Genre: Sci Fi & Fantasy, Teens and Young Adult
Recommendation: Yes, if you are a fan of vampire paranormal fiction.
Type: Series ( not yet released)
Summary: A good story overall, seems promising if you are looking for a new series to read. + strong female lead +romantic chemistry +not a super whiny female lead + interesting plot.
With Graduation only weeks away Khalida’s normal everyday boring life is turned upside down. Never knowing her past Khalida is thrown into a world of vampires and just not any vampires, Ones who will hunt to the end to kill her. Thrust into the chaos, Luke a boy whom she could never walk completely away from, and an ex-boyfriend who won’t leave her alone. Though Luke would take on the world to save her can he help Khalida save her from herself?
“That’s the understatement of the year. Every single time that jackass would suck me in with promises and smooth talk, and the next thing I knew he wouldn’t return my calls. Then he’d totally ignore any attempts I made to reach out. Every dang time. If it happens again, maybe I can just trip him before he can cut and run.”
Amaranthine by Lanie Jacobs is the first volume in a new paranormal series titled Willow Shadows. This series is definitely one to check out if you have previously enjoyed reads that follow a female lead through an awakening of sorts after being plunged into a new reality within her previously average life.
Khalida, our main chick, is in her senior year of high school and is doing what girls do at her age, hanging out with her friends, finishing up school and thinking about boys. We meet Luke, her forever crush, that has fooled her one too many times. He likes to reel her in, get her juuuust comfortable enough with their relationship and then drop her like she is nothing. We meet her best friend and partner in crime Vega and an assortment of other people that she interacts with on a daily basis including her exceptionally unsavory ex-boyfriend who is definitely this weeks prime candidate for Throat Punch Thursday. He is a REAL charmer.
One night Khalida not so smoothly discovers the existence of Vampires and she is thrown head first into a life she didn’t even know she had. Not only is this a revelation but the idea that she is who she is in this community is enough to make a girl need extra strength deodorant. The worst part about it is it seems she is the last to know. She has a good support group to help her transition and the author has really built in some comedic relief with the way her people interact.
I enjoyed the introduction of the book, it got me intrigued within the first few paragraphs but then when the story progressed it left me feeling like perhaps I missed something. I enjoyed the dialogue between Luke and Khalida and I really liked their chemistry but my inner pessimist just couldn’t understand how she could forgive so easily and jump right back on the Luke bandwagon. Then again, when you love someone I know it can make you forget all common sense and in certain situations you just do whatever helps you look at yourself in the mirror every day and get out of bed.
One thing that I wished was in this book was more focus on what being a Vampire actually meant. It was kind of like hey, this is what I am. There wasn’t the usual build up of cool powers, super strength and all around bad assery. I also didn’t understand how the characters that were up to no good were not found out before they were. I get that in order to make the story work obviously there had to be a few that slipped through the cracks but the main characters had to miss some pretty obvious clues. Like I couldn’t tell if we already knew that some people were vampires that weren’t openly spoken about or if it was a new revelation.
There was a big bomb dropped at the end of this book. I am not going to spoil it for you ( you know I am anti-spoiler) but once you read it you will understand. A huge decision was made and for me I couldn’t understand how she did it like it was nothing. Maybe I just over think everything I read ( totally a possibility).
I really did enjoy this read. I will read the second book when it comes out. The chemistry between the two leads was enough for me to be intrigued. I read the book straight through and I wanted to know what would happen next. This book is suitable for mature teenagers and YA. There is some sexual content but it isn’t explicit. The love story is cute, the story line is interesting and the ending doesn’t make you want to throw hot grease in the eye of the next person you see.
Disclaimer: I received an ARC via NetGalley in exchange for a honest review. Thank you Lanie Jacobs for the chance to meet Khalida.