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You think seeing ghosts is weird? Tell me something I don't know.
My childhood best friend Jeremy, happens to be a ghost.
My life is a puzzle, and the biggest piece missing has been my dad. Since his disappearance when I was six it's been tough, but Jeremy has been by my side through it all.
But now Jeremy has gone missing too and I feel like I'm never going to get all the answers I've been looking for.
Fate intervenes when Hugh, a real live college beefcake, starts taking an interest in me. He divulges that he also shares my little "gift" of seeing the dead I know I'm finally getting closer to finding all the pieces.
However, the more the puzzle is completed, the more questions I have.
Senior year is hard enough as it is, but clearly I like a challenge.

Approx 220 pages in print

Other books in this series:
Capture (Cryptid Tales 2) AVAILABLE NOW
Settle (Cryptid Tales 3) Coming in March of 2013
Elevate (Cryptid Tales- Lacey) Coming in Summer 2013

Follow her latest releases brinacourtney.com

166 pages, Kindle Edition

First published December 3, 2011

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About the author

Brina Courtney

21 books317 followers
Brina Courtney is a young adult author obsessed with chocolate, crime shows, and fantasy movies. She's spent the last few years as an elementary teacher and a high school cheering coach. She lives in a small town in Pennsylvania with her husband and two very loud, small dogs.

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5 stars
412 (31%)
4 stars
356 (27%)
3 stars
337 (25%)
2 stars
135 (10%)
1 star
74 (5%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 183 reviews
14 reviews3 followers
April 18, 2013
The romance isn't developed enough to qualify this as a romance novel. The research on the basic scientific principles is nonexistent.
Finally If you plan on introducing an arch enemy halfway through the book give us some meat to work with. I neither hated nor feared the bad guy when the conclusion of the story came.

I really don't think that this should be classified as a basic YA or at the least should be for a mature YA audience.

While the characters fit into the YA genre well enough I found the romance progression very underdeveloped and as such unbelievable.

Profile Image for Cora Tea Party Princess.
1,323 reviews802 followers
July 16, 2015
I did enjoy this, but it was a pretty average YA PNR and it fit easily around the standard formula: she's always been speshul and OMG he's so fit and INSTA LOVE and then save the day cause together they're EXTRA speshul but oh wait this is a series so maybe the bad guy will come back.

That being said, sometimes you need a predictable read, something you know which is going to do its job. Reveal was entertaining and it did have it's standout points. The whole Cryptid idea was a pretty original take on what could have been bog-standard and just the same as so much other paranormal YA material.

None of the characters really made much of an impression on me, but I liked the ghost aspect. But then again, I love ghost stories.

I will probably read on in this series, because it really was an enjoyable read and I got through it pretty quickly considering how little times I was actually reading it.

I received a copy of this for free via NetGalley for review purposes.
Profile Image for Aeicha .
832 reviews101 followers
December 11, 2011

Brina Courtney’s REVEAL offers an intriguing and smart blend of sci-fi, the paranormal, and romance. As a debut novel, it is quite impressive.

High school senior Shay can see, hear, and speak to ghosts. A secret she has revealed to no one. But ghosts aren’t the only thing that haunts her. Her father’s mysterious and sudden disappearance years earlier has left her with big questions. After meeting Mr. Tall, Dark , and Handsome himself, Hugh, Shay begins to learn things about who or what she is that she never believed possible. With a dark enemy approaching, Shay must quickly learn to harness and use her abilities.

REVEAL has a very original and innovative premise. I’ve never read a book about cryptids-paranormal beings with animal-like traits- before and Courtney’s take on this idea really drew me in and fascinated me. REVEAL is a quick and gripping read. I read it in one sitting, not wanting to put it down chapter after chapter because I simply had to find out what happened next.

The paranormal elements are exciting and, while not original in themselves, Courtney has definitely added her own refreshing spin to them. The sci-fi elements are smart and intriguing, and Courtney has clearly done her research in order to present these elements as accurately and realistically as possible.

I found myself easily caught up in Shay’s story and the book had me captivated beginning to end. However, the pacing didn’t seem entirely balanced throughout the novel. At times it flowed nicely and at other times it either dragged a bit or moved too fast. The timeframe, or how much time passed between events or chapters, wasn’t always made clear and I found myself confused at times by this. But overall I didn’t find this overly distracting.

