Genre: YA Fantasy
Release Date: February 5, 2014
Publisher: Solstice Shadows Publishing
Fairy, Texas. A small town like any other.
Laney Harris didn’t want to live there. When her mother remarried and moved them to a town where a date meant hanging out at the Sonic, Laney figured that “boring” would have a whole new meaning. A new stepsister who despised her and a high school where she was the only topic of gossip were bad enough. But when she met the school counselor (and his terminal bad breath), she grew suspicious. Especially since he had wings that only she could see. And then there were Josh and Mason, two gorgeous glimmering-eyed classmates whose interest in her might not be for the reasons she hoped. Not to mention that dead guy she nearly tripped over in gym class.
She was right. Boring took on an entirely new dimension in Fairy, Texas.
I was partnered with Mason Collier, the infamous football-playing, cute, but possibly black-magicky friend-of-Bartlef I’d heard about at lunch. I looked around and saw a guy waving at me from across the room. He was looking at me kind of like he was hungry and maybe I was breakfast. It worried me.
Still, at least I hadn’t been paired up with Kayla. It could have been much worse.
“Okay,” Carlson said. “Go ahead and meet with your partner and plan your strategy.”
Mason and I stood up at the same time and walked toward each other. I was so busy making sure I didn’t trip over any desks that I didn’t see Kayla headed toward me until she was right in front of me. And then she leaned in close to my face and hissed at me. “Don’t get too cozy. He’s way out of your league.”
I rolled my eyes and moved around her without responding. Three days. Three days I’d been in Fairy, and already I had an enemy. And I lived in her house. My life kept getting better and better.
Mason and I met in the middle of the room. Kayla and her friends huddled nearby, watching us.
“Hey,” Mason said.
“Hey.” Nice, neutral word, hey. Can mean almost anything. Or nothing.
“So,” he said, “where do you want to start?”
He was asking me? Where I wanted to start was away from here, where there weren’t any dead boys to trip over.
So much for that option.
Margo Bond Collins is the author of a number of novels, including Waking Up Dead, Fairy, Texas, and Legally Undead (forthcoming in 2014). She lives in Texas with her husband, their daughter, and several spoiled pets. She teaches college-level English courses online, though writing fiction is her first love. She enjoys reading urban fantasy and paranormal fiction of any genre and spends most of her free time daydreaming about vampires, ghosts, zombies, werewolves, and other monsters.
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Now I must preface this by saying that YA romance novels haven’t been my go-to books for the past few years, (But Elyse, you say, this is the third one, out of three, that you’ve posted. And you’d be correct.) Eh, I go through phases with genres and I was feeling all lovey-dovey when I picked up this one.
Back to this lovely book…
It’s the first in a series, (coincidentally, also the first series I’ve started) It’s short and sweet and I read it in one sitting but leaves you wanting more.
Sarah is awkward and shy, the complete opposite of her extrovert, flirty boyfriend, Dave. She attracts the attention of gorgeous bad-boy Will Spencer and doesn’t know what to do with herself. Yes, there’s a love triangle. “Haven’t they been done to death?!” you ask. They have and yet, Holbrook is able to hold the attention of this reader with Sarah’s amusing inner dialogue. She curses her doe-eyed nature when around Will and for hurting her current beau. We only see the two boys through the eyes of Sarah and I hope as the series continues that they are fleshed out.
Now, it’s entirely possible that I’ve a deep affection for this character after reading that Sarah was shy; I was curious. I immediately gravitate towards characters with a similar nature but I’ve often found that “shy” characters are nothing of the sort. (Maybe they have some different interpretation of being shy?) Nevertheless, I noticed that it’s not just simply stated that she’s shy, it’s what drives her actions and hesitations. Not the main point of the book, but something I appreciated as a fellow shy person.
I read lots of YA romance in high school. The shy, awkward girl capturing the attention of the jock isn’t new but Holbrook keeps it light and very current. It’s interesting to see social media so incorporated into a story. (This is the first time I’ve read about a fictional character posting photos to Instagram! We didn’t have that when I was in high school!)
I give While You’re Away Part 1 ****