Psychic chills and thrills from the author of Twenty-Five Years Ago Today, Sink or Swim, and Face-Off. Dawn Christian has been psychic since she was seven years old and has always considered herself an outcast. Even her own mother discourages her talent, so Dawn has kept her abilities quiet and feared a lifetime of loneliness. When she gets involved with a fortuneteller and two teenage girls who share her mysterious perception, Dawn finally belongs to a group. As her intuition strengthens, so does Dawn's self esteem. However, when she learns her new friends may be tied to two freak "accidents" in town, she has an important choice to make - continue developing the talent that makes her special, or challenge the only people who have ever accepted her.
This audiobook is appropriate for young adults ages 12 and up, or adults.
©2011 Stacy Juba (P)2013 Stacy Juba
Mom, blogger, and lover of books.
Dawn is adjusting to a new home, new school and new family. Her mom doesn't want anyone, including her new step-father and step-brother to know about her abnormality. Her psychic ability has kept her from having friends in the past and she is hoping to start over. Events occur that once again make her an outcast, but she is able to find some friends that have the same type of talents. Finally she fits in, but her inner voice is telling her to stay away. And for good reason. There are some very common teen issues in this book, but with a paranormal spin. There were a couple of twists that surprised me. An intriguing and mysterious story. I recommend for anyone who enjoys YA paranormals, including older adults.
The narrator for this story was spot-on. She was just right for the part of a 16 year old girl and also did a fantastic job differentiating between the characters, including the males. I was impressed. An enjoyable listen.
Dawn Christian and her family recently moved. Well, there was a marriage and a move to Maine – she now has a step father and a step brother to go along with her mother. But her psychic abilities make her even more of an outcast at her new school. that is until a few other girls let on that they have the same abilities and introduce Dawn to a fortune teller. Mysterious deaths and tough choices follow.
This story started off strong. Dawn is in her teens and having trouble fitting in both at home and at school. She can’t talk to her mom about her psychic abilities and that makes it hard for her to talk to her mother about anything else. Plus she now has this awkwardness at getting use to having a step father and step brother. In fact, the book spends a lot of time focusing on how out of place Dawn is. While that is definitely integral to the story, after a while it is was also tiring as the same issues were rehashed over and over again.
But then things pick up again when Dawn meets the fortune teller and witch Cassandra. Now she is part of a small group of teens, all with psychic abilities, being taught and guided by this experienced witch. Things were looking up for Dawn. However, there is something dark at the center of this group and while Dawn can sense that, she doesn’t figure it out right away.
A few deaths occur that are attributed to freak accidents. Dawn believes otherwise and keeps digging. As she delves into this mystery she also stumbles upon the mystery of her own father’s death. Apparently her mother has been keeping secrets. This little side plot line was my favorite as it had the right mix of suspense, coming of age, and truths uncovered.
There is some joking around about Dawn’s step brother and how cute he is. I really hope the author doesn’t turn this into a step-sibling romance in the next installment. The ending felt a little rushed to me but maybe that is because so much of the rest of the book kept repeating over and over again Dawn’s not fitting in. So the succinctness of the ending was a different pacing from the rest of the book.
Narration: Cassandra Morris was a great choice for Dawn. She does teen girls well. Her female and male voices were believable and distinct.
An enjoyable read with a touch of suspense and a dollop of paranormal, this audiobook was nicely read by the narrator, who has a very pleasant voice and brings life to teenagers well.
Even though Dawn made quite a few bad choices along the way (which yes, made me keep arguing with my audiobook while I drove to and from work...this is perfectly normal, right?) it wasn't at all out of character for a sixteen-year-old who's adjusting to a new home and school/family situation AND is just starting to get a grip on her paranormal powers. Ms. Juba definitely knows how to portray realistic teenagers!
Annoying teenaged tendencies aside, I did like Dawn a lot. She (eventually) wised up and made better choices, and grew in positive ways by the book's end. The antagonist ended up being a bit one-dimensional, but the other secondary characters were solid, and it was easy to find yourself caring about what was going to happen to them.
I'm also 100% convinced that mind control is not a power anyone should have. Ever. Especially not teenaged girls whose mothers tell them no... (but the hall pass incident was kind of funny. Wrong, of course, but funny.)
I'm not sure if there's going to be more to the series, but I'd definitely be interested if there were. Ms. Juba's style of writing made Dark Before Dawn an easy and fun read.
Rating: 4 stars / B+
I received a complimentary copy in exchange for an honest review.
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