I’ve not read much YA Urban Fantasy so I was excited to be a part of this tour. It’s also a book I’ve been seeing around a lot so a big Thank You to Fantastic Flying Book Club for picking me to participate in the Sparked Blog Tour! I’ve really enjoyed working with them and can’t wait to see what other tours they’ll be hosting in the coming months! If you haven’t checked out their blog yet, you are missing out!
Author: Helena Echlin & Malena Watrous
Pub. Date: October 3, 2017
Publisher: Geek & Sundry
Fifteen-year-old Laurel Goodwin wakes up to find her older sister Ivy missing from their Airstream trailer in the Oregon redwoods. A recurring nightmare convinces her that Ivy was abducted, but no one takes her dream seriously, including her mom. Laurel, a loner, has to learn to ask for help, and Jasper Blake, a mysterious new kid who shares her love of old books, quickly becomes her ally. Together they find their quiet town holds a deep secret and is the epicenter of a dark prophecy.
Laurel soon learns that her worst enemies, mean girls Peyton Andersen and Mei Rosen, are developing powers that she needs to find and save Ivy. With time running out, Laurel realizes that power doesn’t always take the form that you expect. And once she learns to look beyond her snap judgments, she develops an unexpected gift of her own.
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I found this book to be very interesting. I enjoyed the connection Laurel had with her sister Ivy and that she was willing to do anything to find her. Being close to my sister I think I’d definitely know if something weren’t normal, like Laurel knowing from the beginning that something had happened to her sister and she was going to do everything she could to find out where she was.
I liked that Laurel was willing to make alliances with people she’d not cared for if it meant finding and saving her sister. One of the characters she recruits to help her is definitely an unlikable person. She’s one who is willing to bully others in order to avoid being bullied herself and the fact that Laurel finds out she’s one of the only ones that can help her, makes the dynamic interesting between the two of them.
Jasper is probably the most intriguing character in the book because you don’t really know a lot about him. It is almost as if he’s just there, out of no where. His back story is the most developed of all the characters and I thought that made him the most interesting of the cast. It’ll be interesting to see what happens with him in the next book.
There were a few things that I struggled with while reading this book. The first was that at times the plot line seemed a bit confusing. I think the magic system isn’t as well developed as I’d have liked and so it made certain things feel more like they were thrown together rather than explained. It also felt like there were too many elements in the book and because of that sometimes it felt like things were a bit “too easy”.
About the Authors
Hello! We are both novelists, but if you’ve ever tried to write anything, you know that writing can be a lonely, angst-filled business. So one night over a cocktail or two, we came up with a solution: write our next book together. Malena already had an idea: a girl’s sister is kidnapped and she has to rely on mean girls with superpowers to get her sister back. We couldn’t resist seeing where that story would take us – a wild ride that includes a loner girl who wants to be a writer and a gorgeous boy who can shoot fire from his eyes but also loves to talk about books. And an ancient Zoroastrian prophecy. And pie shakes. (OK, so maybe we got a little carried away.)
We’ve both published solo novels (check them out here and here) and had no idea how co-writing would work out, but we pounded out the first draft in a white-hot frenzy of inspiration we called “the Vortex.” One of us would write a scene and send it to the other with a note: “My apartment is a pigsty and I haven’t eaten all day. #inthevortex.” We wrote the book we wanted to read as teenagers: a supernatural thriller with healthy doses of horror and humor. Oh, and of course there’s romance. You have to wait a long time for the only kiss in the book, but isn’t that the case with all the best kisses in books?
Find Helena and Malena Online:
*Three signed copies of Sparked by Helena Echlin & Malena Watrous