Author: Nerine Dorman
I received this book free via publisher in exchange for an honest review. I don’t gush and give false praise – I don’t believe that helps readers or authors so what you read is what I truly feel about a book.
Helen Ashfield and her brother move to live with their grandmother after her parents divorce and her mum is sick. Of course the school has some diverse characters she befriends – the loyal and intelligent dwarf (or vertically challenged if you prefer that term) Etienne and Goth girl Arwen, a teenage witch. Helen herself also turns out to have supernatural powers. There are also some typical nasty bullies in the school, and being slightly different the trio fall foul of them on occasion. Then there’s the strange boy who appears very solitary but Helen is attracted to, and it seems the attraction is mutual. Only what she doesn’t know is Tristan is a vampire…
The story itself is well edited and written and very involved, and I loved the unusual South African setting. Make a welcome change form the typical American settings we’re used to – sometimes I wonder if authors realize there is more to the world that just the US : ) The characters have clearly been selected carefully to fit within the specifics of the main plot – Etienne – I felt for him poor guy especially when he was stuck in the bin…. and Arwen – loved her. Typical stroppy teen at times, standing out in her dress and manner despite the bullies – loved it when she cursed them after they burned her tarot cards. Nerine writes from a teens perspective really well, it brought back memories of my own teens and the agonies of not fitting in with the right crowd! The plots are very detailed and flow well into each other, and packed with action. However,I’m not usually a young adult fan so its hard to review accurately as I’m looking for something different to the typical teen, new adult in my reading. Although the story is well told, with some gripping fast paced plots and the characters feel very real it just wasn’t really to my taste. However I imagine older teens and new adults will love it – its got all the issues that are so very real to them, bullying in school, social and family problems and the difficulties of trying to find your own feet within parental rules, and of course the absolute angst and driven passion of teen romance.
Its a decent length read at 261 pages and that allows for the adventures to be realistic in setting – no bam, whack, and its over but plots that overlap and take time to resolve, and that are integral to the overall main theme. The ending is left open enough that there could well be further adventures from the characters and I’m sure that would be welcomes by those that enjoy this book.
Stars: well for me its a three and half – not quite a four star but better than just a three star OK. Priced at £3.90 for kindle its about average fort the 261 pages.