This is an intriguing and truly captivating work of young adult fiction. The author quickly establishes Sarah as an awkward social shut-out with special abilities that seem to keep her segregated from the rest of her peers. Even her teacher singles her out for rebuke. This, of course, will resonate easily with most young adults to some degree.
The plot is engaging and builds momentum as the story progresses. The author has interwoven Sarah’s personal development with that of her friendships. She’s even added elements of danger and mystery later in the book as Sarah becomes the focus of anonymous attacks. Some romance is evident as well, though not enough to isolate potential male readers of the target age group. All in all, the author has developed a plot line that is engaging on multiple levels and is sure to keep the audience entertained.
The author has put a lot into her book but has somehow managed to maintain a steady and continuously engaging pace. The reader is swept along through Sarah’s adventures without ever feeling strung along or bored. The author has employed short, succinct chapters, each with a single topic. This method not only allows the reader to gain ground in short reading spurts but also gives the reader a sense of making significant progress through the book. This is especially important in the young adult genre.
Another of this author’s strengths is character development. The author has developed a full cast of characters who, while some may have seemed flat at their introductions, become full, three-dimensional contributions to the story and to Sarah’s development. Dialogue and conversation seem somewhat forced at first but becomes very natural as the book develops.
I would advise the author to revise the manuscript, especially early dialogue and character introductions, with the same intimacy used to shape the characters. As the book progresses, characters develop speech and action patterns. They develop quirks that distinguish them from one another. Keeping these in mind throughout a revision could greatly improve the beginning of the book.
While unique, this story line has qualities akin to award-winning young adult novels. With diligence in editing and revision, this book would be primed to reach a wide passionate readership.