Thursday, May 29, 2014

Essence by A.L. Waddington

Author: A.L. Waddington
Publisher:  Booktrope Publishing
Pages: 308
Release Date: January 15th, 2014
Source: Received from author in exchange for an 
honest review

Jocelyn Timmons does not believe she is anything special — just an ordinary high school senior, living an ordinary life full of school-work, volleyball and friends. She’s about to find out how wrong she is.

Jackson Chandler moved in to the house across the street. His dark wavy hair, green eyes and charismatic personality draws everyone to him. Everyone, but Jocelyn.

Whenever Jackson gets near Jocelyn she feels ill and dizzy. When he touches her, she blacks out and has visions of another life, in another time. As the odd hallucinations evolve and become clearer, she feels a strong pull towards the people she sees there. Frightened, she watches her once stable life begin to crumble around her and she begins to question her own sanity.

Could it be possible that these episodes are actually her own memories of a life she is living somehow, somewhere, some-when? Maybe this is time-travel or some other paranormal mysticism? Our minds often wander, but can our souls?

When I read the description for this book, it had a lot of promise. It sounded like an interesting romance, and the duel time era twist was unique. However, I don't think the writing style was up my alley, and I found it difficult to keep reading in the end. 

While people have praised it for being well written, I just didn't see it that way. The author drops descriptions in a way that felt very amateur. Character descriptions felt like lists, and nothing seemed very vivid to me. The dialog in the 2009 segments felt flat, the characters didn't seem very dimensional, and at times I just got bored waiting for the answers to be revealed. 

Some of the segments in 1878 were easier to read and caught my interest a bit more. The characters felt more fleshed out and I liked the side plot happening with Olivia. I felt like you get to know people in a more natural way in these segments. Yet there were times when I questioned the historical accuracy. Some aspects didn't always feel "right" to me, but I didn't know enough about history to verify them one way or the other. I don't know, there is just usually a feel to historical fiction that takes you back in time when it's done well. This book didn't really do that for me. 

There was something very static about this story. You turn pages but it doesn't feel like it's ever really going anywhere. I would be interested in perhaps reading the sequel, but I felt a little "Meh" by the time I was done with this book. It wasn't bad, but it wasn't the right book for me. 

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