Friday, November 25, 2011

Review: The Secret of Spruce Knoll by Heather McCorkle

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The Secret of Spruce Knoll

Heather McCorkle
Released August 3rd, 2011
by Abbott Press

Goodreads / Purchase

It’s hard enough being a teenager under normal circumstances; imagine being orphaned, sent to live with an unfamiliar aunt-and learning that there really is magic in the world. Following the tragic death of her parents, Eren Donovan moves to Spruce Knoll to live with her aunt. Little does Eren know the entire town of Spruce Knoll is filled with so-called “channelers”-a magical group of people who immigrated to the small Colorado town when they were driven out of their own lands.

Channelers are tied to the fate of the world. As the world slowly dies, so do they-and they alone have the power to stop the destruction of Earth. Now, Eren learns she not only lives among them, but she is one. When she meets local boy Aiden, his charming tricks show her being a channeler isn’t all bad; in fact, it’s kind of cool. But is it Aiden’s abilities or Aiden’s looks that Eren finds so fascinating?

As Eren and Aiden’s relationship blooms, so too does a mystery in Spruce Knoll. The town holds many secrets-and many enemies. It soon becomes apparent that the untimely death of Eren’s parents was no accident and that her life might be in danger, too. Only time will tell if young, inexperienced Eren has the power to protect the people she has come to love.

*A copy was provided by Heather McCorkle for review purposes*
When I read this synopsis for this novel that talks of โ€œchannelersโ€ and their fates being tied to the world, I wasn’t really sure what to expect, and if I would really get it. I can now say that The Secret of Spruce Knoll is a wonderfully written paranormal novel that is completely original and full of wonder, love and loss.

Shortly after opening it’s pages, I was introduced to the town of Spruce Knoll – Erin’s new hometown – where people are acting peculiar and not very accepting. Some of them are even blatantly rude. Eren doesn’t know the reason behind this behavior, but once she finds out about her being a channeller, she soon uncovers why she will never really fit in with these people. Eren is a wonderful example of what it takes to overcome tough obstacles in life. The death of her parents, living in a new town where no one accepts her, and top that off with finding out about these strange powers – that can’t be easy! But Eren goes through it with her head held high and she really made me love her completely. I admired how she dealt with it all, and how strong she was through it.

We also have Aiden who is a charmer like no other. But with no negative intentions; he’s all sweets and good looks. I really enjoyed the way the romance in this book was formulated. Some reviewers have mentioned insta-love, but honestly I didn’t find it so, especially that months can go by within a few chapters. The pace it evolves in feels steady, natural and is full of passion. It’s not all easy, however. They go through a lot of distress that keeps us on our toes. Along with Aiden and Eren there is an abundance of secondary characters that all have a significance in the story and are all likeable – even the villains are fun to hate.

Heather doesn’t go easy on the plot either. She has written a story with a ton of excitement and plenty of twists. The pacing is perfect with action spread throughout, along with great characterization and world building. I do have a small wonder of why Eren’s true intentions towards the bad guys weren’t being felt by them – since they’re supposed to be able to feel emotions. I also wish we would have seen more of their powers in play; although there were still a few good spurts of it here and there. All in all, The Secret of Spruce Knoll is a wonderful debut that is incredibly original and deeply entertaining. Don’t hesitate to pick this one up!

4 Hot Espressos
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Canadian blogger, wife, mother, coffee lover, and sarcastic at heart! She has had a love for all things bookish since before Amazon and eReaders existed *le gasp*. You can also find her organizing tours and other fun things at Xpresso Book Tours.

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28 Responses to “Review: The Secret of Spruce Knoll by Heather McCorkle”

  1. Trisha Wolfe

    Awesome review! Heather is such a wonderful person, and I started this book way back, but edits and writing took me away =( I am now wanting to dive in right away! Thanks so much!

  2. Heather

    I’m deeply touched that you enjoyed Spruce Knoll so much. What a wonderful thing to wake up to today. I can’t thank you enough. And I only hope that you enjoy the sequel due out in February even more!

  3. Jenna and Ashley

    Great review, Giselle. I can’t imagine what it would be like to be in a town where everyone is grumpy. Aiden sounds like a fun love interest. I appreciate that you mentioned the pace; sometimes it’s hard to get into a novel that drags or goes too quickly. I’ll have to pick this one up! (Love her blue eyes on the cover, and in a weird way, her face reminds me of Pocahontas!).
    -Jenna @ Fans of Fiction

  4. A Canadian Girl

    This one sounds like a good read so I’ll have to add it to my wishlist. I like characters that are mentally tough and don’t sink to complaining about every single thing, and Aiden seems like a sweet romantic lead.

  5. Alexa

    Wow, this one sounds like it could be interesting! I’m going to add it to my TBR right now. Thanks for the lovely review! ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. Laura

    Thanks for stopping by my blog. I am a new follower.

    I really enjoyed your review of The Secrets of Spruce Knoll and can’t wait to read it.

  7. Mimi Valentine

    “It’s hard enough being a teenager under normal circumstances.” <– Amen to that LOL!! x)

    The way you described the pacing and characters makes this sound EXACTLY like the kind of book I want to read right now! And it makes me SO happy that this book is void of insta-love — realistic romance is always the winner, and who DOESN’T love a guy who can charm you?? ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Awesome review, Giselle! I’m so glad you enjoyed it! ๐Ÿ™‚

  8. Candace

    I have this one on it’s way to me (or maybe it’s already there since I’m on vacation and not around to get my mail) and I’m very happy to hear that it’s great! Can’t wait until I get home and am able to read it!

  9. Books4Juliet

    Hi Giselle!

    Happy Thanksgiving! Thank you for visiting my blog so often <3 And I'm so jealous of you ๐Ÿ˜› You are productive with regards to your reviews! Keep it up! I think that's amazing of you to manage that. I'm not as productive as you, you know :< *sigh*

    ANyway, have a great weekend! mwuah!

    XOXO, April

  10. Giselle

    Thanks guys I hope you all enjoy it as much as I did ๐Ÿ™‚

    And thank YOU Heather for giving me the chance t read your wonderful book ๐Ÿ™‚ I can’t wait for the sequel!!

  11. Rebecca

    This one sounds interesting! I always seem to stumble across some new and interesting looking reads through you! I’m glad you liked it. I’m gonna take a closer look! ๐Ÿ™‚

  12. Giselle

    Thanks ladies!

    @Rebecca: That’s awesome! I’m always happy when I can help spread the word of a wonderful book =) Part of the reason why I went into blogging! I hope you like it as much as I did!

  13. Lauren M

    Glad to hear this one was a worthwhile read! The summary sounds crazy. I’m definitely loving the sounds of Aiden, and I’m so happy that the romance didn’t seem insta-love-y! Thanks for the review, Giselle! ๐Ÿ™‚