Series: Shock Me, #1
Genres: Paranormal Romance, Young Adult Romance
Published by Indie/Self Published
Released on September 17, 2013
A promising gymnast, Donna Young is a shy, quiet nobody from the wrong side of town. The only exciting thing in life is her secret friendship with Ryan, her childhood crush. But after the accident—one that should have killed her—she discovers she has impossible powers! Why now, at sixteen, can she transform into something shocking and inhuman? Donna doesn’t know how to use her new abilities or who she can trust, but unveiling this mystery might lead to conclusions about Ryan that are deadly.
Rich kid, Ryan Applegate is the most popular guy in town. He has a face that should be on a poster in every girl’s bedroom and dates the hottest chick in school. But ever since the big explosion at the town’s power plant, Ryan has been keeping secrets of his own, that if revealed could force him to choose between his family and the girl he’s forbidden to love.
As their electrifying puzzle unfolds, so unfolds a town where friends become enemies, and enemies become unrecognizable and intertwined. Tortured heroes just might be the bad guys, and Donna discovers that her and Ryan’s secrets are powerful enough to destroy everyone… including themselves.
This story was totally shrouded in mystery when it comes to really knowing what is going on. I read the whole thing from cover to cover and yet, I only have a slight inkling of what is going on behind the scenes of a quiet country small town. I gained certain impressions of the people and their actions through this book, but there is a larger part of me that cautions about forming too strong of conclusions because I think what is to come will flip my initial impressions on their heads. At least I hope that’s where all this is going because this felt like a set-up book more than anything else.
Donna lives with her widowed father who is a handyman. Their circumstances are much reduced from once they were before her dad lost the farm, her mother died in child birth and her brother disappeared. She goes through life quietly with just her two friends, Spencer and Becca. They’re all low on the food chain at the highschool which is particularly sad for Donna because her best friend growing up, Ryan, began treating her as a non-entity too. He’s now the typical jock with the witchy head cheerleader girlfriend and has a bully for an older brother. Only when they are really alone like when they’re out sharing the town jogging path does he briefly smile.
Well, suddenly Donna’s nothing life gets a bit more interesting and scary when she suddenly has the ability to turn into pure electricity, move through solid objects, pull juice in from electrical objects and shock the stuffing out of anyone she touches. Unfortunately, her first demonstration lost her the only two friends she has when they both run off and leave her because of their fears.
While she lives in fear over what is happening to her, all sorts of strange things are going on around her. The story switched to all the main players points of view showing that the bully, the jock and the cheerleader aren’t what they seem in some ways. Her friends have their own concerns to worry about. And there is something big being hidden right in that small town. Donna and some others must figure out what before really bad things start to happen.
Okay, as I said the plot was more loose than I like, but it did offer some good intrigue. It was as twisty and vague as it could possibly be and I found out that I really enjoyed the feeling of knowing there was something going on, but not knowing what. I love good world building, but I felt that this story withheld a great deal for the sake of the mystery part. I can live with that- for now. The tone of this story is dark through this first segment like storm clouds are gathering. I got the impression that there is a lot of manipulation going on in the story by shadowy characters pulling everyone’s string. All the characters hold a piece of the truth, but not all of it so everything is skewed. Look forward to it all being unraveled
I’m still trying to decide how I feel about all those kids even after having gotten their perspectives because the story is told from several points of view, but mostly Donna’s. Donna is a genuine dear and you almost weep for all that she loses in this story at no fault of her own. Her friends were nice, but typical when faced with something way the heck out of their comfort zone. I wanted to hate them for abandoning Donna, but honesty makes me admit that if fear was my overall feeling then I might run too. Lynn, the pop cheerleader, is typical. She’s a strutting Queen B and enjoys spreading misery around her. She has the most popular guy in school for a boyfriend, but its still not enough and Donna is her favorite figurative punching bag. Ryan’s brother Randy has been an angry bully all his life, but gaining his perspective shows that his reactions are due to a past of pain and heartbreak. He resents his brother, but there is a part of him that is protective too. Then we come to Ryan. Here’s where I really hope that things are really not what they seem. Donna crushes on him and in secret he wants her, but there’s some mysterious reason he can’t have her and was forced to cut off contact with her. I would be alright with that because its for her own good possibly- like he’s a danger to her, but its the pathetic way he stands quietly by and lets her get picked on by the people in his crowd of friends that only made me feel anger and disappointment in him.
The end of this one totally set things up for the next book and left me eager for what comes next.
As to warnings, it would be fine for mid to older teens. There’s drinking, partying and references to sex, but no actual scenes. Mild to moderate violence takes place during one of the final scenes.
Those who enjoy YA Sci-Fi Romance with a twisty plot mystery should try this one.
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