Tuesday, February 05, 2013

Review: Insight by Jolene Perry

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Jolene Perry
Series: Shadows, #1
Genre: YA Paranormal
Publication date: September 3rd 2012
by Next Door Publishing

Micah hates her ability to “see” things when she touches people. She’s terrified of relationships, holds on to guilt over the death of her classmate, Lacey, and has no idea what to do with a vision from Landon, a boy from her school. She feels him falling for her, but Micah doesn’t do friends, much less relationships.

Enter a spooky history project about a tragedy from three hundred years ago, and voodoo dolls that Micah somehow feels has to do with her gift. Suddenly she’s sure the shadows in the woods are following her every move—without Landon’s relaxed attitude about what’s happening in her life, Micah would be sure she’s going crazy.

With no ideas on timing or specifics, the visions of both herself and the people she cares about are turning dark—and it appears the shadows around her house do move on their own. But as Micah and Landon try to prevent Micah’s visions of the future, the shadows close in, and they’re now afraid they’ve become the cause…

Micah’s story is the first of three girls, with unique talents, who are part of a 300 year old tragedy that follows them in the shadows.

*A copy was provided by YA Bound for review*

Having heard such great things about Jolene Perry’s books I jumped at the chance to read one of them. Although it’s funny that it’s the cover for book 2 that initially attracted me to it. While this one is nice, the sequel’s cover is so pretteh! As for the book, overall I thought it was a pretty fun read, though some aspects of it definitely stopped me from loving it.

The most prominent of these aspects is the forced nature, or stiffness, from the characters and events. It’s hard to even pinpoint examples as it was mostly a feeling that I got throughout the book in regards to the characters’ reactions, dialogue, as well as the flow of the story. Some of it seemed artificial to me, to either push a point, or insure certain plot developments. Nevertheless, the book kept my interest, even to the point of having me reflect on her situation hours afterwards–what it would be like to see visions every time you touch someone, not knowing if it’s the past or present, or if you could potentially save someone’s life. What would I do with these visions? Although not the first time I come across a similar premise, I had fun with it and it was well executed for the most part. We did get some hints on the cause of her ability, where it came from and why she has it, but it didn’t go very deep in that area. This novel seemed to have been mostly about Micah coming to terms with her situation and being around people. Learning more about what she can and can’t change as well as opening up about it. The sequel will hopefully go into more details about the legend we’re introduced to, including the creepy shadows she’s sensing in the woods.

The romance is one part that I did enjoy regardless of the lack of truly deep emotional output, which is surprising, considering. I thought it was a realistic portrayal of a teenage romance with the expected amount of mistrust and skepticism, but also wanting to jump all in. The love interest, Landon, is a sweet guy, however I was not convinced of his turning from player to perfectly loyal boyfriend in such a short time. All in all there could have been some improvement in character development and growth towards not just Landon, but Micah as well. Neither are unlikeable, but they aren’t especially memorable either.

Even though it was a little stilted, the book is interesting and I was told that the sequel is worlds better, which is always encouraging when you didn’t completely love the first installment. Knowing this, I will most likely be continuing with the series and hopefully find the flow more natural in books to come.

3 Hot Espressos

About the Author

 Jolene’s Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter
Jolene kissed a boy on her high school graduation night. One she’d wanted to kiss for a long time. They got married two years later, have built two homes together, survived military deployments, law school, student loan debt, and two children.
Jolene plays the guitar, takes pictures, and loves to hike. She doesn’t like rivers, but loves the ocean. She loves to fly, but gets motion sick. Her ultimate vacation would be to sail through the deserted islands in The Bahamas. Two years ago, she got that wish when her parents retired on a sailboat.
She taught high school French when she was only a few years older than her students, and then taught middle school math with her degree in political science and French.
She spends grocery money on designer fabric, shoes, and books.
Jolene cannot express how many times she wished she could write a whole novel. And now she has. Several times. Life is good.

