A Cult. A Murder. A Curse. Sophia's family has skeletons, but they aren't in their graves...
At 22, practicing Wiccan Sophia Parsons is scratching out a living waiting tables in her Rocky Mountain hometown, living under the shadow of her bi-polar mother, religious prejudice, and a cold murder. Sophia can imagine lots of ways her life could be better, but she'd settle for just getting rid of the buzzing noise in her head. The spell she casts goes wrong. The static turns into voices.
Her personal demons get company, and the newcomers are dangerous. One of them is a man named Charles, a centuries-old shape-shifter that Sophia falls for despite her better judgment. He has connections that can help her unveil the mystery surrounding her ancestor's hanging, but she gets more than she bargains for when she finally decides to trust him. Survival in his world, she learns, means not asking questions and staying out of the immortal council's way. It's a line she crossed long ago.
If Sophia wants to survive the council and save the people she loves, she must accept who she is, perform dark magic, and fight to the death for her freedom.
The Forever Girl is a full-length Paranormal Fantasy novel that will appeal to lovers of paranormal romance, urban fantasy, witches, vampires, ghosts, paranormal mystery, and paranormal horror.
Rebecca Hamilton writes Paranormal Fantasy, Horror, and Literary Fiction. She lives in Florida with her husband and four kids, along with multiple writing personalities that range from morbid to literary. Having a child diagnosed with autism has inspired her to illuminate the world through the eyes of characters who see things differently.
Rebecca Hamilton is represented by the ever-more-amazing Rossano Trentin of TZLA.
There is more than one author in the Goodreads database with this name
Honestly, I have no clue how this book has so many 5-star reviews. It didn't suck - the writing was very good - but the story wasn't. The author is a good writer. She needs to work on her story, though, if that makes sense. I found myself skimming large chunks of the book. I didn't feel emotionally attached to a single character. Charles (the love interest) was boring and had the personality of a sticker. Actually, that's how I felt about all of the characters. None of them were developed or interesting. I was bored with the story and the characters and had to MAKE myself finish the book. Nothing ever really happened.
The romance in the book... snooze. They went from insulting each other to BAM! Instalove. Where was the build-up? There was no transition at all. Just, I dislike you, to bam! Let's move in together, even though we aren't even really intimate with each other, and even though we don't know each other, and even though we're keeping secrets from each other. We didn't even see the relationship develop. They started insulting each other, five minutes later they're flirting - poorly, by the way - and then in the next chapter, "Charles and I had been dating for three months." Huh? Really? No development at all.
I also didn't buy the "Christian" villain in the book. Look. I don't care how devout you are, a devout Christian like Mrs. Franklin in the book wouldn't pay a lick of attention to some silly Wiccan girl that thinks she can perform rituals to give positive energy or some crap like that. She'd think she was strange and she might think she's "in league with Satan" or some crap like that, but there are other people she'd attack before she'd start nagging the town's lone hippy chick who thinks she can commune with the elements. I think she'd be harassing all of the gays in the area before she'd bother with one Wiccan girl and freaking burn down her house. It just wasn't believable. I mean, how do you go from just sticking non-threatening Bible verses on the girl's door (which, yeah, a crazy devout lady MIGHT do) to burning the house down (totally wouldn't do)? Again, no build-up, no escalation of threat or activities, etc. She went from obnoxious notes to burning down a house. I just can't help but think her subtle threats would escalate before she resorted to arson.
Like I said, good writing, boring characters, poor story, uninteresting plot.
First I want to thank Rebecca for sending me this book, and I must add that that didn't affect my rating in any kind of way. I'm always honest when it comes to books.
Now a review! It's simple if you like vampires, paranormal creatures (as much as I do) you'll love this book too. You'll be surprised with a whole new level of difference between vampires. Before I started reading paranormal books I thought okay vampires are vampires and that's it, but with some books (like this one) you see that there is completely new structure of paranormal world. It's impressive to me, I mean you have to be imaginative to accomplish that. I especially liked the whole elements story (air, water, earth, fire and spirit).
When it comes to the story you'll meet young girl Sophia. She is 22, luckily not 16-year-old high school girl. I really liked that, because it's easier to connect with her. I like her character because she knows what she wants, although later in book she hesitates about some things but after everything you can't blame her. On the other side we have our guy Charles, he is you know THE guy! You'll enjoy in some parts of the book (if you know what I mean). :) Anyway, after meeting him she will find the answers on a lot of questions. One more thing that I really liked is connection with past, present and with two different kinds, but all fits in its place.
I must say that I really enjoyed this book, it's so readable. I found myself so tired that I couldn't even look but I kept reading. You have a lot of action in this book and you can't wait to see what happens next.
I recommend this book to all of you who like paranormal creatures, trust me you'll enjoy it. Also, I can't wait to read the next book.
THE FOREVER GIRL by Rebecca Hamilton (@inkmuse)... Book full of easily imaginable scenes and was not able to stop myself from reading it even though my exams are going on... :) What a fantabulous novel with new and amazing creatures/characters, most importantly with a superb plot/story.
Starting was seemed a bit slow but slowly from mid chap-2 where Sophia performs her 'ritual for positive energy' the story gets you. And after few chapters it proves to be a page turner.
CHARACTERS- the characters and the bond that they carried was nice. I liked the friendship between Adrian and Charles, how Adrian was with Charles when he needed him the most on a life threatening mission. Sophia's weak bond with her problematic and god fearing mother and her hate bond with her neighbor Mrs. Franklin- a paranoid who nearly killed Sophia. Sophia's little world around her two friends- Ivory whom she considered best friend is the one with biggest secret. And as for Lauren, well she is the only one who adds some normalcy to her abnormal life. Love bond between Sophia and Charles, which starts with Sophia's distrust towards her new -attractively handsome- love interest... You'll love them... :)
STORY- Is about a 'simple' girl who is on a mission to find a better job and get rid of the voices in her head. Her life was already difficult with a problematic mother and a psycho neighbor Mrs. Franklin, but more life threatening difficulties awaits her. Hoping to meet Adrian who she thought can help her to get rid of the voices, went to Club Flesh with Ivory. This single vist to a 'dancing' club was her biggest mistake. Even though she found her Love Charles there, a new world with dangerous creatures found her, turning her world upside down increasing her life's difficulty level. As the story proceeds curtain of unidentified dark world and truth about her friends, ancestors and the voices starts to unveil in front of her.
How will she react to the facts? Will she be able to accept the new found powers and dark world? Or will she run away from it? How will she face the dark forces which are after her life?
Sophia's journey is interesting to follow consisting all the romance, drama, suspense... and much more. It's not only Vampires and shape-shifters but also witches (it's first time that I got to read about witches in a novel). It's a world Rebecca created consisting of five elementals- air, water, earth (Vampires), fire and spirit (witches)
WRITING- the flow the story is lyrical and descriptive. Rebecca wrote it so nicely that it felt as it I was a part of Sophia's journey, like everything happened in front of my eyes. I could imagine most of the scenes.
I liked it a lot. Proof I was so much engrossed in reading it that I skipped my full night sleep to finish it. It was like a 'Super Glue' which kept my eyes and my whole attention fasten to the events in the book till I read the last word. Even after closing it my heart is still struck around Sophia's world asking to know more about her... how she handles her newly found powers, her life with Charles and with the two little guests in a new place away from world around them? And some questions revolving around the Queen?
I would recommend Forever Girl who loves to read paranormal, supernatural fantasy filled with romance & suspense and History. Yes, it contains a part of history surrounding the 1690's Salem Witch Trials. Don't worry you won't find even a bit of it off track in fact it takes the story towards the 'Real' part... :)
Thanks Rebecca for this wonderful new world. :) -Anubha (@miliminni)
*guys i am sorry if u find this review unsatisfying, i tried my best to express myself, its my first review, i am a first timer here
(NOTE: Even though i got the ebook by author her self, the viwes her are my own.)
This book was a gift by Rebecca Hamilton herself and I want to thank her for that! But I have to say that the fact that this is a 5-star-review has nothing to do with the fact that the book was a present from the author! I wouldn't write a good review if I didn't really like a book because it's not in my character to do so!
So, back to my review! It’s always amazing to find that such a book exists! “The Forever Girl” is definitely a unique book. I haven’t read something like that for a long time! Mysterious and dark, this story has many things to tell and more to imagine.
