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The Morphosis.me Files #1

A Fatal Family Secret

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If you could change anything about yourself, what would it be?

On the first day of high school, Kayleigh wishes she could be taller, curvier, and cooler. But when she discovers she’s a shape-shifter, she bites off more than she can chew. Overnight, she becomes a target, and surviving the school-year means defending herself against cyber-bullies, learning to control her new-found powers, and hiding from the ancient secret society that kidnapped her mother. Morphing has consequences, and Kayleigh begins to realize that being able to change into anything can mean losing herself in the process.


First published May 11, 2015

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About the author

Samantha Marks

3 books9 followers
Samantha Marks, Psy.D.

Dr. Sam wrote her first book in the second grade, a fifteen chapter novel called "I Fight the Blobbo Bugs" about aliens from outer space. Since then, she has enjoyed anything creative: writing, painting, playing musical instruments, and learning languages. She earned five degrees in Music, Education, and Psychology.

After graduating from Johns Hopkins University over 15 years ago, Samantha worked as a musician, teacher, behavioral therapist for children with Autism Spectrum Disorders, writer, and as a special education coordinator before becoming a doctoral level bilingual/bicultural Psychologist.

Clients know that therapy with “Dr. Sam” is a pragmatic goal-oriented experience where they are pushed to discover more about themselves and others through cognitive behavioral, dialectic behavioral, interpersonal, and solution-oriented models. Dr. Sam enjoys teaching emotional regulation techniques and social skills to help clients improve their interpersonal relationships and social lives as part of a comprehensive therapy.

Currently she works in private practice in Columbia, Maryland, focusing on tweens, teens, and young adults.

In her spare time she plays piano, flute, and French Horn, paints canvases, and spends time with her tall dark and handsome husband from Venezuela, and their spunky daughter Sophie.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 35 reviews
Profile Image for Dianne.
6,765 reviews583 followers
September 4, 2016
Most teens have insecurity issues, body issues, popularity issues, etc. No one likes being the butt of practical jokes or those cruel barbs from insensitive peers. Meet Kayleigh, who wishes she could change many things about herself, until she discovers she is a shifter and even one small thought about changing herself could happen at the worst of times! Follow Kayleigh as she runs the gauntlet of bullying, peer pressure, peer cruelty all while discovering the magic of her Irish heritage and the truth about her mother, who disappeared years before.

Samantha Marks’ A Fatal Family Secret is a heartwarming tale of fantasy, Irish mythology and one girl’s lonely journey to deal with issues far beyond her emotional maturity. Sure, Kayleigh has friends, she even has a special best friend, so she isn’t alone when she becomes the target of cyber-bullying as well as the razor-sharp comments from the school “IT” girls. Why did they make her a target? What did she do? So many secrets, so much to learn about herself and her heritage and just when things couldn’t get worse, she discovers she has been betrayed by someone she has trusted with her innermost thoughts.

Ms. Marks has written a wonderful coming of age story for middlegrade readers on up who will be able to relate to the issues raised, as well as to Kayleigh and her emotional kaleidoscope of feelings. Bullying and cyber-bullying are part of this tale and Samantha marks handles them very realistically from the actions themselves to Kayleigh’s reactions. Imagine the issues of being a teen, wanting to be older, wiser one minute and them wishing to go back to childhood where things didn’t hurt so much the next. Add being a shifter, untrained and a little out of control, talk about a high angst situation. Loyal friends are there, but what Kayleigh needs is to be able to talk about what is happening to her with someone who knows her secret and what she is facing. Will she find that someone? Can she trust them and will they always have her back? What if she loses herself in this new world she belongs to?

A wonderful read with a tale full of heart, and characters that may remind us of someone we knew.

I received this copy from Samantha Marks in exchange for my honest review.

The Morphosis.me Files - Book 1
Publisher: Samantha Marks, Psy.D.; 2 edition (May 26, 2015)
Publication Date: May 26, 2015
Genre: YA Fantasy
Print Length: 262 pages
Available from: AmazonBarnes & Noble
For Reviews & More: http://tometender.blogspot.com

Profile Image for Donna.
1,603 reviews24 followers
April 25, 2019
I liked the plot idea. The idea of shapeshifters that could change into any shape at will is an interesting concept. That is where my interest ended. Kayleigh is scared of her own shadow and weak. She does improve but by the time she did, I was no longer interested. Her friend Bridget was not really a good friend and I didn't really care for her either. The story moved way too slow and I just didn't like the characters. I would have liked if the story centered more around the mother and what happened to her. Even if the author had Kayleigh and her dad trying to find her mother, it would have been more interesting. Honestly, I am not sure if I will continue on with this series.
Profile Image for Rivalie.
588 reviews44 followers
January 28, 2016
*Huge thanks to Xpresso Book Tours for providing a copy to review. All thoughts are 100% my own. *

3.5/5 stars
This story follows Irish mythology which I had no idea about and it made me more excited to dive more into the novel. What made me even more excited was finding out this story was based off of the Sons of Lir/Seven Swan Brothers story which is a classic favorite. The way the author incorporated the tale into her overall story was unique and everything managed to flow smoothly. There were some aspects of morphing and the whole secret society that I would have preferred to be more developed as I did have some unanswered questions, but this is the first in a series so it's not that big of a deal. For a first book, the groundwork was well laid out and a solid framework for the upcoming books.

It was really interesting to see how the author wove the issue of bullying in all aspects into the story. Kayleigh goes from becoming a scaredy cat to someone who can stand on her own two feet and that process is completed through her becoming more in touch with herself. After her mother gets kidnapped, she just wallows in this pool of self misery and pity. I mean, even her friends get fed up with her attitude. Personally, I feel like there were too many things that were being thrown at this poor girl from making that awkward transition to high school, finding out she can morph, finding out why her mother was taken, a potential love interest, some really rude people, and a secret society - she definitely has more than enough things to keep her busy.

Like I mentioned before, I still have some unanswered questions when it comes to everything and honestly some parts that were resolved were a bit unsettling for me. The rest of the characters all seemed relatively second tier and I was more focused on Kayleigh and how she was going to sort through all her problems. Bridget was...an interesting best friend to say the least and her character introduces yet another current social issue which was unexpected for lack of a better description.

I'm not 100% sure if I'm going to continue on the story just because I like how things ended with this one. Maybe one day in the future when I find myself wanting to find out the answers I'll pick it up, but for now I'm happy with how things are.

Read my reviews at: http://extreemeobsessed.blogspot.com/
Profile Image for Chris Aldrich.
225 reviews90 followers
October 10, 2015
This is a well-paced young adult novel that mixes a dose of interesting fantasy in an otherwise all-too-real teenage world. In the vein of classics like Dracula and Frankenstein that take adolescence and turn them into great fiction as well as well-veiled morality plays, this novel, with a much better version of the Teen Wolf plot or perhaps in the vein of X-Men: The Teenage Years, takes things up three notches by adding a dose of thriller/suspense in what portends to be an awesome four book series.

Typical teenage protagonist Kayleigh comes home one day to find her father bleeding and injured in an apparent home invasion that ultimate reveals her mother has been either kidnapped or killed. Struggling with the psychological fallout of losing her mother under more than suspicious circumstances, she faces the turmoils of puberty, relationships, and fitting in as a teenager in high school. Making things worse, she discovers, that like her mother, she's a "Morph" with the ability to change her appearance into almost anyone she can imagine to even animals. Facing post traumatic stress disorder amidst teenagerdom, her new-found ability just compounds things and gives her some hope that her mother may not only be alive but that she may be able to find her -- if she can withstand constant bullying from classmate Emma and a very mysterious and potentially threatening online stalker who seems to know her every move.

I can't wait to see the next installment in November.
Profile Image for Laura  Hernandez.
788 reviews82 followers
January 25, 2016
I received an eARC via the Xpresso Book Tour review library. I made no guarantee of a favorable review and the opinions expressed here are unbiased and my own.

Bullying is a real issue and this book covers it and other topics that preteens and young adults face in a whole new light. People of all ages will enjoy this fast paced and well written story line. Full of good messages and delightful characters makes this a worthwhile read.
Profile Image for I'mogén.
862 reviews36 followers
July 19, 2022
Thank you Netgalley for an e-copy. All opinions remain my own.