As I stated above, the sci-elements are innovative, yet realistic. For the most part, Courtney presents these elements with intelligence and explains them thoroughly. I do, however, feel like there were some explanations or sci-fi elements that felt forced or were presented without reasoning. Of course, this is only the first book in a series, so these things may be further explained in future books.

Courtney does an excellent job of building up suspense and intrigue, while at the same time focusing on the emotional drive and state of her characters. And while the paranormal and sci-elements are a dominating force in this book, it also has a really great emotional charge as well. Courtney has created a very realistic and moving portrayal of a family dealing with a devastating loss.

The ending will leave you with your mouth agape and wanting the next book RIGHT NOW.

The characters in this book are overall pretty likable. You get to know the characters pretty well and I found them interesting. However, I do think they could use a bit more development and layers.

I like that Shay is neither terribly stereotypical nor overly unique. Yes, she can communicate with ghosts, but Courtney has not gone the clichéd and easy route of making Shay a social outcast or deemed as “goth”. For the most part, Shay is “normal” or average, which is not a bad thing at all. I actually really like the contrast between how normal she is as a person compared to how abnormal her abilities are. She’s a smart, realistic teenage character. I did like her a great deal, yet I had a hard time really connecting with her though. Even with the amount of information she learned and the obstacles she was faced with, I don’t feel as if she really grew or evolved as a character…at least not yet.

Hugh makes for an interesting enough romantic counterpart to Shay, and I liked that there was more to him than simply being Shay’s love interest. I found Hugh equal parts swoon-worthy and frustrating. There’s an awkwardness to his character that is less endearing and more, well awkward. But, I do think there’s plenty of room for him to evolve as a character.

There are a few likable minor characters, such as Shay’s friends Olivia (human) and Jeremy (ghost); Hugh’s mom; and Shay’s brother, creating a well-rounded cast of characters.

The romance between Shay and Hugh plays an important role in REVEAL. For the most part, I enjoyed and rooted for this romance. There’s a sweetness to this first love, but also an enticing and hot chemistry between the two as well.

I do think the relationship developed a bit too fast for my liking. I’m not a fan of insta –love, and while this relationship is not quite as instant as insta-love romances tend to be, it did progress quickly. I would have liked to see bit more falling in love and relationship development.
But it is a relationship that has the potential to be epic and grand.

MY FINAL THOUGHTS: REVEAL is an impressive debut from Brina Courtney. It has its issues and areas that could use improvement, but overall it offers a captivating, creative and enjoyable read.
Profile Image for Claire.
136 reviews18 followers
August 15, 2012
Holy cliffhanger!

Reveal was really easy to get into, and I didn't really want to put it down. It's about a high-school senior, who can speak with the dead. She meets her beau, a college student, who has his own powers, and answers to her questions about who she is and where she comes from. From conversing with the dead, shape-shifting, telepathy, and battling evil, there was lots to enjoy.

Profile Image for Sophia (Bookwyrming Thoughts).
660 reviews231 followers
December 18, 2014
Reveal is the first in Brina Courtney's Cryptid Tales series and tells about a person who has animal genes mixed with human genes, and have animal-like traits as a result. Shay, the main character of the book, has the ability to speak to ghosts ever since she was little and it reminds me much of Angel Lawson's Wraith trilogy. As much as a human with animal genes and traits seem interesting, the execution was poor.

There doesn't seem to be a plot. I don't typically buy – actually, this was free on Amazon – books and then read them right away. So while I do look at the synopsis when I first see the book, I don't actually remember it... about a year later when I do get around to reading the book. But Reveal? Shay's a paranormal and she speaks to ghosts. She meets a guy who seems to have golden eyes when she looks at him sometimes. Great! But after 30% of nothing interesting going on, I just didn't have the patience to continue. Maybe there is a plot somewhere out there, but I didn't choose to stick around.

