Normal is the Watchword

NITW_Cover_finalpurple6-210x300First Lines: Normal.  That’s what every teenager both craves to be and also hates to be.  It’s nice to feel normal when you are surrounded by strangers and dying to fit in.

I was given a copy of this by the author to read and review.

Alright.  So I was approached about this in the hay-day of my Supernatural obsession this summer.  (Not that I’m not still obsessed with the show, but it has cooled now that I’ve seen 8 seasons.)  Anyway, this book clearly had a supernatural edge to it, and I wanted to see what would happen.

For most of her life, Juniper has lived on the fringe of social circles.  While she wants to be normal, she is more observant than her classmates, and that makes fitting in difficult sometimes. Armed with her camera, Juni sees the world differently than others.  Her favorite subjects are Carrie, her best friend, and Darius, the mystery soccer player who is too charming for his own good.  But when Juni witnesses something that wasn’t meant to be photographed, normal life is no longer an option for her.  Now, every moment is about real survival, not social survival.  Then Carrie goes missing.  Suddenly alone, Juni turns to Darius for help.  Mysteries start unfolding and it seems there may be a war of supernatural origins about to start…

This was a pretty exciting read.  I mean, I constantly struggled to find a place to stop.  Even when I had to do normal things like, you know, eating, I struggled to turn off my Kindle and walk away.  The mystery (or mysteries, since there is definitely more than one) kept the story interesting and entertaining.  I kept reading in huge chunks because, really, isn’t that the only way to read a book?

I will say that the beginning a bit slow.  The first quarter or so of the book is a bit of a drag as everything gets set up.  It seemed like it too forever to get to the action.  I won’t say that I was bored with the story, but I was definitely anxious to get to the conflict.  And here I go, inserting my teacher words into my reviews.  Oy vey.

There was actually a very cute and sweet romance in the story as well.  Juni is a strong heroine who isn’t looking for a guy to make her whole.  (Just saying, I loved that.  Girls need more role models like this.)  Darius is sensitive and caring while carrying his own strength.  They work well together, and I liked seeing them struggle to find out what exactly their relationship was.  I think too many stories just jump right into the relationship and don’t do justice to the awkwardness of new relationships.  This had awkward moments that were still sweet.

Again, there are a few little issues here as well.  First of all, there were a lot of moments in the romance where I went, “Um, this happens in Twilight too.”  It just made some of the sweeter scenes feel a bit cliche.  So while I still liked them, they just didn’t feel as original.  Also, Juni is a bit cerebral when it comes to Darius.  She tends to think about him and then question what she’s thinking about and then think about it some more.  That was a little annoying, but she eased up on it later in the story.

So…yeah.  I think I’ve covered most everything.  This was really exciting and gripping once I got into the story.  The characters are lovely and I really look forward to what comes next.

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