Review Detail

Young Adult Indie 1133
Spunky, fun, and full of feels
Overall rating 
 
3.8
Writing Style 
 
4.0
Plot/Story 
 
4.0
Illustrations (if applicable) 
 
N/A
Characters (if applicable) 
 
4.0
Editing/Design Quality 
 
3.0
There are books out there I like to call my guilty pleasure reads. They are usually swoon-worthy, have adventure, a super cool heroine, are light on the heavy topics and drama, and a wildly out there plot. But they are the most fun books to read! GAIA’S SECRET by Barbara Kloss is one of my favorite guilty pleasure reads over the last year.

The concept behind Gaia’s Secret really drew me in. Alternate worlds are so fascinating to me because of their endless possibilities. Earth and Gaia were once one and the same, until Gaia split from Earth in a sort of parallel dimension to keep magic alive. People of great power protect the access points or portals from normal human discovery. But magic in Gaia has begun to die.

Within the first chapter, I knew I was going to love Daria. Her dad heavily shelters her, but she has a loyalty to him and his rules that burns with love. She doesn’t outright rebel, which is usually the way to go with YA literature. Don’t get me wrong, Daria is just as strong-headed as the fiercest heroine out there. Daria just has this “good” quality to her that you don’t find much lately. She’s just a good person. She also has the patience of a saint.

Well, almost.

There were many times while reading Gaia’s Secret that I felt any normal person would throw their hands in the air and scream at those around them in frustration. Daria is tossed into an epic journey through a world she knew nothing of, a lineage she knew nothing of, with a small group of whom she only thought she knew. When things get…well, off or downright scary, a sane person would have called a full stop on the nonsense and demand answers. Daria doesn’t really. She knows her “friends” are holding loads back. She’s not blindly following, but she seems to listen to a little voice inside her that knows she’s safer with her friends than on her own.

Until she stops listening to that voice and fails in the most epic way possible. Like, things-could-not-have-gone-more-afoul kind of fail. It’s beautiful.

Then we have Alex (Le Grrrr… ), Daria’s supposed best friend from childhood who pulled a serious 180 on her. One minute they’re the best of buds. The next, he’s all glacier and pushing her away. From the moment he enters the story with his new “man-voice,” I knew there was WAY more to this guy than good looks and broody stare. Though he does have the broody thing on lock. Kloss unfolds Alex’s story in the most painfully yet wonderfully slow way you may want to throw something at her. He’s a rule follower, he’s trained, skilled in fight, and will do anything (a-n-y-t-h-i-n-g) to keep Daria safe.

The banter between Alex and Daria is classic stuff. Daria is witty and just bold enough to keep Alex on his toes. But Alex has been down the Daria road before, so he’s not going to give in lightly. It’s this banter that really pulled me into the story. The tension builds and builds between Daria and Alex until you know there is a Mt. Vesuvius blowout waiting around the corner. Will it be on the next page? Maybe. I must flip to find out!

The pace is super quick and I devoured pages in true binge fashion. Kloss’ writing style is pleasant to read, not too serious, but not super sappy. I love the sense of adventure she set up in the book. There are some great stakes involved and the characters make some realistic choices on how to reach their goals. Nothing comes too easy nor are they so far-fetched they are unreachable.

The only thing that had me yearning for something a bit more was Daria’s ease of acceptance over her newfound abilities. They just pop up and she never really questions it. This didn’t feel true to her character since she questions just about everything else. Also, when Alex and Daria finally have a moment together, it felt…convenient or easy. It was a bit of a let down for me after all the buildup.

Minor shortcomings aside, Gaia’s Secret is a super solid guilty pleasure read. Daria’s adventure into who she really is and what her existence means for the betterment of her world bodes well for an amazing series. The characters are wonderfully thought out, and the rich landscape of Gaia is breathtaking to the mind’s eye. Readers who enjoy the lighter side of fantasy, adventure, stories with a strong family core, and down-to-earth characters you’d want for real life friends will adore the world of Gaia’s Secret.
Report this review Was this review helpful to you? 0 0

Comments

Already have an account? or Create an account
Powered by JReviews

FEATURED GIVEAWAYS

Latest Book Listings Added

The Monster Hypothesis
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Welcome to Bohring-home to 453 people, 2,053 alligators, and one...
Where the World Ends
 
