Author: Heather Ostler
Release Date: June 2012
Publisher: Cedar Fort (Facebook | Twitter)
Genre: YA Paranormal
ARC received from publisher for review.
With the amount of books out now, it is really hard to find a completely "unique" book. And even though there were parts of The Shapeshifter's Secret that reminded me of other books, I found it refreshingly original. And not in an obvious way either. Though I really liked the paranormal/fantasy aspect and the whole boarding school thing, both of those elements can be found in many books. The aspect that I found so unique was the relationships developing between the characters.
Julia's relationships with the two male "heroes" were the most interesting to me because they defied the stereotypical norm. Instead of a love triangle between Julia and her "suitors" (I'm calling them Suitor #1 and Suitor #2 just so I don't give away too much), Julia and Suitor #1 hardly even interact. However, I still label him as a suitor because there is an obvious love-hate chemistry developing between them. Plus, he leaves their relationship wide open when he wants to tell her something very important . . . only to be interrupted by (who else?) Suitor #2.
On the surface, her relationship with Suitor #2 is picture-perfect. He has it all and she is head-over-heels for him. However, I get the feeling that there was something "off" about this guy, especially because Suitor #1 warns Julia to stay away from him.
Another complicated relationship is between Julia and her parents. In the beginning, her dad seems to be very strict with her, especially because she is a little bit of troublemaker (which I love about her character!) However, over the course of the novel, their relationship grows and changes as Julia learns more about her family's history. Which of course leads to Julia's relationship with her mother. I don't want to talk too much about this because it would definitely spoil the plot. However, this relationship is probably the most complicated and unique among the characters.
Another element of this book that I enjoyed was the paranormal and fantasy elements. I loved the whole shapeshifting thing mixed with magic and everything in between. I felt just as excited as Julia did discovering all the many layers to the mystical new world of Ossai. And I especially loved the animal Julia shifts to (I had "The Eye of the Tiger" playing in my mind during her fight scene!)
If you are looking for a unique take on the paranormal and a fun read full of surprising plot twists, you should definitely check out The Shapeshifter's Secret.
Giveaway + Interview
Cedar Fort has generously allowed me to give away a copy of this fun book here at The Book Bug. To enter the giveaway and read more about the author, click here.
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