Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Beyond the Eyes: A Book Review

Paige knows evil exists in this world, but she never imagined it would want something from her.
In the small town of Astoria, Oregon, surrounded by deep forest and endless mountains, another world thrives. . . a menacing one where dark spirits dwell in soulless humans. Seventeen-year-old Paige Reed lives in this lush, picturesque setting. She's not your average teen, though she appears to be. Not only is she heartsick, but she's been receiving cryptic premonitions from a ghostly voice since the age off our. After she hears a haunting message about herself, supernatural occurrences begin to confuse her.

Nathan Caswell seems to peer into Paige's soul, evoking a magnetic energy between them they cannot deny. They're connected. But he's no ordinary guy. He tracks dark spirits and becomes alarmed when they set their sights on Paige.

When two power-hungry malevolent beings make demands on her, she realizes then the fate of mankind rest in her hands. Her world quickly turns inside out where the impossible becomes possible, and in the end she's faced with a life changing decision that will not only alter her existence but the world as she knows it.

Can a deeply troubled teen overcome her own demons in order to fight those lurking about? With the past and present colliding, Paige must make the ultimate mortal choice. Will it be the right one?

Paige's story had the potential to be a good read, but I am sorry to say that I feel like it fell short of it's potential.

The description of the book had a few aspects of potential interest to it when I picked it up.  The first being the fight with the "dark spirits".  Paige is slowly introduced to the fact that she has dark spirits in her life who have the potential to hurt her, but unfortunately, they never really make much of a showing, except when the author needs to jump the story forward.

The "old one" is in the story throughout most of it, but kind of takes a back seat to introducing the characters, Paige's situation, her friends, her family life, her school, her love life....just about everything that a teen girl has going on in her life.  When the teen angst comes, the dark spirits are really know where to be found and instead we are deep in the midst of Paige's lonely life.

I don't understand why it's so interesting for the "special kids" in teen novels to be from broken homes where they have to raise themselves.  I can see in this book that it gave Paige a reason to feel "neglected and lonely" all the time with "wholes" in her life.  I admit, that I wanted to slap Paige's mom.  I don't understand the mentality of leaving your kids go fend for themselves because you are heartbroken.  As a parent, you just don't do that.  But that's a whole other issue.  In this case, her parents' absence gave her the excuse to be able to look for the answers that the loss inflicted, which also moved the story SLOWLY forward, and to be able to have Nathan move so quickly into her home and life.

The quickness that Paige and Nathan fell together was really a problem for me.  I get the whole "love at first sight" thing and meeting your "soulmate" to be connected right away.  Most people want that kind of connection in their lives, and so I can understand why that would be a good read, but they started having sex right away, which is so not alright.  In fact all the times these two had sex or got horny was a little off putting.

Don't get me wrong, I love a good love story, and I was thrilled that the details of their sex encounters were skipped over.  That's pretty rare these days and I was glad to not have a book that I could recommend to teen readers that wasn't going to give them details that are splashed all over too much anyway.

The love story between Paige and Nathan pretty much took over this whole book in a lot of ways.  There was a lot of the getting to know you moments and the I love you moments.  I did love the quote "was it possible to keep falling in love with the same person every day? Because it seemed each day I spent with him, I fell deeper in love."  That's real love and what we need to get in the subconscious minds of our children.  We need to fall in love with our spouses every day, day after day.  That was a great thing to have included.

But the rest of the love story kind of drug the story along.  I felt like it slowed the book down, and there wasn't enough of the action that had drawn me to the back of the book.  I did finish reading the book, but I found that I could put it down for hours and not even think about it.  I wasn't compelled to finish it.  And after letting the book stew for a few days, I'm not sure I'll pick up the second book in the series after all. 

Over all, this was an okay read.  It had great potential, but fell pretty short.  Maybe the next book will be better since we don't need to get introduced to Paige's life, her friends, her school, her family, her situation, her love life.... I feel like I could keep going on, but I'll probably never know.