MY NOVEL THOUGHTS:
I was slightly bummed after reading this novel because I had really high hopes for it. I'm super into reading sci-fi novels and the blurb for this book sounded really interesting to me and piqued my interest... Not to mention I did myself a disservice by reading all the wonderful reviews on this novel...
This novel started very slow for a little more than the first half of the book but when it got going, it got going. There was a lot of action, arguments, heroism, and even some "romance" that took a fast pace nearing the end of this novel.
What I didn’t like: Donna Young, the protagonist, was a typical, clichéd "invisible" girl, who just wouldn't stand up for herself. Throughout the whole novel she basically just cowers away from her problems, feels wayyy too sorry for herself and cries a lot. It wasn't until the end of the book that she sorta kinda grew some courage but not really... Then Ryan, who is supposed to be the male protagonist, is super weak-willed, annoying and again your typical golden boy stereotype. His relationship with Donna, or lack of therefore, is even more common that Donna and Ryan’s characters (you know the whole best friends as kids, one grows up attractive and ‘popular” and leaves the less “popular” one in favor of the “cool kids” thing).
Now Donna’s relationships with her best friends, Spencer and Rebecca, I really couldn’t connect with in any other way than the feeling of being back stabbed. When things turn south for Donna, Spencer and Rebecca are quick to split. I don’t know about you but I don’t want "friends” like that. Let's not forget Lynn, the “you can’t sit with us" mean girl. (Yes, I really did just quote Mean Girls lol.) Yeah, wasn't a fan of her. Oh and I think that Donna’s dad could totally treat her better than he does.
For a very large part of this book I was very confused as to what time things took place and who was talking. Then there would be random parts of the book that take place a few months back and then randomly switch back to the present. Then the different character POVs changed faster than I could keep up with and a lot of the time the character POV was changed unnecessarily just to give irrelevant information.
What I liked: The supporting characters were what, to me, made the book more enjoyable. Randy, Ryan's brother and Donna's bully, is the "bad boy” in town but really, just like most bad boys: he has a beating heart and a conscience, with more than a bit of cold humor. Honestly I wish Randy was the male lead in this novel, he was much more likable than Ryan in my opinion. I also like Paul, the school genius, and Brook, Donna's best friend from the city more than Donna, Spencer and Rebecca. Paul is a really shy, nerdy guy but toward the end of the book is this total B.A. dude (I won’t spoil his character for y'all by saying why though). Brook, I liked and could relate to because she is a strong-minded female and doesn’t put up with people’s garbage. I would have loved to see more of her.
Although I didn’t like Donna’s dad, I did like his seemingly strong friendship with the town mayor, Mr. Applegate. I also love the whole small town vibe of this book and the way Harris takes the time to describe the settings in this novel.
I really loved the background of how Donna and a few other characters got their powers. The ending of this novel was really enjoyable and left you on a major cliff hanger. It was a whirlwind of exciting information for you to piece together, sacrifice and heartbreak but most importantly in a series, questions on what happens next for Donna and her friends and enemies.
MY OVERALL RATING:
What rounded this novel up to a three, for me, was the fact that although I felt some of the characters and their reactions were unrealistic, the ending of the book had me wanting more and to me that's what it's about. So yeah, this novel had it's downsides but for the most part, it was enjoyable and engaging.
I’d definitely recommend this novel for coming of age, sci-fi fans. I look forward to reading Sparks, the next installment in the Shock Me Series.
Shock Me BLURB || source: Goodreads
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.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Ashley C. Harris
Author and film director Ashley C. Harris resides in Florida. Ashley was first recognized for her edgy writing and unique film work when she wrote and directed the teenage film "Lines". Lines was the first feature film in the world captured using only Mac Laptops.
In 2013 she teamed up with Barclay Publicity to release the first in a new young adult novel series, "Shock Me". Ashley then went on to author eight other titles, in multiple genres, as she also worked behind-the-scenes on a morning news show that aired on ABC. In 2014, four of Ashley's books landed on the Amazon's Best Selling Top-Ten-List. In 2015, she received her first publishing deal for "Troll", a KindleScout novel winner.
When Ashley is not dreaming up new manuscripts and working on film sets, she loves spending time with her family, obsessing about biblical mysteries, and watching lots of Doctor Who. Keep an eye out for her newest releases!
Follow Ashley C. Harris on: