ENTANGLED (SPELLBOUND TRILOGY)
Author: Nikki Jefford
Rating: 4.5 out of 5 Stars
Genre: YA/Teen (Paranormal Mystery)
Publisher: Nikki Jefford
On Sale Date: February 19, 2012
Recommended Reading: 15+
RECEIVED A FREE COPY IN EXCHANGE FOR AN HONEST REVIEW
****THERE ARE NO SPOILERS****
THE GIST: I got on this train at a suspicious station, unsure of my destination. Then the train got going and I realized I was in for a wild, fun, fantastically perfect YA ride, only to learn that my final destination would be brief. Okay, okay what I mean is this was a fantastic story with cool characters, sinister plots and hot love, but the end was so rushed I had to read it twice to make sure what happened, actually happened. Hopefully, my ARC (advanced reader – received post publishing) was just a really bare-bones copy, because I felt a tiny bit cheated out of an amazing “what-coulda-been.”
SYNOPSIS: “Two months after dying, seventeen-year-old witch Graylee Perez wakes up in her twin sister Charlene’s body.
Until Gray finds a way back inside her own body, she’s stuck being Charlene every twenty-hour hours. Her sister has left precise instructions on how Gray should dress and behave. Looking like a prep isn’t half as bad as hanging out with Charlene’s snotty friends and gropey boyfriend.
The “normals” of McKinley High might be quick to write her behavior off as post-traumatic stress, but warlock Raj McKenna is the only person who suspects Gray has returned from the dead.
Now Gray has to solve the mystery behind her death and resurrection and disentangle herself from Charlene’s body before she disappears for good.” (Netgalley)
THE LOWDOWN: I went into this with zero expectations. The story sounded interesting, but I wasn’t holding my breath since my experience with witch stories (YA) usually end up lukewarm, at best. Imagine how tickled I was to find out that this book was actually an interesting twist on reanimation and YA paranormal mysteries, breaking the (often hokey) teen witch archetype.
Entangled, by no stretch, reinvented the wheel, but it did have some unique elements while avoiding the often times boring historical accounts many authors feel they need to inject into their teen stories. Is it necessary to tell me about the extreme hardship of Wiccans in a story is based on juvenile magic spells and teenage covens? Obviously, Nikki Jefford didn’t think so and I want to thank her for that!
This story was youthful and at times a teeny-tiny bit edgy, but never enough to make me yank it from my 13-year-old and feign insult (I don’t have a 13-year-old, I added that for dramatic color). The lead protagonist, Graylee was terrific. Her strong, self-assured, powerful and kind disposition is what usually goes missing in so many YA heroines. She is no Bella. She never plays stupid and never gives up. Perfect for those young, insecure YA readers that need someone to emulate.The leading male protag was equally diverse and good-natured, while maintaining a strong, sexy and smart personality. The peripheral characters were well-rounded, some being downright evil. They had depth, vivid personalities and strong voices, but they were also part of the problem (sounds like I am describing half of my friends in high school).
As I mentioned earlier, I found that the execution of this story fell short. The main reason was pacing. Entangled had great build up but right when the story was about to reveal the answer to all of those anxiety inducing plot points, it rushed through the explanations at hyper-speed. I felt cheated. Things that were monumental turning points, were described in one page…sometimes one sentence. It felt like the writer grabbed my hand and threw me out of her mind, with some lame explanation about motivation. Further, answers to those prickly questions, like why a teenager would commit murder, were skimmed over. Look, I don’t need my hand-held, but when you drive me down a twisty road of filled with plot-holes, I expect…no I need adequate explanations.
Again, I read a bare bones version of this book (which I learned is the first of a trilogy – YAY!) and I am certain that this author made adjustments to the ending before going to print, likely clearing up many of the issues I had with the story. That being, I wholeheartedly encourage purchasing this book…and the next two in the series. Nikki Jeffords has truly bewitched me and I look forward to meeting up with her characters again soon.