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Golden Girl

MONDAY, MAY 3, 2010

Golden Girl

NOTE: For some reason the cover of Golden Girl is flipping out (just like the cover of Emperor Dad), please click one of the links at the bottom of the post to see a pic of the cover as it is supposed to look.

Golden Girl is yet another novel from Henry Melton, an author I’m beginning to think should be on a lot more bibliophile bookshelves!

The synopsis of this YA sci-fi novel is thus: Debra is just another teenage girl with a bit of a rebellious streak towards her not-quite-sure-how-to-be-a-dad dad, when she’s suddenly torn from her bed and told she’s in the future. Not exactly the best wake-up call, right?

Well, things don’t turn up from there. Her lab-suited abductors quickly tell her that things are pretty bad in the future and it all comes down to a huge asteroid impact, which they believe she can prevent by making only a few small changes to her present day (ya know, the one they tore her from before she had changed out of her nightgown).

Just as Debra is convinced of most, if not all, that they’re saying, they send her back to her time to do what she’s agreed to do to save the planet.

Only one problem… Instead of finding herself back in bed, she’s two hundred years in her past! Apparently time travel hasn’t been perfected in the future.

And as Debra erratically jumps back and forth through different time periods she learns more and more. Some of which leads her to the conclusion that she may have been lied to…

Now for what I, your humble Support Group leader, thought: Whoa.

That’s right. Whoa.

I was (and still am) flabbergasted at the absolute creativity and intricacy that Henry Melton put into Golden Girl to make time travel seem innovative and new and… awesome!!!

Without giving away anything to ruin or even slightly taint your own reading experience, I will say that Henry Melton added elements of true surprise to the theory of how time travel would work exactly, and what the effects would be.

The plot shoots right out of the cannon in the first few paragraphs – you’re thrown directly into the action along with Debra, a highly likable and relatable main character.

If you’re anything like me, you’ll be turning pages quite frantically, excited in unraveling the layers of what exactly is going on.

What I think I loved most about Golden Girl was how much it allowed me to use my brain, yet didn’t overload me on technicalities. I really appreciate how carefully Henry Melton must have mapped out the storyline, because everything just comes together so perfectly, I was amazed. Honestly.

The mature, yet very entertaining, tone to Golden Girl makes for an excellent novel and fantastic reading. There were even unexpectedly touching moments, not something you always expect from science fiction – but Henry Melton doesn’t go the conventional route, does he?

Yet again, Henry Melton staggered me with his twists and reveals – totally unpredictable – and left me feeling satisfied, nevertheless wanting more.

What more can a book addict ask for?

Ways to find out more: -- -- Twitter @HenryMelton Facebook: HenryMelton

Posted by MrsRonWeasley

at 5:00 AM

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Golden Girl by Henry Melton

April 6, 2010


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Golden Girl
by Henry Melton
ISBN-13: 9-780980-225358
Rating: 4.5 ♥ / 5 ♥

Debra Barr was barely out of bed when she found herself thrust into a pivotal role in the future of the human race. Hey, she wanted to be more than just a small town girl, but this was ridiculous! Plucked out of her bedroom in small town Oquawka, Illinois to a future Earth destroyed and poisoned by a major asteroid impact, the future scientists explained how she could walk a few steps differently, and with YouTube, save the planet. But everything they told her was wrong.

Instead of returning to her bedroom, she appeared two hundred years in the past, in the wilderness on the banks of the Mississippi River and it was up to her to discover the rules of time travel without killing herself or anyone else in the process. Bouncing through time, only one thing was certain, anything she decided to do could mean life or death for her family and friends and the route she chose would likely cost her everything. Unfortunately, the more she discovered, the more she suspected that everyone was lying to her.


Golden Girl is an engaging, entertaining and enjoyable young adult sci-fi novel.

Debra is tasked with changing the future and saving millions of people from death. She winds up bouncing through time, changing history and at one point even disappearing from history itself (or does she?). There’s also a pretty neat use of the internet and what can only be Youtube involved.

At 267 pages, Golden Girl is a decent sized book. The pacing is kept steady with no lags in action or information, and the writing drew me in right away. Characterization was wonderful; Debra goes through major growth throughout the novel due to her time traveling and the burden that’s placed on her shoulders. As for plot? It was wicked. I was kept guessing at moments about what would happen next, and there’s one point in the story that involved Debra’s mother that made me freak out loud. As soon as the scene began I had a feeling about what was coming, and I was completely right – it was crazy. The time traveling is also a pretty imaginative explanation.

