Monday, September 24, 2012

Author's Spot light: Jessa Russo

Several weeks ago Jessa Russo asked me to Do a review of her up coming book Ever a Paranormal Romance about a 17 year old Girl in love with her best friend who lives in her house, the wierd thing is that he is dead.  I'm going to touch on a few things before I get started on the actual Review. I was going to post an explanation of my rating system, but because I am lazy I didn't get it done. So instead I have to give a little paragraph. I have two rating system one is 1-5 and the other is a grade system. the 1-5 which goes from couldn't bring my self to finish to Something I will read again, and Something that I will remember with fondness. the grade system starts with an F (something that I couldn't finish and is so horrible that I don't understand how it got published) to and A+ which is something that not only did I enjoy and have a fondness for but also something that made a major impact on the genres or story telling in general. now on to the meat of this post

Let me start by saying I enjoyed this book, much more then I thought I would. In all honesty when I would hear Jessa talk about her book I was kinda hesitant about the topic, I mean a teen age girl in love with a ghost, is this just fall out from twilight? But as I got to know Jessa through the blog-o-sphere I really wanted to help her in any way I could with the launch of her book. So I thought hey I can give it a read and write a review. (oh and if you don't like spoilers, read carfully, I'm not going to promise there wont be a few. sorry)

Over view: Ever is a YA Paranormal Romance I will grade it as a B+ and give it 4 Stars. Like I said I enjoyed this book and I am curious to read the next book but I probably wont read it again and I don't know that it will have a huge impact on the genre. I even have already suggested to some of my friends that they would like it. remember a B+ is good, really good.

What I liked:
1. Ever, and Jessie are believable. I think this is because Jessa does a great job of giving reasons why they are the way they are. We see the broken home Jessie comes from. she has been taught that love looks a curtain way and that is how she acts. Ever is not moping around about how horrible it is that she doesn't have a boyfriend, rather she is trying to put the pieces together so she can function. Their friendship is one that has been formed from something more then just their similar interests, they are forever friends and even though they go through changes they will always be able to pick up where they left off.

2. Ever knows that she is in an unhealthy place emotionally. I think that this is a great motivator and explains why she doesn't ask too many questions of Toby. there is more to this side of the story then just "Oh Hot guy who is interested in me must give in to Hormones." Sure she loves Frankie, she always will, but he is dead and even though he is haunting her she needs to move on or she will be stunted by her grief. I have met someone who refused to let himself be healed of his grief, it is sad to watch him continue to hurt himself and others because he wont let go. Ever is trying to heal emotionally from what has happened to her. I think that makes her a heroine that young girls can look up to.

3. I appreciated the relationship between Ever and her parents.  Sometimes YA put too much on  broken relationship with parents, sometimes the 'my parents are so stupid' feeling that just about every teen has at some point is over played. Ever has a healthy relationship with them and they are doing their best to be encouraging and nurturing parents. -Also I liked that her parents where modeling what a healthy romantic relationship could look like.

4. As a romance I liked how the relationship with Frankie was shown. they were good friends, he clearly cared for her, they were just both to self conscious to sacrifice their pride to tell the other how they really felt.

5. (Spoiler) As a paranormal book I think that there is a freshness here. ghosts are nothing new, people who help ghosts move on are not new. however while there Jessa didn't take a lot of time to explain what the mythology was she did leave a good trail of bread crumbs that I believe are worth following. (in fact depending on what this mythos turns into the next book could get into the A range)

Now for a few things that I didn't like:
1. This critic should be held in the light that I don't generally read YA. I don't like figuring out what is going on before the main character. This is not the same as salving the mystery before the protagonist, this is more like when I see warning signs that are clear that the protagonist is telling me about and then watch the protagonist ignore them. Nor is this the hey I'm reading a romance so I clearly know that this guy is bad news. When I feel the character is acting Stupidly it really bugs me. -but this is a YA book so I have to remember that Ever is only 17 she hasn't had the life experiences, and her hormones are in over drive so she doesn't really want to ask the question wait why on earth out a 22 year old be hanging out with a kid like me?

2. this is a critic about nothing in the book but about the blurb.(spoiler) I wish the blurb hadn't said "Ever Van Ruysdael could lose her soul" this is because I was expecting the battle over her soul to be the climax, Instead it looks like that will be the point of the next book. here is the thing I knew before I started reading it that Ever's soul was going to be in the balance so I kept looking for how it would happen and who would do it. I'm not saying that the revel wasn't a good one. I'm very curious to see how it will pan out. but I think the Power of the revel was less then it could have been if I hadn't been given the heads up. However this is not really a critic of the book, or of Jessa but of the editor not catching that this would deflate the big revel.

So I liked the book it has its imperfections but nothing that says this is a book to avoid. if you like YA romances with a bit of Supernatural in them this is defiantly a book you should read.

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