Monday, 25 November 2013

Book Review: Beyond by SP van der lee

Release date: November 25th 2013
Sixteen-year-old Raven desperately wants to fit in, but after using a Ouija Board, her already overwhelming hallucinations take a turn for the worse. A ghostly figure named Sam begins to haunt Raven and seems eager to kill her.
She’s saved by a reclusive biker named Damian who goes to the same school and appears to have an interest in her. Raven can’t help but feel drawn to him. Determined to uncover Damian’s connection to the ghost, Raven sets out to discover his secret and the reason Sam started haunting her. However, there’s more at stake than just her reputation. Raven’s choice between unveiling Damian’s true intentions, and living a normal life will put everyone she cares about at risk. To save them, she'll have to go beyond.

Lives are ruined.
Hearts are shattered.
Death lurks at every corner

Where can I buy this book? 

My Review:
*I received a free copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review*

Raven has hallucinations which she believes are from a mental illness until she realises she is actually seeing real ghosts. Now a ghost called Sam wants to kill her and a misfit group of friends who can also see ghosts are the only ones who can save her.

I liked the plot for this book. It was nice to see a different twist on the ghost stories we normally see in YA paranormal novels. Raven is a girl who wants a normal life and believes that her hallucinations are psychotic episodes, something she tries to hide from her new friends. It was also nice to see that the new kid at the new school fits in and makes friends quickly, instead of this cliche in YA where the new girl gets on the wrong side of a bullying cheerleader on day one! So yea to the author for not following the crowd on that one! I liked the story of Sam stalking her and the methods used by her friends to stop them, which was inventive and different.

For the most part I liked the characters. I had sympathy for Raven's situation, and her friends were less annoying than usual. I liked Simon in particular. I did have a bit of an issue with Damien's moodswings which got a bit annoying after a while but it wasn't a major issue for me overall, and there was a good reason for his behaviour which we discover later. Another little niggle was that the book was a little slow in places for my personal taste but again, it wasn't a major issue.

The one thing that did bug me a bit was the repetition. Every second page, Raven was questioning how she could love Damien so quickly. She was constantly repeating how confused and upset she was every time he was mean to her. She was forever going on about her mixed feelings for him and Simon. It did start to grate on the nerves every time these subjects were brought up again. I think the author could have cut back on that a bit. We get how she feels when told the first two or three times but we don't need to be beaten around the head with it every chapter. There wasn't enough detail for me about Sam's past and what Raven's mum was doing all these years but that is probably going to be revealed in a later book so I can live with that.

I noticed that other readers had an issue with the author's style of writing but I can't say that I personally had any major problems with it. I'm not a professional critic by any means but as a reader, I liked that the story was simple and it flowed well enough for me to stay with it to the end. Maybe the last few chapters could have been a bit tighter as I felt the big confrontation and reveals were a little bit rushed, and suddenly the book was finished with you wanting a few more details. Again, some of this will probably come in book 2. I certainly wouldn't say that it was badly written in my opinion. If a book holds my interest and I finish it thinking that it was a decent or good read, minor issues and errors can be overlooked.

Overall I think that this was a promising debut novel with enough new ideas and strong enough plot to deliver over another couple of books. I do want to see less repetition and a slightly tighter plot as this series does have promise. I would certainly be interested enough to read book 2 and see what happens next. Recommended for fans of YA paranormal romance/fantasy.

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