Keren Hughes's Reviews > Coexist

Coexist by Julia Crane
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's review
Jun 25, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: to-review, reading-addiction-blog-tours, arc
Read from June 13 to 15, 2012

Review taken from my stop on the RABT Blog Tour:


Firstly, some cover art appreciation. Those of you familiar with my blog will already know this but for those of you who are new, I am a self-confessed cover-magpie. I collect pretty and shiny covers. This one is certainly both! I am not actually a big lover of the colour green, never have been really. But this cover defies that. I adore it, not in spite of it's colour, instead because I think it wouldn't look right any other way. The model is beautiful and it is just so eye-catching.

It was when I received the email from RABT asking if I wanted to sign up for the tour that I first saw this cover. It instantly had me wanting to know what this book was about.

Now I have read it and I am here to tell you why I awarded it the 4 wing rating.

From the very first page of this book I was drawn in. It was a lightning-paced page turner of a book. I love books that aren't overly drawn out before you get into the thick of the story. Don't get me wrong, I like world-building, just not huge information overloads that make you feel as though your brain might explode.

COEXIST is the story of 16 year old Keegan. She's not your typical teenager and not just because she isn't all sullen teenage angst. What makes her different is that she's an elf.
She's a friendly, sweet, caring girl who seems to adore her family and friends. The only one thing she doesn't have is a boyfriend.
Elves are allowed to date, but once they turn 18, they are law-bound to marry their 'Chosen' partner (soul mate).
This 'Chosen' is exactly what it says on the tin - chosen for them. It's not a choice they make for themselves. The choice is made based upon their likes/dislikes, who and what they are. Their perfect match is then selected but that information isn't given to them until they are 18.
So for Keegan, she knows she has a 'Chosen' and she knows his name is Rourk. So she chooses not to date anyone else, she's waiting for her soul mate. Realistically, she shouldn't even know his name, but her brother Thaddeus is a Seer - meaning he has visions - and he told her his name.

At this point, I was loving the story but wasn't quite sure what to make of the whole 'Chosen' thing. I mean, is there really any point in dating anyone else when you know you can't be with them past 18? What happens if you fall in love at the age of 17 only to be torn from that relationship to marry someone you have never met and it's been decided for you whether they are in fact good enough for you?
I get the fact that the matches are made on the basis of likes, dislikes, interests and so on and so forth. But, who is to say that just because you have things in common that you are going to be the ideal match. For instance, I have a lot in common with a lot of my friends, but it doesn't mean I would want to be in a relationship with any of them - hence why I'm not.
Plus, I would want to know what my partner was going to look like considering it's to be a life-long relationship. Okay so that may be a wee bit shallow but aren't we all a little shallow really? Would you want to be with someone who you find completely unattractive? No? Nor would I.
Lastly, call me old-fashioned, but it's not really very romantic. It's not like they get a chance to meet each other and work at the relationship - it's more like everything is plotted out for them. That, to me, kills the romance of it all.

But regardless of being in two minds about how that would pan out, I was enjoying the story so I thought I would give the Chosen thing a chance to grow on me.

The one thing I really liked about this story was that because it was told from third person point of view, you got chance to see things from different people throughout. It was done in such a way that it didn't feel too choppy and you didn't get lost trying to figure who the particular part was on about. So you got to learn about many of the different characters in a short space of time, rather than being stuck in the head of Keegan and learning about them in her words.

It wasn't just a story about love. There was some action in there too, which pleased me immensely. There was a war between the light and the dark (you'll find out what I mean when you read the book)
I would have loved the part about this to have been a little more involved, a little more detailed. But maybe that's just me. I won't tell you the outcome or anything, all I will say is that it ended a little too quickly. I would have liked to have read more fight scenes.

I really liked Rourk - the love interest - and I love how it is between them when Keegan and Rourk finally meet. It made me wonder if I was misjudging the whole 'Chosen' thing, so I ended up accepting it for what it was, the law of the society in which they live. I may not like or want it for myself, but then I'm not the one living it am I?!

I like Julia Crane's easy writing style. She doesn't unnecessarily overcomplicate things. I found myself able to read this pretty quickly. Though if real-life hadn't gotten in the way, I would have finished it in one sitting.
I am looking forward to the other two books in this trilogy and to finding out where it all leads for all the characters involved. There hasn't yet been a character I don't like. Whether that's because elves have a naturally sunnier disposition than us humans do - I don't really know.
There are secondary characters who I would definitely love to hear more from and I read that Julia is writing spin-off novels to tell us more about each in their own right. I will look forward to reading them, that's for sure.

So thanks must go to RABT for the invite to the blog tour. Also to Julia Crane for introducing me to elves in YA. I can't wait to see where this journey leads them in the last two books.

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Reading Progress

30.0% "So far, so good! Liking that it's about Elves - not something I encounter often (in books or in the real world lol) Hoping this continues as it began, enjoyable and fast-paced!"
69.0% "Aww I like this book! It's lightning-paced, for sure! I really wish I'd been able to read it in one sitting. Any other time I would've done but this week has been silly busy. Still, I will finish it tomorrow (having read average a third a day)"
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