If there's one thing Brina Courtney's nailed, it's voice. Shay has a LOT of voice. However, it may have contributed to the downfall and slow pacing of the book as well. While there's a lot of voice, Shay sounds as though she's talking too much and rambles a lot – much like a teacher who drones on and on forever in a lecture. In reality, if I met Shay, I would probably have tuned her out. Actually, I partially tune my history teachers out. Somehow I still do well in the long run.
I smile, I love when she goes shopping, we always get great stuff in.

It doesn't help even more when there are sentences that can be divided into two and they don't flow well when bunched together into one. >_< That above sentence, for example, can be divided into two and there should be a hyphen. No commas needed. I could be wrong, but my instincts are nagging me and it feels weird.

*sigh* I thought this would be a unique paranormal book. But no... it didn't go out so well. Perhaps if the concept was written in a different way or there seemed to be a plot a little early on, I would have continued. In fact, I probably could have enjoyed it.
Original Rating: 1.5 out of 5
Original Review posted at Bookwyrming Thoughts
Profile Image for Carrie (Book Fairy) Fort .
758 reviews168 followers
October 2, 2013
Review is for all 3 books

#1 "If I had only known then, what I know now, I never would have let him go."

"He loves you Shay, just admit to yourself and embrace it. Embrace who you are."

"We're connected he and I and, we're in this whole mess together."

#2 “Which scares the hell out of me. How did I end up in a war? I’m only eighteen years old for goodness sakes!”

“Tonight we fight for our freedom. For who we are and for what is our birthright.”

“You don’t have much of a choice. Time to own up.”

#3 “She's nothing like I expected and yet she’s everything that I've ever wanted, but I don't know how to tell her. I love you seems like such a simple phrase that doesn't really express everything she makes me feel.”

“We have each other. That’s how this all started remember? Maybe it has to end that way as well.”

“I watch his eyes as something in their golden flecks hold an honest love I never thought I’d have. And as I watch the power swirl around in them I realize he’s right. He’s all I’ll ever need. When this is all over, if it ever is, I could survive on that. Being with him is like oxygen, there’s no way I could live without it.”

“Go home, Shay Tafford. Go home and rule for your mother. She’s proud of you.”

Man what an amazing ride this has been! Watching Shay and high together has been such an amazing adventure! I'm sad it's ending but, I have a feeling these characters aren't doing speaking to our author!
Shay is Cryptid as is Hugh! When Shay meets Hugh her life explodes into craziness but! also in love! They are perfect together. In these tales you see them fight darkness, crazy power suckers, and save so many wondering souls and people that even though there is so much fighting going on you see the love this author out into this book!
Shay can't believe how lucky she is to have someone like Hugh in her life! They are part of the prophecy I won't tell you what it is and if it comes true but, I will tell you this books opens up an amazing world of paranormal that I haven't read about in a long time. Mothman, Harpy, Shifters, and people who can see and talk to Ghosts.
There are some amazing moments of bravery, love, and darkness in these stories! I would recommend it to all paranormal lovers!

I was given these books in exchange for an honest review (MMW)

Profile Image for Shesaidbooks.
5 reviews6 followers
December 16, 2011
I read this book as an ARC from the author

Loved it- 4.5 / 5 stars (only because the ending angered me... I wanted more.)I LOVED this book. If you read my first post, you know that I look for many things in a fantastic book, and this book had all 5 of those components. It's the perfect blend of paranormal thriller, and romantic suspense, without being tacky or cheesy.

If you are interested in a great storyline, relatable and lovable characters, appropriate and modern language, and edgy, on- the- edge- of- your- seat reading, then please... look no further. First, let me say I was honored to have read this book but I was more proud to be able to say that it was a book that my best friend poured her heart and soul into. I read this book in one day- it is that gripping. The plot is solid, but has many twists and turns that will keep the book in your hands until the last page, when you will undoubtedly want more. Shay, the main character, is extremely relatable, and I felt like I knew her in and out by the end of the book. Her character is rock solid, and creates plenty of room for an entire series. If you enjoy a thrill from a book, please, do yourself a favor, and buy this book. It is released at MIDNIGHT TONIGHT!!!!! You won't be sorry....

