Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Living Violet (The Cambion Chronicles #1) by Jaime Reed

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He's persuasive, charming, and way too mysterious. And for Samara Marshall, her co-worker is everything she wants most--and everything she most fears. . .
Samara Marshall is determined to make the summer before her senior year the best ever. Her plan: enjoy downtime with friends and work to save up cash for her dream car. Summer romance is not on her to-do list, but uncovering the truth about her flirtatious co-worker, Caleb Baker, is. From the peculiar glow to his eyes to the unfortunate events that befall the girls who pine after him, Samara is the only one to sense danger behind his smile.

But Caleb's secrets are drawing Samara into a world where the laws of attraction are a means of survival. And as a sinister power closes in on those she loves, Samara must take a risk that will change her life forever. . .or consume it.

This one has been on my TBR list for ages ever since I saw the cover at a Barnes & Noble which struck me as different compared to the others in the YA section. Finally coming around to it, I found myself more intrigued by the heroine, Samara than the story itself.

Samara is more concerned with saving money towards a new car than wooing a guy. But when her fellow co-worker starts noticing her and strange things start happening around him, she knows she should probably walk away. Her curiosity gets the best of her and she finds herself getting on with Caleb surprisingly well. Getting close to him means learning more of the mysterious events that keep surrounding him and she has to decide if she’s up for the challenge or not.

I want to give Jaime Reed a fist bump for writing a teenage girl with very strong character and self-worth.  She’s not indecisive or dependent on anyone else’s opinion. A lot of that has to do with her background being half white and half African-American. She acknowledges that some people have given her a hard time about who she is – either she’s too "white" or just not "black" enough. This has only led to her forging her own identity free of conventional expectations. She embraces who she is wholeheartedly, including her own body image, and knows exactly who she is. This is what keeps her from becoming another victim of the horrors that have been increasing in the area.

The rest of the story is interesting and I do realize that's not saying much but I'm trying to avoid any spoilery. Let's just say that who Samara is is what helps save the day. By the way, Samara isn’t the only strong female we're introduced to. She does give us their opposites and they only reinforce why Samara simply kicks butt. I like how Reed ended this first book and I look forward to reading the rest.

~ Bel

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