Spectral

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Spectral
Author(s)
Publisher
Age Range
14+
Release Date
April 10, 2012
ISBN
9780983741879
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Convinced she’s a part of the witness protection program, sixteen-year-old Jewel Rose is shuffled around the globe with her family like a pack of traveling gypsies. After arriving at lucky home twenty-seven, she stumbles upon a mysterious boy with magical powers claiming to be her guardian . . . and warning of imminent danger. Despite the obvious sparks between them, Jewel discovers a relationship is forbidden, and the more she learns about dark, brooding Roman, she begins to question who she can even believe — the family who raised her, or the supposed sworn protector who claims they’ve been lying to her all along. As she struggles to uncover who her family has really been running from, she is forced to hide her birthmark that reveals who she is. With new realities surfacing, unexplained powers appearing, and two tempting boys vying for her heart, Jewel battles to learn who she can trust in an ever growing sea of lies, hoping she’ll make it through her seventeenth birthday alive.

Editor reviews

1 reviews

Overall rating 
 
4.3
Plot 
 
4.0  (1)
Characters 
 
5.0  (1)
Writing Style 
 
4.0  (1)
(Updated: April 27, 2012)
Overall rating 
 
4.3
Plot 
 
4.0
Characters 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
4.0

Secrets, Hot Guys, and Witches

When I saw the book trailer for this story, I knew I had to read the story! I love the whole twist on a teen thinking she's in some kind of funky witness protection program, on the run from the mob. Instead it's so much more. Family secrets are behind the truth of her constant moving around. Secrets that finally come to light when she moves and sees a hot guy watching her.

I really liked Jewel. She'd been through so much and then to find out her family hadn't been too truthful is an understatement. Yes, Jewel has some 'tude but she loves her younger brother and even tries hard to not stand out so much. Then add to this mix not one but two very hot guys. Both have their own strengths and conflicts. I can see why Jewel is confused on her feelings for either of them.

There's adventure, mystery, suspense, betrayal, and a high speed chase from Russia to Venice, Italy where Jewel tries to find the truth of what will happen on her seventeenth birthday. She's only heard rumors of what a spectral is and knows she needs to discover them before others get to her first.

A total must read for those who love The Secret Circle and other paranormals.

Good Points
1. Great voice
2. Love the whole twist on the witness protection premise that's really much more
3. Secrets, hot guys, and witches!
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User reviews

2 reviews

Overall rating 
 
3.7
Plot 
 
3.5  (2)
Characters 
 
4.0  (2)
Writing Style 
 
3.5  (2)
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Overall rating 
 
4.3
Plot 
 
4.0
Characters 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
4.0

One of my favorite books of 2012

Honestly, I read this book as a favor for a friend who is a CP of Shannon Duffy's, and I was a little bit hesitant when I picked it up. I usually read YA contemporary novels, and I haven't been too impressed with the paranormal trend in YA lit. (I wasn't a huge fan of the TWILIGHT saga, and I'm probably the only person in the world who doesn't have any desire to read HARRY POTTER), so I wasn't sure if this book was for me. I began to read with a healthy dose of skepticism, determined simply to find a few good things to say about a book I was sure I wouldn't love.

But by the middle of the first chapter, I was hooked. I put my daughter on dinner duty and decided laundry could wait until I finished reading. This book was simply too good to put down! I've never been so happy to be so wrong!

Take the magic and drama of the Twilight saga, weave in the romance of star-crossed lovers like Romeo and Juliet and sprinkle on a healthy dose of "Who do you think you are?" to get a book that will keep you turning pages until the very end!

I think the characters were my favorite part of the story. I felt like I knew these people and didn't want to let go of them. Even though the plot was utterly fantastical, I kept forgetting that it wasn't realistic, because the characters were so real to me. I fell in love with Chase the first time Jewel saw him outside the ice cream parlor, and I rooted for him to win her heart... but Roman was a seriously yummy distraction. What if he was really THE ONE? As Jewel struggles to discover the secrets of her family and who she really is, each boy plays a crucial role. Honestly, I read this book as a favor for a friend (the amazing Brenda Drake - if you haven't been reading her blog, you should!) and I was a little bit hesitant when I picked it up. I usually read YA contemporary novels, and I haven't been too impressed with the paranormal trend in YA lit. (I wasn't a huge fan of the TWILIGHT saga, and I'm probably the only person in the world who doesn't have any desire to read HARRY POTTER), so I wasn't sure if this book was for me. I began to read with a healthy dose of skepticism, determined simply to find a few good things to say about a book I was sure I wouldn't love.