Buddy read with Deborah from HillsofBooks ^^

Oh dear. This wasn't very good.

The plot was mediocre at best, the characters were annoying and all our main character did for the first 60% was cry and run away... even her friends got tired of it.

The similies and metaphors were so over used that they felt like they were there in an attempt to mimick good writing, but it couldn't really disguise the fact that the writing was very basic in style.

I get the characters are teens but it was tedious and repetitive to keep going on about boobs.

The author chucked in a poorly represented trans character, I feel just to be diverse, but it was handled incredibly poorly- lots of misgendering, dead naming, and the whole reveal around this seemed unnecessary and random. It didn't seem at all well researched, which was even more disheartening upon finding out that the author is a doctor in psychology.

Pick it up, give it a go and enjoy! >(^_^)<
Profile Image for Beth.
79 reviews1 follower
February 16, 2017
Half the time I found the story annoying and/or boring. The other half only slightly peaked my interest. Giving 3 stars is me being kind and hoping that the concept and where everything ended gets better throughout the rest of the series.
Profile Image for Lelia Taylor.
872 reviews16 followers
February 18, 2016
High school bullying is a fairly common topic these days, rightfully so, but we don’t often see it woven into a dark fantasy tale. At first, I wasn’t sure how this was going to work but it didn’t take long for me to get invested.

Kayleigh is just starting high school, at a time in her life when she’s suffered more tragedy than most since her mother was abducted a couple of years earlier. All young teens go through major life changes during puberty and this girl is no different; she makes the perfect victim for bullies. Sometimes, she’s a little too much of a victim but I never felt her reactions were abnormal especially given her circumstances. If anything, she’s searching for comfort and security and it was a pleasure going on this journey with her.

A Fatal Family Secret is an entertaining jaunt through the fantasy world with a dose of mystery thrown in and those aspects of the story shine a much-needed light on how kids have to cope with the loss of a parent. In this case, there are causes and effects we’ll never have to confront but the whole shapeshifting thing really sort of emphasizes the normal challenges that life brings us. Ms. Marks has done a really nice job of presenting teen issues in a very readable way and I’m looking forward to the second book, A Treacherous Social Game, already available.
Profile Image for Melissa Borsey.
1,478 reviews33 followers
July 30, 2016
I thank the author for allowing me to read and review this great book! There is a lot going on here for the main character Kayleigh, her mother was abducted, the police have closed the case, she has started high school and has to put up with bullying and she is a shapeshifter....very good writing, lots of great characters. I highly recommend!

Profile Image for Janet.
19 reviews4 followers
May 11, 2017
Its tough being a teenager and hoping and wondering if you will fit in when you start high school. Kayleigh has these fears like all teenagers but add to it bullying and learning your family has a secret can be stressful. She has to learn who she can trust and in the process that "Emotions are your body's response to thoughts you have".

The author pulls you in as we follow Kayleigh and her friends as they try to figure out who is behind the bullying and to help Kayleigh be more confident.

This book is a good read for young readers and anyone who enjoys a little magic in their lives.
Profile Image for Kim.
163 reviews2 followers
December 30, 2017

The mystery is sufficiently mysterious. But the writing isn't phenomenal. And it feels like it's trying really hard to be appealing to teens. I'm not a teen so maybe that's just my adult perspective. But I read a lot of YA fiction, and this is the first to feel so forced in that way. Lots of psychology too. Which isn't bad but I can tell that's the author's POV.
Profile Image for Beka.
326 reviews4 followers
January 2, 2018
I really enjoyed this book I did have a feeling who the text bully was and found myself right but it was nice finding out why. Watching Kayleigh grow as a character was great, I’ve read very few books lately where you see the main character grow to better herself.
Profile Image for Ishita.
129 reviews5 followers
April 20, 2017
I am not sure how to start my review, because this book is like a really cool goodie bag with a lot of cute stuff. Aaaahhh…. Well, I guess I can begin by mentioning what drew me to pick this book – It’s super adorable book cover. And the cute factor doesn’t stop there.. There is something so cute (Yes, yes, I know I have overused the word) and quaint about the entire story; the world, people and setup. Irish folklore, characters with diverse backgrounds, fairy tales, mysterious antique jewellery, secret notes and lot more. There is such a picturesque, and an almost Disney-like magical feel to the entire narration. I think part of it is because of the main “superpower capabilities” featuring in this book: morphing. It looks like it is unrestrained with near-limitless possibilities – people can change into pretty much anything (and anyone) tangible. So it is a lot of fun reading about ..say.. someone changing from an old man, into a crane and then a panda all in the span of a few minutes.

