“Lightning is nature’s proof that when positive and negative forces come together, the only outcomes are release and destruction.”
I’ll be honest.
I was skeptical about picking up a paranormal romance set in a high school. Visions of love triangles and OMG’s danced awkwardly in my head. (*CRINGE*) But, after the first chapter (well, actually after the first page!) I knew that this wasn’t going to be the average Young Adult Paranormal.
First of all, the main character, Ashline Wilde is unbelievably tough, her sass and energy sizzling from the page (er, in my case, my e-reader). I literally laughed out loud when I got to this line:
“Your date better be as well-planned as your speech was convincing, or I’m afraid it will be back to slumming it with the wood nymphs for you.”–Ashline Wilde
(Don’tcha just love a witty and sassy girl? And, wood nymphs, ha!)
The refreshing thing, though, is that she’s not just tough because that’s what Strong Female Characters are supposed to be. She also has family and social pressures that I can relate to, and remember from, high school (well, minus the whole super power thing…which would be awesome). I also remember that unacknowledged and repressed need to belong somewhere. I don’t want to make a big deal out of this, but I’ll just say that as an Asian/Pacific Islander who grew up in a predominantly white, middle-upper class Long Island, I understood Ash’s perspective on being Polynesian and growing up in Scarsdale.
Anyway, diversity aside, I also appreciated the nods to lesser known pantheons and mythologies. I was that little nerd growing up, scrawling hieroglyphs on my wall (well, really, my brother did that since he was a better artist, but I told him what to write!), and pretending I was a great archaeologist, like Indiana Jones, uncovering artifacts of lesser known cultures, so it was refreshing to see those old myths come to life. More than that, I appreciated seeing that these gods weren’t portrayed as the Big Bad coming to destroy life, the universe, and everything, but were faced with choices just like the rest of us.
So, if you’re looking for a fun read for the summer that’s smarter than the average YA fare, then give Wildefire a try. It launches tomorrow, July 26. (Read the first chapter here.)
Fair warning, though. There weren’t any surfing scenes, which I totally expected (I’m all right with that, though, since that means I get to write more surf scenes in my own WIPs ). And, when I got to the end, I tweeted this:
At least the ending did it’s job. Now I have to wait a whole year for the next one. (Check out the next two book titles that Karsten shared on his blog here.)