The way the author writes is very lyrical and I have to admit that too many times while I was reading the book, I thought that I was part of the story. The book is full of images and interesting characters. Nothing is as it seems and the reader has to be very careful not to miss anything. Rebecca Hamilton has create a very mysterious and complex world-building that I enjoyed very much! She took the myth of vampires and shape-shifters in another level and it’s very refreshing! It’s one of those books that helps the reader’s imagination to travel through the story. It was like seeing a movie!
I loved all the characters in the book, even the bad ones, because they’re not predictable. Sophia is a young woman and a brave one. Although she is a lonely person it doesn’t seem to bother her. This loneliness comes from the fact that she has a secret. She hears voices in her head. And in a small town like the one she lives in, her only choice is to get close with a few people as possible. The fact that she is a Wicca doesn’t help much either! I liked her a lot because she doesn’t judge people because of their origins. She isn’t easily scared and always doing her best under difficult circumstances. I also liked Charles. He is very mysterious at first but his interest for Sophia is more than obvious from the beginning. My opinion is that although he is a very important character in the book sometimes it feels like a secondary. It’s not bad at all because this proves that the plot is more important than the romance.
I really enjoyed the writing style of the author. The descriptions, the places, the characters… everything is so well-written that it’s impossible not to enjoy this book! Finally, I have to admit that I loved the fact that in the book there is a kind of travel through history, because I am a historian myself!
So, I absolutely recommend this book to all the fans of this genre because it was a great read! I am looking forward for the next one!
Upon reading the description for this book, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect from this, it was so unassuming, but the first few sentences captured my attention and it wouldn’t let me put it down until I finished the book. In the beginning of a story we usually get insight into the main character’s normal day to day life, and when we first meet Sophia Parsons it’s immediately apparent that her life is far from normal. She hears voices, whispers and practises Wiccan arts in order to try and quell these voices. As the voices become more persistent and louder, Sophia digs through her family’s past to try and find a solution, but what she finds and what finds her, is so much more than she bargained for. The cover of this edition is especially eye-catching, which features a girl dressed in Gothic Lolita style with gorgeous intricate black jewellery and lace parasol, set against the model’s stark skin and blond hair with emphatic eye makeup creates a bold contrast. Especially when the background to the model is reminiscent of a colourful fall day. Hamilton writing is so smooth and descriptive, it keeps you enthralled and lets the scenes play out graphically in your head easily as you read (especially the scenes with the whispers, they will haunt me for a while). The story takes the bare bones of many concepts such as vampires, witches and shapeshifters and completely reinvents them into something new. The story had so many supernatural elements in it, I wondered at how Hamilton would pull it together, but then she completely blows you out of the water with the reveals and everything clicks into place - which just ends up leaving the reader wanting to know more! I really enjoyed reading from Sophia’s perspective. She’s such a likable character because she’s strong willed and doesn’t let other’s opinions phase her. She’s loyal and uses whatever she can to defend her friends be it her smarts or her power, but she’s also not an over the top super hero, she knows when to ask for help from her friends. She also has so much patience… her interactions with the super religious cult leader Mrs. Franklin and her brainwashed cult following mother are outwardly calm and logical, even though when I was reading I was screaming frustrations at the pages, they were such well written antagonists. When we first meet Charles, it’s the banter between him and Sophia that had me rooting for him. They are adorable together! Then he gets really mysterious as the plot thickens and he has a major hero complex that gets worked out frequently and not always to the results he wants. As a boyfriend to Sophia, their relationship is pretty iffy at the beginning, but it eventually leads to some pretty steamy scenes. The other characters such as Adrian, Ivory and Lauren worked really well as supports for Sophia, but what really caught me off guard was how when I had pushed one of these to the back of my mind as a boring background character they suddenly come roaring back as an integral character to the underlying plot. All in all this was a really enjoyable read and I cannot wait to read more from Rebecca Hamilton!
I just finished this and all I can say at this exact moment is wow. It's an awesome story that I'm excited to continue reading. I'm definitely going to write a more in-depth review, I just need a bit of time to process my thoughts.
My initial reaction on completing this was simply: wow.
I absolutely loved this book. It's not perfect, I'll admit, but it's close.
The main pull that had me wanting to read this book is the element of Wicca. Wicca has been a subject that's been of great interest to me over the last few years. My favorite show of all time is Charmed. It's got strong storylines and powerful female role models, and so does this story. I love stories with powerful witches in them. I also enjoy the connection to nature, and simplicity, and peace that Wicca can bring.
This story had all those things and more.
Not everything, or everyone, is always as they seem. Sophia is a typical 20 something, just finished college and moved back home. The people in her town are wary of her, suspicious even, because she practices Wicca. She tries her best to ignore them, but even she has her limits. One night her friend Ivory invites her out to a club, under the pretense of having some fun, and little does she know the people that she meets there and the events that unfold will change her path, and her life, forever.
This book is full of action, suspense, and romance all at once.
I have to admit, that once I learned that there were vampires, my enthusiasm sagged slightly. I was thinking, "Oh no, same tired thing again, witches falling for vampires." And while some of the information is the same, there are a lot of twists and differences to keep your interest. I don't want to give anything away, but trust me, it's different.
I love the attention to detail that the author has. This is just one example that sticks out in my mind, but it works really well. For Sophia's love interest Charles, Hamilton gives him teal colored eyes. Not blue, not green, not even blue-green, but teal. In that simple word choice she had me hooked in to his character and to rooting for him and Sophia as a couple.
The romance between them is just right. Mature, simple, not overly exaggerated. It made me catch my breath a few times, I'll admit.
The concept of a Forever Girl is a new spin on reincarnation. I really enjoyed the idea of this. It's done in a way that I've not read before, and it's a powerful way to let Sophia's past come to light and to complete the strengthening of her magic.
I could probably go on and on about this book but I won't ramble on with too many more details. I don't want to give too much away. I can't wait to read the next book in this series, I hope it's just as good if not better than this one.
*I received a free copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review*
Reading Forever Girl was an absolute pleasure. Sophia was relatable, and I felt her pain and experienced her journey right along with her. Rebecca Hamilton captured my interest from the first page of Sophia's story. Her beautiful writing swept me into the story, making me feel as if I were standing right next to Sophia.
If you are looking for a new twist on vampires and shifters, look no further. Hamilton's mythology is unique and intriguing. This is a must read for paranormal fantasy readers. It even has a healthy dose of romance, which I always love.
Writing a review of this novel is almost impossible without making some comparison to the Twilight Series, so I'm going to get this out of the way up front. First of all, I'm not a hater of Twilight; I didn't love what I've read of the series so far, but I thought that they were decent books and I applaud Stephenie Meyer for all that she has accomplished. Sophia's Journey does have some similarities in tone, feel, and plot to Twilight. However, there are significant differences between the two that make the start of this series so much better. To start with, Rebecca Hamilton's writing style is much more engaging and her imagery is much more vivid. Also, the character's are a bit older and I didn't feel myself being inundated with all of the teenage angst that Meyer's books ladled on so thickly. Yes, the developing love story is there and there some indecision about whether or not those involved should be involved with one another, but this is handled so much better and is not nearly as annoying as in Twilight. The biggest and most impressive difference between the two is the mythology that Hamilton has created into her story compared to that in Twilight.
Indeed we have vampires (of a sort here), but these vampires don't stay out of the sun because it makes them shiny, they have more traditional reasons. What makes this novel "shine", is Hamilton's creation of a mythos of elementals. Each type of elementals has their own abilities, powers, life-span, etc. that makes each unique. I felt that her myth building was much more believable, so to speak, that that presented in the Twilight series and that, in turn, got me more involved in the storyline.
The characters are also well written and developed and there are enough twists and turns in the plot to keep the pace moving and interesting. The love story could be a bit much for me at times and I admit to rolling my eyes a bit at the descriptions of exactly what people were wearing, but I'm not exactly in the target audience for this particular type of novel and I expected to encounter at least a little of these types of things and they did not detract from my enjoyment of the novel. I truly found this to be an entertaining novel and will be continuing along with the series as it progresses.
