Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Blog Tour Review: Over the Rainbow by Brian Rowe

Source: Received an ebook to participate in the blog tour and give an honest review.
Release Date: August 6, 2013
Number of Pages: 260 (Paperback)

Description from Goodreads:
A modern re-imagining of The Wizard of Oz!

Zippy Green never meant to fall in love with a girl, but when she does, her ultra-conservative father tries to send her to anti-gay camp. At the Kansas City airport, however, she hides inside a giant suitcase and sneaks onto an airplane headed not to the camp, but to Seattle, where her online love Mira lives. Halfway through the flight, the plane barrels out of control and crashes into the ground, knocking her unconscious.

When Zippy awakens, she finds that most of the passengers have vanished. She doesn’t know what’s happened, but she’s determined to find out. She begins a quest on foot toward Seattle, and along the way, she meets a teenager with a concussion, a homeless man with a heart condition, a child without a shred of bravery, and a terrier named Judy. Together the group discovers that more than two-thirds of the world's population have mysteriously disappeared. But that's only the beginning...

All Zippy wants is to find her Mira, but before she can she has to contend with two outside forces. The first is her homophobic father, who does everything in his power to keep her from the girl she loves. And the second is extinct creatures of all shapes and sizes, including living, breathing dinosaurs, which have replaced the missing population.
I have been intrigued with Over the Rainbow ever since I heard about its Kickstarter campaign and helped back it...and now that I've read it, I have to say that it was pretty amazing, and I am definitely proud to have helped Brian Rowe get Zippy's story out into the world. Not only did this story broach the subject of homophobia and the heinous idea that someone can be "straightened out" as Zippy's dad put it, it also just told a wonderful story about overcoming obstacles, adversity, and finding the one you love.

I absolutely loved Over the Rainbow. The characters were wonderful, and I loved the parallels between it and the Wizard of Oz. Zippy's friends were all clearly in homage to the group that Dorothy has with her in. Frankie = Scarecrow, Mr. Balm = The Tinman, Elle = The Cowardly Lion, Judy = Toto and I also presumed that the dog alluded to the wonderful Judy Garland as well, and of course, Zippy acts as Dorothy and her father as the Wicked Witch of the West. I loved that the characters shared similarities with those in the Wizard of Oz, but I also loved that they fully became characters of their own and I loved the relationships that they all had with Zippy. I also enjoyed Zippy and Mira's relationship. I loved getting to read their email exchanges and I won't tell you if they actually meet up because that's totally a spoiler...but I will say that this book definitely does have a happy ending, so that may give you a hint about all that. ;)

Overall, I thought that Over the Rainbow was a truly wonderful story. I also appreciated Brian Rowe's efforts to get it out there! There really aren't many stories with lesbian main characters, and I may not be a lesbian myself, but I really don't think having a different sexual orientation from the narrator will hinder readers in any way, and it really shouldn't. Zippy isn't a stereotype, and she isn't defined by her sexual orientation...she's just herself, and she's trying to be happy, and to be happy she needs to be with the girl she loves, even if her father thinks the fact that she loves girls is a complete blasphemy.  

Over the Rainbow is set in 1999 (for the most part, it also has several flashbacks that go further back), but I think that the different reactions to both Zippy and Frankie's sexual orientation are definitely authentic, and I like to think that we have come some way from there...and hopefully, with fantastic books like this, those that might think poorly on others based on their sexual orientation will finally see that who we love and are attracted to shouldn't be what defines us, and it really shouldn't be something that we judge each other for. We're all people who deserve to be treated with kindness, equality, and allowed the freedoms and rights that we all have been granted thanks to the people who have come before us.

I would recommend Over the Rainbow to anyone who enjoys a story that deals with overcoming obstacles to reach someone you love with the help of your friends. I also think fans of the Wizard of Oz who like quirky narrators, or people who like journeys and stories about friendship will enjoy this one. Also as I mentioned, the narrator is a lesbian in this book, so I definitely have to mention that anyone looking for interesting stories dealing with overcoming judgement and facing adversity because of sexual orientation will like this. Plus...there are dinosaurs, and some pretty trippy Alice in Wonderland-like moments, which I thought were pretty awesome. I loved it though, and I hope that you give it the chance and that you love it, too!

$25 Amazon Gift Card
 3 Signed Copies of Over the Rainbow by Brian Rowe
10 E-copies of Over the Rainbow by Brian Rowe

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Follow the rest of the blog tour HERE.

What do you think?
Have you heard of Over the Rainbow yet?
Does it sound like a book you'd like to read?


  1. My favorite character is the Wicked Witch of the West. I just think she is treated unfairly. Her side of the story was never told in the Wizard of Oz.


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