Mundie Moms & Mundie Kids's Reviews > Emerald City

Emerald City by Alicia K. Leppert
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Emerald City has the feel of a realistic contemporary, but will surprise readers with it's paranormal twist. I normally don't judge a book by it's cover, but this is one cover that drew me and made me want to read it. Not only is it catchy, but it sets the mood and tone for this book. I love that it was set in Seattle and Alicia Leppert does a wonderful job at describing Seattle's scenery and a few of it's popular places that are featured in Olivia's story. The main focus of this book is twenty year old Olivia, who's spent the past year dealing with her emotional scars. She's lost herself to severe depression, hasn't gotten over her mother's death, is still copping with her father's abundant from when she was a young girl, and working a minimum wage job to make ends meet. Her life slowly begins to change when her new neighbor Jude saves her life, literally.

Olivia for me was a hard character to connect with. While I sympathized with her and I felt bad for her situation, I just couldn't emotionally connect with her no matter how hard I tried. Despite that, I couldn't help but cheer her on. She's the underdog I wanted to win as she learns to find herself again. This poor girl has been through so much and though she was at rock bottom when the story starts, I liked the hope and determination she finds with Jude in her life. He helped her find that spark, and the desire to just live life. I liked Jude, and I loved that he was so willing to sacrifice so much for her. I liked how they both slowly but surely learned to trust one another. I admired Olivia for taking the stand to find the professional help she needed in dealing with her depression and suicidal feelings outside of just talking with Jude about it.

Alicia does a great job at taking readers into the darker, traumatic side of dealing with demons, depression and being at rock bottom with Olivia. This book definitely has a darker side to it given the subject matter that is discussed through out the storyline, but it's also a story about hope as Olivia learns to overcome her obstacles. Overall this was an okay read for me. There's parts of Emerald City I liked and other parts I had a very hard time being able to relate to. I wish I had gotten to know more about Jude sooner in the book instead towards the end. I enjoyed getting to finding out about his secrets. I felt the ending was a bit rushed given everything that gets revealed towards the end of the story. Having said that, I did love the twist at the end. Given the older characters and their situations, I think this is a story that those 17 yrs & older will enjoy more than younger readers. Emerald City is a book I'd recommend for those who are looking for a YA/adult cross over that's a blend of realist contemporary and urban fantasy.
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