Book Reviews

Netgalley Review: Sparked by Helena Echlin and Malena Watrous

cover118067-mediumGoodreads Summary: Fifteen-year-old Laurel Goodwin wakes up to find her older sister Ivy missing from their Airstream trailer in the Oregon redwoods. A recurring nightmare convinces her that Ivy was abducted, but no one takes her dream seriously, including her mom. Laurel, a loner, has to learn to ask for help, and Jasper Blake, a mysterious new kid who shares her love of old books, quickly becomes her ally. Together they find their quiet town holds a deep secret and is the epicenter of a dark prophecy. Laurel soon learns that her worst enemies, mean girls Peyton Andersen and Mei Rosen, are developing powers that she needs to find and save Ivy. With time running out, Laurel realizes that power doesn’t always take the form that you expect. And once she learns to look beyond her snap judgments, she develops an unexpected gift of her own.

*Thanks to Netgalley and Inkshares for this ARC copy of Sparked in turn for an honest review*

My Thoughts: I was super excited to read this book.  I had heard great things, and I was drawn immediately to its dark enchanting cover.  Sparked was a perfect fall read, with a fast paced plot, a bunch of twists and turns, and a group of interesting characters.  The plot of this book was clever and exciting, and I couldn’t wait to see where it would go.  Although I picked out the major ending twist towards the beginning of the story, there were plenty of other minor twists that kept me thoroughly entertained.  While I loved the concept of “the sparked,” and the ancient prophecy, I wanted more information about how it came to be, and how it all worked.  It felt a little underdeveloped and rushed through.  The way it was presented made it hard to follow, and I found myself having to reread those bits to make sure I hadn’t missed anything important.  The prophecy came out of nowhere, and with very little detail and explanation was just accepted by everyone.  I was along for the ride, so it didn’t take me out of the story completely, but I definitely had a “That seems fake, but ok.” moment.  I absolutely loved the different powers that emerged within each of the characters, but I really wanted more detailed information about how they worked and grew and where they came from.  Laurel was a surprisingly likable narrator, despite her “I’m not as beautiful and special as my sister” syndrome.  She annoyed me a little at first with her whining, but I grew to like her as her character developed and the story progressed.  I admired her courage and drive to do whatever it took to find her sister, Ivy.  I loved their close relationship, and how they helped each other through their rough family history. Her romantic interest, Jasper, however; was so bland to me.  I felt completely indifferent towards him throughout the book, and while I appreciated the slow burn of their relationship, it felt really anticlimactic and I felt no chemistry between them.  My favorite character was Peyton.  I liked her immediately, even when she was the classic mean girl, and couldn’t wait to see how her character developed.  I was hoping for a bigger arc for her and Mei, but as most of the story is Laurel’s perception and journey, I understand why it developed as it did.  I was pleasantly surprised by the perspective switches, and I felt that they worked really well in furthering the plot and giving us better insight to each of the “sparked”.  Even with its faults, I had a good time with this book.  Sparked was a fun, fast read that fans of the Supernatural YA genre will definitely enjoy.

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4 thoughts on “Netgalley Review: Sparked by Helena Echlin and Malena Watrous

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