Happy Friday everyone!
Another week has come and gone putting the weekend squarely upon us. Here's hoping that all your ideas for the next two days work out according to plan...and leave you refreshed and ready for the coming week.
Today's post features a book with a rather curious title...not unlike a certain blog you may currently reading (hehe)...from a debut author and a start up publisher. (I always did like sharing something new with others.) The title itself is taken from the base word 'intrinsic' which by its definition means to belong to something or be a part of something. In this case, the word is enhanced by the "-al" to bind it to the story even further much like the destiny that our lead character is trying to avoid...but I digress. Let's jump into the story, shall we? Today's book of choice is...
Yara (and most of the other women in her family) is a Waker, which is one that can communicate with ghosts and aid them as needed…sounds cool, right? Not so much if you're a teenage girl in high school who happens to have no interest in this particular gift. Unfortunately for her....she may not have a choice. In fact, her very life as well as that of a close personal friend may depend on the strength of her abilities in order to make things right. You see at Pendrell Prep School things have gone horribly wrong and not in the "bad-grades-and-bad-hair-day" sorta way....more the top students taking their lives way but as in most cases things are not always as they seem. Will Yara accept her family heritage and uncover the truth before it’s too late? Or will a pair of gorgeous eyes and abs have her falling head over feet into the land of no return? Good luck Yara…you’re going to need it.
In the world of YA, finding a book unique in storyline can be rather rough….and before you start throwing things at me for saying that, let me explain. You have a slew of books on all things that go bump in the night from witches to werewolves, vampires to monsters, ghosts to zombies…but one I haven't seen until now resides within the pages of this book…bravo. The author takes the little used paranormal specter (aka ghosts) and adds a new twist…someone that’s able to interact and guide them.
For those of you thinking of the movie Casper right about now, erase the image…it’s not like that at all. While it’s true, some are friendly, while others are not, there is in fact a dark sinister force at work in this book and the way it’s uncovered and dealt with (I’m not saying that it’s conquered…that’s for you to find out) is definitely a surprise. You reach a point when you think…whoa, wait a second...how are we going to move on from her…only to discover that SURPRISE, the author found a way and a rather interesting one indeed if I do say so myself.
Let’s talk characters. Yara, our main lead, has the usual worries of teenage girls everywhere with the addition of not wanting to be labeled crazy if she inherits her family’s gift. Lucky for her, she’s stronger than she thinks especially in the face of all that is to come…plus she has a great best friend on which to rely. Yara’s past is glimpsed off and on throughout the story which helps us form a more rounded picture of her, but I would have loved to learn more about her grandmother because from the sound of it, she’s a hoot! Cherie, her best friend, is all about the loud, proud, and leading the way…especially when it comes paranormal investigation into life after death. (There is a reason for this which is revealed in time.) Nothing can surprise this girl, or so she thinks. Brent…the love interest, but oh so much more…is really just trying to find himself, literally (hehe…sorry, it’s funny if you’ve read the book) and the tension between him and Yara serves the story well WITHOUT overshadowing the main plot. In short…a great combination of personalities and interactions to be experienced…
You learn of Yara's world as it is, as she wishes it to be and how it could be. She knows of her family’s history (to a point) but tries her best to avoid what seems inevitable so she doesn’t stick out from the crowd…one of the many lessons uncovered about presenting your true self to the world. You see the outcome of choices made and how even a small change can affect things on a larger scale. Think of the old saying about the butterfly flapping its wings; a small move out of the ordinary and a whole sequence of events can be thrown in a new direction. This adage is used here with great success…just minus the butterfly. You get the good versus evil, the "you can do anything" empowerment, even the potential romance with each turn of the page and in unexpected ways. Really…and it’s not just the main character that explores theses areas either presenting a united front with her long term and new found friends thus giving you more people to grow attached to in the story.
Recommended for readers of the YA genre from teen through adult...if you're looking for an interesting storyline with a different slant on ghostly encounters, this may just be the right choice for you. It has all the mystery and flair to keep you guessing with enough laughs and potential for a happy ending to keep you asking for more.
Review copy courtesy of author Lani Woodland and Pendrell Publishing. (THANKS!) To find out more about this recently released title, check out the official website. To find out more about the author and her current works in progress, visit her site, blog or follow along on Twitter. Interested to learn more about this new publisher? No worries...they've got a website too.
Until next time…happy reading!