Target Audience: Adults/Young Adults
In summary, Kira and Sophia are best friends. They live together, spend a lot of time together and they both really really love coffee (I just love fellow coffee fiends!). The story picks up one day shortly after Christmas when both girls are getting ready to go to work, Sophia however isn't feeling well and doesn't go in. Later, on arriving back from work, Kira finds out that her friend has been killed in an accident.
Kira is left devastated until a note hints at Sophia's possible survival and she finds herself caught up in a war between two sides that she didn't even know existed, and things are about to get a whole lot worse.
I was gripped with this book from the prologue which seemed completely different to the title of the book. My initial thought was what has this got to do with an advice girl? But this was a good thing, the change in direction really grabbed my attention and the plot came together nicely without it seeming forced or ridiculous.
As a fan of fantasy and sci-fi I love anything that has extraordinary people in an ordinary setting and Sophia was one such person. But the thing I found the most amazing was that despite the fact that Sophia was the character with special abilities, Kira had her own talents and I found her determination and loyalty to be just as compelling as Sophia's ability.
As well as the gripping plot, I also took a personal liking the the fact that it was partially based in the UK (biased I know, but hey!) It makes a book feel more personal when you can imagine the setting very clearly and in this case I could. Having been to London and considering the size of it, it was so easy to imagine the events in this book taking place there and around the area. This may not be important in all books, but it sure added to the affect this novel had on me.
But, as we know and as I often say, it is the characters that can make or break a novel and the characters in this one are fantastic! Without a doubt it was Kira, Sophia and Ethan that stole the show (or book in this case) and my personal favourite was Kira. Why you might ask? She had no extra special powers, she wasn't some amazingly talented being, yet she was brave, intelligent, gutsy and would have done anything for Sophia, and that to me is an extraordinary ability even if it isn't in the conventional sense.
Sophia came a close second for me and I loved her attitude towards life. She had an enormous amount of horrible stuff happen to her yet she dealt with it in courageous fashion where most people would have caved in and given up. Don't get me wrong, this wasn't done to any extreme, she was still very sensitive and able to cry which was also a good thing; some authors take their heroines and make them insensitive and as hard as nails...women can be strong and still feel, and Ms Shaw has had no problems displaying this in this novel.
Now Ethan, I loved him to bits! Such a great guy and I want to say so much more about him but I don't want to go into too much depth in case I ruin the story!
Now, moving on I have to confess that there were a few little bits that niggled me, but they were minor so I'll be very brief. I did think this book could have been longer as bits of the story felt a bit rushed, such as the progression of Sophia's relationship with Ethan and I would have liked to know a little bit more about Sophia's talent. Admittedly though, this is the first in the series and I am well aware of the fact that there is plenty of time to explore these things so I haven't judged this book to harshly on those things.
And also, don't be fooled by the age of the characters. Yes, they are adults but this book could sit quite comfortably in both adult fiction and YA, so please don't let that stop you.
In summary, this is a pacey, romantic, energetic and original novel that I believe, deserves a lot more attention. It is well written, intelligent and gripping from start to finish, and definitely not to be missed if your a fan of fantasy/sci-fi and romance.
Personally, I can't wait for the next in the series especially since the this book ended the way it did, I love a good cliffhanger! Whatever you taste in books, I definitely would say this book is worth reading and whether it's your cup of tea or not, there is no denying that Ms Shaw is a talented writer and has a promising career ahead of her as an author.