Monday, August 9, 2010
Book Review- Radiance
By Alyson Noel
Published By Square Fish/MacMillian
To Be Released On: August 31st, 2010
4 Stars- Great read, go pick it up
Riley Bloom left her sister, Ever, in the world of the living and crossed the bridge into the afterlife—a place called Here, where time is always Now. Riley and her dog, Buttercup, have been reunited with her parents and are just settling into a nice, relaxing death when she's summoned before The Council. They let her in on a secret—the afterlife isn't just an eternity of leisure; Riley has to work. She's been assigned a job, Soul Catcher, and a teacher, Bodhi, a curious boy she can't quite figure out.
Riley, Bodhi, and Buttercup return to earth for her first assignment, a Radiant Boy who's been haunting a castle in England for centuries. Many Soul Catchers have tried to get him to cross the bridge and failed. But he's never met Riley... (back of ARC)
I posted this on Mundie Moms yesterday, but with this being a Middle Grade book, I wanted to post in on Mundie Kids as well. Riley Bloom is a cute, feisty, sassy 12 year character that I completely adored in Radiance. She's learning how to cope with crossing over into the Here, after the accident and leaving her sister Ever behind. With her dog Buttercup at her side, Riley begins to learn more about herself, and realizes that her life wasn't all she thought it was. Now she has the task as a Soul Catcher, and with the help of Bodhi, and Buttercup, she will be helping other's cross over the bridge, that she herself didn't want to cross.
Riley is such a great, refreshing character and I loved her voice. She has some great inner monologues that made me laugh out loud. She quickly finds out other people in the Here can hear can hear what she's thinking. So when she meets "Dorky" Bodhi, she'll quickly learn to stop thinking things about him, as he can hear her. Bodhi's character is great, as he can dish it right back to Riley. Together they have great chemistry. I liked that while Riley stayed true to herself through the book, I liked seeing her grow more. She starts off questioning who she is and feeling trapped that she's in the Here. She misses being alive and wanting to be back with Ever, but once she realizes that her life was really all about her trying to be like her big sister (and what 12 yr old doesn't want to be like their big sister for the most part), she let's go and lives in the Here and Now.
Bodhi and Riley make for a great pair as he's her guide and will teach her how to be a Soul Catcher. What I love about Bodhi is that he wants to teaches Riley a lesson about respect, and he doesn't fill Riley in on their task, as she thinks she knows it all. So when she completes a task he thought she would fail, they both learn to respect each other a little more. The two them together had me laughing out loud. What 12 yr girl wants to get told what to do by a 14 yr old boy!?!
I really enjoyed Radiance. While it's a spin off from Alyson's Immortal series, you don't need to read Evermore to understand what is happening. It's the first in a middle grade series, but I'd definitely recommend YA fans of Alyson Noel to pick it up. I'm looking forward to finding out what happens next with Riley and Bodhi.
Find out more about Radiance on Alyson's site here http://www.alysonnoel.com/radiance/
and the publisher's site http://us.macmillan.com/radiance-1