Wow!! I couldn’t put this down for the life of me. Ms. Hamilton had me hooked in the first chapter of this book. I truly hope I don’t give anything away about her story. This story starts with a girl named Sophia who studies the Wiccan religion and has a friend named Ivory that accepts it with her. Sophia’s mother is a God fearing woman that really believes that Sophia is tampering in a world that can only cause problems. Sophia has inherited her grandfather’s home after he passes. She finds something that gives her the impression that her great grandmother was a witch. She goes out one night with Ivory and meets the most handsome man named Charles. She is so drawn to him, she doesn’t realize the danger that surrounds her. He takes her to safety and becomes her protector. Charles is an elemental and is fighting the feelings he has for her so that she isn’t drawn into the danger of his world but life has other plans for that. Sophia learns there is more to life than just humans and that she has a power she never knew she had. There is so much danger around her she is going to have to learn how to use these gifts for the good of the world. Is there a possibility that things can actually work for Sophia and Charles? Will she give up her life that she knows to be a part of Charles’ life? Who can she trust? Again, this was a wonderful story and so easy to recommend to readers. I want more from Ms. Hamilton and look forward to reading more of her stories.
What a Wonderful story. All the characters were very interesting, the plot was spellbinding, and the story flowed so easily, I had a hard time puting it down! I thoroughly enjoyed this book and highly recommend it to all.
Title: The Forever Girl: Sophia’s Journey Author: Rebecca Hamilton Rating: 5/5 Stars
Over the week I have been reading The Forever Girl: Sophia’s Journey by Rebecca Hamilton. This is the first in the Forever Girl series and I hope future titles are just as enjoyable a read as this first one was.
The book revolves around the character of Sophia. She is a twenty something college graduate living in a small town inColorado. She lives alone in her deceased grandfather’s house, works at the town dinner as a waitress, and tries to get through each day having to deal with ever present voices in her head.
There is no apparent cause or cure to these voices and Sophia just puts up with them. She makes occasional attempts to quiet the voices through positive energy rituals she performs, but it’s never a permanent escape. Did I mention that Sophia practices Wicca? Well she does. And this doesn’t help the town’s attitude toward her, especially Mrs. Franklin. She’s the leader of a church Sophia’s mother is part of and they are based out of Mrs. Franklin’s basement.
Sophia has only two friends, Lauren and Ivory. They don’t even know about the voices. She tries not to tell anyone. But eventually things start happening around her that she can’t ignore. One night out on the town with Ivory changes her life forever, and she is thrown into an underground world of supernatural beings and ancient secrets.
Will she ever find the source of the voices she hears? Can she trust the new friends who saved her life? Can she control her attraction for the mysterious Charles? Well, you’ll just have to read the book now, won’t you? That’s more of a summary that I normally give, but I have to try to sell the book to my readers somehow. It’s just that good.
Back to my reaction of the book. I bought this book after starting to follow the author, Rebecca Hamilton on twitter. I kept seeing tweets hyping up the book, quotes from other readers reactions, etc. I couldn’t ignore it and I’m glad I didn’t. Soon after, I bought the ebook and started reading it that night. I only read a chapter or so that night, but I didn’t want to put it down. If I weren’t reading another book at the time I might have finished half the book right then and there,
Even though there isn’t always action happening at every point in the book, (what story can be only action) the book hooked me in and didn’t want to let go. A key factor that kept me reading was that I didn’t know where the book was going to go next. I mean I could tell that in the next chapter the characters were going to drive here or do something over there, but normally I can predict a major plot point well in advance. I never had that discovery with this book. It was a great feeling that left me always surprised.
Another thing I really loved about this book was how Sophia saw the world. The description of her surroundings and the people she encounters were always detailed and filled with color, smells, and sounds. There are many books out there that are good, but they can still lack strength in this area of setting. Other books can have strong description but lack in other areas. There was a perfect balance between the plot’s forward motion and the development of the scene. It didn’t get in the way of knowing what was happening, even in the middle of fight scenes.
I didn’t want to mention too much above about the characters, but now that I think about it, I should mention briefly about the supernatural characters: There are vampires, shapeshifters, and witches. Before you think “oh, another of those books,” please trust in me saying “no, this isn’t just another of those books.” Yes, I may not have read anything like this yet, and yes, there might be something similar on the market awaiting me to read it, but who cares? I don’t. I loved this book and everything about it. I didn’t think a book with vampires would interest me at all, but I was proven wrong very quickly into starting. It may also help that the mythology Hamilton creates around these supernatural beings doesn’t call them vampires and puts a reason for their creation (originally to save the world) into the story.
There is also a love story that is in the forefront of the plot, but with me being a guy, I feel safe saying that the romance factor is completely bearable and enjoyable. Not only did I not want to throw up, I also want to see where the next book takes it. This interest is increased with the way the book ends, but I don’t want to spoil anything by getting into that.
To wrap this up. I WANT the next book to be released tomorrow if not today. I would buy it right away and not put it down. I trust that it will be just as good as The Forever Girl was. For now I will have to just enjoy the aftermath of reading this one. Luckily there is a novella set for release in the summer which I look forward to reading.
One last thing to mention since it’s new to me and I want to help spread the word. I went into reading this book thinking that it was a young adult book. I thought so because almost everything similar seems to be thrown into that genre. I didn’t put much thought into this. A genre is a genre, but it doesn’t much affect my reading of the book once I get into it. With this being said, there is a push for making the genre “New Adult” known to more readers. At first I was like what’s that? Is it necessary? I think it is. I think it will help readers not only feel more comfortable reading some of the book, instead of feeling like they are reading a book written for “kids” (aka, below their level of reading.) I am not an authority on the subject, but I do support its invention (if that’s the right word for it.) New Adult can be used in association with works aimed at an audience of 18-30 year olds. I am a little questioning toward the higher end of this age range. I never really thought about what is an “Adult” book age range before though since I’ve been reading what are probably “Adult” books since high school. A link to an article by the author on this subject can be found in the link below.
Happy Reading (is that a good closing phrase? Probably too cheesy. Haha, it was worth a shot.)
Right off, I felt this deep connection to Sophia, the main character.
Growing up gay, I know what it's like to be isolated and ostracised. You see, Sophia practices Wicca and has the unfortunate chance of living in a small town. She has to continually contend with those looks and comments from the whole town, and from one citizen in particular. Nothing like an ultra-Conservative bigot to help you learn who Sophia really is.
Sophia is confident in who she is and who she wants to be, while at the same time being completely unsure of both (due to her ostracisation from her family and townmates), which makes her a very real, very relatable person.
She is not afraid to share her views, but rarely does so to avoid being further isolated. She's the kind of person who would rather take the harrassment and slights than bring them up to stop them, which would only cause more harrassment.
Now, enough of Sophia. On to the plot! (I'm not going to get too detailed because this is the first (and only) book in the series and to get incredibly detailed would unravel the book.)
From the beginning, you don't really know what's going to happen and that continues on throughout the whole book. This keeps you drawn in, wondering, waiting for what happens next.
We meet her mentor, friends, mother, and love interest fairly early in the book (think Night Huntress series, my review of which is pending), which leaves space for story-telling and world-building.
The world is slow to build on at first, but soon after meeting her love interest, it gains speed. From then on it alternates between story-telling and world-building, both being incredibly tied together. Sophia starts off clueless, but is then thrown into this other world. It's remarkably well-writ in it's simple complexity.
About mid-book (or maybe just past), we start learning that Sophia is not at all what she seems. She starts off as a Wicca-practicing human, slowly making the transition into Forever Girl Witch. A Forever Girl is a witch who is a reincarnation of their past lives. (That's all I'm saying on the subject of Forever Girls. Go read it and you'll find out.)
Even though, at the beginning and throughout the book, you've no clue what's going to happen, there's a very subtle background that only just ties into the plot in the beginning and middle, but, in fact, turns out to be the plot! (I didn't see it coming at all, which is very surprising. I rarely don't see what's going to happen, even for a first reading.)
And then, at the end, when you think you know what's going to happen and what's been happening, twist!, it turns on you.
It is truly a testament to Rebecca Hamilton's (follow her on Twitter) abilities that it surprised me. I didn't even have a vague idea where it was going until I got there (which doesn't often happen), which left me with a fierce satisfaction that I didn't know where it was going.
So, to conclude right back where I started: GO BUY IT! You will not regret it at all
I was gifted this e-book by the author herself and at first, though I had committed to reading it, I wasn't sure that it was for me. Urban paranormal romance? I just didn't think I was going to enjoy it. I've tried other novels in this vein before, but to no success. However, as it turns out, I was happily proven wrong by "The Forever Girl" by Rebecca Hamilton. I just finished it this morning and I am so pleased to review it! This is the story of Sophia Parsons, a girl with a problem. She has a static in her head, like a white noise that she cannot clear. It has become more than a nuisance for her. It is way more than that. In fact, this curse leads her to investigate her family and she finds way more than she bargains for. Way more. I am careful about what I say because I don't want to spoil this book for anyone.
