What would you do if you could see your future? Would you try to change it? What if you couldn’t? Sometimes this thing we call “the gift” is really a curse.
Mariah Davis loves animals, running, and her hunk of a boyfriend, Kevin Creamer. Everything looks bright for her until the day she finds a pair of sunglasses that allow her to see the future. When she glimpses a disaster looming, she tries to avoid it but fails. She has a car accident that lands her in a wheelchair, smashing her hopes for a running scholarship to the veterinary program at Ohio State University. She pushes Kevin away, thinking he’ll want to end their relationship now that she can’t walk.
Will she ever learn to trust and love again? She could search for an answer in the sunglasses. But she’s afraid what they reveal might destroy her.
Suzanne Lilly writes lighthearted stories with a splash of suspense, a flash of the unexplained, a dash of romance, and always a happy ending. Her short stories have appeared in numerous places online and in print. She lives in Northern California where she reads, writes, cooks, swims, and teaches elementary students.
I absolutely loved this book. I read it in two sittings, and if I hadn't been interrupted by my family, it would have been only one. There were parts where I smiled, laughed, and even teared up. I'm from a small town myself and could totally relate to what life was like for Mariah in Honey Creek.
What I loved:
Characters: Mariah was my favorite, of course. Even when she was depressed and lashing out, her emotions were shown so well that I hurt with her. I understood why she was doing the things she was, and I never once quit rooting for things to turn out well for her. Her strength as a character was inspiring. Hayley was the fun best friend, and I loved how she and Mariah interacted when they were together. It was great seeing such a strong friendship in a YA book. Kevin, Mariah's longtime boyfriend, was also great. I mean, how can you not like a guy who's clearly really good looking, plays in a band, is smart, treats his girlfriend like gold, AND volunteers at an animal shelter? Yeah, he was that awesome. I have to commend the author on portraying a relationship between a boyfriend and girlfriend that clearly had sparks and passion, but it still remained clean enough that I would feel comfortable recommending it for both older AND younger readers. And I'm only touching on the major characters. All of the minor characters were also wonderfully developed. I felt like I was reading about real people.
Setting: Okay, I could go on and on about how much I loved the setting. It's the small town thing. This was just one of those stories where the setting totally influenced the characters, the tone, everything. Small things like the walking trails out by the lake, the game of gauntlet that the teenagers played, and the little café made the setting come alive for me. The author did SUCH a good job with the worldbuilding of the town. The *only* extremely minor negative thing I have to say about the entire novel was that every long now and then some of the dialogue bordered on small town cheesy for me. But, honestly, that's how some people in small towns talk, so it wasn't really a detraction, and it did contribute to the feel of a small town. It was just something I had to overlook occasionally because I wasn't used to some of the slang.
Plot: Ah, I LOVED it! I keep hearing the term Magical Realism being thrown around about books nowadays, and I think that's what was going on with the sunglasses in the novel. And I loved it! I loved how they seemed great at first, and then the tone around them changed as the novel progressed and events unfolded. And don't even get me started on the ending. Oh, those shades. I won't spoil it for anybody, but it was great. Made me very happy and gave me goosebumps at the same time.
I was so immersed in the story that I didn't notice any grammar/spelling mistakes, and none jumped out at me, so kudos there as well! Five out of five stars. I enjoyed Shades of the Future tremendously and will be recommending it to my friends and family to read. I will definitely be checking out the author's next book when it comes out.
Suzanne Lilly’s ‘Shades of the Future’ is a quick trip into the most-happening lives in a small town ever.
Honey Creek seems normal enough, from the diner to the general location, the everyday folks as well as the teens, like Mariah Davis. Mariah’s an ordinary teen, isn’t she? She’s got goals – like running a marathon and getting into college. She’s not superstitious and she’s got some good friends. She’s got a perfectly good boyfriend. They all take part in raising funds for a benefit – all very contemporary. Life is far from boring too, as friend Hayley’s paranoia leads to moments of real suspense.
And then, quite accidentally, Mariah finds a pair of sunglasses.
Suddenly, everything changes. Mariah can see the future. Or, can she? All our doubts fly aside as Mariah’s own doubts increase. We readers feel a thrill of premonition ourselves when we hear Eulalie’s caution:
“When you start messing around with fortune telling and seeing the future, sooner or later you might see things you don’t want to know about.”
Is the future really ‘like a train coming?” That thought will recur as you read, and …there is just no putting this book down after that. Can Mariah see the future – and more importantly, can she change it? As events unfold, we realize this is not only an adventure for Mariah, but truly a personal journey. Shades of the Future becomes the classic ‘page-turner’ early on and simply never lets go. It has light moments as well as dark moments. Subtle humor and casual conversation are as well presented as serious, life-altering moments.
Although the suspenseful part of this keeps you riveted, the characters continue to delight along the way. Hayley and Kevin and Granma and even dear old cook Eulalie are a few of a host of wonderful, complex characters. If I had one complaint it was that the author’s preoccupation with food just killed my diet (from the Elvis sandwich to the chocolate beet cake, not to mention the biscuits with gravy for breakfast).
The charming setting of Honey Creek is tangibly real and in some respects, so believable as to be an ‘everyday’ location; a spot where any of us might visit relatives…off the beaten track, but real. Its so charmingly rural you notice scents like honeysuckle drifting in the windows.
The story is unpredictable and surprising, has funny moments and wonderful characters. This is ultimately the coolest YA book I’ve ever read: You don’t have to be a teen to love this book!
I was intrigued by the premise of this story -- because who wouldn't like to make sure things in our lives went well? If we had the power to know what would happen, would we try to change things?
Mariah finds a $400 pair of sunglasses and is excited to have them ... until she starts seeing things that are going to happen. At first it's harmless enough (a pop quiz in trig! Cool... she can study), but it becomes less innocent as she sees herself in a horrible accident. Despite her efforts to change the future, she's unable to and her life is changed forever.
I'll be honest, if I hadn't committed to reviewing this story for the tour, I may not have read past the first chapter or so. They were rather ho-hum, day in the life of a teen and failed to grab me. But, I had committed to it, so I kept turning pages, and I'm really glad I did. Mariah's struggle with how her life changes, with decisions and behavior and with the temptation that looms to use the glasses was fascinating to watch. She wasn't a typical flighty teen when we started. She had her head on pretty straight and knew what she wanted in life, and exactly how she'd get it. When all that is stripped away from her, she's a bit of a mess. And it's the rebuilding of her new life that's awesome to see and was realistic and sweet.
The author, too, has created an awesome community in her book and from looking at her website, it seems she has other Honey Creek books. Her secondary characters are fun and colorful and I could see the diner, especially, so clearly. I want to visit, sit and have a piece of chocolate beet cake.
If you're a fan of YA that isn't full of sparkling vampires, but instead addresses real issues for teens in a way that's both touching and entertaining, I'd recommend Shades of the Future. Don't let the beginning stop you from reading to the end. It's worth every minute you spend to see how Mariah works through the trials that are given her.
This book has everything I'd like for a good summer read. It's short and you can read it quick! I really liked the overall plot.
At first, I thought Mariah was super lucky! She found 400 dollar designer sunglasses! I would die if that happened to me. She even has a cute boyfriend and a cool best friend. But she finds out that the sunglasses let her see the future! But the future isn't always nice. The sunglasses cause her to end up in a wheelchair, break up with the boyfriend she loves and lose her only chance of getting into college.
At some point, I thought that she might get some feelings for Carter since he was always nice and kind to her and then at another point I thought he might be with Hayley, her best friend, but then I found out he was 25. They're still teens. Oh well, I still love Kevin though. He is the perfect boyfriend. He still loved her even when she was pushing him away. He even said it too more than once.
Overall, this story has a great plot and I loved that epilogue-ish ending! Looks like those sunglasses will be causing more trouble! 4 Stars!
I really enjoyed this book, in fact I read it all in one sitting! The main character, Mariah, was well developed and I felt as if I were experiencing her emotions as I read them. When she was depressed about her accident and frustrated, I felt anxious, when she was happy I felt relief and found joy in her success. There was a lot of clever dialogue (one of the most important parts of any book I think!) and I enjoyed Grandma Nancy's little sayings. Also, the characters are animal lovers, can't go wrong with that! One thing I'll say is that I read the book's description before purchasing it, and I wish it had not mentioned the wheelchair. I think that after reading that she was going to end up in a wheelchair, I just found myself anticipating that part and waiting for it to happen. I think it may have been better to leave the accident as a mystery. That being said, the story is full of other suspenseful moments, and I recommend picking it up to read.
