Jillian Cade: (Fake) Paranormal Investigator

First Lines: On the rare occasion that I meet a new guy, he inevitably has one of two reactions: he wants to save me or screw me.  Since I’m not up for either, I don’t get asked on a lot of second dates.  Technically speaking, none.

I was offered an ARC of this from the publishers in return for an honest review.  (Wow, it’s been a while since I’ve said that!)  It was something of a perfect storm for accepting this: I had time, it looked interesting, and I’ve had good interactions with this publisher before.  (FYI, it’s SOHO Teen.)

Jillian Cade’s father is a famous paranormal researcher, a fact that never ceases to make Jillian roll her eyes.  She doesn’t believe in the paranormal and only feels bad for the people her father dupes.  Still, she’s milking his reputation in order to earn a little money as a paranormal investigator–money she desperately needs since her dad left her to do “research”.  When Jillian takes on a missing persons case, it seems pretty normal…until Jillian suddenly discovers that the paranormal world may indeed be very real.  Jillian reluctantly takes on the help of Sky Ramsey, the new boy in school, who can’t shut up about her father’s work.  As they investigate the together, the case keeps getting stranger and stranger…as does their work relationship…

I was originally interested in this story for the irony of Jillian being a nonbeliever in the paranormal working as a paranormal investigator who then finds out she should’ve been a believer after all.  I like irony.  It spices things up.

It was a cute read.  Jillian is sassy and snarky, which is 100% a defense mechanism.  Her home life is complete crap, and so she uses sarcasm as a shield to protect her from the world.  I get it.  And it was funny when she’d throw a good zinger out at someone.  But it was interesting that this book did make it a point to show that it was a defense mechanism.  Some books don’t, simply making a character sassy because readers like those characters.

The mystery, while having a nice twist at the end, moved a bit slow.  The whole book tended to focus exclusively on the mystery, with little deviation to any kind of subplot.  Nothing inherently wrong with that, but it just didn’t feel like the story really went anywhere for a while.

And, ok, there’s something weird about the way Jillian feels toward Sky, and I’m not simply talking about romantically.  It was just…off.  I wish I knew what it was about it.  But something didn’t feel quite right.  I think it has something to do with her condescension and/or attitude, but I can’t say for certain.

There were a lot of little humorous scenes.  You know, goofy humor moments where someone does something silly.  I like weird humor.  So cute scenes to make me giggle are always appreciated as comic relief.

Overall, I thought it was an entertaining story, but it just moved a bit slow.

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