So let me break down why I liked "The Forever Girl"
-Charaters: Rebecca Hamilton has a way with character. Many people completely blow first-person characterization. Not Ms. Hamilton. She seems to know her main character, Sofia, inside and out. As well, she seems to know that it is important to use the main character to get familiar and feel something for the other characters too. The chemistry between Sofia and Charles is fantastic and they seem to be real. This is the main thing I look for in novels. If I don't care about anybody, I will put it down quick.
-The History: There is quite a history in this novel and Ms. Hamilton has genuinely put some thought and research into what she has written. I typically think that flashbacks ruin a story, but Ms. Hamilton has made her flashbacks feel like flash forwards with their own story and an excitement all of their own. Fantastic!
-The Creatures: These creatures are so unique and unfathomably complex that you will wonder if this genre has not seen a revival. I literally could not believe how interesting these creatures are. Ms. Hamilton has taken the vampire genre and given an unusual shot in the arm, turning it into something almost unrecognizable and at the same time comfortable familiar.
-The Theme: One of the themes that found its way into this novel was that of acceptance and the evils of too much moral righteousness. There is nothing wrong with morality. However, there is something wrong with morality used as a baseball bat to club the life out of people. This book addresses this and I have to commend the writer on her themes.
Altogether, I cannot believe how much I enjoyed this book! I will be downloading the next book as soon as it comes out! Rebecca Hamilton has got another life long fan in me. She is an amazing person and a skilled, competent, and exciting author to read. I can't wait to see what she has in her pen for us next time!
The urban fantasy paranormal romance genre has somewhat of a stigma attached to it; you know going into it that it's either going to be fluffy and light, full of wish fulfillment and not very literary. Or, much more rarely, you come across a work that stretches the boundaries and presents something with a bit more meaning without being preachy, and contains prose that is equally entertaining and deep. The Forever Girl is that book, and I would recommend it to fans of the genre, new and old.
Sophia is one of the most realized and human characters in contemporary paranormal. This may seem like a broad statement, but I swear it's the truth. The entire cast is manifested on the page in such a real way that it's hard not to continue reading just to see what they will say and do next. The book is thrilling insofar as it opens up with immediate mystery and suspense. The tale of Mr. Petrenko is captivating and lead me to continue reading in the beginning, and if you have yet to read this book, it will have the same effect on you.
Sophia's voice can switch between hilarious and serious. Some of my favorite quotes (no spoilers):
"Books often made better company than people."
"Life isn't always going to give you the answers to the questions you're asking. Sometimes you have to make do with the answers you get." -Charles. "Thanks, Yoda." -Sophia
The references to Salem are spot on as far as the strength of the atmosphere, the immediate sense of being in that kind of paranoid and well-fleshed out environment. Elizabeth eating the rotten apple is a classic scene. So many of the flashbacks to Salem are well-rendered with intense and resonant imagery.
The villians are so menacing in this book, that you WILL feel the need to change your doorknobs to silver and line your doors and windows with Narcissus oil.
Poetic yet never indulgent, smooth prose drives the narrative forward.
I can relate to Sophia. I'm not a witch, but I do. The reason has to do with the fact that, yes, I had a somewhat problematic biological mother (to say the least). It's not mandatory to have had a damaging parent in one's life to enjoy this book, that is for certain, and I'm not trying to minimize the overral enjoyment and humor within this novel by highlighting the darker aspect of Sophia's relationship with her maternal figure at the start, yet it was one of the biggest draws I had to the story.
Vampires, elementals, witches, wiccans, weres, comedy, drama...there's a little bit of everything in this book, yet it's so connected that I never found myself having to suspend disbelief. Lyrical, well paced, easily accessible and emotional writing makes this a worthwhile read, and I personally can't wait for the sequel.
After reading the enticing summary and sample chapter, it grabbed me immediately so I jumped at the chance when I saw Rebecca's tweet about offering The Forever Girl to reviewers. It was nothing short of fantastic. My fears that this book would fall into the usual traps of paranormal romance were dissolved quickly. Here are the reasons why it fit me perfectly: Sophia is a Wiccan, and Rebecca does a great job describing the rituals and the essence of Wicca. Naturally, Sophia's "pagan" beliefs are not welcome in her small town. Same applies for homosexuals, if you ask the religious freaks that harass Sophia. I felt her frustrations like my own. To the point. I loved it's dark atmosphere, palpable anxiety and danger. Sophia is a troubled girl, haunted by her past and her present and an uncertain future, and the fatigue in her voice was constantly there. Rebecca made it easy to feel what it's like in Sophia's shoes. Also, Sophia is my age exactly, fresh out of college without a job. Another know-what-it-feels-like moment. Though she's not the funniest girl to be around, she felt real, and I always appreciate that. The mythical creatures described in the novel are well-developed and given more depth than simply being classified as vampires or witches. The romance is not rushed. Charles and Sophia, despite the instant attraction, are aware of the position they are in. They both stick to their own priorities, think things over and try to meet halfway, voice their concerns and keep cool heads when it comes to facing real-life issues, which makes for a very mature relationship. Something many paranormal romances lack. Might be because this one is not YA, rather new adult and I'd expect that anyway, but it was just nice, for a change. As for the romance per se-perfectly captured moments of love, care, passion and tenderness. There were bits that freaked me out! I'm not easily scared by books, but some scenes made me turn the light back on and double check that there are no ghost girls staring through my window. Final verdict: if you enjoy urban fantasy/paranormal romance, do yourself a favor and read The Forever Girl. It's an amazing high quality representative of its genre, well-written, exciting and gripping, a book that's almost impossible to put down.
Where do I begin? without giving away too much. In this book we are introduced to Sophia Parsons, who is a practicing Wiccan, the mystery of her story revolves around whispering voices that don’t make sense, but that is definitely not the only problem in her life, she has to deal with a bi-polar mother that disapproves her beliefs and a nosy neighbor.
I enjoyed the twists and the way many characters developed. The romance was well done I liked the sense of humor that made me feel more attached to the couple. I have to admit at times it was a little predictable but it was quickly fixed by the twists on the story.
As the voices become louder Sophia starts looking for answers and Charles may be the one able to give them, but is she ready for the truth? This book is full of action, with a dash of romance.
In this book you are in for a treat if you like paranormal. There are shape-shifters, witches, vampires and spirits. The most important thing is that, no, it’s not another one of those books. It’s not your typical paranormal story, it’s full of mythology and great world building.
I received this book from the author and I’m so glad I got to read it, definitely worth it. This book grabbed my attention right from the first chapter until the last page and took me to places I hadn’t read about before or at least no the way Rebecca Hamilton portrays them. I can’t wait for the next installment in the series.
I don't write many reviews, but I felt compelled to remark on this story because I enjoyed it so much. I was really captured from the first chapter and kept entertained all the way through (and I read to escape, so if I'm not entertained then I feel tricked and maltreated). This is one of those stories that is delightful in every way, the kind you want to keep reading through the night, the kind you hate to see come to an end.
There are plenty of synopses out there to explain the story, so I won't recover it here, but what I enjoyed the most was becoming indoctrinated into an entirely new mythology. This is a detailed, well-explored and original take on Wiccan dogma re-envisioned to explain vampires in a totally new and inventive way. Imagine if a witch (a real Wiccan witch, not the popularized halloween/wizard of Oz version) was explaining how vampires were made.
I also loved Charles. LOVED Charles. I would've read another 300 pages of Sophia and Charles. Rebecca, please note...
You can tell from the intricacies of the plot in this first book in the series that the author has a grand vision for this story overall. Just a wonderful read - and you don't have to like vampires stories to enjoy it. Highly recommended.
I really wanted to like the book, because at first Sophia seemed like an interesting character, and I appreciated how her Wiccan belief was portrayed - but the book soon turned unreadable for me. The world-building is done with random info dumps, character conflicts are solved in side sentences after being such a big deal for large parts of the book; I couldn't relate to any of the characters after a while, worst of all Sophia herself. Add a dash of bad cliché, and 2 stars is the most optimistic rating possible.