Of course, with time travel comes the immediate wonder about a paradox and how it can be avoided. The idea of a paradox (if Debra is brought to the future and told to change it, and she does, doesn’t that mean there was never any reason for her to be pulled into the future and so she wouldn’t have changed it, and…I could go on. You see my dilemma?) is not really touched on in great detail, and there were some instances I was a little conflicted about time lines. The concept may be a bit hard for a younger reader to understand if they’re not so well versed in abstract thinking (or sci-fi), but overall it was handled really, really well.

Debra’s solution to changing the future is hard and sad for a lot of people, including her, and though the book technically has a happy ending, I found it more bittersweet. It was a perfect ending for the book, though, it fit the storyline and overall feel of the novel. This is a great book for not only teens and pre-teens but adults as well, and crosses genre lines. Even if you’re not a huge fan of sci-fi, Golden Girl is worth the read.



I’d like to thank the author, Henry Melton, for sending me this book to review.

Reviewer's Bookwatch: February 2010

James A. Cox, Editor-in-Chief

Midwest Book Review

278 Orchard Drive, Oregon, WI 53575

Liana's Bookshelf

Golden Girl

Henry Melton

Wire Rim Books

Hutto, Texas

9780980225358 $14.95

Henry Melton has released his latest novel, Golden Girl, to amaze readers once more. His work can be found at

Golden Girl is about a girl, Debra, who was thrust into the past and then into the future thus experiencing time travel in order to save the planet. Divided into three parts, this novel is nevertheless as amazing as all the previous works of the author. Filled with scientific facts and interesting details, Golden Girl is another science fiction story that will grip the interest of the reader and carry it through to the very last page. Written in a simple and clear style it caters to all young adults and adults who love science fiction. It is an exciting read for the whole family. Get this book from

Liana Metal, Reviewer


Golden Girl -- Henry Melton

I've enjoyed several of Henry Melton's novels for young adults, and Golden Girl is aimed at the same audience. Debra Barr wakes up one morning, and she's not at home anymore. She's somewhere in the far future, a post-apocalyptic world where she's told that she's the only person who can prevent that terrible future from occurring.

Why? Because she was in a YouTube video, that's why. I know how that sounds. You'll just have to read the book to see how it works out. Anyway, after her experience in the future, Debra, like Billy Pilgrim, seems to have come unstuck in time. She bounces around from the past to the future to the present, and it's no fun at all. I can't explain the physics of it, though Melton can, but things from the past are realer than things in the future. So in the future settings, Debra can dent steel by walking on it. In the past, even leaves or grass are hazardous to her.

Like other Melton teens, Debra is smart and resourceful. When she figures out that she hasn't been told the whole truth of things, it's up to her to find a way to save the world. Does she? Well, sure. But I'm not telling. You'll have to read the book to find out how.

Because changes to the past can affect the future, objects from the past are “more real” than anything from future times. When she is first taken into the future, Debra can punch through walls as if they are paper maché—but when she is sent into the past, leaves and grass hurt her feet like sharp gravel. Being in the past is hazardous to Debra—but in the future, she is hazardous to those around her. This is a refreshing change from the sort of story I mention above.

Posted by Bill Crider

at 8:00 AM

October 12th, 2009

Review: Golden Girl by Henry Melton

By Chris Meadows

Standard disclaimer for the FTC: I received a free review e-copy of Golden Girl, as I did all of Mr. Melton’s e-books except for Emperor Dad (which I bought). Also, Mr. Melton, his wife Mary Ann, and his dog Sissy stopped by my apartment for a couple of hours the other day, and they gave me a nice print of one of Mrs. Melton’s nature photographs. Of course, even without the FTC I would have said so anyway.

That being said, I’m giving this book a positive review because I like it, not out of any sense of obligation. I do realize I’ve reviewed an awful lot of Mr. Melton’s books here, but on the other hand I feel that as a small-press publisher he needs all the publicity he can get—and for writing such good books, he deserves it, too.

Golden Girl by Henry Melton

  1. Google Books preview (free but incomplete)

  2. Author’s Web Store: $14.95 (Paperback; includes free shipping & autograph)

  3. Amazon: $11.66 (Paperback), $4.95 (Kindle)

  4. $4.95 (encrypted Mobi)

A Foreign Country

L.P. Hartley said “The past is a foreign country,” and most time travel stories seem to take that literally: they treat it as just another place that happens to be separated by years instead of miles. Far too often, time travel is used as a cheap device for exposing characters to “future shock” (or “past shock”) without thought to the consequences that should occur from someone being displaced out of his own time.

