I received this book via Netgalley. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of this review.Shock Me - Special Edition by Ashley C. Harris
Series: Shock Me,
Length: 262 pages
Reviewing eARC from Netgalley
A promising gymnast, Donna Young is a shy, quiet nobody from the wrong side of town. The only exciting thing in life is her secret friendship with Ryan, her childhood crush. But after the accident—one that should have killed her—she discovers she has impossible powers! Why now, at sixteen, can she transform into something shocking and inhuman? Donna doesn't know how to use her new abilities or who she can trust, but unveiling this mystery might lead to conclusions about Ryan that are deadly.
Rich kid, Ryan Applegate is the most popular guy in town. He has a face that should be on a poster in every girl’s bedroom and dates the hottest chick in school. But ever since the big explosion at the town’s power plant, Ryan has been keeping secrets of his own, that if revealed could force him to choose between his family and the girl he's forbidden to love.
As their electrifying puzzle unfolds, so unfolds a town where friends become enemies, and enemies become unrecognizable and intertwined. Tortured heroes just might be the bad guys,and Donna discovers that her and Ryan’s secrets are powerful enough to destroy everyone... including themselves.
Romance and intrigue set in supernatural world make the Shock Me series ideal for young adult and adult audiences. Readers of Paranormal YA and Paranormal Romance, and fans of Jennifer L. Armentrout, Pittacus Lore, Rick Riordan and Susan Collins will love this series. Originally published September 17th, 2013, this special re-issue is complete with a new cover and content from the author.
Praise for Shock Me:
“Memorable characters and plot momentum will keep the reader fully engaged right up to the pulse-pounding, dramatic conclusion with a stunning ending that I didn’t see coming!” ~ Lori Zalewski, Lusty Penguin Reviews
“Everyone can become a hero. That is what I got out of it. Well a lot more but that was a really powerful message. It keeps you on the edge of your seat to see what will happen next. I can’t wait for the next book and look forward to more from this new author!” ~ Kelly, Kindle and Me
“One of the best things about this book, is that it’s not like any other I’ve read recently. It’s absolutely unique. And, I loved that it was told in third person instead of first, because with all the things going on throughout the book, being able to know what more than one person was thinking was extremely helpful.” ~ Stacey Mosteller, Reading Rainblog
“Shock Me by Ashley Harris is a story with new, fresh premise and I believe that fans of paranormal young adult novels will be thrilled to read it. “ ~ Glass, Ja čitam, a ti?
**Please note that this is a review of the original Shock Me. The special edition includes additional preview of book two, Sparks and some exclusive content from the author about the themes in the book.**
So, so, SO good!!!
Shock Me by Ashley C. Harris is the first in the Shock Me series about a group of teens with super powers. This particular story revolves around seventeen year old Donna Young and begins with her freaking out and running home after someone told her that they would kill her if they saw her. The story is then flashes back two months and it takes almost the entire book to get back to what happened in the first few pages.
I have to say I loved this story! It took me a little while to follow it as the POV is told in third person and switches between the multiple characters, even though the main focus of the plot is Donna. Our main character Donna Young is your average teenage girl. She just wants to make it through high school then she can essentially escape her small town and never go back. However, after a near brush with death, something strange happens and it happens in front of her two best friends, Rebecca and Spencer. Rebecca is a straight-laced, all A’s student, never gets in trouble and always does what she is supposed to do. Spencer is the nerd, the class-clown, who as a town transplant (meaning he didn’t grow-up in the small town) is an outcast. I have to say that I was severely disappointed that Donna’s two best friends ditched her because they were scared, did they not think Donna was? At first I really didn’t like either of them for this, but they grew on me and redeemed themselves in the end.
The antagonists/love interest in this story are intriguing. Ryan Applegate is the youngest son of the town’s namesake and was Donna’s closest friend growing up. Then one day he just started ignoring her. Donna assumed it was because she was heavy and not popular, however there is more to Ryan than meets the eye. When I read his first POV, I knew there was something different about him, his brother Randy, and his girlfriend Lynn. The three are always together and little comments they make towards each other let you know that there is something amiss. Even in the first chapter, Randy lights a cigarette without a lighter and when Ryan scolds him he simply says I am a lighter. LITTLE brother, Chill.
Then there’s Paul. He is the penultimate nerd and a conspiracy theorist. Living in Applegate his whole life, he researches the town’s power plant which before he was born exploded. Now he believes it’s a cover for the government, but what do they want him for? He also happens to be head over heels for Rebecca who is oblivious.
