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Author: Janine Caldwell
Publication date: May 25th 2013
Genre: YA coming-of-age fantasy
Source: Copy for review
Blog tour organized by: Xpresso Book Tours
~ Synopsis ~
Seventeen-year-old Joanna Murphy has lost faith in her life. Vying for her mom's attention, she's resentful of her step dad's intrusion to their family. Her best friend, Tommy, has no clue she's in love with him as he dates girl after girl without noticing how it tortures her. The final kicker, though, is God's sick joke to make her freakishly tall when everyone knows boys prefer petite girls.
Then in a bizarre accident Joanna meets James, a breathtaking teen who appears to her after an unusual falling star sighting. Suddenly, her dream for an alien encounter becomes all too real. But when she finds her life has been made unrecognizable, she's forced into an explosive study of the original design for her life that just may have her regretting every wish she ever made.
~ My Thoughts ~
My Rating: 3 / 5
At first, Joanna really annoyed me, and I had a hard time connecting with her character. I didn't think she talked like a seventeen-year-old, and while I felt bad for her feeling like her stepdad crashed into her life and turned it upside down, she seemed immature for her age and at times selfish. I did identify with her insecurity about her body - she describes herself as freakishly tall and feels no guy would want to date a girl so tall. In my case, I'm shorter than practically everyone I know, and I was teased relentlessly for being short. Even in high school.
While Joanna was difficult for me to connect with, I really liked James. A LOT. He was mysterious with the mission he couldn't talk about, and I wasn't quite sure where he was from. Another dimension? I thought that was so cool and maybe he was from planet like Earth but more advanced. Or from another alternate reality of Earth. But he talks about being equipped with a human body so as not to arouse suspicion, so I enjoyed trying to figure his character out. Plus he's hot, lol.
Tommy's character went through a major overhaul from before Joanna's accident to afterward. He seemed like a great friend to her before, and even though she was pining away for him, I found myself wishing their relationship hadn't changed in the alternate reality. He became a jealous, possessive boyfriend, and Joanna's mother didn't seem to like him at all, which I could kind of see why. Before, Joanna's mom had absolutely loved him, so these new feelings Joanna's mom had toward Tommy caused a lot of tension between mother and daughter.
Stan, Joanna's stepdad, never came into her life in the alternate reality. I can give Joanna credit when she realizes how unhappy her mom is since she never met Stan. The job her mom works at is wearing her down. This is definitely one aspect I don't think Joanna really thought about when she wished her life was different.
I loved the alternate reality aspect of this story the best - how Joanna wakes up and finds herself living in a life she doesn't recognize with some of the things she wanted coming true. With those parts of her life changed though, there were other parts that changed in ways she wasn't happy with. It was as though she traded one set of headaches for another. Her life wasn't exactly the way she wanted it to be. For example, since she woke up the height she had always wanted to be, she was too short to play volleyball, which she absolutely loved before the accident.
Alternate reality theories have always intrigued me and have led to some interesting conversations with my husband and friends. I really loved reading the author's take on how one girl's life could change so drastically. I thought it was really well done. I look forward to reading more of Janine Caldwell's books.
~ Purchase Links ~
~ Meet the Author: Janine Caldwell ~
Janine Caldwell was born in Concord, CA and raised in the small San Francisco Bay Area town of Clayton. Four days after her high school graduation, Janine attended California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo and graduated with a degree in English.
Janine now lives in Anthem, AZ with her husband and two sons. As a lifelong literature fanatic, she knew it was only a matter of time before she would become obsessed with writing her own work. With relatives like the Brothers Grimm and Anita Loos (Gentlemen Prefer Blondes), she figured fantasy writing had to be in her DNA.
Books published by Janine include Visited, A YA coming-of-age fantasy, Rematch and Double Fault - the first two books of The Vortex Series. The final book in this YA fantasy romance, Deuce, will be released fall 2013.
~ Author Links ~
~ Giveaway ~