Monday, October 27, 2014
REVIEW: Ever Near / Melissa MacVicar
To celebrate Halloween, I'm dedicating this week to Melissa MacVicar, author of ghostly YA paranormal tales about haunted homes and ancient rituals. First up: A review of MacVicar's debut novel, Ever Near (Secret Affinity, #1).
TITLE: Ever Near (Secret Affinity, #1)
AUTHOR: Melissa MacVicar
PUBLISHER: Red Adept Publishing
AVAILABILITY: Amazon (e-book, paperback, and audiobook)
Young Adult - Paranormal
Fellow Red Adept author here. Bought 'n' paid for this book myself because I wanted to, and this review represents my honest opinions.
Ever Near tells the story of 16-year-old Jade Irving, who has recently moved into a historical mansion with her mother, soon-to-be stepfather, and his two sons. Except there are a few problems: Firstly, that Jade's school crush, Charlie, is also one wedding away from being her stepbrother, and secondly, there's a ghost haunting the old house.
Determined to stop the ghost before she drives her made, Jade sets out on a paranormal investigation. Meanwhile, she also copes with the difficulties of her new life - and the challenges of young love.
The story takes place in Nantucket and contains a lot of local flavor. The settings and characters really pull you in. I couldn't stop reading... or listening, rather, since I had the audiobook.
The narrator did a great job of capturing Jade's voice and told the story with all the vivacity and energy the character. The story's a lot more contemporary than a lot of paranormal fare, so I think it will appeal to crossover readers. While the plot follows Jade's efforts to deal with the ghost residing in her new home, much of the book also depicts her tumultuous life as a teen in a blended family and all the complications that arise. The realism surprised me, actually, and it's much more of a contemporary YA novel than a simple ghost story.
I must say that I'm not usually a reader of contemporary YA - or even lighter sci-fi/fantasy that feels contemporary - so Ever Near came as a pleasant surprise. Something about MacVicar's writing through Jade's voice just kept me hooked... I listened to the entire audiobook in two sessions and was disappointed when it was over (and promptly cracked open the sequel).
Overall, Ever Near is well-written, fast-paced, and highly enjoyable. I would definitely recommend this to anyone interested in contemporary YA with a ghostly twist.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Melissa MacVicar has lived most of her life on Nantucket Island. A true native, she’s able to trace her ancestry back to the island’s first settlers. After attending The Pingree School, she went on to graduate from Franklin and Marshall College with a degree in English. She also received a master’s degree from Boston University School of Social Work. When she turned forty, Melissa decided to renew her adolescent passion for fiction writing. Having once thought writing a novel to be an impossible dream, she’s proud to be achieving her childhood ambition.
Melissa currently lives with her husband and two children on Nantucket where she teaches 7th grade Writing Composition. When she isn’t teaching, parenting, and writing, Melissa enjoys running, eating expensive chocolate, and watching her beloved Patriots.