Sunday, January 27, 2013

18 Things by Jamie Ayres

I was excited to get this book and support a fellow new author and put it on my kindle on its day of release.  The book is listed as YA Paranormal.  Having that title I read the majority of the book guessing when something paranormal was actually going to happen.  When I was at 88% read...finally the paranormal aspect came in.  It was a good twist, one I will not spoil here, but I found it distracting that it waited so long to come into play.  The theme of the story was interesting, come up with a list of 18 Things to do the year you turn 18 in a way to deal with the death of a friend.  I liked how the supporting characters moved through the main characters list and supported her.  My biggest compliment for this book is that I found the prologue and the first chapter very well written.  They totally pulled me in.  However, the pull of the book wained for me after that.  Being the mom of an 18 year old and a 16 year old I found the language the characters used immature. More middle school than high school.  I read some of the dialogue to my boys and they agreed.  There were many literary references in the book, I know the author is a teacher and can guess she probubly teaches English.  I had a hard time connecting to some of the references and wonder if younger readers may be at a loss as well.  The author chose to have the characters be huge Star Wars fans, which reminded me of the guys from Big Bang Theory.  I didn't mind that the characters were suppose to be geeky but there were a lot of references that I missed out on as I am not a big fan myself.  At the end of the book the MC gives a long speech that refers back to many aspects of Star Wars and I got a bit lost in reading it. Overall I thought the message was positive.  I kept waiting for a bit more spirituality and felt like the author was going to go for it and then pulled back.  I was confused as to where this book actually falls in the genre world.  My favorite line in the book is when a Dr. tells Olga, the MC that kids these days have it wrong when they text YOLO, You only live once.  They instead should text YODO, you only die once.  You live every day of your life but only die one day.  I would give this book three stars and would recommend it to a younger reader.  The next book in her series is sneak peeked at the end of this one and I have to say I give the author props for writing killer beginnings.  Not sure I will read the next book but the teaser makes me think I want to.

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