Since receiving my shiny new Kindle just a few months ago, I’ve been opened to the awesome world of new novelists. It has been a rocky adventure of books. Oftentimes awesome reads have sucked me in for days, other times I curse the heavens (in that very dramatic, TV movie sort of way) and then erase them from my Kindle immediately.
I’d seen some tweets concerning The Forever Girl by Rebecca Hamilton, but hadn’t fully sought it out. The cover was pretty, and the author’s tweets were fun. Finally, last week, after stumbling across the book for the millionth time, I took it as a sign. This book was intended for me.
I can say now, my only regret is that I didn’t buy it sooner!
I won’t give you too much back story. Partially because you can read the synopsis, but mostly I don’t trust myself with spoilers.
The bones of the tale are this: Sophia is an average girl, living in a painfully small town. She is very much the ‘Boo Radley’ of the neighborhood due to her Wiccan religion, and a very overzealous Christian woman who hopes to rid the town of her evil. As if being stalked by a crazy lady wasn’t enough, Sophia must deal with a constant hissing, a buzz that rattles around in her brain 24/7. She managed to go to college, and now hold a job, but the constant noise never leaves her mind. Curing her curse is her number one priority. That is until she meets a whole host of supernatural beings, some dangerous, some carrying very human burdens, and one downright sexy. She finds herself embroiled in a centuries old battle, first to find out about her own ancestry, then to save those she loves.
I loved this book, and I’ll give you just a few reasons why although I could probably come up with dozens.
I was a Wiccan for fifteen years. Rebecca Hamilton has been the ONLY fiction author I have ever read who described ritual, as well as Wiccan beliefs accurately and completely. For her insight and research, I applaud and respect her.
The main character Sophia drew me in from the beginning of the book. She has a crazy mother (who can’t relate to that) and is trying very hard to live her life, despite her hardships financially as well as medically (the constant noise in her head) As the book evolved my only complaint was Sophia’s fear of her own power and her raging self doubt. More than once, I wanted to hop into the story, shake her like a ragdoll and tell her she was strong enough to do anything! (There is also a sex scene I wouldn’t have minded hopping into as well. I’m telling ya, buy the book!)
Keeping the storyline moving was the lovable Charles. He is a member of the supernatural realm, and I don’t want to say too much on that, but he oozes sex appeal. He added some much needed humor to the extremely serious Sophia, and helped to keep the story moving at a good pace. Not to mention he sounds drop dead gorgeous, and there are a few scenes not intended for children in the book.
I have to tip my hat to Hamilton for my favorite line in the book. I don’t know if it was an intended knock on the ever popular yet poorly written Twilight series or not but as Charles pops up at Sophia’s window one night, she crossly asks him if he’s spying on her.
His response? “You’re not so interesting that I came to watch you sleep, darlin’.”
Rarely does a line literally make me laugh out loud as that one did.
Hamilton also manages to put together an excellent “supporting cast” of characters, including Sophia’s best friend Ivory, and Charles’s best friend Adrian. The characters are not only rich and welcoming additions, but they end up having very deep and meaningful backgrounds that assist in tying the entire story into a neat little bow. Personally, I love neat little bows, and so I was in reader heaven.
All in all the book was great. It wrapped up nicely while still leaving a few questions unanswered for the next book in the series. That book I will not hesitate to buy.
As I clicked The Forever Girl from my To-Read folder over to my Modern Classic folder, I stuck my kindle on my overflowing bookshelf, propping it next to the framed picture of my Grams and her pet cardinal from so many years ago, and smiled.
Don’t worry, you’ll understand why, the book is only a click away!
4.5 rounded up Every once in awhile I will read a book and know immediately that I am going to love it. That’s what happened with this book. I found it on sale, it sat in my tbr pile for only a little over a month, and I could barely put it down once I started.
“My mom died during an exorcism on my eighteenth birthday.” That’s how the book started, and I was hooked. No exorcisms to be had in this book though-thankfully. Witches, vampires, shifters, weird(as in really weird)children, this book has some really interesting characters, to say the least. The main one being, Sophia, a small town girl, in an unforgiving small town. Since Sophia is different, practices Wicca religion, and seems to be around when some people die, she is therefore the pariah of the town. One night a good friend of her’s, Ivory, takes her to a very secret nightclub. This night changes her life forever, and causes her to meet Charles. Charles is seriously swoon worthy, and their relationship reminds me a bit of Edward and Bella, from Twilight. You know, human girl, very protective, supernatural guy. Only these aren’t teenagers, and Charles, isn’t exactly a vampire.
This ended up being a pretty complicated read. There’s actually a story within the story, and at one point the reader is even transported back to the 1600’s, and the time of the Salem Witch Trials, and I am not talking about time travel. Things that happen in the past, absolutely can effect things in the future, at least they do in this story. Sophia starts out as a simple human(or so she thinks) twenty something year old woman, who grows so much during this story. She is certainly completely different at the end. A complex character, one that goes through hell, and comes out the other side the better for it. Charles was complex from the beginning, and a bit of an enigma for a part of the book. But even he grows and changes in this story as well.
Ms. Hamilton has written a story, although similar to Twilight in some aspects, is completely different as well. I found this read to be pretty fascinating, and really well done by the author. She takes a human girl, and supernatural guy, and spins a story about them into a complicated premise, rife with a myriad of strange characters and occurrences. New takes on vampires, shifters, witches, and other entities as well, all made for an almost non stop read for me. World building for days. No love triangle or cliffhangers either! On purpose I have left out anything I think would spoil the story for the reader, and that made it really hard to write this actually.
When I finished the book, I immediately went to buy the second book as I thought the story continued with Sophia and Charles. I was wrong, the author has continued the series with another main character that was not in this book. It does however, take place in the same world. I am on the fence about if I am going to read the next book now, although there are lots of 5 star reviews for it out there-as there are for this one.
A lot of you may have already read this one, but if you haven’t, I highly recommend this to adult paranormal romance/urban fantasy readers; it really is a different kind of read in a genre that seems to do the same things, over and over at times.(RabidReads.com)
I really enjoyed Ms. Hamilton’s writing style and her attention to detail. When I heard about The Forever Girl, I was excited but apprehensive about the main character (Sophie) being Wiccan. I was blown away; every assumption about the story line I had was shattered, the end result far superseded the blurb on the back of the novel. Ms. Hamilton has a knack for transporting the reader into the environment and making it feel like I was right there the whole time. When I started the novel I was so absorbed in the suspense of what was unfolding with Sophie and Charles I couldn’t (and didn’t) put the book down till I finished it. I would compare The Forever Girl, to being similar to Lacey Weatherford’s Of Witches and Warlocks, and Twilight by Stephanie Meyer. It was completely unique in the sense that Ms. Hamilton takes a completely new-to-me spin on immortality. While some of the characters are what you would normally think of as ‘traditional’ immortal beings, Sophie is a new unique spin (without giving too much away). Ms. Hamilton’s characters are all very unique and complex, so even the antagonists that you’d love to hate, you can’t. You understand their reasoning and in their own way, they are not villains but just characters that thru past events have evolved; motivated by power, love, survival. This novel will knock your socks off and keep you on your toes the whole time. The one thing I hate about discovering a series at its beginning is the wait that you have to endure for the next part to come out! It is like waiting for the next Harry Potter book to be released, just to find out what happens to the characters that have become integral parts of your life. Will we stay together with Charles and will we both survive? How much will Lauren be apart of our upcoming battle? Will Adrian find someone to love and that loves him? What is to become of the twins as well as the others? The waiting will be pure torture but I am sure that whichever way Ms. Hamilton takes Sophie’s story, it will far supersede all of my expectations.
The Forever Girl is the first in a new series by author Rebecca Hamilton and I absolutely loved it. Sophia is a tremendous heroine, easily loved within moments of beginning her story. She is an outcast in a teeny town, shunned because of how others perceive her. To make matters worse, she is virtually alone in the world, making her a character that you just want to hug and make everything all better for her. All of the characters were wonderfully developed, many of them throwing me for a loop as time went on. I loved that even the less central characters had their own distinct personalities and stories. That made for a fantastically fun read.
I loved the twists and turns that the plot took, keeping me turning the pages. Just as soon as I thought I had things reasoned out, something would happen to change everything. The story went back and forth in time periodically, but it did so seamlessly, strengthening rather than muddying the story. One of my favorite parts of the book was the dedication to accuracy and detail to Sophia's Wiccan ways. This can be lacking in witchy fiction and can be disappointing if you know better. So I truly appreciated that aspect.
