Publication Date: December 20th 2013
Genre: Paranormal Romance
My Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars
Where to buy:
I stumbled across this book on a Book Sends email ad and, man... I'm glad I did! As much as I love to read, there are very few books I sacrifice my oh-so-precious sleep for. This was one of them!!!
Here's the Summary:
What if your only memory is of who you aren’t, not who you are? Seventeen-year-old Rashelle Santos fights her way out of a coma to find she doesn't remember her life, except for her parents and dog. Brain damage doctors tell her, but Rashelle knows with absolute certainty that Shellie (her nickname) died at the bottom of Kaweah Lake, bequeathing her death memories to Rashelle. Rashelle leaps into a relationship with Shellie's boyfriend, Aiden Brody, because he stirs her feelings and fills the void within her. As their relationship becomes serious, she questions whom he really loves. When threats appear in the form of notes stuffed into her locker and calls in the night, Rashelle wonders if she can stay alive long enough to discover who wants her dead, because somewhere out there Shellie's attacker watches and waits to finish what he started. And what the hell, she wonders, is she deranged or could dead Shellie be lingering to keep her alive?
First... that. cover. Gorgeous. It caught my eye immediately. And the summary, while it almost reveals a bit too much, it had me wanting to read more. I'm a sucker for anything paranormal, and it also hints at a dash of complicated romance and mystery. It had me at "hello."
When I cracked the book open, my first impression was, wow... Ms. O'Connell can write. Then it was, oh my gawd, what happened to this poor girl Rashelle and will they ever catch the guy who did this to her? And is continuing to stalk and harass her? Not to mention, she can't remember who she is, but she does know one thing for certain - she's NOT the same girl who used to inhabit this body.
Holy cow. What?
I couldn't rest until I knew the answers. Literally. And just when I thought I knew who did it, or had a clue as to who Rashelle really was, I was second guessing myself by the next chapter. And that, dear readers, is the mark of a good storyteller.
Next, Ms. Connell's characters are believable, not only because they talk and act and think like kids that age, but they're flawed and relatable. They don't always make the best choices and they think they know it all - I had many flashbacks to my teen years - but they also have that care-free way about them and are open to new love in a way only teenagers can be... because they haven't been scarred enough by life to be jaded or wary about it yet. lol I was also quite taken with Aiden, Rashelle's love interest. He's the perfect male lead - supportive. encouraging. patient. kind. The type of man every girl should be attracted to. I can't stand this new wave of asshole-boyfriends that's in every other novel these days. The worse they treat them, the more the female leads are attracted to them.
I don't get it. Kudos to O'Connell for steering clear of that.
Lastly, the ending was phenomenal and quite satisfying. In a million years, I never would have guessed who Rashelle's attacker was. I also never would have guessed why Rashelle felt like she was transplanted into the body she's in. The explanation makes perfect sense and was so overwhelmingly poignant and perfect, I found myself smiling and tearing up as I read. This story is heartbreaking, sweet, funny and riveting all rolled into one hell of a captivating read. If you don't have this one on your "to be read" list, do so immediately!
To be honest, I don't have anything negative to say!
Nothing to say in the category, either.
"I get it now, how the sheer physicality of kissing can feel pretty darn good even when you're not in love. But I also get how much more that pleasure intensifies when you are."
About the Author:
Roni O’Connell lives with her husband and two dogs high in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado. She finds inspiration in the forest, wildlife, and lakes around her home. A former English teacher, Roni enjoys the company of young adults, their spirited opinions, great enthusiasm, and outrageous humor. When Roni isn’t writing novels, you can find her hiking in the forest or contemplating the wonders of nature.
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