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Thursday, January 15, 2015

Scintillate by Tracy Clark

Scintillate manages to pack an action- and romance-filled punch into this YA trilogy-starter!  Are you a fan of fantasy, especially concerning auras?  Got it.  Are you a fan of romance, and need your main characters to be not only smoking hot but also have sexy accents and have stolen kiss moments?  Got it.  Are you a fan of action and adventure, especially when it involves travel?  Got it too!

At the heart of the matter, Scintillate is the story of Cora, who after an intense illness is able to see auras around people.  This is all very new to her, so she tries to seek answers from doctors and then from a New Age bookseller.  Her dad, who is a scientist and very cold-hard-facts oriented, tries to discourage her from pursuing any information on this new "talent" of hers.  I think this is the first book I've read where aura reading has played such a key role.  I think Tracy Clark did a great job showing how overwhelming this ability could be, at least at first.  In the first couple of days, Cora has difficulty maintaining eye contact and feels like the visuals are overstimulating.  I imagine I would also feel out of sorts if I suddenly started seeing auras around everyone!  There's a lot of neat descriptions that accompany this whole aura-seeing thing.  Beautiful descriptions of warm, sunny auras around good people and angry, red, pulsing auras around the bad guys, and everything in between.  Almost made me wish I could see auras!

I know the love triangle is much maligned these days, but I still kind of enjoy it.  Especially when it's done well.  And I know from working with teens in a library that many teens still seek out swoons in their books!  Scintillate takes it all up a notch by adding foreign hot love interests for Cora!  Oooh.... I could just hear the accents leaping off the page!  There's Finn, who is Irish and Giovanni, who is Italian.  No wonder Cora has trouble deciding!

And last but not least, Scintillate definitely doesn't disappoint in the action & adventure arenas.  Cora, a California girl, is taken on a wild chase to Ireland as she searches for her mother (who disappeared 12 years ago) and more information about her newfound ability to see auras.  It's nonstop!  From the very first pages, the reader is kept on the edge of their seat as Cora narrowly escapes harm.  In fact, my only tiny gripe with Scintillate is the pacing:  for me, it felt a little too fast; like the author tried to fit in a little too much.  But I really can't say much; the book definitely hooked me and didn't let go until the very end!  Even if a few plot points were a little too convenient or tidy, it's still enjoyable.

A final bonus point:  #diversityinYA!  Cora was born in Ireland to an Irish mother and Chilean father.  She is described as curvy with wild curly hair.  Yay for diversity in YA!  (I know that the hand on the book cover is decidedly white.  Cora is also described as being Irish-fair, so this is still true to the book.)

In early March, I'll be reviewing the sequel, Deviate, and hosting Tracy Clark for a When I'm Not Writing post.  I'm so glad that I don't have to wait a full year to find out what happens next with Cora!


Tynga is a 32 years old mom of two, from Montreal, working as a lab technician in an hospital specialized in heart disease. In her free time, she enjoys reading all things Paranormal and photography.

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1 Person left their mark:

  1. Thank you SO MUCH for taking the time to read and review. I'm so glad you liked it! *Grinning over my coffee*