So impressive set of characters, and this is only the one’s who we get a sampling of their POVs. What I liked is that these characters are intertwined and the author seamlessly moves from one POV to the next. It did take a little getting used to with such a big list of characters but I really enjoyed seeing things from everyone’s perspective.
The world-building is awesome and simple. Applegate is just a normal town with impressive secrets. Think Smallville
for the setting and X-men/Roswell
for the plot. Though I was able to predict with little accuracy what was going on in this small town, I was still shocked (no pun intended) at what all happened at its climax. I won’t spoil it because it needs to be read to be fully appreciated!
If you enjoy YA lit, suspense, action, a little sci-fi mixed with fantasy, then go pick up a copy of this book. As far as first in series go, it hooked me right away and I can’t wait to see just where the author takes it from here. Not to mention the awesome semi-cliffhanger!!!! Thank God book two is now available 😀
This scene is perhaps one of my favorites 😀 Enjoy!
He looked through the clear glass window knowing where Spencer and Rebecca were Donna wouldn’t be far behind. After a second he spotted her walking inside the shoe store across the street, her eyes staring at the running shoes on the wall. “I’m gonna get some air,” he said as he got up from the table, taking his soda with him.
Spencer’s mom, one of the waitresses at the diner, handed Spencer some change from her pocket. It dropped from her hands causing her to bend over.
“Uh, yeah, me too.” Randy got up quickly and started moving behind him while staring at Spencer’s mom’s behind. She was probably the reason Randy had chosen to come eat here in the first place. Spencer’s mom was hot, very hot, and young too. She’d had Spencer when she was only a teenager. Randy practically walked into her as she stood up straight, her butt supposedly grazing his hands by accident. Spencer gave both brothers very pissed off looks, as if he was tough or something. Spencer tough? Ha, that’s a joke. Yet instantly Ryan felt on edge, watching his older brother closely, making sure Randy didn’t start something regrettable with this guy. Being the town hot head defined Randy in ways most people couldn’t imagine, and it was Ryan’s job to make sure everyone stayed under control.
They headed outside, both leaning against the restaurant wall as Randy pulled out a cigarette and played with his lighter. It was un-believable because their mom had died from smoking and here Randy was cutting years off his life. The butt of his cigarette caught on fire without him even pretending to flicker the lighter on.
“You need to be more careful and use your lighter,” Ryan told him. “Dad would freak.”
“I am a lighter, little brother,” Randy corrected him. “Chill.”
Ryan rolled his eyes. Lecturing Randy was like talking to a wall.
“So is this why you wanted to come out here?” Randy asked him, looking toward Donna as she lifted up different running shoes from inside the store; she was looking at the prices no doubt.
“I needed to chill before training.”
“Sure,” Randy said in disbelief.
Ryan ignored him, watching Donna, his once childhood companion, try on a pair of running shoes. They were black and white with one thin pink stripe. Girlie enough for Donna, where on the other hand Lynn, looking as herself, would never touch them.
Donna looked at the price on the box several times and then handed the shoes back to the sales girl and left the store. She was wearing old-fashioned baggie overalls on top of her blue gymnastic uniform. The blue lit up her eyes as the sun shinned down on her messy blond hair. Donna was the nice girl, the shy type of girl who is kind and often overlooked, but when you do look, you saw that she was incredibly beautiful.
Their eyes met as she came toward the restaurant door and she took a deep breath bracing herself. As if she needed the extra strength just to walk by and not embrace him like she used to when they were younger. Every time she did that, everyday when he had to see her at school and she took that “brace yourself” pose, it was like a punch to the gut. And every time he wished he could say something.
“If it isn’t little Donny,” Randy barked while breathing out more smoke. Donna gave a half sarcastic, half embarrassed smile and kept walking by. Years ago Randy used to antagonize and bully Ryan and Donna both with all his older friends. To try and escape him, they would run and hide in the woods for hours at a time, building forts and imagining dumb adventures. They had become so close back then, their bond was almost indescribable; up until right before the summer of Donna’s first trip to New York when something terrible had almost happened and it was all Ryan’s fault.
“It’s better this way,” his father’s words echoed inside his mind. “Just keep her away.” But he still always wondered what it would be like if he and Donna were dating. If he could be just like her. Normal.
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