Friday, October 5, 2012

Dark Before Dawn by Stacy Juba

Reviewed by Tempest.


When teen psychic Dawn Christian gets involved with a fortuneteller mentor and two girls who share her mysterious talents, she finally belongs after years of being a misfit. When she learns her new friends may be tied to freak accidents in town, Dawn has an important choice to make - continue developing the talent that makes her special or challenge the only people who have ever accepted her. This novel is aimed at young adults, and at adults who enjoy paranormal YA such as the Twilight series, House of Night, and The Vampire Diaries series, Meg Cabot’s The Mediator series, or Lois Duncan books.
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I'm pretty glad I signed up for this book on one of the Goodreads group R2R programs. It's not usually the type of story I'm into, one basically completely lacking in the romance department, however I found that the story carried my along so well that I barely even noticed the absence. Dawn is a psychic who doesn't understand her abilities or where they came from. She's constantly being cut down by her mother because of them, and told to stifle her powers. When she moves with her family to Covington (love the name) it doesn't really come as a big surprise that she meets up with other psychics. While the book doesn't have many twists or turns that aren't easily predicted, the flow of the story moves smoothly. Juba has a distinct voice which makes it easy to picture what's going on. I did still have a few issues with this book. One of them is something that Dawn thinks to herself, which is that she wonders what her life would have been like if her mom had died instead of her dad. That threw me. She's gullible, sure, otherwise she wouldn't have fallen for many of Serina's tricks, but she doesn't seem cruel. While that thought isn't necessarily horrible, it is still pretty bad, and we haven't seen her mom treat her nearly bad enough for her to think it. Another thing is the use of the word avenged towards the end. Serina avenged herself, not her enemies. Of course, these two things are just semantics, I just felt the need to mention them. Other then that the only real problems I had, again, was the obviousness of all of it, including the central plot arch, and the switch in POV. Sometimes we'd be in Dawn's head and then we'd get a glimpse into another characters. It was strange and jarring. That and the grammar, where tenses were constantly being switched so that I had to reread a sentence over again in order to figure it out. But the characters were all given distinct personalities and were well rounded. I could picture each one in my mind, and could decide which ones I would want to hang out with and which ones I wouldn't. This really helped pull me into the story. All in all, I'd give this a 4, and I would without a doubt read more by this author! I recommend this to anyone who wants a good paranormal story all about murders and manipulative psychics. :)

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