The story is paced pretty well, covering an entire term at high school, and I never felt lost with respect to where we are in terms of the passing of time from the first page, because we are taken through the descriptions of seasons changing from winter to spring and the festivities of Halloween, Christmas and Valentine’s day. This school year is particularly tumultuous for Kayleigh – it has been two years since her mom went missing, and she feels like she needs her now more than ever, what with her facing bullying at school, going through puberty, and suffering from a really low self-esteem because of which she is not able to stand up for herself or be confident around the guy she has a crush on. To be honest, I wasn’t totally convinced about the whole bullying theme in the book, maybe because I couldn’t really understand why she got cowed down so quickly. Because from what I saw, it was Kayleigh who had a larger circle of friends than the “mean girl” who just had two girls tagging along with her. As I read along, I think I slowly got where Kayleigh’s anxieties and fragility stemmed from. There was a point in the book where she breaks down because all the events of the past couple of years – beginning with her mom’s disappearance, to recent strange discoveries about her mom’s past, cyber bullying, the typical high school stress related to grades, friends and dating, physical changes to her body due to puberty and morphing – take a toll on her.

My favorite moment in the book is a conversation between Kayleigh and her friend. I can’t discuss it much because it is a major spoiler, but I will say that it was a mix of sad, profound and ironical. I just found it so fitting and “right” that the “limitations” of morphing was addressed so succinctly. You need to identify and get comfortable with your core self before trying to perfect morphing. And sometimes the cards life deals you feels so unfair, and no amount of morphing can completely heal or change that.

The book is strewn with some red herrings, so I had fun guessing. I got a few right, and was totally off the mark with some others. I thought this was a really good start to the series with so many things left to discover in the next book. The only thing I am a bit sceptical about is how the whole “international secret evil organization” is going to play out. There are times I feel the whole scope and premise of that track is so… vast, that I wonder whether the rest of the story will be able to gracefully handle the weight of it. So I am curious to see how that turns out.

(Note : I received an e-copy of this book from xpressobooktours in exchange for an honest review.)
(Originally posted on bookmyopia.wordpress.com)
Profile Image for E. C. McRoy.
158 reviews17 followers
September 17, 2016
Got this for free on Amazon.

So this is about a 2.8. There were some things I really liked and they've bumped this rating up higher than I might have normally given it.

First, I want to aay that I really loved the diversity. It's the main reason I gave this a hogher rating. We've got mixed ethnicities, cultures from around the world, pieces of both cultural customs and snippets of language (granted, brief on both accounts), and even some LGBT stuff. It covers a lot and I really appreciated that. That being said, I wish the author had spent a little more time in these areas. The book was too short in the end to give more than a passing glance to most things. But, like I said, I'm glad it was there.

I also really liked the Irish stuff. It's in my heritage personally, so it was nice to see it incorporated sp extensively (and not Lucky Charms and Leprechauns). I love mythology, too, so I always enjoy stories heavy in that area. It was even better because I wasn't familiar with this one, so I delt I was learning something, too.

Finally, I liked that the story dealt with the issues of bullying especially in terms of cyberbullying which is so hard to deal with and do anything about. I think it's an important topic and I valued seeing it here.

Unfortunately, I still didn't give this a terribly high rating. Here's why.

First, the book had a LOT of different important topics as I mentioned. But it was too ahort to really deal with any of them. The two main things, I think, were bullying and the whole family secret thing. Which is fine - except they were like oil and water. Did not mix. It felt like this huge thing with her mom was going on, but all we cared about was this mean girl Emma. Which, okay, sure. It's a big deal. But how can it be a bigger deal than the paranormal stuff? She didn't seem freaked out or concerned by this at all. And that was an issue for me. I think this would have qorked out better without the supernatural stuff. Stick this in contemporary and call it good.

