The Land Beyond
by J.H.E. Lim
Partridge Publishing

"'Do you really trust me to know that when I share my experiences with you about my visits to the land, I’m telling the truth?'"

After meeting the Celestial Gardener in her last adventure, Josie Yuen is left with an earring that is the key to visit the lands beyond her own—strange places and people that exist in a parallel existence to her reality. While this escape offers her moments of curious exploration and often a vision of a future to come, her life in her own world is changing with her maturity and demands her attention. Her cousin Jeremy, whom she has shared admiration with in the past, is a potential love interest for Josie. However, his free-wheeling lifestyle with his university friends conflicts with her introverted and tradtionalist upbringing. How can Josie navigate her own challenging life while juggling the secret of the land beyond and the information it provides her?

With some light fantasy elements, this is a clear and considerate coming-of-age story for a young girl that is still very much a student and a daughter, but who is also becoming a woman of her own right. Linguistic tics and food provide splashes of vibrancy that really bring to life the culture of every environment in the book, whether it's Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, China, or Canada. Josie's eagerness to be helpful and her strong moral compass make her an instantly endearing character and a role model for younger readers. Offering a global perspective and characters with good moral fiber, this story is an entertaining, character-driven work that's enjoyable by all audiences. It may especially resonant with readers who are transitioning into their own adult lives.

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