Tuesday, October 28, 2014

REVIEW: Ever Lost / 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. The second part of this series is my review of Ever Lost (Secret Affinity, #2), which picks up where Ever Near left off.

TITLE: Ever Lost (Secret Affinity, #2)

AUTHOR: Melissa MacVicar
AVAILABILITY: Amazon (e-book and paperback)
PUBLISHER: Red Adept Publishing


Young Adult - Paranormal


Ever Lost takes place a few months after Ever Near, the first book in Melissa MacVicar's Secret Affinity series. Jade's mother and stepfather have sent her to live with her dad, in hopes of stopping what they view as an inappropriate relationship between Jade and her boyfriend Charlie - who recently became her stepbrother. Jade resents the forced move to a new town, especially since her new school is full of elitist snobs, but does her best to adjust for her dad's sake. That proves difficult, however for two reasons. 

One, the charming Mateo is doing his best to win her affections, despite knowing of her loyalty to Charlie. And two: there's a ghost haunting the academy. But unlike her previous paranormal encounter, this ghost died recently - and he won't stop haunting her or the school until she learns the truth behind his death. 

I didn't think it was possible to love another Secret Affinity book more than Ever Near, but Ever Lost proved me wrong. It has everything I adored about the first book and more. Ghostly mystery? Check. Compelling heroine? Check. High school drama? Double check, since now there's a love triangle involved. And what self-declared reader of girl-centric YA books doesn't love those? Plus, Ever Lost contains elements of a criminal thriller as Jade delves into dangerous territory in her attempt to solve a suspicious death.

MacVicar's writing is among the strongest I've seen in recent YA books - and trust me, I've read a lot. It's hard to put my finger on exactly what it is that makes the Secret Affinity series so addictive. I guess because they have everything I love - mystery! adventure! drama! - wrapped in a lively voice and delivered through fast pacing. Jade is anything but a Mary Sue, which is a definite plus for me. I will admit that she's infuriating at times, but this is because she's a realistic teen. (And we all know that real teens are pains-in-the-asses). And her sassy kind of vivacious brattiness makes her lots of fun to follow.

Like Ever Near, Ever Lost feels a lot more like contemporary YA than fantasy, and it will definitely appeal to readers who like to stay grounded in the real world. Really, it's a contemporary high school story... with a ghost mystery driving it forward.

So if you're looking for your next fun YA read, do yourself a favor and pick up both books in the Secret Affinity series (and check out the prequel short while you're at it - it's only a few pages long but adds richness and depth to the grandmother character). I'm certainly glad I did, and I can't wait for Book 3!


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. 

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