Next, I wish there was more going on with Bridget. There was all this potential there (and I loved her secret!) but it was done so quickly and with too easy a resolution that I just wasn't as invested as I wanted to be. Again, would have benefited feom a longer book.

And finally, the writing wasn't great. It wasn't terrible, but it wasn't very good either. There wasn't enough emotion, I think. Part of this was a few noticeable info dump moments, but part of it was also the author's tendency to wrap things up neatly or to spell them out for us. I needed more mystery. And I needed more conflict within the friend circle. Everyone was just happy go lucky bffs at the end and that seemed a little unrealistic to me.

Overall, I wouldn't ward you off from this, but I wouldn't highly recommend it either. It deals with somw strong important topics, but it fails somewhat in the execution. I say reader be wary.
Profile Image for Baron Bruce.
80 reviews8 followers
September 19, 2016
Kayleigh is starting her freshman year and things couldn't be worse, the most popular girl at school hates her, she's frumpy, got zits, she's being cyber-bullied, her father's moving on with his life after her mother was abducted two years ago. Fortunately the elderly lady next door takes an interest in her and her and her new best frind joins her circle of friends she's known sincePre-School are providing support because she;s gonna need it! She learns she's a Shifter, right out of Irish myth and a secret society of Shifters were resonsible for her mother's kidnapping!

Ok, I've read some coming of age stories and I've read a lot of fantasy in my day. Samantha Marks brings it all to the table with this one, It's like "Mean Girls" goes fantasy. Kayleigh is an engaging character who goes through an emotional growth as well as the learning herShifter abilities, but there's more than one secret circling around her and things are not what they seem. This was a well-rounded story that wove some very well-developed characters through some very complex plots and subplot. I heartely recommend this book for teens as well as adult as it is very relatable.
1,057 reviews3 followers
September 24, 2016
Just what was the secret that this Irish family had hidden for so many years? And why did they need a genealogy chart?

And which Irish myths are real stories lost in the mist of time and yet oral tales survive? And if course, which are just that - myths?

So we have a story about shapeshifters but not one in the usual vein. And a type of morphology that doesn't happen in every generation.

A well told coming of age story.

This book was given free in exchange for a review. 3.75
Profile Image for MC Frye.
2 reviews4 followers
April 24, 2016
A Fatal Family Secret (The Morphosis.me Files, Book #1)

I don’t read many books in the Young Adult Fantasy genre, but something about the cover of this eBook drew me in. I was not disappointed. The diverse and enjoyable ensemble cast of characters and the plot – a mix of Irish mythology with up to the minute teen-focused consumer technology – came together to make a page-turner of a novel.

Robert Heinlein, who wrote a number of short stories and novels for the young adult market during his early years as a writer, explained his approach to writing for the juvenile (as it was termed at the time) market. Aside from the age of the protagonist, he treated the stories as thoroughly as he treated adult novels. He treated his juvenile characters with respect, and he equally respected his audience and didn’t write down to them.

That’s what I look for when I read YA fiction. I want to see the readers treated with respect in terms of complexity of plot and in terms of the book’s reading level.

For the most part, I feel that Samantha Marks does this very well. Some of the high school student characters could have been more multi-dimensional, particularly the young girl-geek who jumped to the ready any time some elite hacking was needed. One of the male character’s rai·son d’ê·tre seemed to be only to make the gender numbers of the group equal. And the story’s mean girl villain was particularly one-dimensional. It would have been nice to see her motivations for harassing the main character, and to see some signs of growth as the story progressed. Maybe that will happen in one of the sequels! The main character, Kaleigh, was complex, conflicted, and wounded by her mother’s abduction at the start of the tale. The coming of age aspects of this story made her a believable, relatable and likable protagonist. Her best friend, Bridget, added complexity and conflict to the story. She was beautifully drawn from the outside, inviting the reader to imagine her motivations as the story progressed.

The settings were described in loving detail which drew me into the tale and made it easy to build a mental picture of the homes, school, and town. And Marks had a deft approach to the pacing. The wealth of detail about her characters’ setting never slowed down the more fast paced scenes.