But by the middle of the first chapter, I was hooked. I put my daughter on dinner duty and decided laundry could wait until I finished reading. This book was simply too good to put down! I've never been so happy to be so wrong!

Take the magic and drama of the Twilight saga, weave in the romance of star-crossed lovers like Romeo and Juliet and sprinkle on a healthy dose of "Who do you think you are?" to get a book that will keep you turning pages until the very end!

I think the characters were my favorite part of the story. I felt like I knew these people and didn't want to let go of them. Even though the plot was utterly fantastical, I kept forgetting that it wasn't realistic, because the characters were so real to me. I fell in love with Chase the first time Jewel saw him outside the ice cream parlor, and I rooted for him to win her heart... but Roman was a seriously yummy distraction. What if he was really THE ONE? As Jewel struggles to discover the secrets of her family and who she really is, each boy plays a crucial role.

Forget the whole Team Edward / Team Jacob debate. Are you Team Roman or Team Chase?

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Overall rating 
 
3.0
Plot 
 
3.0
Characters 
 
3.0
Writing Style 
 
3.0

Insta-Love & Predictable Plot Twists with a Relatively Relatable Heroine

Spectral is a fun, light read with a relatively relatable heroine. While it does start off a little slow and suffer from both insta-love syndrome and overly predictable plot twists, I found it to be a mostly enjoyable read.

Having spent her entire life on the run from unknown attackers, the result of what she assumes must be a connection to the mafia, she has only ever had her family to rely on. With their latest move however, something feels different. She immediately befriends her assigned buddy, Taylor, and suddenly finds herself torn between two possible love interests.
Chase is exactly how I would picture a Floridian jock:

"The boy looked pretty hot with his blond hair, tanned skin, and deep blue eyes. Not to mention his athletic bod."

And boy are we reminded of it! His "hotness" is referred to quite often, usually while Jewel is unable to function properly because she's caught herself staring at his abs, before she reminds us of what a nice guy he is. Interest number two, Roman, is the polar opposite (obviously), with dark hair (that's constantly falling in his smouldering eyes) and a bad-boy vibe. I was unable to feel the chemistry between Jewel and either Chase or Roman, because there was next-to-no development of either love story. Other then her comments on their respective hotness, Jewel doesn't spend much time getting to know either guy before deciding that she might have feelings for both.

Her feelings for the boys are further confused by the revelations she keeps stumbling on regarding her past and her seemingly troubled future. As Roman begins to begrudgingly fill her in on their shared history, including the real reason for her family's constant relocations, she takes it upon herself to find out as much as possible. When her search for the truth uncovers more then she bargains for, she's faced with a choice that will change the course of her life forever.

I can't say much more without giving away Spectral's secrets, so I apologize if the following is vague. I loved Jewel's relationship with her younger brother, Jayden, and I truly believed in the big-sister protectiveness that she fostered for him. I did find Jewel's reactions to many situations a little unbelievable - her reactions were always too extreme, with her either fainting or throwing up from the shock (I lost count how many times she threw up), but I did like that she had reactions; it's getting more and more rare in YA for the heroine to be upset over finding out about the paranormal. I kept waiting for her to show some sort of teenage rebellion, and stand up for herself against her aunt's ridiculous requests, and was disappointed when she instead found ways around her strict rules. Then again, sometimes it's just easier to be sneaky when you're a teenager, so I can't really blame her. She jumped to conclusions on several occasions, which left me confused as to her train of thought. Particularly when she decided that Roman had lied to her about wanting to protect her - her jump from A to B made absolutely no sense to me, and I found myself flipping back, looking for the explanation I must have missed.

"Roman had made it pretty clear that he'd led me on and didn't really want me. I bit my lip. I had to get over him. I'd only known him a couple of weeks, it couldn't be that tough."

How he made it clear is still lost on me, but I must admit that I laughed over her admittance that she had only known him a brief time and that it would be easy to get over him - it only further added to the distance that I felt for their "relationship". (She also bites her lip a lot...and points out Roman's dimple a lot. It got a little aggravating!)

I did enjoy the ending, and how it tied up all the loose ends. It was action-packed, and made up for the slightly slow beginning. While I was unsurprised by the twists, because Jewel reacted well to many of them, I was able to enjoy her shock. There's definitely other things that, while reading, made me shake my head in confusion, but I've mostly forgotten them already. So even though I didn't find it overly memorable, I did mostly enjoy Spectral while I was reading it!

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