Monday, 9 August 2010

Intertwined by Gena Showalter

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"There's something about the new guy at Crossroads High...

Most sixteen-year-olds have friends. Aden Stone has four human souls living inside him:

One can time travel.
One can raise the dead.
One can possess another human.
One can tell the future.

Everyone thinks he's crazy, which is why he's spent his entire life shuffled between mental institutions and juvie. All of that is about ot change, however. For months Aden has been having visions of a beautiful girl - a girl who carries centuries-old-secrets. A girl who will either save him or destroy him.

Together they'll enter a dark world of intrigue and danger...but not everyone will come out alive."

Intertwined is the first in Gena's YA series. Aden is a guy who has no one. He's been shuffled between mental institutions, foster homes and juvie his whole life. Because he has 4 human souls living inside him and speaking to them means speaking out loud. Apparently to himself. So everyone thinks he's crazy, but Aden knows he's not. The four souls have names and abilities: Eve (yes he has a female in his head too) can time travel, taking them back to a earlier stage in Aden's life. Julian can raise the dead, he can't control it, he just does. Caleb can possess another human, taking them over and controlling them though there is a price to pay for it. And Elijah gets visions of the future, usually when someone is going to die.

Except lately, Elijah has been seeing a girl. A beautiful brunette who Aden gets involved with, but with her comes his death. But for the first time, Aden is meeting someone who doesn't think he's crazy, doesn't want to shove him in an institution, someone who makes him feel normal. And he can't turn away from that.

First saw this book a while ago in the back of another Harlequin Teen book, but while I thought it sounded interesting, I had so many other books to read I decided to wait for the paperback. I kind of which I hadn't. The book starts a little slow, and more than a little strange, with Aden walking on to a cemetery, by mistake, and suddenly having to destroy all the zombies Julian has raised. While busy fighting them, Aden suddenly sees a girl. A brunette who somehow negates his, or his souls', power and the zombies go back to being corpses. Unsure if she's the girl from his vision he follows her and talks to her, discovering that she's not, but convinced he needs to be around her anyway. The girl is Mary Ann and while not Aden's love interest, she gets a fair bit of page time as well.

The book is actually told in third person, both from Aden and Mary Ann's POVs, though Aden gets the lions share. When Aden is around Mary Ann, the souls disappear and he can be 'normal' for the first time in his life. Elijah has a bad feeling that hanging around Mary Ann will end in trouble, but Aden's willing to deal with it on the chance of having a friend for the first time in his life. And before you start to think 'okay, so Mary isn't the love interest, then surely she's interested in him and it's a love triangle' let me assure you it's really not the case. Aden and Mary are just friends, and both have love interests in the forms of Victoria and Riley, who have known each other for years but are also strictly friends. The romantic aspect of the book is pretty strong, but it's tied in with all the mystery and intrigue with plenty of action to keep it from just being a YA paranormal romance.

The book did start out strange, a lot happening, a lot of confusing things linked together and a lot of things popping up from nowhere really making Aden's world a whole lot bigger. And at first I wasn't too keen on it kind of laughing going okay, what's going to get thrown in the mix next. But I stuck with it and ended up well and truly hooked. It picks up maybe a third of the way in and I loved it from then on. It's got some odd twists and some good surprises, although some things can bee seen coming a ways off, but most of it I really enjoyed. There are a couple over sappy/cheesy moments (both guys carrying the girls bags as they walk home from school for instance), but it's easy to get past them.

Aden is a lonely guy, despite having 4 souls in his head. He may love them a certain extent, and certainly get driven a little crazy by them too, but he longs to be normal, to have friends. People he can sit and chat with, hug, run with, kiss. He's never had that and he wants it badly, and now he's got the chance he'll put everything on the line for it, even his life. And you know what? I don't blame him. I liked Aden a lot, although it took a little while, and the more I got to know him the more I saw how he dealt with things, the more I understood his mindset and why he was willing to risk the things he does. And I really liked Mary Ann as well, probably more than Aden at times. In some ways she's a very mature teen, but in others she's got a lot of growing up to do. I loved seeing how she adjusted, learning about the paranormal world. She's strong, standing up for those she cares about even though they may be in a better position to take care of themselves. She doesn't run screaming (well, not much anyway) and she is dealt some huge personal blows along the way, yet still she fights. A lot to like about her.

It built up a good pace and I really enjoyed the ending. There's plenty still left hanging for the next book and I'm really looking forward to it! It did take a little time to hook me and grow on me, but in the end I was loving the characters, rooting for them and very curious to find out where everything was leading. I really want to know what the power draw Aden has is, and where it comes from. There is a lot left unanswered and I'm hoping we get some of the answers in the next book, Unraveled (out August 31st)! 8/10

1 comment:

Jessica said...

Hey Cem! I just gave you an award over at my blog!