That's What Kels Said

You can find this review and more like it at www.thatswhatshesaidbooks.blogspot.com
Profile Image for Kelly.
4,901 reviews169 followers
January 16, 2012
Ghosts, a missing dad, random psychic powers... YES! I read the short story prequel to this book recently and LOVED the world. So, I picked up Reveal and jumped straight in.

Where to begin? Shay is a girl who has found a way to hide a very big part of herself from everyone she holds dear. The one person who did know her secret - the ghost Jeremy - was accidentally banished by Shay's careless words. So when she finds another someone with the ability to hear ghosts, of course she's drawn to him. Now, Hugh did some things that I probably would have punched him for. He kept secrets, he effectively kidnapped her (in a non-creepy way, mind you, but he still spirited her away without her consent) and he was a borderline jerk about it when she called him on it. That said, I still liked the guy. I can get behind a character that doesn't make all the right choices when they're cool and have sexy yellow eyes. Why, yes, I am shallow. Thank you for noticing.

Overall, it was an interesting take on how shapeshifters and various other psychic powers came about. Shay is intriguing and the setup for what's to come left me staring. Well done, Brina Courtney. Well done.

-Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal
Profile Image for Alexia Purdy.
Author 128 books1,090 followers
February 13, 2013
What an intriguing concept for a paranormal series! I’ve yet to read about Cryptids, so this sounded like a different kind of paranormal for me. I loved it! It follows a teen named Shay who is trying to graduate from high school and leads a pretty normal life. Or is it? Besides the fact she can see and hear ghosts, it’s pretty ordinary, right? At least until she meets Hugh, a hunky beefcake who studies at the local college where Shay’s mom works. She feels funny around him, and loves the fact that she can help him out with some calculus (and maybe something more?)

But these two meeting could be more than a coincidence and their bond supposedly is destined to shatter a darkness that lurks around both their families. Will it be enough to save them all?

I was sucked into this story, it was fascinating! I love the concept of shape-shifters in this one. I rarely see any shape-shifters that are other than werewolves so I really looked forward to finding out more about Shay’s abilities and her powers. Even if it didn’t have shape-shifters and was just about ghosts, it was awesome and I loved how the storyline included them into the details and made for a very fascinating, scary and great start to a series. I can’t wait to see what happens next!
Profile Image for Raven.
37 reviews
January 24, 2012
Interesting and fun- another fast and easy read. The focus remained on a few key characters without throwing in unnecessary detail- straight and to the point. However, that is why I am giving four stars and not five. I feel that some of the explanations given to Shay about who/what she is and how she became that way were rushed and thrown together. I had to re-read a few paragraphs to grasp those particular points in the story to an otherwise self-explanitory book. I also feel Shay's reactions were a bit unrealistic; HOWEVER, I did notice that her reactions in front of others- particularly people she did not know well- were different from those she had when by herself, so it may have been a character "quirk". I loved how the story was told from Shay's point of view, and her thoughts and dialogue were pretty dead-on to teenagers I know. At first, the instant love between the two characters seemed to be rushed as well; but then I remembered that young love is often rushed and immediate, and they are not in typical circumstances. All in all, the story different and well told, and the ending literally had me saying aloud, "No! She left it there?!" I want to continue the story NOW.
Profile Image for Raine Thomas.
Author 32 books990 followers
January 12, 2012
I began my journey with Ms. Courtney's work through her short story, IGNITE, which I truly enjoyed. That story gave me a brief introduction to Jeremy, a character in REVEAL. I found it enlightening, and a fair sampling of what to expect in this book.

REVEAL was a great read. It follows the perspective of Shay, a teenage girl who we find out is something more than human. She can see and hear ghosts, a trait that belongs to a type of being called a Cryptid. Her connection to Jeremy, the character in IGNITE, is made clear from the onset of the story and ties in neatly with her abilities.

We're led through a tale of discovery as Shay learns more about herself and the mysterious disappearance of her father. A child-ghost named Wendy adds a creepy element that really works in the story, and a love interest in the form of "Hottie Hugh" gives the story a nice, unpredictable edge.

There were some mechanical issues that can be tweaked in future editions to make it cleaner for Type A's like myself, but overall I greatly enjoyed the story and hope to read more from this very talented writer!
Profile Image for Kate's Reads.
74 reviews2 followers
December 20, 2011
Brina Courtney's debut novel Reveal (Cryptid Tales) is a wonderful YA read that will appeal to a larger audience.

