Zellie Wells, #1
Stacey Wallace Benefiel
FREE ON AMAZON KINDLE (as of 7/12)
Reasons for reading:Again, when I got my Kindle, I went a little bit crazy buying books. This book happened to be free and was highlighted on a Kindle-blog, so I downloaded it based on reading the summary.
Basic plot:At Zellie’s 16th birthday party, she dances with her crush and has a vision of the future: they are both older, she is pregnant, and he is bleeding profusely, clearly dying. Insta-love ensues and she starts sneaking out the window at night to snog him, but there are lots of Secrets that Zellie’s mother and great-aunt have yet to tell her, and these Secrets will change everything…
The book is mainly in 1st person with Zellie as the narrator, but throughout the book it switches randomly into 3rd person omniscient with Zellie’s crush, Avery, as the narrator. The first couple of times this happens it’s really distracting, but after a while I got used to it.
The weirdest thing about this book was the ridiculous way in which the characters talked. Zellie is a 16 yr old preacher’s daughter, and she has a younger sister named Melody. Zellie’s BFF is named Claire, and she’s virtually identical to Helen’s BFF, also named Claire, in Starcrossed (AKA realllly annoying.) Zellie, despite living in the middle of nowhere and having all of her social events centered around the church, used so much crude phrasing and ridiculous sounding one-liners that it pretty much killed the book for me. Non-spoilery examples:
Location 607: “…kinda didn’t care if the whole room was scoping my nips at this point; I was filled with reckless sixteen-year-old abandon.” --SCOPING MY NIPS???? EW.
Location 780: “…buried his face in my hair and took a big whiff. It was so good to know we were the same kind of perv.”—How does smelling someone’s hair while making out make you a perv? Again, ew…
There is also a weird jail-bait kind of thing going on… At one point, Zellie narrates that her friend Claire’s “red miniskirt rode up, only just covering her thighs” (Loc 546), and Zellie enjoys the summer weather because “even pastor’s daughters could get away with wearing less clothing.” (Location 1091) This reminds me of the writing middle schoolers who are just starting to explore their sexuality come up with, when appearing sexy involves baring their midriffs and body glitter.
The actual paranormal premise of the story is pretty cool, which is why I persisted in reading the book despite the weird characters. I can’t really explain it without giving away the whole plot, but basically Zellie is part of a line of women who have psychic powers- powerful ones! I wish the story gave us even more psychic scenes instead of the struggling banter between horny adolescents.