Thursday, March 3, 2011

Painfully Ordinary by Stephanie Amox

December 2010,
Paperback & Ebook
Review copy

Summary from kNight Publishing

Two teenager's lives become not so ordinary...   
Caitlin and Leah are content with the slow and steady pace in their small Texan town.  They have the typical challenges of any American high school – evil girl cliques and oppressive ex-boyfriends. They see themselves as painfully ordinary…but that soon changes.

The arrival of two newcomers at school sets Caitlin and Leah on an explosive path of magic, betrayal, secrets and forbidden love.  The discovery of Caitlin’s true identity causes tremendous upheaval in her painfully ordinary life. Caitlin must learn to embrace her birthright and trust in her friends or she risks endangering them all. 

Until the final chapter, I thought this book was brilliant. In the first chapter I was both scared witless and thankful it was still daylight, as well as laughing away at Caitlin's life. This is a fun read (up until the last chapter). I really love it. Caitlin is so full of life. She is more like a sister to her best friend Leah. They know each other so well that they might as well be twins. Caitlin needs this closeness for what happens to her. It was pretty scary when Caitlin's ex-boyfriend was on the scene. He isn't a normal human either. But then neither is Caitlin. 

Discovering just how different she is provides lots of dramatic scenes. Caitlin's emotions are on display to everyone, without even trying. How many girls can bring about a thunderstorm when they are angry? She is impulsive, and can get seriously ticked off with people. Her family - both blood and magically related family - are both protective and equally liable to cause shift in weather patterns. I feel sorry for her because everything does happen so fast. It's a huge deal that the enemy is after her. 

All the various friendships and relationships are believable. Talon's pattern of speech is a little odd, but it makes sense when I found out who he was. He always puts Caitlin first, as does everyone else. It's fun reading about her because while there are a few scary times, there are some laugh out loud times which remind me of friend & family gathering that have been full of fun and mayhem.

There are a couple of issues I wasn't fond of, and once I read the last chapter I'm really not so keen on. I felt there should have been more instances when Caitlin is in danger. It seems to happen quite a bit in the beginning, but there is no culmination into a final showdown. In fact the danger seems to disappear altogether at the end, with no mention of the enemy or why they have decided to leave Caitlin well alone. I found that a pretty odd read. That part of the plot went poof, like the swarms of sparkly butterflies Caitlin can conjure up. There wasn't really further delving into Caitlin's family ties. There wasn't a wrath from the Elders about Caitlin & Talon's relationship. Everything just ended without a resolution (other than the fact that Caitlin & Talon love each other and have a special bond). 

It was a mild heat level book. However, the way that Talon and Caitlin have exchanges grossed me out a little. I know that's weird considering I read plenty of vampire stories, but I wasn't entirely comfortable with it all. 

I think I have mixed feelings about this book. The majority was exhilarating, fun and with a good mixture of creepiness and joy. But the minor grumbles I have with it are pretty big. I think I will be reading it again, just because of how awesome most of the book is. Even if this is a book in a series, which I think it might be, I still think there could have been more appearances by the enemy, more stakes, and have something conclude at the end. Even with my reservations, I still recommend this book because it'll make you smile and go wow at how awesome life as a fairy can be :) 

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