Friday, August 28, 2015

Review: Connected by Kat Stiles

by Kat Stiles
Wild Child Publishing
YA Paranormal Romance
257 pages

High school is hard enough, Em knows. Her freshman year introduced her to all the cliques, annoying teachers, and tough homework assignments. But discovering you have super powers and not knowing how to control them is a whole new level of complicated.

Thankfully, Em isn’t alone. Her best friend Roz starts having unusual dreams that come true, and Tommy, Em’s secret crush, can hear the softest whispers in class.

A romance blossoms with Tommy. But just as things are looking up, people start dropping like flies. A telepathic serial killer is on the loose and only Em and her friends have a hope of stopping him.

Or do they? If they don’t figure out the killer’s identity soon, one of them could be next.​

Like many kids in high school, Em's fighting to stay afloat in the teenage social world. Her hands sweat, she's not as gorgeous as some of the other girls, and one of the more popular girls seems to have it in for her. Em's knee deep in every day high school life, and this is something many teens will have no trouble relating to. Of course, Em isn't completely going under; she has a best friend who sticks to her through thick and thin. And this is a stabilizing element that holds throughout the book.

Friendship is a main string in the otherwise uncertain world that Em's facing and a strong message at that. In the first chapters, Em learns through a tense scene that she (and others) have special powers. Her quick acceptance of this came across naturally, and it was encouraging to see her friend's easy acceptance of it as well. But then, no matter what happened, Em and her friends stuck together and had each other's backs. It was heart-warming to see this type of bond.

The other bond is more of a romantic one, and this relationship is brought over with just the right douse of tension. Tommy's entrance is intriguing but not necessarily love at first sight (which I appreciated). The relationship between the two builds slowly, leaving room for tension, insecurity and anticipation. The story remains clean, only getting a little steamier towards the end. Tommy's got his quirks, but he's a hero girls can drool for.
The author does a great job building the world and Em's predicament in the first chapters. I was swept away into the pages right away and had no trouble cheering for Em from the very beginning. The action moves along nicely, and I never had the urge to skip over a few paragraphs. There were twists and turns with just enough description to make the world visible and sink right in. The first part of this book really pulled me in.

The rest of the book kept up the action, deepened the danger and really brought it on. However, there were several plot hiccups and small holes which broke the flow for me just a bit. Some spots stayed a a bit too superficial and should have dug in a little deeper, and some of the twists weren't as unexpected as they could have been. Still, I enjoyed reading this and when I did set it down for the night, had no trouble picking it up the next day to find out how the entire thing turned out.
I am looking forward to seeing how Em's story continues in the next book and can recommend this  to any young adult fans of paranormal romance who love a douse of fun superpowers. 

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