I truly cannot wait for the next book in this series!
So first I must mention that I HATE leaving bad reviews. (BUT) I also HATE spending money on a book then it turns out rubbish. Which is why I decided to leave a review.
I read the reviews for this book & the blurb, put it on my wishlist for a few weeks & ended up buying it (after it dropped in price). I was honestly surprised by how much I really didn't enjoy this book, in fact I gave up about half way through. It wasn't badly written, it was the story that annoyed me. It was really wooden & unbelievable, the characters really bugged me - some of their interactions/conversations seemed so unlikely. Bits like; the guy is sitting in a dinner/cafe holding the girls had saying how they/she shouldn't be doing this - also he keeps showing up places she is but says she is stalking him? God it was so frustrating, the cafe/dinner bit tipped me over the edge & thats when i deleted it off my kindle and started a different book.
I have read so many books UF/PR that are better than this & don't have almost 5 star reviews - it really makes me wonder if some of the other reviews are real... ?
Well, this was a no brainer for me. Urban paranormal romance, spirits, vampires, weres, witches and an innovative redefining of all of the above. Throw in the torments of the present and visions of a tragic past, mix in enduring love and heartbreaking loss, and great teeming bouts of emotion as a consequence and you pretty much know what it was like to read this book.
It wasn't perfect. But what is? My only real issue came with the relationship between Sophia and Charles - I don't want to spoilt it though, so I'll just say that I found it somewhat unbelievable in parts, a little too restrained, although the morsels of 'heat' were deliciously tantalising. To me, this relationship read a bit like a YA novel. Two hot-bloodied, adults spending almost all their time together, for over six months, during death defying experiences, yet still they feel unable to come together? They eventually do, but it just takes a while.
It was therefore a little frustrating at times throughout the mid-section. I kept screaming at them, "Oh what's stopping you?" Don't get me wrong, I wasn't looking for scenes of flesh and sweat, rather the background nod that it had happened. I needed a reason why, I think. But thats just me. This tiny issue didn't spoil the experience of the book, mind you, because all other elements were delightful. And the ending wasn't a disappointment, either. :)
I really enjoyed the sweet romance/enduring love which came midway through the book, when the very distant past is bought into the present for a few chapters. Again, I don't wish to spoil it for you, so can't say why. Read it and find out :)
Sophia was a realistic heroine. She wasn't the archetypal weakling, nor the kick ass Buffy re-hash, I do so tire of. Don't get me wrong, she was no doormat, but her fragility was clear and unashamed, largely. I would award this book 4.5/5. It stuck with me for a while after I stopped reading. It was emotional, fun and I enjoyed every minute of the journey. I will follow this author and this series. Indeed, I look forward to the next exciting installment: Her Sweetest Downfall. Forever Girls Journals - Ophelia.
Sophia always knew she was "different." However, after a night out gone bad, she learns that being "different" is relative. In one night, Sopie's life is drastically changed when she is targeted by supernatural beings and thrust into the world of the paranormal. In order to stay safe, Sophia must accept her "curse," learn how to live in the new world of the supernatural, and hopefully keep her new lover.
It took me a little while to get into the story. At the beginning of the book, the pacing is pretty slow as Sophia slowly learns about the paranormal world and gets to know Charles, a man who seems attracted to her but also determined to avoid her. I felt that for a girl who has always been different, Sophia is pretty slow to accept the paranormal. She does spells herself, but still doesn't fully believe in the paranormal beings that she has seen with her own eyes.
As Sophia starts coming around and accepting the new revelations, the story begins to pick up. The enemy changes up a bit, the plot begins to thicken, and Sophia and Charles' relationship starts to heat up as well. I do like the relationship between Charles and Sophia, there is definitely no instant-love. While they are both very attracted to each other, they don't just jump into a full relationship, and I appreciate the believability of their relationship.
By the end of the story, I was fully engaged with the characters, and enmeshed in the plot. There are twists and turns in the end of the book that fully set up future books in the series and change the nature of the story. By then end of the book, Sophia is no longer a timid, "different," girl. She is a part of the paranormal world and there is much to come for her and Charles.
With an inventive and fresh paranormal world and a sweet, not overly sensual romance, The Forever Girl is a satisfying paranormal read.
There may have been a slow start, but the plot picks up and the paranormal world created is inventive and fresh. So, I rate The Forever Girl 3.5 out of 5 Stars. For readers who enjoy urban fantasy and paranormal books, I recommend giving this book a try.
When I bought The Forever Girl I was quite skeptical: will I enjoy it, even if it's a paranormal/vampire book? I saw a lot of positive reviews, so I decide to put all my preconceptions aside and give it ago. Reviews were right.
The Forever Girl is indeed a story of vampires and paranormal creatures, but it's also the story of a determined, Wiccan young lady, Sophia. Forget the weak Twilight saga princess, although Sophia can have some doubts every now and then she shows a strong personality that can inspire lots of young readers.
Aside of it, the general characterisation of the people involved in the story is pretty good - Ivory and Lauren are well characterised even though they are not the main protagonists, as well as Charles, Sophie's true love.
Sophie hears voices in her head, but at the very end she finds out her way in the world: being a creature with paranormal powers willing to fight the dark side of the magic.
Ms. Hamilton's writing style is detailed and quite coloured. The book would be easily translated as a screenplay for a movie - I wish it for the author as it'd be well deserved.
The Forever Girl is very nice book even for not-vampire fans like me. It's good to read any genres and when you stumble upon books like this you can enjoy also genres quite far from your usual tastes.
I was very excited to read The Forever Girl, as I had heard quite a bit about it, read some of its many reviews, and become aware of the controversy surrounding it. Like many others, I wanted to know what the big deal was. I've never posted a review on Amazon or Goodreads, but as I read The Forever Girl, I felt compelled to add my perspective to the unusually large pool of reviews, which I have come to believe are largely dishonest and bloated with unearned generosity. I have added a SPOILER ALERT in front of certain paragraphs, so READER BEWARE if you haven't read The Forever Girl. Let me begin by letting Mrs. Hamilton know what I found truly compelling about her novel. The character of the crazy old woman, whose radical Christian beliefs seemed to have driven her crazy, was written very well. She stayed true to her character throughout the story, with the nonsensical letters threatening Sophia and insisting she gift her house to God and quit being a heathen. This character brought something fresh to the story, and I really enjoyed her. SPOILER: I quite enjoyed how we come to realize that the animals in the woods with Sophia were actually Charles. It wasn't just dumped on us flat out with some awkward story that doesn't really fit with the dialogue. A little mystery is great. Like many others have pointed out, Hamilton's knowledge of the Wiccan belief system and practices is very well researched. She knows her herbs, rituals, and holidays very well! I commend her for this. Many writers skimp on the details, but with the use of knowledge in this story we come to realize just how important it is to Sophia and the progress she will make. SPOILER: The scene when Sophia happens across the address she has read about was very well done. We finally see a little action! Thalia and Circe stir things up for us a bit and we get to see that the story is taking a turn. The dialogue is great, and Thalia's "friends" give us a look at some new kinds of characters we haven't seen before. This standoff leaves us wondering about what is going to happen next. The creation of the Witch, or Spirit Elementals, was very unique. I love the story of how the universe created them, how people believed that their magic died with them, and how the Salem witch Trials was incorporated. It was all very believable. This was the most original part of the story. When we see Sophia beginning her research on her ancestor we have a suspicion that she is the one real witch that was prosecuted, but the mystery, and learning what is going on, is half the fun. SPOILER: The scene that seems to have gotten quite a bit of negative attention is one that I most enjoy. This would be when Sophia's house was set on fire. The crazy old woman finally lets loose, fulfilling the wishes of the latest letter she taped to her door. I am sure we were all heaving a sigh of relief when she managed to get herself and Red out of the house unharmed. The bleeding eyes scene really jarred me. It was brutal, and I liked it. But the best part was how well the twist was done. When I learned that the woman had been possessed, and this was what had been causing her years of insanity, it fell together wonderfully and made you feel bad for the lady. What everyone seems to be up in arms about is that Sophia did not press charges, but it makes perfect sense to me. Who would press charges on a little old lady who had no idea what she was doing? Wouldn't that just be cruel? Maybe that's just me. SPOILER: The next thing I must compliment was yet another twist, (Hamilton seems to enjoy throwing these in) when Ivory tries to stab Charles. We realize the extent of Ivory's dismay but are completely blind to what is happening and why. While I enjoyed the new problem, I must admit I was quite frustrated that Sophia was not as interested in what happened, but I will get back to that. What I most enjoyed here was the memory