing; the dialogue is realistic and engaging.  I had an inkling what the ‘twist’ would be, but it was still super exciting to find out all the details, and I certainly didn’t see what was coming after the twist (the twist’s twist?!). 

photo 2 (35)

The last page promises a Terra Part II, and I know that I’ll be first in line to purchase it.


You can read Chapters 1 and 2 of Terra for FREE here. Terra is available on Kindle, Nook, Kobo, and in paperback.  Congrats to my bloggy friend Gretchen for such an awesome and engaging book!


Have you heard the Terra buzz?  When this book becomes a movie, you can say you read about the phenomenon in its infancy!  Seriously – it’s that good!



  • Sarah @ Yogi in Action January 7, 2013, 3:40 pm

    I read this over Christmas break (after seeing your tweets about it). Read it in a day! Absolutely loved it. My boyfriend finished it today, and now we’re both (impatiently) waiting for the second book to come out.

  • Jess January 7, 2013, 3:41 pm

    I just heard on NPR this weekend that one of my favorite dystopian novels of all time, The Giver is going to be made into a movie! So very excited!

    • Pip January 8, 2013, 8:11 am

      You just made my day! I love The Giver. I hope it gets released in the UK as well – I’ve not seen the book here – I read it when I lived in the USA.

      • Jess January 8, 2013, 4:31 pm

        Pip- I also didn’t realize that its a four part series! Its The Giver, Gathering Blue (which I had read also), Messenger, and Son (which was recently published). I’m starting to re-read them!

  • Marta January 7, 2013, 3:49 pm

    I’ll try to get it as soon as my exams are over!!

    Did you know Terra means Earth in my language (Catalan)?

    • Caitlin January 7, 2013, 3:51 pm

      very cool!

    • Rebecca January 7, 2013, 5:30 pm

      I think I’m a nerd: I immediately assumed the title referred to Earth. Didn’t really realize it might’ve been a character’s name. Haha. 🙂

      • Gretchen January 7, 2013, 5:48 pm

        It’s absolutely supposed to refer to both! Double meanings FTW! 😀

  • Kelly January 7, 2013, 4:01 pm

    Thanks for the review! I read her Honey, I Shrunk the Gretchen blog regularly and have been curious about Terra. Baby #1 is due any day now and I’m taking a year off of work so I’ll definitely have to add it to my reading list 🙂

  • Elisabeth January 7, 2013, 4:05 pm

    I read Gretchen’s blog from time to time, but didn’t know about her book until you mentioned it. I’m psyched to read it next on my Nook (only 4.99, FYI Nook users 😉 ).

  • Katie @ Peace Love & Oats January 7, 2013, 4:17 pm

    I LOVE dystopias, I’ll have to check this out! Already added it to my “To Read” List!

  • Samantha January 7, 2013, 4:24 pm

    I read this book just this past weekend and it is great!

  • Alicia January 7, 2013, 4:44 pm

    Ooh! Those first 2 chapters are good! I’m getting it as soon as I get home to my Kindle. 🙂

  • Shari January 7, 2013, 5:10 pm

    What an intriguing concept! Thanks for the review!

  • Jennifer January 7, 2013, 5:15 pm

    I love dystopian novels and I downloaded it on to my kindle when I saw your recommendation on Twitter. I couldn’t put it down! Did you read Wool? I can’t remember who recommended that but you can get the 5 part series for 1 price rather than downloading all. Loved that book too!

  • Emily @ The Swallow Flies January 7, 2013, 6:10 pm

    This looks awesome, and I’m sure my high school students will love it. I’m currently reading “Unwind,” another dystopian YA book, and I can’t put it down.

  • Laura January 7, 2013, 7:11 pm

    I tried to get this from the library but they don’t have it 🙁

    • Caitlin January 7, 2013, 8:07 pm

      It’s self-published!

      • Jen January 8, 2013, 6:33 am

        Self published books aren’t in libraries?! That’s sad 🙁

  • julie January 7, 2013, 7:17 pm

    the link to read the chapters isn’t working – am i the only one?

    • Gretchen January 7, 2013, 11:56 pm

      It’s working on my end, but if you’re having trouble maybe try going to my website — http://www.gretchenpowell.com and clicking on the link from there. It’s right on the front page, and should either open up in a new browser or as a downloadable PDF. If all else fails, you can also read the preview on Amazon (via the “Look Inside” feature) 🙂

  • Angela January 7, 2013, 8:07 pm

    I just read the first 2 chapters, it has me hooked already! I want to read it asap.

  • Susan January 7, 2013, 8:51 pm

    Oh please don’t allow Henry to chew and drool on books!! Not good for treasured books or for Henry.

    If he is teething or getting ready to, there are lots of baby-friendly options out there!

  • Amber K January 7, 2013, 10:25 pm

    I have never heard of it, but it sounds right up my alley. Adding it to my to-read list!

  • Amanda January 7, 2013, 11:40 pm

    You should read Divergent if you like Hunger Games and Terra! The Maze Runner trilogy is pretty good too.

  • Natalie January 8, 2013, 9:00 am

    Just purchased it on Kobo and am sending it as a gift to my friend in NJ who is recovering from surgery! Thanks for the suggestion/referral!

  • Sara January 8, 2013, 9:16 am

    Sounds good! Have you read Stephanie Meyer’s novel The Host? I think I want to read it …

  • Cassie January 8, 2013, 4:51 pm

    Loved, loved, loved Terra! Gretchen did such an awesome job. She is INSANELY talented.

  • Sarah January 12, 2013, 6:11 pm

    I love YA books – this is so on my to-read list now.

Previous post:

Next post:

Healthy Tipping Point