Faelorehn - Book One of the Otherworld Trilogy
by Jenna Elizabeth Johnson
Published: April 21, 2012
My copy: Kindle edition from Smashwords
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Paranormal
My rating: 4 / 5 stars
Goodreads blurb: 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.
Link to Goodreads
I received this book for free from an ARR (author requesting review) in the We ♥ YA Books group on Goodreads.
From the very first page when the main character Meghan Elam is introduced, I was immediately pulled into her story, and that doesn't always happen so fast when I begin reading a book! She's an interesting, complex character with a very intriguing backstory that is slowly revealed as the book progresses.
At the age of two, she was found wandering the streets of Los Angeles in an extremely dangerous section of the city. I empathized with her right away, wondering what kind of parents she had who would lose their toddler in such a large city! She is found and later adopted. Her parents have five boys after adopting her, and Meghan never feels like she truly fits in anywhere. She loves her parents and her brothers but feels a bit out of place because she doesn't look like them.
I liked that conventional methods (numerous psychiatrists and medications) were attempted to relieve her nightmares, visions, hallucinations, and voices she hears. This made her situation realistic to me, and for a while, those all went away. Meghan's backstory is unique and different from other books I've read, which made the entire book so interesting and hooked me right away.
I loved Meghan and her friends! They were cool together, loyal to each other, stood up for each other against the bullies of their school, and had a lot of fun together. Meghan is strong, brave, and a loyal friend. She's very likable. The way Meghan and her friends were harassed by the bullies of their school was just appalling! I can totally relate with Meghan and her friends and kept hoping that those vicious characters would get what should be coming to them!
I liked Cade, the character who saves Meghan from several life threatening situations, somewhat. I couldn't help but think there's something shady about him, and he should have told Meghan a lot more than he did. If he had, it would've saved a lot of hardship for Meghan as well as himself. I wished he could tell her more about her parents, but I'm sure more will be revealed in the next book.
Overall, I really loved this book and flew through it. I hated having to put it down, and I can't wait to read the next book in the trilogy! I care about these characters and want to find out what happens next, especially that Meghan knows more about who she is and where she is from. Very exciting!