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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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24 Responses to “Review: Insight by Jolene Perry”

  1. Jennifer Messerschmidt

    I enjoyed this but I agree there was something that kept me from loving it but I can’t explain exactly what. I wasn’t a huge fan of the characters. But I did really enjoy Manipulation! I really like the characters, romance, and flow of the story better. I am finding the paranormal aspects and powers intriguing.

  2. Sirtsu

    Jolene Perry writes awesome contemporary and I plan on reading more of her books in the future. I haven’t read this series though, but it sounds good. You’re right, the second cover is gorgeous! I actually didn’t have it on my TBR pile before, but your review made me reconsider it and three stars is good, right? Of course it could always be better, but with the flaws you pointed out it cannot be perfect. I love me some character growth and even though it wasn’t ideal for you, I think I’d love to find out more about this book by reading it myself. Thanks for sharing, Giselle:)

  3. Jenni @ Alluring Reads

    I have never read anything by this author either but like you I really like the cover of the second book in this series. It’s too bad this one felt so stiff for you. Happy that you enjoyed it overall though. Maybe you will like the sequel better!

  4. Silverlight

    I never heard of this series, until yesterday while visiting the tour. I really wished I signed up for it, because I think I would enjoy it. I really love when a book stays on your mind, after you finish it. Even though there is issues with this book, I too heard the second one is better.

  5. Amy

    I have a few of Jolene’s book, but haven’t read them yet. I have heard great things though. I love the covers for this series. Hopefully the second book is better for you. At least you liked it enough to want to continue.

  6. Kris (Imaginary Reads)

    This sounds like an interesting book, though I probably wouldn’t pick it up if you hadn’t mentioned that the sequel is better (especially since there is a sequel). I’ve been having trouble recently with not liking sequels as much as the first book. Thanks for the review!

  7. Maja (The Nocturnal Library)

    I guess I can live with a few flaws in the first book IF the sequel is as good as they say. Character development is so important to me and I’m always disappointed when it isn’t as good as it could be. That romence was your favorite part says enough to me, you’re not the ‘romance is my favorite part’ kinda gal, and neither am I. We’re more for blood and mayhem, with romance as a welcome addition.
    Great review!

  8. fredamans

    The only book I have read of hers is Night Sky and I loved it. Sorry this wasn’t the bees knees for you, but I would still want to read as I like her style of writing.

  9. Camille Picott

    I’m totally intrigued by the book description, esp knowing that the story of three different girls will tie to a 300-year-old mystery. I like stories that connect with histories and complicated back stories, like Daughter of Smoke and Bone. Looking forward to your review of the next installment!

  10. kimbacaffeinate

    I haven’t tried this author yet either but have seen over the moon reviews of some of her other books. I really want fleshed out characters and complications..LOL Not sure this one is for me, thanks for sharing your awesome take on it.

  11. Sam

    I’ve read a couple of Jolene’s contemporary books in the past, and they’ve worked pretty well for me, so I might give this a try down the line. 🙂 It’s a shame there were aspects that prevented you from fully investing in it, but I’m glad you liked it well enough. Hopefully the sequel will be as good as you expect. Great review, Giselle! 🙂

  12. Aneeqah

    I definitely need to pick up a Jolene Perry book soon too as well, especially because some of my close friends have really loved her stuff! This one definitely seems like it’ll be meh for me though, because I would find the awkward transitions and too-fast character development (with the main love interest at least) to be slightly annoying, in the very least. However, the concept does sound cool, even though I have also seem some variations done of it elsewhere.

    Fabulous review, Giselle! Thanks for sharing! <3

  13. Renae M.

    This book does sounds interesting, definitely, though it’s a shame it didn’t quite live up to its potential. And I totally get where you’re coming from with the somewhat inexplicable forced aspect, Giselle—some books just don’t feel natural or authentic, and it can be hard to explain why.

  14. Eileen

    OOH I definitely hate when a love interest morphs into someone new in like no time at all! I’m glad you liked this one, though; I’ve heard fantastic things about Jolene Perry’s work, but I’m sorry this one didn’t live up to your expectations! Forced moments are definitely a sore spot sometimes.

    Awesome review as always!