I enjoyed the story, and will be on the lookout for the sequels.
February 8, 2016
This is a well-paced young adult novel that mixes a dose of interesting fantasy in an otherwise all-too-real teenage world. In the vein of classics like Dracula and Frankenstein that take adolescence and turn them into great fiction as well as well-veiled morality plays, this novel, with a much better version of the Teen Wolf plot or perhaps in the vein of X-Men: The Teenage Years, takes things up three notches by adding a dose of thriller/suspense in what portends to be an awesome four book series.

Typical teenage protagonist Kayleigh comes home one day to find her father bleeding and injured in an apparent home invasion that ultimate reveals her mother has been either kidnapped or killed. Struggling with the psychological fallout of losing her mother under more than suspicious circumstances, she faces the turmoils of puberty, relationships, and fitting in as a teenager in high school. Making things worse, she discovers, that like her mother, she's a "Morph" with the ability to change her appearance into almost anyone she can imagine to even animals. Facing post traumatic stress disorder amidst teenagerdom, her new-found ability just compounds things and gives her some hope that her mother may not only be alive but that she may be able to find her -- if she can withstand constant bullying from classmate Emma and a very mysterious and potentially threatening online stalker who seems to know her every move.

I can't wait to see the next installment in November.
Profile Image for Ami.
1,632 reviews6 followers
October 1, 2016
I really enjoyed this book. I am a lovely mix or Irish, Scot, Italian and Native American which makes me very curious about the spirit world and myths from all nationalities. This book gives a bit of lore that I had never heard so that made it even more enjoyable. It also deals with real life social issues. I know that it was meant for young adults but as a not so young adult I am, unfortunately, well aware of some of these same issues that plague adults. There is some good ideas about coping with these. I normally don't go into descriptions, only how I feel about the book. But, I did want to say that this book could be a good, subtle way to help your teen if they have trouble dealing with the many trials that most teens face.

Besides all of the above, it is a very well written story. The main characters are well developed and even the minor characters have enough information given to let you develop opinions about them. The world is a little to well developed for me. I'm one of those readers that want the plot to continue instead of everything about a room or dress. That said, don't skip any of the details in this book you you may have to go back to find why something was described so thoroughly.

Disclaimer: I received this ebook at no charge from Samantha Marks, the author, who requested an honest review. All thoughts here are 100 % mine.

Thank you very much Samantha, for the wonderful escape you wrote for me and all the others that love a good book.
Profile Image for Roxanne Johnson-bisland.
98 reviews1 follower
December 31, 2015
I like this book. It is one I would definatly a great book for YA.
Having a tragity happen to you is hard, being the one to find the scene and it being in your own home, on your birthday puts a whole new level of stress. To loose a parent your mother on your 13th birthday is beyond anything a young girl should deal with.
Starting 9th grade, puberty and a bully makes things even worse.
Having panic attacks, fainting, constant bullying, and to find out you are different, a Morph makes life of a Freshman even harder.
A Morph... What does that mean?? How do I control it? Where is my mom??? These are all questions Kayleighn wants answered.
One day a new way of being bullied starts. Kayleigh fights to control herself, not to run but after a fight with her best friend Kayleigh can not take it anymore.
She turns to the one person who can help teach her to control her abilities. A cousin that is a morph who hides as an elderly lady to be close to the family. Kayleigh learns to control her emotions, get the courageto be with the boy she likes and stands up to the school bully.
She confronts her cyber bully to find out it is another morph, her friend. Keyleigh can accept her friends true idenity but not the bullying.
In the end Keyleigh forgives...
I cant wait to read the next book.

Profile Image for Cheryl.
250 reviews3 followers
December 22, 2016
Wow, finding out you have powers beyond your comprehension...losing your mother...being bullied by the new girl...& all during freshman year... great start to a new series
Profile Image for Julie Hicks.
147 reviews3 followers
February 21, 2016
Samantha Marks uses the popular YA Fantasy genre to address many issues that face today’s youth. Samantha’s spin on young adult paranormal literature brings awareness to many issues such as bullying and cyber-bullying. This book is a great read which can be accomplished in one setting. I am already awaiting the next book in the series.

Kayleigh is from a mixed ethnic identity which is part Hispanic and Irish. She learned about Irish folklore legends from her mother. But soon she learns they are more than legends. She must figure out what has happened to her mother as well as what is fact from fiction.

