It’s time for a book review! Tuesday Book Reviews are a part of my Daily Post; to learn more about it, click here.
When 13-year-old Gretchen Harris’s mother is murdered at Gretchen’s 8th Grade graduation party, everyone in the town of Delphi, California, suspects a power struggle within the Oculus Society: Delphi’s version of the Junior League. Gretchen’s best friend, Jessica Shaw, might even hold the key to finding the culprit with The Plotinus Ability: the Oculus Society’s jealously guarded secret power to trade souls, which hinges on a kiss. Gretchen’s hope at finding the murderer ends in tragedy when Ariel Miller—the class outcast—stalks Gretchen and Jessica and surreptitiously films them exchanging a kiss to test if the Plotinus Ability is real, not knowing their motives. The ensuing YouTube video (“Popular Girls = Secret Lovers”) goes viral, Gretchen’s and Jessica’s lives are further shattered, and they vanish from Delphi.
Flash forward two years later: Ariel is suddenly the most popular junior in town, but wracked with guilt over what she did to Gretchen and Jessica. When both girls reappear after their mysterious absence, Ariel finds herself pawn, suspect, and key player in their scheme to bring the murderer to justice.-Goodreads summary
Expected Publication Date: September 3, 2013.
Favorite Quote from the Book:
‘Our trust and our faith shall bring justice…This is the promise we solemnly keep.’
Judge the Book by its Cover:
While I think the girl and overall design is beautiful, the book’s cover holds no relevance to the story. In fact I believe that it is just a typical pretty YA cover designed with the intention to sell more books when it’s published. It’s okay but not one of the best.
Things that Made Me Happy:
I absolutely loved how this book was told through dual plots: the ancient Romans’ invention and use of projection and the modern society’s continuation of projection. Creatively, Green conceived this magical act of projection, the power to trade souls with another person, in the early Roman Empire. While women were suppressed in this society, this power gave them a sense of sovereignty against the men’s oppressive authority. Since then, women had secretly passed this power among generations, where it was found in the modern times of this book. Still, women honored this power and found it was fundamental to their lives. Both the ancient women and current women created a strong sense of female empowerment that made for a great read.
This book was full of many plot twists, which were unexpected by readers. Combined with the tense mystery element, the plot’s zigzagged development constantly kept the audience on their toes in anticipation for what was to come. Nothing was predictable, which made for an overall entertaining read.
Wow, what a gripping ending. Initially I was concerned within the last 50 pages because I felt that the novel would end unresolved; however, the novel quickly pieced together that created an intricate sub-plot story, which was entertaining and riveting.
Things that Made Me Unhappy:
At times I felt that there were inconsistencies to the personalities of the characters, as if they were not fully developed. While their development was not terrible, I believed that Green had the potential to create more three dimensional characters. Considering this book was a mystery novel, implementing deeper well-developed characters would have further enhanced the mystery element and generated more suspicions. Overall, their actions and mannerisms never fully created genuine characters, which was frustrating.
Lastly, Green overemphasized the true criminal. Suddenly, all of his or her actions became suspicious, which aided in my belief that the people in this book sometimes acted out of character. It was upsetting, as I was hoping for a more unsuspecting mystery. While placing together the final pieces of the puzzle and capturing the criminal were fantastic, the suspect’s actions became increasingly annoying as they were too obvious and detracted from the mystery elements, which created more of a suspense novel.
★★★★ 4/5 stars!
I’d recommend this book to those who enjoy simplistic young adult suspense and mystery novels.
*This book was sent to me via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review!*