Author: Nancy Straight
Published: June 2010
Blurb: Lauren is visited in her dreams for years by a stranger claiming to be her destiny. Destiny becomes reality when paths cross during a failed robbery attempt. Lauren and the stranger experience chemistry like no other and now her doubt over her long time relationship with her high school sweetheart is not her only secret…someone else knows about her keen intuition and sixth sense.A mysterious clairvoyant seeks Lauren out and tells her not only of her life now but what the future may hold. Soon Lauren is in the middle of a murder investigation and a questionable friendship with the key suspect. Law enforcement, friends and family are concerned for Lauren but unfortunately they are unaware of the true danger…Sinister forces are at work and will stop at nothing to destroy Lauren’s abilities.
First Line: “Seth stopped by to get a salad halfway through my shift – it’s one of the only things he’ll eat from the menu.” Not the most remarkable or engaging opening line. My curiosity was piqued only by the name Seth since I have a truly terrible bias towards people called Seth. By virtue of name alone, I expect them to be awesome. This Seth turned out to be more boy next door wholesome.
What I Liked: Max. Here’s a character I could really understand and relate to. He is one of the few in the book to behave maturely and to put others before himself. Aside from the awesomeness of Max, the book makes for some quick reading, uncluttered by description. I liked the simplicity of the prose although it did at times become a little too pedestrian. The zinger of an ending more than makes up for a somewhat slow beginning.
What I Didn’t Like: Lauren. This was a big problem for me since Lauren is the main character and narrator. I found her rather immature for her 22years of age, and couldn’t help think of her as a bratty 16yr old. Self-absorbed and downright mean at times to those who cared about her, I just couldn’t relate to this girl and that dimmed the whole experience of the story for me. At least there was some character development and since this if the first of a series, I think there’s a lot of room for Lauren to grow. The story also seemed more focused on the romance than paranormal elements and I wanted more of the paranormal action and less of the shmultz.
My Rating: Since the characters were a little older in this story than the usual YA teens and closer to my own age, I expected a lot more of them, a lot more maturity when dealing with personal relationships and life events. Perhaps this expectation was unfair but it did colour my opinion of the story. Had Lauren been 16 I would have said this book was a perfect example of contemporary YA with a paranormal twist, but since Lauren was 22 and didn’t really act like it, I was left feeling a little disappointed. Despite that, I couldn’t put this book down so that earns it 3 out of five ink splats.