by Helena Echlin & Malena Watrous
Publisher: Geek & Sundry
Release Date: October 3rd 2017
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Paranormal
Fifteen-year-old Laurel Goodwin wakes up to find her older sister Ivy missing from their Airstream trailer in the Oregon redwoods. A recurring nightmare convinces her that Ivy was abducted, but no one takes her dream seriously, including her mom. Laurel, a loner, has to learn to ask for help, and Jasper Blake, a mysterious new kid who shares her love of old books, quickly becomes her ally. Together they find their quiet town holds a deep secret and is the epicenter of a dark prophecy.
Laurel soon learns that her worst enemies, mean girls Peyton Andersen and Mei Rosen, are developing powers that she needs to find and save Ivy. With time running out, Laurel realizes that power doesn’t always take the form that you expect. And once she learns to look beyond her snap judgments, she develops an unexpected gift of her own.
I received a free copy for an honest review.
15-year old Laurel’s life is marked as a new turning period for her not-too-bright-life when her sister Ivy mysteriously disappeared. After several strange instances of magic, love, and unexpecting alliances made her discovered something that she never knew was possible, and will ultimately change her life forever.
This book took me on a ride of a roller coaster, but not like what you think I am going to say. It didn’t take me on a roller coast of emotion, or of dramatic fast-paced story. It took me on a roller coaster ride of expectations. I came into this book with a blank page, realized it wasn’t as bad as I thought, but then finally settled despite its enjoyment, the book was still pretty flawed.
Things I loved about this book are the narration of Ivy, our heroine, the book’s mix between mystery and paranormal YA, and the great foreshadows the author spent the time and hard work to put in.
The book was flowing in a surprisingly moderate (almost slow) pace with its fantasy and paranormal romance based story-line, which is good and just right. Because this is one of those stories where it revolves around a lot of dramatic ironies, often readers in books like this have to suffer through the phase of waiting for the event we know is going to happen to actually happen (because it takes time for the story to fall in place). The most important one being how we know the four people with power is going to meet up and work together in order to fulfill the “prophecy”, and the author manages to nail the perfect timing where we start to get anxious for the characters to finally interact, but not to the point where we’re actually getting impatient.
I also really enjoyed the mystery factor in this book. You can really tell that the author put up the work and spent the time to make the plot twists and turns, even if for most of them you can see from a mile away.
But as much as there are many things I enjoyed about this book, there were still many technical mistakes and weak plot points that I can’t shake off, ultimately making this book…pretty mediocre. For example, the prophecy, which was a huge part of this book, felt…forgive me, cheesy and actually kind of weak. I’ve read books revolving around prophecies; most notably the Percy Jackson Series by Rick Riordan. Percy Jackson is an excellent example of a well-written book revolving around a prophecy. Because the whole arc of the prophecy was clear and made sense; which means we can actually get what the prophecy meant at the time of the event (unlike this book) and fit in well with the story. The author really worked hard to foreshadow everything, but ultimately it was still pretty messy. It just feels like it’s mushy and dirty – because it was not clear. As a reader, I had a hard time taking the prophecy seriously because when the time came, nothing really clicked.
I still enjoyed this book though, but from the view point of a reviewer, this is not the strongest book. I gave this 3 and a half stars because I enjoyed it, but I don’t think live up to the standards of four stars yet.
1. Laurel Goodwin – Sophia Lillis
I was a bit torn between her and Aviva Baumann, because both have hazel eyes and natural red hair, and generally the ‘natural look and feeling’ of the character. But I still went with Sophia Lillis, (however, I’m still kind of torn).
2. Ivy – Scarlette Fawn
It took me quite a while to find her, and the best I could find is this name I’m not even sure is actually her name. But I really feel like she would be PERFECT for this role, especially alongside the casting of Sophia Lillis because I can see great resemblances between the two actresses.
3. Mom – Jessica Rothe
What really got me to think of her when I thought of this character was her performance in the very recent (and successful actually) movie Happy Death Day. A portrayal of the character Tree showed and proved to me her capability of playing a character with alcoholic habits (and a bitchy side). Another thing that made her perfect for this role is her age. Ivy and Laurel’s mom had them when she’s still a child; she’s a teen mom, having them when she was still only 16 and 17. So her young college appropriate age really accurately fills that requirement and detail of the character.
4. Jasper Blake – Cole Sprouse
One of my friend is going to be celebrating when she sees this. Just like how Jessica Rothe’s performance in Happy Death Day, Cole Spouse’s performance in Rivderale also was very impactful in my casting decision.
5. Mei Rosen – Tiffany Espensen
I first encountered her from her appearance in Spider Man: Homecoming. Fun fact: both her and Mei were adopted from China by foreign American parents. I think she would be perfect as Mei.
6. Peyton Anderson – Dove Cameron
Dove Cameron had multiple mean girl performances and had a duo performance with Tiffany Espensen as well in a disney show. With her previous working experience with Tiffany, her acting skills and (of course) her right look, naturally she was one of the top choices for me for this specific character.
7. Simone Sinclair – Holland Roden
One thing that everyone acknowledged in the book was how physically young Simone is (despite her age). And (no spoilers), she looks like an attractive counselor in a world with magic who you don’t know if you can trust or not even as a reader.
8. Bill Sheers – Chris Pine
Bill Sheers was a very charming, witty, lovable, and handsome good-looking man who we would later realize is not as good as we though *cough* spoilers *cough*. I personally find Chris handsome, charming and witty enough to pull of an extremely lovable character, but I chose him mostly because I can also see him transform that character into an ignorant evil man.
“It’s a good thing she’s pretty, because she’s not very smart.
Peyton waited and waited for her mother that it wasn’t a very Christian thing to say – which wasn’t the same thing as saying she was wrong. The fact that she hadn’t been meant to hear the whisper only made it seem truer. No wonder it took her so long to learn how to read. by the time she was diagnosed with dyslexia, she’d concluded that her parents were right. She stopped listening in class, and traded gossip instead. Peyton had heard that athletes felt a physical need to exercise. She felt the same need to spread rumors.
Maybe she was going through some kind of freaking gossip withdrawal.”