This was a short fun read. I've always had a thing for ghost stories. Even the word 'ghost' is so mysterious and intriguing. So it was no won3.5 stars
This was a short fun read. I've always had a thing for ghost stories. Even the word 'ghost' is so mysterious and intriguing. So it was no wonder I wanted to read it, and it delivered what it intended, a fun quick read of romance between a loved yet lonely living boy, and a long ago dead ghost of a gentlemanly young man. I liked the main character, Evan, immediately. He was a college freshman and he represented one side of what we all felt at that age and stage of our lives. First time away from his home, he felt a sort of loneliness that only time, and a few good friends you can find, could help him overcome. The good looking mysterious ghost, Gabriel, I also liked. He was a true gentleman, a ghost I wouldn't kick out of my house. He was kind, gentle, very considerate of Evan and other living people.
The relationships weren't as detailed as one could find in a romance, but then again, considering they all had a limited number of pages for things to develop, I can't blame it. In fact, I wouldn't have minded this story to be longer, so that I could've gotten to know more of Evan's friends, Gabriel's past, and even the hillside school they were attending. Description of a haunted setting can add so much more to a story.
All in all, I liked this story, the shortness didn't bother me, except for wishing it was longer so I could spend more time with the characters, and the ending was satisfying enough. I think I'll be following more from this author, and hopefully catch more fun reads like this one. ...more
Although I have read several Young Adult titles, I can't say they're my forte in reader experience. But, the ones I've read were all good one3.5 stars
Although I have read several Young Adult titles, I can't say they're my forte in reader experience. But, the ones I've read were all good ones so I think I got lucky. With External Forces, I hit the jackpot again.
We're far into the future where the people are considered either one of two options. The Devotees, genetically correct people whose lives and procreation is controlled by the Department of Evolution, and the Deviants, who are basically everyone else that's left, the discarded ones because of their imperfect nature. 16 year old Jess starts her life as a Devotee but on the verge of deciding her future, she realizes she might be becoming a Deviant. With the pressure of the future, the fear of being discovered by the Department of Evolution, and the tumble into the world of Special Forces, Jess' routine albeit dull life becomes a fight for survival.
I thought the general plot of this book was very interesting. One can't help but be drawn to dystopian stories, there's just so much potential to be different. Although it may seem like the perfect people plot has already been done before, I believe it's the way the story is told that makes the difference. In that regard, this book was good, if not perfect. It could've used about sixty or so more pages perhaps-numbers not important but I felt more than a few chapters- because it definitely needed some more time to get into a few more details. The start of the book, with the introduction of the world and the main character Jess, felt rushed, and although we did get the chance to collect information about the dystopian society, we couldn't do the same with Jess. I couldn't help but feel a bit detached from her. This might've been intentional considering the smothering society she lived in, with no room for creativity or personality, but since Jess is going to turn out to be different, I could've used more emotional bonding with her. This is not to say I didn't like her, because I did, but she wasn't so easy to connect with.
The story itself was engaging enough that I kept coming back for more, to see how things were going to turn out, who was who, and whether everyone would make it or not. We're given enough breadcrumbs to know what's generally going on, but this is a series, so a lot is still left for the upcoming books. I've enjoyed so far what we're given, and though this was a three star read, or perhaps three and a half, it was most definitely a good one. Those who like the young adult genre combined with a dystopian world would agree that this series is one to keep an eye out for, because the only way I think it could go on from this point is better. ...more