About the Author:(This is from her Amazon Author's page)
J. L. Clayton lives in a small town and works at the local post office, delivering mail every day with a smile on her face. She and her husband, Robert, have a 15-year-old daughter, Shyla. J. L. was inspired by the Twilight series to write A Spark of Magic: Chosen Saga Book One, her first novel.
Blurb:MAGIC IS STIRRING UP LUST, ROMANCE, DANGER—AND REVEALING LONG-HIDDEN TRUTHS.
Charlize, aka Charlie, is moving yet again, to a new city, a new school…new everything. Her family is always moving, but this time, it doesn’t seem so bad! Charlie is turning sixteen, finally making friends, and crushing on some seriously hot guys. Plus, said hot guys’ feelings seem to be mutual… This is the happiest Charlie has been in a very long time. But she does have a little problem.
Charlie is having bizarre, dark, eerie dreams, and she knows deep down that the feelings these dreams provoke, which seem to consume her, cannot be normal. There is a sexy male voice invading her dreams, and now it seems it is invading her waking hours too. The voice is compelling, hauntingly mesmerizing, and overwhelmingly beautiful. Charlie doesn’t care if this dream voice is good or bad; she just knows she wants to hear more.
Now, Charlie is on a journey to discover who and what she really is, and to uncover the reason her family moves so frequently. Charlie knows this is going to be one crazy, fun ride. But something big is about to happen, and it will end up changing what she believed was real and what truly is…
Review:Both the premise and the cover grabbed my attention. It sounds really fascinating (even though it gives a nod to the Twilight series).
There are several issues with this book, however. The first is the voice of the main character. Her thoughts were all over the place, and she repeated thoughts and ideas frequently. On one hand, it really made her character distinctive and realistic, in a way. But on the other hand, it didn't work well for a narrative. I found myself getting agitated over her thoughts and frequent use of "crap".
And, it's not a good thing when the character realizes this is an issue. Charlie once thought, "If you could live in my head, trust me, you would pack up and move the heck out. My mind was not a fun place to be."
Unfortunately, the readers do live in her head for the length of the book. Her spastic way of thinking did make reading difficult.
Tense slips and spelling also provided bumps in reading.
Organization-wise, I really didn't understand why there were chapters in Crispus' POV when the main story was first person for Charlie. Chapters in another character's POV really only works with 3rd person.
There are also good things about this book. Every now and again, I would come across fantastic sentences, such as:
"His hair was a messy silky blond color. His eyes were shaped like crescent moons in a pool of dark blue."
I have trouble imagining a hair color being messy silky, but that aside, the image is great and the sentences are comparatively better than others.
The plot was interesting enough to hold my attention. A majority of the story stayed with the mundane. For instance, there was a single chapter dedicated to Charlie being driven to school for her first day. Banter and character building is excellent to do, but it should be balanced with plot. Their conversations weren't interesting enough to have a chapter all their own.
Overall, if you enjoy fiction with sparse fantasy elements, this is for you. The story really doesn't pick up until the end. Due to the cliff-hanger ending, I may read the second book of the series. If you are interested, the second book can be found on Amazon. It was free, so I've already snatched it up.