The story is about Shay, a high school senior, who has the ability to see, hear and talk to ghosts. She feels very much alone as a result of this ability. Jeremy, a ghost, has been with her since her father disappeared/died many years ago. In recent months, Jeremy has been absent and Shay is not sure why.

Enter Hugh, who is a 'cryptid', which is to say - part human, part animal. They have more in common then Shay realizes. She quickly learns that she is cryptid through her father and that is the source of her ghostly powers. As she learns to harness these powers and what they mean their relationship develops.

Together they begin a quest to discover what really happened to Shay's father and how to protect themselves going forward.

This was a great debut novel in a series. The ending will make you want to email Brina to hurry up and share book 2! I highly recommend it for any young adults and any adults who enjoy a good spooky tale.
433 reviews4 followers
June 30, 2012
I liked it. I enjoyed the new concept of "cryptids". A "cryptid" part human, part animal; some of whom have special powers. I was grateful that there were no werewolves in the book regardless of the animal/human gene. I was very happy that there was not a love triangle.

There were parts of it that I tended to roll my eyes at- the instantly in love with him part, the being okay with him taking her out of the state part (without telling her) and the parental figure not freaking out about any of this. But all in all the book was pretty good. As I read I decided that I seriously had to know what happened with Shay and Hugh.

My favorite character in the book is one that we do not see often, Olivia, Shay's living best friend. There is something about her that is refreshing. But that tends to happen with side-kicks.

Least favorite character is a little child ghost name Wendy. She kinda creeps me out. I think that she is evil, the entire time I am reading the book.

Profile Image for Wendy Cantu.
124 reviews2 followers
April 26, 2012
Three-Sentence Synopsis:
Shay can talk to dead people, including a 70-year-old ghost of a boy who died in an orphanage fire. She meets Hugh and discovers that he has special powers of his own. Hugh “kidnaps” her and heads to Texas to teach her the truth about who she is.

Things I loved:
Hmm, not much I’d say I loved.

Things I liked:
The plot line took an interesting turn that I hadn’t seen in other books of this genre. It kept me curious to learn more about Shay and where her powers came from.

Things I “meh”d:
Although it was a creative twist in the plot, I personally wasn’t crazy about it. I picked this up because the main character talked to ghosts and I thought it would stay along those lines. Everything seemed to happen so fast that I never felt like I had time to get to know or develop a relationship with any of the characters. I think this book would’ve been so much better written into 300 pages instead of 160.
Profile Image for Beth Lehman.
20 reviews1 follower
July 30, 2012
Brina captured me with sentence one of this amazing story. She has taken the context of a paranormal YA romance and through the relatability of Shay, Hugh and Jeremy, has created s a heartbreaking humanity to a world made of fantastical beings and possibilities. Shay's world based on pain and loss, yet you never feel the absence of hope. I cannot voice enough how engaging Brina's writing and story was. I read ravenously and this book was quickly consumed because of it's unique story line and the draw of its fully formed characters. I really hope you will take my advice and pick up a copy. I can tell this will be the start of long love affair with this amazing writer's words and worlds. It truly is a must read. SO, stop reading this review and pick it up already. I mean, it's just a click away.
Profile Image for Amy (Following the Reader) .
51 reviews29 followers
December 18, 2011
3.5 Stars. Great first book in a new series! Check out the full review at my blog: Following The Reader

