Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Review: Fifteen by Jen Estes


By Jen Estes

Blurb: Legend has it if you die in your dreams, you die in real life. Fifteen-year-old Ashling Campbell knows that’s not true because when she closes her eyes each night, she doesn’t dream about public nudity or Prom dates. Instead, she’s catapulted to the front row of her future self’s execution - fifteen years from now - where monsters have taken control of her hometown and she, or rather, her 30-year-old counterpart, is their public enemy number one.

For three months and counting, it’s been the same dream… until an encounter with an antique dreamcatcher. Ash falls asleep to discover she’s no longer a mere spectator in these dreams - now she’s astral-projecting into the body of her future self. Each night, she goes on the run with a ragtag group of rebels - who have no idea she’s really a high school sophomore and not their noble warrior. She has to make it through each night so that she can wake up and find a way to change the future. For every action she does in the present day, she falls asleep to discover it had an equal impact fifteen years later. It’s up to her to manage her two worlds and make sure she’s still got a place in both.

Genres: Young Adult Paranormal

Publication Date: January 15, 2015

Pages: 233

Series: The Dreamwalker Diaries (book 2)

My Rating: 4 stars

I hate paranormal books with a passion, usually. It's not because of the supernatural creatures; it's what usually accompanies and overshadows the supernatural creatures; really pointless love interests and boring as heck MCs. However, Fifteen had none of that. It had a love interest, but he was by no means boring. And, while I would say the book was more plot driven then character driven, Ash was still an MC I didn't have any problems cheering for.

 First off, this book didn't seem like a ripoff of Twilight that just cut the vampires and pasted another supernatural monster that they hottied up in its place. These supernatural creatures are freaking creepy, and I've never read a book that centers around them before; they are Jumlin, from Native American legend. Oh god, don't read this book before going to bed like I did guys. I couldn't stop reading. Why? Here's why.

Me: Oh, they have dark and soulless eyes. Not bad so far.
Me: Oh, that's over now. Well, might as well read a bit more, this is getting good and I still have a few min---

 So yeah. In a nutshell I spent an hour of what should have been valuable sleeping time reading with mixed terror and fascination. I get easily scared (Jurassic Park was unbearable for me) so this might not be the case for everyone, but if you are easily creeped out...start this book at like noon or something.

 Besides being a bit freaky, though, the plot is really good. It's fast paced, and by being a dreamwalker, Ash can actually change the future so these things don't happen. A bit stressful, but definitely unique and exciting.

 There were so many twists and turns in this story; things that I had not the slightest inkling would happen took me entirely by surprise. There was one big plot twist at the end that I did see coming, but the rest were really surprising to me.

I enjoyed reading about Ash. Not only was she strong and didn't rely on her love interest to constantly save her, her relationship with her mother and her 'aunt' felt real and I loved it. Tate is her best friend, and a romance between them isn't really dwelled upon; there is like one hint, but that gets crushed about as soon as it gets talked about. A girl being friends with a guy and NOT having it develop into something more is definitely refreshing. Plus, Tate and Ash's banter cracked me up. They were great together.

 The romance was also kind of cool in the sense that it doesn't actually happen in this lifetime, so there's no Ash putting her love interest before the salvation of the world and making me extremely mad in the process. It is not something I'm really shipping; I didn't get to know a lot about the guy other than that he was hot and cared about her, so he was kind of generic--but it didn't annoy me either because it wasn't the focus most of the time.

This book doesn't end on a completely happy ending, and I think that works well that way.
There are definitely some questions that have to be answered, and not everything that did get resolved ended with the happily ever after option. Needless to say, I'm excited to see how the second book plays out.

 I was pleasantly surprised at how much I liked Fifteen! It is a very different sort of paranormal book; I look forward to reading the sequel.

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