In a small town of East Applegate in the shadow of a huge power plant, things seemed the way it always was for years.
Donna Young is still the shy, unpopular, family-turned-poor gymnast girl moving through the school halls with her equally unpopular friends, Spencer and Rebecca while her longtime secret crush, Ryan Applegate, hangs out with the popular jocks with his cheerleader captain girlfriend, Lynn and his hot-tempered older brother Randy. Never mind that the used-to-be child hood friends barely speak to each other nowadays them being in the opposite sides of the social circle. Never mind that they actually jog side by side on familiar paths almost every morning without talking at all. It has become an odd routine somewhat until odder things started happening.
When a careening car hitting her, that should have gotten her fatally wounded, suddenly went through her body as she turned into brilliant points of light, as if her body is as light as air, everything she knew about herself and her town is forever changed.
Shock Me is the first of a five-book series by emerging author Ashley Harris. It expels an array of hidden supernatural powers, youngsters acting like what they seem, family mysteries, some dab of science, teenage angst and about making choices.
Reading the book without any premise, either its summary or genre, made me the ultimate clueless victim of its clutches with its controlling nature, its meandering twists and character hopping narratives. There is that much suspense, enough to put you in an agitated state. Barely halfway through the book and I am somewhat frustrated already by being kept in the dark far too long. The story doesn't unfold in a slow reveal instead it displays knowingly right at your face but it doesn't make things any less confusing. It hits you, not the kind that pulls the rug off your feet in one go but, like when going down the stairs you thought there are still steps left except there's none and your feet lands heavily on hard ground.
Though truth to tell, I honestly like where things are going. Just when you thought the story will take on a predictable arc, Harris swerves the wheel right under your nose. It's more interesting that the author leveled the playing field. The other people, the supposed meanies, aren't just your typical popular fellows being full of braggadocio and that the heroine is the only one with the power. I have hoped for Donna to have the rare power at least and to be different from the different(s), the dark horse on both realities. Perhaps, she is and will be. In my impatience, I almost wanted Donna to just appear before them, incinerate (I vote for Lynn to be first in line) and show them THE power.
Despite the lack of scenic and mood descriptions, the suspended thrill of the twists using the characters' perspectives made up for it and would likely zoom in your attention. The changing point of views could be a bit confusing at first but each has its own purpose in the layout of the narratives. It also creates a connection and endearing most of them to the readers making them quite substantial. My favorite would be dear Brook, Donna's friend from New York, with all her snippets of wisdom which I couldn't have said it better myself. With Ryan, ah Ryan, and his yearnings to be normal, I can't wait for it to shift direction following its intended object (or person) of obsession. If there's a shift, then his heart may be in the right place.
Harris didn't push the boundaries of the plot and hurl it into a resolve, instead she contained it, turned it down an oblique route, depraving the big guys of the key to the puzzle and the readers of an inkling on solid footing. I was utterly left flabbergasted as I read the last two words of the book.
A good suspense read that leaves you holding your breath if you don't mind being kept in the dark too much and having no relief on the romance department. If only I could have the power to magically appear the second book so I don't have to wait till I've pulled all my hair out.
Title: Shock Me
Author: Ashley C. Harris
Author Location: FL, United States
Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal Romance
Release Date: September 17th, 2013
Words: 68, 230 Words
Format: Digital eBook
A promising gymnast, Donna Young is a shy, quiet nobody from the wrong side of town. The only exciting thing in life is her secret friendship with Ryan, her childhood crush. But after the accident—one that should have killed her—she discovers she has impossible powers! Why now, at sixteen, can she transform into something shocking and inhuman? Donna doesn't know how to use her new abilities or who she can trust, but unveiling this mystery might lead to conclusions about Ryan that are deadly.
Rich kid, Ryan Applegate is the most popular guy in town. He has a face that should be on a poster in every girl’s bedroom and dates the hottest chick in school. But ever since the big explosion at the town’s power plant, Ryan has been keeping secrets of his own, that if revealed could force him to choose between his family and the girl he's forbidden to love.
As their electrifying puzzle unfolds, so unfolds a town where friends become enemies, and enemies become unrecognizable and intertwined. Tortured heroes just might be the bad guys,and Donna discovers that her and Ryan’s secrets are powerful enough to destroy everyone... including themselves.
Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/shock-me-ashley-c-harris/1116813618?ean=2940045238663
Link to trailer on Youtube:
Author and film director Ashley C. Harris resides in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida. When she is not hard at work writing or dreaming up new indie films she spends her time working out, reading the bible, and going on breath-taking adventures with her sister.
The seed for becoming an author started budding for Ashley in the third grade, when she wrote her first hundred page book during her class's quite time, her teacher couldn't believe it and voiced over her that surly she'd become an author someday. Those words never left Ashley and she has been writing ever since.
Ashley loves to create young adult, science fiction, fantasy novels, and is currently working on her first steamy romance... with more to come.
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