16 year old Anna Rogan has a secret she’s only shared with her best friend, Rei; she can astrally project out of her body, allowing her spirit to explore the world and the far reaches of the universe.
When there’s a fatal accident and her classmate Taylor takes over Anna’s body, what was an exhilarating distraction from her repressive home life threatens to become a permanent state. Faced with a future trapped in another dimension, Anna turns to Rei for help. Now the two of them must find a way to get Anna back into her body and stop Taylor from accusing an innocent friend of murder. Together Anna and Rei form a plan but it doesn’t take into account the deeper feelings that are beginning to grow between them.
I was ready to not like this book. Mentally, I was exhausted when I picked up this book. I was in one of those slumps where I was just going through a string of bad books.
The subject manner appealed to me though. I’m thinking about writing a book about shadows. That’s why I picked up The Shadow Society by Marie Rutkoshi, which I’m looking forward to reading. It’s also why I picked up The Shadow Project by Herbie Brennan, and it was why I eventually got this book from the library.
Personally, I think that this book was better than The Shadow Society. I admit, The Shadow Project is great for middle-grade readers who are interested in the topic or just think it’s a cool book, but if they like it than they should try this story. It is a YA read and it’s audience is meant to be teenagers, but there’s a lot of shared ideas that form the base of both these books. And this book is a pretty decent mystery that I really enjoyed, with themes of romance, friendship and fantasy.
I really loved Gina Rosati’s characters, to be honest. I thought Rei was a really cool guy and a great friend. Anna was amusing, at times a little annoying, but I thought she was fun and I liked reading her narration. Seth, yeahhh. Actually, I think he wasn’t as well-developed as the rest of the characters. I kind of lost my “oh, this is a cool dude” thinking of him as the book went on. Oh, and Taylor.
Let me just say that some authors overdo annoying, bratty, self-centered characters. Again with judgement and balance. Some authors don’t convince me at all that their annoying characters are annoying. All talk and no walk. Some authors completely overdo it to the point where I don’t even want to read the book anymore because I hate the character so much. But some authors get it just right. And Gina Rosati hasn’t gotten it perfectly, but she’s gotten closer than any of the authors I’ve read in a while. Kudos to you, Gina Rosati.
There was a lot of depth to this easy to read story, and I really enjoyed that. The fact that Anna had some trouble at home and then Taylor had to deal with that, all of that provides more information about both Anna and Taylor’s characters. Actually, I liked all the main character’s backgrounds. They were not overly done, and the main characters didn’t spend time agonizing over their self-pity and taking care of their family because they’re just that good. I appreciated Anna more because of how she wasn’t a complete brat over that kind of stuff.
Pacing? Pretty good. It wasn’t super fast, but it went smoothly enough that I never thought the book was boring or slow. The plot was great. I enjoyed the mystery in this book, especially after reading Spies and Prejudice by Talia Vance. I was impressed by this book and really enjoyed it. 4 stars.
Oh yeah, and the cover.
pg count for the hardback: 298