Reveal follows the story of Shay, a high school student that has been through a lot. Her Father went missing when she was a young girl and ever since that night, life hasn't been the same. Shay was close to her Dad and to this day, they don't know what happened to him. Since that night, Shay has been able to communicate with ghosts. Specifically a boy named Jeremy, who we were first introduced to in Ignite. He lived in a orhpanage until someone burnt it down and all the kids inside were killed. Now they are all ghosts carrying out certain tasks.
Profile Image for Melanie Adkins.
790 reviews16 followers
December 22, 2011
From age 6, Shay Tafford knows she's different. Not many kids have ghost
children as friends. None of Shay's friends have the sleek, natural black hair
she has. Then she meets Hugh and learns she's more different than even she thought.
He shows her how to embrace the differences. Life does change from that moment
If you are looking for a YA book that will grab you and pull you in -REVEAl
is it. This book starts out hot and gets hotter (the story starts well and gets better)
You are missing a wonderful story if you don't read this page turner! I couldn't
put it down.
Profile Image for Fabianne.
16 reviews51 followers
May 19, 2012
I loved the premise but there wasn't any relationship or plot development, but that is just my opnion. This story had a great potential, but it should be re-written. The adversities were too simple and silly, the fight against the villain too immature. Romance had a great potential, they could be a couple who peaple could've loved and remembered but, there wasn't ANY ( and by 'any' I mean 'nada', 'niente', 'nothing at all') development, I wouldn't even consider they friends. I'm sad, such a beautifull cover and interesting premise... I don't know if I'll read the sequel or Ignite.
Profile Image for Tassha.
47 reviews1 follower
August 13, 2012
This book was better than I thought it would be. I like the fact that the author didn't go into all these details about houses or material things. I hate it when authors do that, Stephen King is bad for that in his books. I thought this book was well written and it had me hooked to where I didn't want to go to bed cause I wanted to know what would happen next. I'm hoping to buy the 2nd book to this, I would like to know a little more about the man in the black coat.
Profile Image for Beth.
64 reviews
December 12, 2012
I don't know how I managed to read 11 chapters before finally giving up. The plot doesn't seem to move, heck, I'm not sure what the plot is supposed to be about. What did it for me was all the grammatical errors that kept popping up. I can look past one or two mistypes but this was too much to ignore. She had incomplete sentences ("And note I need a shower.") to run on sentences that begged for commas. Maybe this bothered me because I'm a writer.
Profile Image for JENNIFER.
91 reviews31 followers
August 2, 2017
WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW!!!!!!! This is a fast paced but not too fast story. It's easy to fall in love with. I love all the characters. There is drama, action, mystery, secrets, laughs, super cutesy moment. I love this story and will definitely be reading the next installments. I am hooked, lined and sinker.
Profile Image for ☆☆Hannah☆☆.
2,972 reviews39 followers
October 17, 2016
I won't say that this was a great read but it wasn't a bad one either. Shay has always known she was different. She can see ghosts. She then meets Hugh who can too. They find out that they both are part of a prophecy. The ending just left you hanging so yes I care enough to want to move on in the story.
Profile Image for Charlotte.
97 reviews58 followers
March 8, 2016

Shay a seemingly ordinary girl - other than her best friend being a ghost. I really loved this book it didn't turn out how I had expected it would. I found myself enthralled by Shay's character before the end of the first chapter!
Profile Image for April Alvey.
101 reviews18 followers
August 15, 2012
Wow I Am So Blown Away By This Book I Loved It. Missing Dad, Strange Things Going On, Cool Friend To Help Her. Its Was So Good A Real Cliffhanger. This Is A Must Read Its A Great Ghost Story. Sorry I Know Its A Small Review But Its SO Good Im Afraid I Will Spoil It For You. A Must Read.
Profile Image for Emily Rabecca.
310 reviews43 followers
January 21, 2013
Shay is the main character who she's and hear ghosts but she wasn't always like this she didn't get this gift until her dad disappeared when she was 6. now she's 18 and life is about to get more complicated than ever! can not wait for the second one!
Profile Image for Melissa.
134 reviews1 follower
February 20, 2013
I loved the story. It was a different type of paranormal romance book compared to what I usually read and I'm also a very mature adult and don't always read YA series. However, I really enjoyed this and am about to start the second book when I really should be sleeping!
Profile Image for Alicia Huxtable.
1,683 reviews56 followers
April 1, 2016

Well now I guess Cryptids is this author's name for shapeshifters........But they seem to be so much more than just that. And now Shay and Hugh need to really stick together.
Well written with great characters
Profile Image for Jennifer Creador.
132 reviews16 followers
May 14, 2012
Quite a fun and interesting read. Brina Courtney has a flowing writing style that keeps her readers entranced. Looking forward to the next book in this series.
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