Kayleigh also faces life being raised by her father. There is a girl at her school who makes racist remarks and publicly shames Kayleigh very chance she gets. She soon takes it to another level with cyber-bullying. Before long the bullying is happening on such a large scale that it has become out of control. Kayleigh must choose to seek help and tell an adult or face her bully.

Many teenagers deal with these same issues. But the fantasy story line makes these stories more relevant and exciting for the young reader. My prediction is that this series will be a hit and I cannot wait to read the next one.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for NancyMagaly.
100 reviews5 followers
December 17, 2015
Fast paced and brings bullying in different formats to the forefront. The book is very well written and brings the reader into Kayleigh’s (the main character) mind and emotional status. There were a few times when I became frustrated with Kayleigh because of her passiveness and seeming inability to stand up for herself. I quickly told myself, this was what victims must feel like and having friends helped her situation. For me, when she started coming into her powers and accepting them and herself for what she is, a morphosis, the reading became more intense and satisfying.
Since it is written for a younger audience, I enjoyed recalling the way one feels when you have your first crush, first jealous twang, and first kiss. I thought about how my daughters would feel if I was abducted and had to go through puberty with their dad. Also how they would deal with everyday situations and holidays with out me. This book provided great insight for just that.

Despite being a fantasy novel, the emotions, school mishaps, and teen issues are very real. I’m looking forward to starting the next book in the series and more from this author.
Profile Image for Melissa Burcham.
240 reviews3 followers
February 3, 2016
I was asked for an honest review free of persuasion from the author or anyone else affiliated with this book.


This was a good teen book. I am going to recommend it to my 13 year old daughter. The book showed typical teenage developments with a little fantasy and paranormal thrown in. The characters were well developed and the story line kept the pages turning.

Kayleigh is your typical insecure teenager. She is beginning the first year of high school with dread. She is insecure in her body both physically and emotionally. Her mother was kidnapped 2 years prior leaving her going through the teenage developments alone with her father. She begins to notice changes that are not normal. Questioning her sanity, Kayleigh doesn't know who to turn to. She receives a Christmas present from her missing mom. Although this answers some questions, it leaves so many more and Kayleigh feels even more alone. Does Kayleigh find the answers to what is going on with her? Does it bring her any closer to her mom? What does she learn about her best friend through it all?

I recommend this book. I look forward to reading the next book in this series.
Profile Image for Lloyd L Wright.
Author 1 book1 follower
January 23, 2016
This book is an awesome walk thru the freshman year of high school for a girl who has seemingly insurmountable insecurity issues. It illuminates the problems teenagers have and in the case of our main character, the problems she also has with being bullied. The family secret is an interesting twist that spices up the story. Samantha Marks has written a terrific book. I am looking forward to reading the next one in the series. I would highly recommend it for high school age teens.
177 reviews17 followers
December 26, 2015
Deep secrets

On Kayleigh's thirteenth birthday, her mother disappeared. Two years later and she is stilml gone. O Kayleigh's, she receives a silver necklace that has come through the mail. The only message that she has from the card is that your mother thinks that you should this. Then, as time goes by Kayleigh's starts to change. She doesn't know what to do or what is going on. Her answers are in her future.
Profile Image for Janelle Flores.
50 reviews1 follower
January 24, 2016
I found that this book was unexpectedly good!! I liked that it touched on various topics that I believe would be relatable to young adults. There were parts of this book the reminded me of various plots from other books I have read , but I still enjoyed the book overall. I am looking forward to reading more in this series. It's a fast read.
Profile Image for Aline.
206 reviews18 followers
July 30, 2016
The Swans

First book by Samantha Marks I received the book for a honest review. I loved it.Kayleigh story was sucspensful et kept me guessing. I was able to read it in a day. I liked it also because my granddaughter could read it. I would recommend it for YA or those who like tame books et fantasy
Profile Image for Cassey.
1,302 reviews4 followers
August 19, 2016
Great read that covers a mix of issues while still having a great take on some mythology. Kayleigh and her friends have something about them that anyone could relate to...and that makes this a book an easy recommend for anyone who likes YA.
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