scene. Where Sophia finally does realize what is going on. It is intense, and I loved reading about Ivory's story as she followed Elizabeth's spirit throughout the years. SPOILER: Lastly, the mausoleum scene, I have mixed feelings about this. I liked how again we are introduced to the ritual that enabled Sophia to erase Ivory's memories. Only this time she was able to use this to help Charles and Adrian through the tunnels of this underground building. But, the ritual (Ignisvisum) is poorly explained. How is it that she can read through their minds without erasing their memories, like she did Ivory? But other than that, we are introduced to the true head of the family, and we get to see what it is really all about. We see who the people are that took Charles' parents and why they want Sophia so badly. Now that I've highlighted what I think makes this book decent, I'll now discuss what's wrong with the book and why I've given it one star. Beginning with the many counts of glaring plagiarism that miraculously no one else has pointed out. I can not attest to how many times any of The Forever Girl fans have read the Twilight novels, but I can tell you that I myself have read each book at least eight times. Sickening, I know. But I am a sucker for an amazing love story with true original qualities. And I am a stickler for detail. So here we go: After the first four chapters, we are finally introduced to the main male character we all come to know as Charles. And in chapter six we get our first taste of long awaited action. Within Chapters fix and six, we come to realize that Charles can shape shift and that a man known as a Cruor is after Sophia. A Cruor is a made up species that is really just a vampire with a fancy new name. So here we have our first Twilight parallel. Not a big one mind you, but only just the beginning: shape shifters and vampires are the premise of the story. In chapter eight we are introduced to trackers. The very same kind of trackers that we find in the Twilight series. The "get a whiff of your scent or a read on your brain and I can find you anywhere" kind of trackers. Only, wait! Sophia doesn't have an aura, so she can't be tracked. This is eerily similar to the circumstance of no one being able to read into Bella's thoughts, and her not being able to be tracked for that reason. Next we learn that some cruor can influence the minds of other cruor, and human alike, by messing with their emotions. Just like Jasper, again from Twilight, can change the emotions and influence minds to help or to hurt those around him. To continue, in Chapter Nine we are told that the saliva of a cruor can heal small wounds. This can only remind us of the last book in the Twilight series, when Edward is frantically trying to seal Bella's puncture wounds with his tongue to keep his venom from seeping out: healing her wounds with his saliva. Some more little things easy for the reader to miss would be that all of these creatures tend to drink animal blood instead of human blood. We are given a brief explanation for this, but still it is hard to ignore. The scene that had me pulling my hair out in frustration was the day after Sophia had been attacked, when Charles comes to meet her where she works, at a restaurant. This whole scene derives from Twilight. It was almost exact, down to certain lines. Charles lets Sophia ask him questions, as long as they are not questions that will get her into more trouble or give her too much information about himself. Then, here comes the waitress. We all remember this from the movie, even if you didn't read the book. She asks Charles if she can get him anything, completely ignoring Sophia, until Charles orders a drink and does not make eye contact with the waitress. The waitress is aggravated when she is forced to ask Sophia what she wants. She is obviously not happy that Sophia, not she, is sitting with this handsome guy. When she comes back to make to check on him, she asks if he is sure she can't get him anything else. The same words the waitress in Twilight uses. Beyond that we have the constant fluttering stomach, fast pulse, and blushing. Again, not a very big thing, but in Twilight this was a huge deal because Bella, like Sophia, had never been in a real relationship before. Next we have Charles wanting to stay distant from Sophia so that she cannot get involved in his world. And then later his words that are almost the exact same as Edward's when he claims he is compelled to protect her, that he does not want to keep resisting being around her. Then we have some more trivial moments that remind us of Twilight when Charles shows up at Sophia's window creeper-style, he makes fun of her out of date vehicle, and admits he has a hard time understanding her. All of these being some of Edward's favorite things to do. Now I will move on to the larger examples. Let's begin with Sophia's parallel to Bella. Bella's thoughts can not be read by any of the vampires that contain the power to do so, none of their special abilities can affect her, and she cannot be tracked. Much like Sophia has no aura, this makes her immune to the effects of the powers of those around her, and she also cannot be tracked. Also, we learn that these Cruor originally fed from the blood of the corrupt, which Edward confesses to Bella he used to do. Which bleeds into the fact that Charles shamefully admitted to Sophia that he used to do this; much like Edward told Bella he was guilty of the same. From here we move on to the fact that Thallia's queen wants to turn Sophia and use her for her abilities. Or for what her abilities could bring for their benefit. Sophia is a rare specimen, much like Bella, and she wants her for their own. And they are going about ways to make this happen, just like Marcus, the main vampire of the Volturi, who is much like their king, only opposite as he looks thousands of years old while the queen in The Forever Girl looks fifteen, tries his hardest to obtain Bella and have her turned so that her powers will peak and he can use them for his own reasons. We are told that the only way Charles' kind can age is if they are no longer shape shifting. Just like how the shape shifters in Twilight can not age until they also give up their shape shifting abilities. Then we have again a Bella/Sophia parallel. Sophia is in a constant battle to get Charles to give up shifting so he can age and be with her until they die, while Bella is in a constant battle that makes more sense. She wants Edward to turn her so that she will quit aging, and they can be together forever. Each is a constant battle between the couples, and each male has a reason to keep these things from happening. Now, in a scene where we get a glimpse of what Sophia is capable of, we see her powers take on the shape of a dome, if only for a few seconds at a time. This is not explained; it just seemed like it was tossed in. Bella, also has abilities by the last book of her saga. And guess what it takes shape of? A dome! A big freakin' dome. I'm sure people will pick apart these instances and claim they aren't directly plagiarized from Twilight, and for the sake of argument I'll allow that maybe Hamilton did it subconsciously, accidentally, or that it's a complete coincidence. Okay. The Forever Girl still faces a major dilemma, in that too much of its story directly parallels the most famous book of its genre. Deliberate or not, these similarities render The Forever Girl horribly unoriginal and derivative, and if this book ever hits bestseller status (real bestseller status, not Amazon Top 100 for a day) Hamilton is going to face some very, very angry Twilight fans. But let's move on to the book's other problems. I will say that I was very put off before the end of the first chapter. I was mentally exhausted trying to read this story. I quite literally had to make myself keep turning the pages. Normally I wouldn't bother continuing, but due to the controversy surrounding the book, I wanted to push on. Nothing of consequence happened until the sixth chapter, and then again not until about fifty percent of the way through the book. In the first chapter, we are loaded with what is called info dumping: a big pile of information that should be revealed delicately and naturally throughout the story but is instead slapped in our faces with awkward dialogue instead. This makes me think that Hamilton doesn't believe we have the capacity to figure things out as we go along, or that she just wanted to get it all out into the open without having to figure out the proper circumstances for such conversations to take place. We experience this again in chapters six and seven, complete with unbelievable dialogue, too many names for too many different kinds of characters, and little organization of thought. I blame this on the info dumping. If we had been introduced to the different types of characters as the story went along, not all at once, they would have been easier to remember. Along with the unbelievable dialogue come unbelievable circumstances. When Sophia see's strange, cloaked figures roaming down her road with glowing eyes and no real shape, it's not a big deal to her. She ponders for a couple of minutes and then goes straight to sleep. Seriously? If that happened to me, I'd be locking my doors, calling people, and looking for a change of pants after peeing myself. But Sophia not only goes to sleep, she doesn't even think about them again until several chapters later. And speaking of crazy circumstances that make no sense, why does Sophia begin to freak out about all of the dead animals in the forest, and the two live ones with glowing green eyes, but when she sees her friend, she dismisses the carnage immediately, says nothing to her friend. A few more things: Why did we get a bunch of information about Lauren before we met her, but almost no information about Ivory when we do meet her? It was confusing that we learned more about the character we hadn't met yet. But then here comes Ivory and they are supposed to be best friends. Why was there no information on how her mom came to be a part of the crazy lady's basement church? It is kind of a big deal when the main character's mom turns out to be loony, as she is a big part of her life. Wouldn't there be some back story? I will say, though, that I was enticed by the fact that this crazy mother was keeping Sophia's secret. It kept me wondering why Sophia never told the police what really happened, why Sophia didn't believe she deserved the kindness of the shopkeeper's wife. Though I was confused as to why the