22 outubro 2011

Review: Echoes (Melinda Metz)

Publisher: HarperCollins (2010)
Format: Paperback | 517 pages
Genre(s): Young Adult, Urban Fantasy
Description (GR): "Can't believe she did that . . .
. . . at four-thirty I have to . . .
. . . I hate this place . . .
Rae Voight is losing her mind. When she walks down the halls of Sanderson Prep, she hears voices . . . even when no one is talking. Other people's thoughts crowd her head, a confusing tangle of insecurities and dark secrets. Just when Rae reaches her breaking point, one voice comes screaming through the din, loud and clear:
. . . Rae must die . . .
If Rae doesn't figure out who the thought belongs to soon, she could lose more than just her sanity."
Rae Voight's life is good: she hangs with the popular crowd and she dates the hottest guy in school. But good things don't last and one day Rae starts hearing voices and freaks out.

A few months later she is back at school after a stay in a mental ward. But everything's changed: her old friends are afraid of her and her boyfriend is dating another girl. Rae's old life seems to have vanished. To make matters worse, the voices, the "not-me thoughts" as she calls them are still in her head, haunting her. And she has to go to group therapy. Oh... and someone seems to be after her.

"Echoes" is a bind-up that includes the first three novels in the "Fingerprints" series.

It was another entertaining read. Rae has a supernatural ability that isn't very common in paranormal YA literature and I liked the way the author dealt with it; Rae reacted in a very realistic way when she 'discovered' her 'talent'. Most heroines act all cool and collected and go to libraries to do research; Rae simply thought she was crazy, which is actually a much more human response to the sudden appearance of foreign voices in one's head. It's not a perspective we see explored that much in these kinds of books.

I really liked the male protagonist, Anthony (and yay to the fact that people didn't call him "Tony", ugh). He was also well developed, lifelike. Metz really has a knack for creating intriguing, relatable characters and for making them interact perfectly: I loved the exchanges between Rae and Anthony and their developing relationship was... believable (no insta-love in these books, bonus points for that!). Of course, some of the minor characters (like Jesse and Yana) could have been better developed, but as far as the protagonists go, I can't complain.

The story for the three books is pretty typical of these kinds of novels. There's the girl with the supernatural ability, her mysterious parent (and their equally mysterious past) and a bunch of unknown enemies. Book one, "Echoes" had great pace and was very engaging; but from book 2 the pace slowed way too much and books 2 and 3 didn't have as much story or character development. It is clear the author decided to "stretch" the plot instead of creating a new one for every book. It seems to be a very common occurrence with older YA books, if all these omnibus I've been reading are anything to go by.

Overall I liked the general plot (even if the individual 'book' plots weren't very good) and... behold! A book with a teen romance that gradually develops instead of being 'lurve at first sight'! Refreshing! Recommended for fans of YA paranormal books looking for an interesting, light but realistic read.

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