Thursday, November 30, 2006

Today I read GOLDEN by Jennifer Lynn Barnes.




An upfront disclaimer of sorts: I "know" the author, who has her own blog over at Live Journal. And she's a doll. But that in no way affects my opinion that this book rocks. Let's take a quick look at what it has to offer, shall we?

1. Great voice
2. Cool MC who must face moving to a new town and heinous almost-cousins
3. Supernatural powers
4. Cutest younger sister character ever. Or at least almost-ever, since I'm still pretty keen on
"Boots" from the Gregor the Overlander books. We'll call it a draw.
5. Cool new best friend
6. Cool old best friends
7. Cool Dylan
8. Cool antagonists, and how often do you get to say that?
9. Wicked cool Grandmother ("READ!")

When this book arrived at my house many months ago, I did the dance of joy and intended to read it right away. I was thwarted in this, however, by the diabolical thievery of S, my older daughter, who snatched it away to the great abyss that is her bedroom. I only recently managed to stage a rescue, and boy am I glad I did.

In this oh-my-god-what-happens-next-no-I-don't-want-to-look-nevermind-yes-I-so-do story, Lissy and her family move from California to Oklahoma after Lissy's mother runs into some difficulties with the folks in Cali. Lissy is a Seer, who can see what colors people's auras are. More than that, she can see how they react and interact with the auras of others. It sounds like it'd be sort of cool, except that you can readily see how distracting it is because the book is told from Lissy's viewpoint, and sometimes she has a hard time following conversations because she's trying to juggle what people are saying with what their auras are doing. Compounding her uneasiness at being the new girl in school are all these whirling auras, and the "Goldens," a group of really popular kids, some of whom are linked to Lissy by almost-marriage.

Lissy is particular disturbed by an aura she calls "Garn," which is either a really horrific color or a visible absence of aura -- either way, it's BAD. And her math teacher is totally Garn. Not. good. Fortunately Lissy has her new friend Dylan who is willing to assist her, in no small part because of the intervention of the cutest little sister ever, Lexie. Let's just say that things ramp up to pretty disastrous proportions before the end of the story.

The only down-side to this story, if it is one, is that it is unputdownable. You've been warned. If you start it late at night, you won't be able to go to bed without finishing it. Fortunately, I started it this morning at the orthodontist's office, so I was, well, GOLDEN.

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