Sunday, December 15, 2013

Review: Projection by Risa Green


Title:  Projection
Author: Risa Green
Publisher:  Soho Teen
Publishing Date: September 3rd 2013
Pages: 288
Genre:  YA Paranormal Mystery 
Series: Stand Alone
Source: Audio


When 13-year-old Gretchen Harris's mother is murdered at Gretchen's 8th Grade graduation party, everyone in the town of Delphi, California, suspects a power struggle within the Oculus Society: Delphi's version of the Junior League. Gretchen's best friend, Jessica Shaw, might even hold the key to finding the culprit withThe Plotinus Ability: the Oculus Society's jealously guarded secret power to trade souls, which hinges on a kiss. Gretchen's hope at finding the murderer ends in tragedy when Ariel Miller—the class outcast—stalks Gretchen and Jessica and surreptitiously films them exchanging a kiss to test if the Plotinus Ability is real, not knowing their motives. The ensuing YouTube video ("Popular Girls = Secret Lovers") goes viral, Gretchen's and Jessica's lives are further shattered, and they vanish from Delphi.

Flash forward two years later: Ariel is suddenly the most popular junior in town, but wracked with guilt over what she did to Gretchen and Jessica. When both girls reappear after their mysterious absence, Ariel finds herself pawn, suspect, and key player in their scheme to bring the murderer to justice.

As soon as I read the synopsis for this book I knew I wanted to read it. I love murder mysteries and this one sounded different and enticing. I finally grabbed it off my TBR and gave it a listen. It wasn’t what I expected but it was very enjoyable. I was pulled into the story from the very beginning. I loved the story, the way the story was told, and the writing style. The only trouble I had with the book was the characters. I liked them well enough but didn’t fall for them as much as I would have liked, but it didn’t take too much away from the overall read. It was a great read.

It’s really hard to summon up the story in short. There was a lot going on in this book. Gretchen and Jessica just graduated from 8th grade, at the graduation party, Gretchen’s mother is murdered. Fast forward to the summer, Jessica informs Jessica that the society their mothers were in was a secret society to protect the secret of projection. The girls try to do this which entails an exchange of souls through somewhat of a kiss. The girl they don’t like Ariel, catches them on video in what looks like a kiss and makes it viral. The girls go away and come back 3 years later, befriend Ariel and decide to investigate Gretchen’s mother’s murder. In between chapters we also get a snippet of a ancient Rome story of how projection and the society came about.

This was a very busy story and felt more like two stories in one, and I loved it. I really liked how the story was told with the alternating two stories. I knew there had to be a reason for the flashbacks to ancient Rome and there was. It probably wasn’t needed but I thought it added to the story. The story is also told from all three girls POV. The beginning of the book from Gretchen, middle from Ariel, and the ending from Jessica. They way they were grouped made the following of the different POVs easy to follow as well as allowing me to get to know each character. The book was pretty fast paced and the mystery was well done. There were many times I didn’t know up from down when it came to my thoughts about the killer. I was clueless until the author meant me to figure it out, which is always a plus in my book.

The characters did lack a tiny bit for me. There were all witchy at times and pretty self absorbed, but that didn’t bother me so much. When it came to each one’s POV, I felt I was able to see a bit more into their lives and see why there were the way there were. At times they were witchy because they were just mean teenage girls, but knowing they had some issues beyond being a mean teenage girl made the characters a bit more likable. What lacked for me, it didn’t seem there weren’t any real distinguishing traits between the girls. The POVs helped me see their lives, but not really their true personalities. They seemed a bit cookie cutter for me. This was the only issue I had with the girls. I liked that they started out shallow, mean, and pretty naive. That made them more real. I would have loved to see some deeper qualities that set them apart from each other and it just didn’t seem to be there for me. What I did like was the friendship that grew between all three because of the projection. They were able to get past some pretty superficial stuff and learn to trust each other and listen to each other. A little bit of some Chic lit thrown into the mix.

I thought the idea of projection was done well. The kissing part was kind of weird but in a way still made sense. It was a bit strange and hard to follow at times when the girls projected, but I enjoyed the idea. Kind of a “until you walked in someone else’s shoes” moment. The act of projection was supposed to help solve a murder, and in the end it did, but the real lesson learned was living as someone else. It sounds better when you’re on the outside looking in, once you’re in, the view changes dramatically. This was the real story in the end.

The story contained a bit of everything for me, fantasy, mystery, and chic lit. A very quick read and it was fun for me.

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