#CJSReads2017 – Sparked by Helena Echlin & Malena Watrous

Another release from October 3rd!

Thank you to Inkshares for the advanced copies in exchange for our honest reviews!

SPARKED by Helena Echlin & Malena Watrous (released October 3rd)

This one was a step outside of our normal group picks – which is always good to try!

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Chandra’s Thoughts: 3/5 stars

An ancient Zoroastrian prophecy with teens being “sparked” with supernatural power. Can they get past their differences to fight the evil Druj and save the world?

This has all the things you expect from a YA, supernatural thriller. You have the mean girls (or the Skittles as depicted here), the loner (Laurel, the main character), mysterious new guy (Jasper) who all the girls find hot, dysfunctional family situations, good versus evil fight to the death to save the world and POWERS. Supernatural powers!

I remember as a kid concentrating SO hard to move a paper clip with my mind. I thought once that it moved but then realized it was just my eyes getting glossy from not blinking for so long! So really, any book, show, movie, whatever, containing powers is something I’m drawn to. These teens get “sparked”. Their powers come at a young age and manifest when in stressful situations. As a teen novel, they have to overcome their petty differences to work together and we know that in high school, these differences can be a vast hurdle to jump over.

Overall, it’s what you would expect from this type of read. Entertaining, lessons learned, love and good trumps evil… or does it?

Sam’s Thoughts: 3/5 stars

In the name of #cjsreads, I give books outside of my comfort zone a chance quite often.  Enter, Sparked, a paranormal young adult novel with a sci-fi twist, written by Helena Echlin and Malena Watrous.  Something completely out of my element and something I would not choose to read on my own.

Now, I realize I am heading into this review with a complete bias.  I have never read a YA book that I actually loved but, for what it was, this one was able to keep my interest over the course of the pages.

The novel opens with the discovery of Ivy’s, fifteen-year-old Laurel’s sister, disappearance.  Laurel has a continuous dream of her sister’s abduction, something that she believes to be a truth, but no one in her small Oregon town takes her seriously.  With the help of Jasper, a new friend and ally, they find out their quiet town holds a dark secret and find themselves at the center of an epic prophecy.

I liked the general concept and I felt like this one had a sort of Vampire Diaries type vibe to it (minus all the Vampires of course); it had some paranormal elements (actually a whole ton of paranormal elements), some typical teen drama (slut shaming, mean girls, a dark and brooding love story) and a whiny protagonist.

Overall, this book was not for me, but, if you are a reader of YA and are looking for something to put you into the Halloween spirit, I do feel like this would appeal to you!

My Thoughts: 3.5/5 stars

I went into SPARKED by Helena Echlin and Malena Watrous thinking it would be another supernatural YA story. This one dives into supernatural powers, fighting evil before the clock runs out, and is definitely more of a thriller involving an ancient prophecy.

Laurel is trying to come to terms with her sister Ivy’s disappearance when one night she finds a note left behind from Ivy. This note was detailing where she was and that she would return on Halloween night in time for her sister’s birthday. Something wasn’t right about this letter, Laurel could feel it. Soon after she begins to have vivid recurring dreams about Ivy – dreams so lifelike she sees her captor. Laurel also gets to witness Ivy gaining a new power. She soon realizes that she’s also developing her own powers. This is called being “sparked”.

This story takes place in the time span of a week. Starting on the Friday before Halloween and ending the Friday after. The Zoroastrian prophecy states that these four supernatural powers must link together in order to prevent evil from taking over. Will these teenagers be able to work together before the lunar eclipse occurs? It is said to be the day that the barrier between the dead and living is opened – the day that evil will be at their doorstep.

This is definitely a YA novel. The elements are all there with the added paranormal and sci-fi twists. I thought the characters were well written and I liked the uniqueness of this prophecy and being around Halloween. There were some fluidity issues that threw me, but otherwise it read at a good pace.

Overall, if you’re looking for a YA fantasy and supernatural thriller, then this will be perfect for you.

 

Any supernatural YA fans out there?

–Jess

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