Monday, February 18, 2013

13 on Halloween (The Shadow Series #1) by Laura A. H. Elliott

I just finished reading Laura A.H. Elliott's first installment in The Shadow Series, 13 on Halloween, a YA fantasy novel. Roxie is the main character who turns 13 on Halloween. She manages to throw a birthday party for herself without her parents or nosy brothers finding out. Surprisingly, the most popular and coolest students at her school actually come to her party. They are the peacocks Roxie so desperately wants to be, not a dodo as she and her best friend, Ally, describe themselves. At the party, in a secret seance-like "game," Roxie is transported to Planet Popular, where she turns into the person she has longed to be. All is not perfect, however, when another girl goes missing. Back at home, Roxie finds her long-time friendship with Ally is strained to the breaking point. Should she return to Planet Popular or try to mend her friendship?

I feel the book would be enjoyable to a YA audience. The teenage angst seemed never ending at some parts, but then teenage angst also does this in real life as well. Anyone who grew up outside the glowing circle of the popular crowd could pretty easily relate to Roxie's longings and struggles to justify her pursuit of this presumably perfect world. Ms. Elliott's portrayal of the friendship breakup was believably painful as all breakups in real life are.

If I had any criticisms of this book, it would be of the editing. I feel that a closer edit would have corrected the occasional misuse of a word or grammar. I understand how easily it is to overlook a misspelled word when editing one's own work. But, once these are pointed out, they need to be corrected. One nice thing about publishing one's own work, at least through Create Space, is that you can go back and make corrections. In reading the reviews for this book, it seems I'm not the only one to note this. Any obvious mistakes takes the reader out of the flow of the story, which is a shame with this book. The story is original and I was compelled to read through even the extra peek at the next installment of the series before moving on to my next book.

I do recommend 13 On Halloween for anyone interested in YA romance. The author's use of animal metaphors is fun and I found myself rooting for not only the main character, but also her best friend, Ally.

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