by Jenna Elizabeth Johnson
Published April 1st, 2012
I never heard him come after me and even as I climbed the slope and stumbled onto our shaded back lawn, I didn’t look back. It was like the day the gnomes chased me all over again, but this time I was not escaping some horrible little creatures, I was fleeing from an incredibly good-looking guy who could very well understand me completely. I was either saving myself from that serial killer I always imagined lived down in the swamp, or I had finally gone over the deep end . . .
Meghan Elam has been strange her entire life: her eyes have this odd habit of changing color and she sees and hears things no one else does. When the visions and voices in her head start to get worse, she is convinced that her parents will want to drag her off to another psychiatrist. That is, until the mysterious Cade MacRoich shows up out of nowhere with an explanation of his own.
Cade brings her news of another realm where goblins and gnomes are the norm, a place where whispering spirits exist in the very earth, and a world where Meghan just might find the answers she has always sought.
(Disclaimer: I received this book for review from the goodreads ARR program)
Rating: 3 stars
The synopsis of this book instantly had me hooked. It sounded exactly like the kind of book I normally LOVE to read.
However, I found the actual story lacking and somewhat disappointing.
This book was well-written, but lacked... depth. First off, there was next to no character development. The only character that maybe had some depth was Meghan—and only because she was the narrator so you knew all her thoughts… Meghan’s group of friends was very flat, and I felt like I barely knew any of them. I only ever knew just one character trait about each of them that seemed to only serve the purpose of identification. Even the “love interest” barely had any background information, let alone character development!
It seemed like every single character, aside from Meghan, played a rather secondary role, such as Meghan’s entire family and group of friends. They were present more for the purpose of page-filler scenes, or at least that’s what it felt like.
As for Meghan, the only character we only really get to know, she has this self-deprecating sense of humor that was nice and funny at some times, but pretty annoying at other times. Sometimes, this kind of humor makes her very relatable and down-to-earth and I loved her for that, but it was also pretty obvious that this girl did not have very much self-esteem.
And OH. MY. GOODNESS. This girl really does not think things through! At all! It’s ridiculous! At one point, she practically walked right into a blatantly obvious trap. In fact, she even had doubts that it was a bad situation, but did she reconsider? NO. She went ahead and did it anyway! It was at this point that I realized she was very…easily manipulated so put it nicely. Let’s just say there were multiple instances where her actions made me face-palm in a WTF manner.
As for the “relationship” between Meghan and Cade... Honestly, I can’t even call it a relationship because the majority of it was in Meghan’s head! By the end of the book, she was actually full-on in-love with the dude when they’d only spoken a couple of times! I can’t even say that this was a problem of insta-love because it was pretty much one-sided! I mean, is it possible that Cade has romantic feelings for Meghan? Sure. But he never actually expressed any indication that that was the case!
Apparently, the only prerequisite Meghan needed in a guy was they “got” her, didn’t act like a total douchebag…oh, and being handsome certainly doesn’t hurt.
*cue the face-palm…………. NOW.
The redeeming quality—the one thing that kept me very interested in this book—was the Celtic mythology. Never mind that I had no freaking clue how to pronounce any of the names, but I really enjoyed learning about the myths and deities. Celtic mythology is a topic/gimmick/whatever-you-want-to-call-it that I rarely see in YA literature, which made this book very fresh.
This review might sound like I hate the book…. I don’t. At least, not completely.
The thing is, I most likely will be reading the next book. I want to find out more about the Celtic mythology, I’d LOVE to see Meghan grow as a character, I’d be flipping ecstatic if there could be some actual romance. This book was something of a stage-setter. Now I know all the important stuff… so hopefully things can actually pick up in book 2. Fingers crossed.