shopkeeper's wife wasn't suspicious of her, while the rest of the town was. To go ahead and get all these strangely made circumstances out of the way, I am going to skip around in the story a little bit. This is going to be a bit of a SPOILER. I want to know why Ivory had to kill the shopkeeper to keep Sophia from going to jail. All Sophia did was steal some food. If she had told the man what she was doing after she was caught, and even then if he decided to press charges she MIGHT have been in jail overnight. But that would most likely not have happened, since she wasn't even eighteen. Also, how did the mom know about the runaway? Sophia tells us that she did not want to take food from her own house because her mother would get angry. But when Sophia shows up with the food for the girl, her mom is already there, giving her food. So how did the mom know, and why would she give the girl the food? When Sophia acted as if her mom would never allow such a thing, this is all very confusing. At first Sophia says her mom is cruel, but later in the book when she is telling the story of the girl in further detail she says that it was her mother's kindness showing through her when she wanted to help the girl. This is very contradicting and jumbled. I don't even feel like my explanation made sense because I am so muddled just thinking about it. Something else I did not get was how Ivory could be so mad when Sophia finally told her about her problem, and she did not find this strange. They had been friends for years, and when Sophia comes out with this, she does not find it at all strange that instead of maybe being a bit skeptical, she was just downright pissed? And she didn't try to talk things out with her best friend, aside from calling her once. She just shrugged it off because it was more convenient to the story. This seems to be happening a lot. SPOILER: When Sophia stays with Lauren for an extended time, why is it that they will not go after her here in order to keep from exposing themselves, when they have already done so once, when they came across the address? Not only did they expose themselves, but they successfully wiped her memory with no problem. Why didn't they just do that again, and snatch up Sophia? If Sophia had just moved straight in with Charles it would have made more sense that they wouldn't come after her there. Sort of. But I feel that due to the fact that they had such amazing trackers, they would have been able to find Charles, and capture them both. The trackers make a huge hole in this story. Another circumstance of Sophia's annoying reluctance to not care about anything in a crazy nonsensical way would be when the woman starts to show up in the yard. This crazy chick shows up, glaring at her through windows, and at one point her face is pressed against the pane and her eyes are gushing blood; yet, Sophia says nothing to her boyfriend who happens to be supernatural and might be able to tell her what is going on. She just goes on about her business like this is no big deal. Like this figure stalking her might just be checking her out. Nothing menacing about that! SPOILER: Let's take a tiny break from Sophia and talk about Ivory for a second. We witness Ivory's memories over quite a stretch of time; hundreds of years, even. All of this time, she is with a man she calls her sire; he is the man who turned her. Throughout her memories we recall a bit of annoyance towards this man. But he does not seem to boss her around, and when he asks things of her, she brushes him off and goes about her business, and he never seems to care. But all at once she decapitates this man she has been with for hundreds of years! She could have just left him, like she had done once before, but instead she takes the radical route and cuts his head off! And what is even stranger is that she has no emotions about this. No hate, no grief, no guilt, no nothing. This just does not seem logical. Back to Sophia. There is one point after she drinks Charles' blood that she asks him if the reason she is tapped into his emotions is because she is a forever girl. But this makes no sense as we have already learned that anyone who drinks a vampire's blood has heightened senses and the ability to see memories, and feel what they are feeling. Why was this even added in? Just to reiterate the fact that she is a forever girl? We already know this. Again, we as readers need to be trusted, to understand these things the first time they are stated. Also, what was with the dream she had about the dead sharks on the rocky beach, with the four girls in the forest? I understand that all the girls are her, but this scene looks like it was taken from The Craft. There is never even an explanation for this dream. We just see sharks on a rocky shore, for no reason. Another issue I have is Red. At one point Sophia thinks about her grandfather having a bird in his house and how she used to like the bird. She says that this is the reason she is drawn to Red. But it clearly states that what drew Sophia to the bird was his broken wing and how she could not stand to leave him there to die. Also, what does not make sense is why he would not leave when his wing heals but for some reason flies off when he's in some strange land months later. SEE BELOW COMMENT(S)FOR THE REST OF REVIEW
Well, The Forever Girl was better than Twilight. Unfortunately, that’s really its strongest selling point. I didn’t hate it. It simply wasn’t anything special, and I probably won’t be reading the next books in the series.
I had some problems with Rebecca Hamilton's characters. Frankly, Sofia annoyed me. She had a few witty things to say occasionally, but for the most part, her sarcastic dialogue came off as whiny. The fact of her being Wiccan, the most prominent feature of her characterization, seemed thrown in as an afterthought, and wasn’t all that crucial to the plot. From the start of the novel, Sofia is portrayed as a woman exiled from the approval of society, and a believer in the supernatural. Given this however, she takes a suspiciously long time accepting and becoming a part of the supernatural world. Even then her actions are only aimed at her own problems and protecting herself. On several occasions (and I’m being vague here to avoid spoilers, if you’d like more specifics, please ask me in a comment) I found of her assumptions and actions extremely selfish if not downright insulting. Otherwise she was bland and typical. Had these characters been placed in a high school setting, they would have easily fit in.
The love interest Charles, was sadly only that, a love interest. If you removed the fact of his being ridiculously good looking and hopelessly in love, he has nothing left. Now I like picturing ripped, muscled guys with luxurious hair, swearing their eternal love as much as the next girl, but they have to have something else too! He was interchangeable with Edward. Just another extremely hot immortal who, for some reason is hopelessly in love with an (almost) teenage girl with no life experience and not much to say for herself.
There was one side character I did like. Actually, only one, whose story had substance and real epic sadness. Unfortunately, her story was not well explored, and her character was treated, in my opinion, harshly and without any consideration of her feelings. The other side characters were all the typical stereotype villains or heroes as usual.
As for the plot, it was predictable. Hamilton does have some imaginative ideas here, but it doesn’t go beyond giving new but names to the old fantasy standbys. The setting wasn’t particularly memorable. If I were a centuries old immortal with some serious magic, I wouldn’t be hanging around dive bars in small town Colorado picking up girls barely out of high school if you know what I mean. It is clear however, that Rebecca Hamilton really did try with her writing style. Many of her descriptions were cleverly worded, and for a debut self-published author, it was a pretty good effort. Clearly some thought went into this.
All in all, The Forever Girl is a fun read that may have had potential with a few more rewrites. Even though it isn’t young adult literature per se because of the brief, tame sex scene, I would limit my recommendations for this book to those pursuing a high school education. My experience was similar to that of watching an old episode of Charmed. Simple, cute, fun, but ultimately forgettable.
(Side Note: If you’re reading The Forever Girl in the hopes that the beautiful cover art might have something to do with the story, you can forget it. It’s completely irellevant)
I have had my eye on The Forever Girl for a while, and I think I have an eBook of it on my old eReader so when the opportunity came up to join the blog tour for it with Dark World Books I jumped at the chance. The synopsis alone drew me in, but added with an amazing cover it was easy to say yes.
Sophia is wicca, add her family history to the story and people in her town blame her for everything going wrong or people getting sick, saying she is setting curses on them. Enter Ivory, one of Sophia's friends who takes her to a new club and that is where the action starts. She ends up mixed up in things she never dreamt about, but has a Knight in shining armour to save her, Charles. I will admit that when I started reading The Forever Girl I was distracted easily, but I quickly found myself hooked within the story and found it hard to put down. During the story there is a natural progression, not only between the relationships and friendships between the characters, but also with how we learn new things along with Sophia and each new revelation was a surprise that added new twists and turns to the plot.
Charles truly was a knight in shining armour, and in the beginning he is there for Sophia, whether she wants him there or not, and one scene in particular at the cafe had me in stitches. I loved Sophia's snarky answers to his questions or statements and I was literally laughing out loud reading it. The Forever Girl was by no means a quick read, but it was one I enjoyed. I never knew what would happen next or what turn Sophia and Charles would take. When a secret is revealed to Sophia about someone she cares about I was shocked, it was not something I expected, but the resulting flashback that follows this event was very insightful and I enjoyed getting to see some characters histories and the meaning behind the title.
The Forever Girl was a book I really enjoyed and I would definitely read any books that follow Sophia and see what her next adventure is.