Oh, and I totally love that the author includes the recipe for 'Bess' Nothing Beats Chocolate Beet Cake' :)
Loved the premise of this story, and Lilly did a wonderful job of creating characters you can actually relate to. Mariah is the perfect petulant teenager, so much so, I wanted to physically shake some sense into her a couple of times. But the way she took charge of her life and refused to give up, made you want to keep cheering her on. No spoilers, but Lilly did a great job on showing perseverance, undconditional love, and the true meaning of friendship. Also, I'm up for a game of "Gauntlet" if I can find any takers.
I've never read a book like this one. The premise intrigued me. Though you might think a book that has a main character who can see the future would be predictable and flat, this was anything but.
I adored the characters and the town. I loved the richness of the descriptions and details filtered throughout. The car accident was so visceral. It chilled me to the bone. I felt everything Mariah felt. And even though we're made to expect it will happen, it still shocked the hell out of me the way it all unfolded. In the aftermath, Mariah changes. She becomes cold, distant, even suspicious of the people she loves most. The designer shades have a way of controlling her, and it isn't until she takes control that the pieces of her life fall back into place.
The supporting cast of characters really sold this book for me. I would love to have a best friend like Hayley, or a delicious boyfriend like Kevin Creamer. The town's loyalty and unfailing generosity to Mariah during her dark period filled me with such warmth. Everyone pulled together to look after one of their own. Suzanne truly captured the spirit of a small town.
I highly recommend this book. It's filled with genuine surprises, bits of humour, and is charming till the very end!
What an emotional journey! Mariah Davis has a caring and talented boyfriend, a volunteer gig she loves, and a dream. She has it all, except a scholarship. But she has a plan to earn the scholarship. Until a car accident - and the expensive sunglasses that warned her about the tragedy before it occurs - changes her life.
The ending made me cry. And we should all have a Kevin Creamer to rely on during hard times.
I received this book as a first reads. It took a while for me to finish because of personal distractions. I really liked this book. It was well written, I liked the characters and I had a major stake in the storyline. I don't usually read young adult, but this was a nice foray into it.
Mariah is a star student, and runner working towards a running scholarship at OSU. Life is going well for this young woman who has already faced the tragedy of her parent's deaths. She smart, works hard and has the cutest boyfriend in town. But then she finds a $400 pair of sunglasses that turn out to be anything but lucky.
Mariah is well drawn, and you can understand her fears and actions following her accident. Even when you're mad at her you still root for her.
When Mariah finds a pair of sunglasses that allow her to see the future, the urge to peek is great. But, should she look? Would you? That's the strong and overriding question throughout this young adult romance.
Mariah is unable to change the future she foresees. An auto accident drastically alters her life -- her hopes, her loves, her friendships and more. As she fights to recover, Mariah also struggles with her relationships. Readers of this genre will appreciate the idealistic romance between Mariah and Kevin.
Author Suzanne Lilly has written a captivating story that allows readers to ask "what if that were me?"
*received this book through first reads on goodreads* I actually enjoyed this book quite a bit. It's a short fast paced read. (I liked the characters).The story was real and wasn't just slapped together in a big hurry.
So congratulations Suzanne! It was quite the story. Although I haven't read a story about a girl getting paralyzed until this one, I liked it ( not that she was paralyzed) because she gets through her struggles and sets out to do what she wanted to do before the accident.
I won this book through good reads first reads giveaway and although I was going to give it a 4 star rating, the ending changed my mind. I really loved how she developed the main character and how much she changed throughout the book. I did start to get annoyed by then main character partway through but if I were in her situation I would probably behave the same way. Overall I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Its a quick read and I think that most people would enjoy it.
Mariah on the top of the world. She has a great boyfriend, is focused on her future as a vet and is once marathon away from getting the scholarship she needs to attend college. Everything was going pretty good until she found a forgotten pair of expensive sunglasses. When she puts on the sunglasses they give her a glimpse into the future. At first isn't is fun and thrilling, but when she sees something that if it comes true will put her future plans in jeopardy.