Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Review: Living Violet by Jamie Reed

Title: Living Violet 
Author: Jamie Reed 
Genre: Young Adult/Paranormal Fantasy 
Series: Cambion Chronicles #1 
Publisher:  Dafina
Number of Pages: 304
Source: Advanced Review Copy from Publisher

 He's persuasive, charming, and way too mysterious. And for Samara Marshall, her co-worker is everything she wants most--and everything she most fears. Samara Marshall is determined to make the summer before her senior year the best ever. Her plan: enjoy downtime with friends and work to save up cash for her dream car. Summer romance is not on her to-do list, but uncovering the truth about her flirtatious co-worker, Caleb Baker, is. From the peculiar glow to his eyes to the unfortunate events that befall the girls who pine after him, Samara is the only one to sense danger behind his smile.But Caleb's secrets are drawing Samara into a world where the laws of attraction are a means of survival. And as a sinister power closes in on those she loves, Samara must take a risk that will change her life forever. . .or consume it.

Living Violet was such a refreshing read. There was no insta love, parents were apart of the story, and the paranormal aspect of the story will leave you surprised. Even though I ended up really enjoying this book I have to admit I spent the first 100 pages thinking I was not going to be able to finish this book. Samara's attitude is brash and it took me awhile to connect to her. Once I started liking her there was no going back, but getting there was hard.

One of the things that made liking Samara hard was totally an adult thing. There was a lot of slang used, and when she called one of her high school friends a Chad, and a definition followed it (a white boy who acts like a fraternity guy & likes to party)  I almost stopped reading right then because I felt like I wouldn't be able to connect to the characters at all. Another silly thing that made it hard for me to get into the book was that I kept picturing the characters based on the cover of the book, and that's not really them at all. The cover artist pretty much failed with getting their looks right. 

However, right when I was about to give up on this book something happened...Caleb came on the scene more and I liked him instantly. The great thing about Caleb was that he was mysterious and I loved unraveling the mystery of him with Samera. I liked how he didn't try to change her  and that she remained who she was.  Samara's friends, Mia, Dougie, and Nadine were wonderful. When I had trouble liking Samara, they are what kept me reading. They are funny, loyal and just a breath of fresh air. They weren't too mature for their ages, went through mood swings, and in general acted like real teenagers.They weren't 18 going on 25. Samara's parents were also very involved in her life, and I liked that. They gave her a lot of freedom, but were there to make sure she didn't get out of line. In so many Young Adult books the parents just disappear from the storyline and I always wonder how they don't know that their teenager is saving the world. 

While I loved the secondary characters the thing I loved most about this book is that Samara is biracial. It's not something you find very often in books. Samara deals with feeling different and not really belonging to either race. I liked how this wasn't sugar coated, and how it was dealt with in a very real way. Samara doesn't know her mom's side of the family at all because they disowned her, and she talks about that and how their sudden appearance doesn't sit well with her. This book also touches on how her dad re married and how Samara struggles to get along with her step mother and siblings. This was just a very realistic book and I loved how Samara just tells it like it is. If you are looking for a different kind of paranormal young adult book to read, then I highly recommend this one.