Review Detail

Young Adult Fiction 4480
Great Paranormal Twist
(Updated: May 22, 2012)
Overall rating 
 
4.3
Plot 
 
4.0
Characters 
 
4.0
Writing Style 
 
5.0
Sixteen-year-old Daire Santos is used to moving around the world with her make-up artist mother. Each Hollywood scene location is exotic. Then she starts seeing strange things, including ravens. The visions end up causing her to have a mental break down while on location at one of her mother’s movie sets. She’s then set to live with a grandmother in New Mexico that she’s never heard of before. Her abuela promises she can help her as she has a destiny to become a soul seeker, one who can navigate between the world of the living and dead. Daire at first wants nothing to do with this but then when she meets Dace, the one cute boy in some of her dreams, she’s determined to find out more.

There’s so much to love about this book. The multicultural cast and story doesn’t disappoint. I liked Daire’s spunk and how she dealt with the crazy visions that end up taking over her life. She’s a strong albeit reluctant protagonist who goes on her own heroes journey finding out who she really is while learning to embrace her rich Native American/Latina roots. That’s a huge plus in my book considering how much I embrace my own heritage.

I think that Daire reacts in a very real way to finding out why she has the visions and what her destiny will be. Another huge plus is how her grandmother ends up becoming her guide. The setting is rich with Native American folklore like Dia de los Muertos and the idea of animal spirit guides that help people in this and the next life.

I loved the other supporting characters in this story too. Xochil and even Lita added more depth and favor to this story. The twins are an interesting twist with Dace being the more pure soul of the two.

I did feel that at the beginning some of the back story and descriptions of Daire's calling slowed the story down. Later, though, the pacing picks up. The chemistry between Dace and Daire builds slowly and isn't rushed. Even the usual love triangle is handled in a much more satisfying way without overtaking the storyline.

FATED has the surrealist feel I love in other multicultural books. Think BLESS ME, ULTIMA meets YA. The rich descriptions and premise along with a strong protagonist are sure to appeal to fans of Noel and those who love a good multicultural YA.
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