Stories that give serious consideration to the issues of paradox and causality in time travel are few and far between. After all, just thinking about that kind of thing too much can make your head ache. Far easier just to sweep it under the rug like Doctor Who, Quantum Leap, or the later Star Trek series’ time travel episodes (though the first time travel Trek story, “City on the Edge of Forever”, is considered one of the greatest time-travel stories ever).

But Henry Melton’s latest young-adult book, Golden Girl, is one that treats time travel the right way. It starts from an interesting premise, adds a unique time travel mechanic, and puts a teenaged girl at the center of an interesting dilemma—with nothing less than the survival of the entire human race at stake! (Minor spoilers below the jump.)

The Premise

The story begins when 17-year-old Debra Barr wakes up not in her bedroom at home, but decades into the future when a team of scientists working covertly have pulled her forward in time.

The chief scientist explains that a few hours after the time from whence she came, Debra and a friend will make an embarrassing video that ends up on the Internet—in which a nearby meteor strike knocks Debra down and makes a laughingstock not only of her, but of the proposed legislation in Congress that would fund an initiative to watch for dangerous asteroids.

The initiative goes unfunded, and twelve years later a huge, previously-undetected meteor hits earth and kills most of its population, dooming the rest to slow starvation as their resources fail. But, the scientist explains, Debra can prevent all that if she simply moves a few steps away from where she had been standing, so the meteor will not knock her down and make her look ridiculous. That video, when posted to the ‘net, will assure the sky watch bill’s passage.

Naturally Debra agrees (who wouldn’t?), and the scientists send her back to her own time. Except that she overshoots and finds herself swinging back and forth through time like a pendulum—stopping in the past, then the future, then the past, then the future, each time a little bit closer to home. And when she finally does return home, her real troubles may only be beginning.

Not Your Usual Time Travel Story

Time travel is, as I mentioned, a popular trope in our fiction, even if much of the time it isn’t explored to its fullest potential. All the same, it may be a useful shorthand to call this book “a little bit Quantum Leap, a little bit Back to the Future, and a little bit ‘City on the Edge of Forever’”. Not to say it steals from any of them, but there are some elements also used by each of these in the way Golden Girl treats time travel.

But unlike all of these, Golden Girl’s time travel process does not simply place people in different times. As part of the physics of the process, the relative “reality levels” of people or things displaced in time are different.

Because changes to the past can affect the future, objects from the past are “more real” than anything from future times. When she is first taken into the future, Debra can punch through walls as if they are paper maché—but when she is sent into the past, leaves and grass hurt her feet like sharp gravel. Being in the past is hazardous to Debra—but in the future, she is hazardous to those around her. This is a refreshing change from the sort of story I mention above.

Melton’s Young Adults

One of the things I have always enjoyed about Henry Melton’s books—and Golden Girl is no exception—is that they feature intelligent, self-reliant teens who are by and large able to solve their own problems. They may make mistakes, but they are the mistakes any teenager might make—not dumb, contrived ones that happen merely to further the plot.

It is fun to watch the characters work through their problems, using just their minds and any special abilities they might have—not least because they generally work through the implications of special events, powers, or technologies they have happened upon. If something seems obvious to the reader, chances are it will be obvious to the characters, too—and it will be remembered for later use.

There is nothing “juvenile” in how these young-adult novels are put together. Henry Melton is a master storyteller, and I will be anxiously awaiting his next work.

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Posted in Amazon, Amazon Kindle, Chris Meadows, Mobipocket, book review, kindle |

Golden Girl – Henry Melton

©2009 Wire Rim Books, Hutto, Texas

Henry does it again! Golden Girl is excellent Young Adult Science Fiction. This episode of “Small Towns, Big Ideas” is inspired by Oquawka, Illinois (and being a transplanted Illinoisan, this is exciting to me).

Debra Barr loves her small town, and she’s trying to convince her possible boyfriend, Cliff, that it can be just exciting as his native Chicago. Trouble starts when she wakes up and finds herself in the dreary, dark future and is told it is up to her to save the world.

Golden Girl offers a wide assortment of genres for the avid reader: time travel, end of the world space fiction, with a little romance on the side. Get ready for a twist or two that you didn’t see coming before the story is over.

As with all of Melton’s books so far, you can’t go wrong when you pick this one up.

Four out of five reading glasses.

Benjamin Potter, October 8, 2009