3.0
 
0.0 (0)
Winner of the 2018 Carnegie Medal! New from Michael L....
Carnevil (Monsterstreet #3)
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
“Fast, funny, frightening—and filled with shocks and surprises. These books...
Prophecy Untold (Shadow Realms book 3)
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
Finding out my mother was taken by the demons...
Hearts, Strings, and Other Breakable Things
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
In this charming debut about first love and second...
Six Goodbyes We Never Said
 
3.3
 
0.0 (0)
Two teens meet after tragedy and learn about love,...
Golden Crown
 
4.3
 
0.0 (0)
No longer only a warrior. Not just a queen....
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
The first vampire. The last Nephilim. The end...
The Galactic Adventures of Hazel - Gurecoa
 
3.0
 
0.0 (0)
What is it like to live in 4519 AD...
Batman: Nightwalker (The Graphic Novel)
 
4.3
 
0.0 (0)
This action-packed graphic novel based on the New York...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Seventeen-year-old Rose Hemmersbach aspires to break out of small town...
Stuffed
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
Welcome, little one. You have been chosen to join us,...

Latest Member Reviews

The Monster Hypothesis
 
5.0
"THE MONSTER HYPOTHESIS is a really fun middle grade investigative mystery. Kick is living with her grandmother, a fake psychic..."
Legacy Awakened
 
5.0
"Ava is the child of prophesy and all eyes are on her because she is the daughter of the Prime..."
Hushed
 
4.0
"Romy has just finished school and is torn because she isn't sure what she wants to do with her life...."
Where the World Ends
 
3.0
"WHERE THE WORLD ENDS is an intriguing historical fiction, based on a true story. The boys of Hirta are sent..."
Carnevil (Monsterstreet #3)
 
5.0
"Ren and Kip aren't sure what to expect when they visit their Aunt for Halloween. She works at an Old..."
Stuffed
 
4.0
"STUFFED follows Clark and Foon. Clark is a boy who loves stuffed animals and feels that they keep him safe...."
Bury Me
 
4.7
"In horror books and movies, we often see dolls as the main source of scares( such as Annabelle or Child's..."
Golden Crown
 
4.3
"I have mixed feelings about this book. It follows the second book immediately and starts off with Etta struggling with..."
Juliet Takes a Breath
 
4.7
"Juliet Takes a Breath is a coming of age story about a Latina lesbian from the Bronx who travels to..."
Fireborne (The Aurelian Cycle, #1)
 
5.0
"Fireborne is a fantasy novel set nine years after a bloody uprising against a brutal regime in which the poor..."
Jason & Kyra
 
N/A
"i am from Italy hello. Can you help me translate? /rardor"
Write to Me: Letters from Japanese American Children to the Librarian They Left Behind
 
5.0
"This is a must read book that shows the lives of Japanese American children who ended up being taken from..."
The Edge of the Word (Mightier than the Sword, #2)
 
5.0
"THE EDGE OF THE WORD is another absolutely delightful interactive story, where you are the main character in the book...."
Prophecy Untold (Shadow Realms book 3)
 
4.0
"Kali is the hope of saving the world from vampires and demons. She’s a vampire huntress who also happens to..."
The Galactic Adventures of Hazel - Gurecoa
 
3.0
"THE GALACTIC ADVENTURES OF HAZEL - GURECOA takes place in the far future, where our planet is only vaguely recognizable...."
Batman: Nightwalker (The Graphic Novel)
 
4.3
"BATMAN: NIGHTWALKER (THE GRAPHIC NOVEL) converts the YA novel by Marie Lu into graphic novel format. The plot remains the..."
Rat Rule 79: An Adventure (Yonder, #1)
 
5.0
"RAT RULE 79 is charming, ridiculous, and completely engaging. Fred is about to turn thirteen in a new place, as..."
Magic Tree House Deluxe Holiday Edition: Christmas in Camelot
 
4.0
"Jack and Annie get an invitation from "M" to spend Christmas in Camelot, which excites them since they haven't heard..."
Awesome Dog 5000 (#1)
 
4.0
"Marty Fontana and his mother move to a new town for her job, and have a house that belonged to..."
The Big Game
 
4.0
"Danny lives in Texas with his mother and former Pittsburgh Steelers player father, who now sells farm machinery. The father..."