Sunday, January 15, 2012

Cycles by Lois D. Brown

"Enjoy mortality. It's what makes life precious."

She remembers things that never happened,

She's a stranger in her own home.
She always knew she was different.
She just didn't know why.
Until now.

Renee Beaumont is about to die...again.

I was lucky enough to receive an e-book copy from the author. I loved the summary right away: it's short, interested me from the first line, and ended in a way that guaranteed I was going to read it.

This book totally blew my expectations out
of the water.

I have read a lot of YA books, and within those books, a good portion were paranormal. I have read every kind of plot line, from vampires to werewolves, from fairies to half-bloods. Also, I've become insanely good at guessing between which paranormal branch a story is written about. (Flighty thoughts? Fairy. Unexplained animal damage and missing memory? Werewolf.) I think after a certain number of books, it's easy to assume you're going to be able to predict what's going to happen.

Cycles was different; I had no idea what was going on. I didn't have a single prediction for what was going to be uncovered in the end. There was all these unexplained problems and none of my old plot lines helped because this book totally traveled off the beaten path.

This was the first book I'd read in a long, long time when I didn't automatically know whether a character was to be trusted or not. It was really cool to be along for the mystery, just like the characters, instead of being like an outsider, knowing what was going to happen and just waiting to get there.

Sam, Renee's friend, was quirky, and I liked how he wasn't immune to pretty girls. Some books have the main guy character totally and completely hung up over the main girl character, and it's not really realistic. There's little flashbacks throughout the book to pages from a journal belonging to a Helen. I really liked the entries; they added to the mystery and created one more piece to the puzzle to fit together.

I would've liked to have seen more detail to the writing: descriptions of places visited and of the character's appearances. That being said, I also understand that the target audience for Cycles is 12-15 year olds, so I think the more brief kind-of style probably fits it better than a novel that's always going into detail. That's just a personal preference of mine.

Another thing I would've like to see was a cameo from one of Sam's siblings; I've read very few books where a main character has a sibling, much less multiple. (Or seven, in Sam's case.) I think you can tell a lot about a character by the way they interact with their siblings. And since there's eight kids altogether, I would think a scene at Sam's house with all of them has the potential to be very interesting.

I definitely enjoyed this book: get it! I'll be looking out for the sequel. I can't wait to see what happens next in the series.

Read another review for Cycles at:

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