Posted in adventure, Book Reviews, children, fantasy, general fiction, mystery, paranormal, young adult, tagged adventure, books, Fantasy, Forever in her Dreams, mystery, novels, reviews, Tika Newman, Working Girl Reviews, young adult on May 2, 2010 |
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Forever in Her Dreams
by Tika Newman
Thistlewood Publishing 2009
Buy Link: http://shop.thistlewoodpublishing.com/Forever-in-Her-Dreams-102.htm
Forever in Her Dreams by Tika Newman picks right up where The Eyes of Innocence left off. Book one in the series ended with readers wondering where Toniya came from. Who would give a stranger a horse? How did the horse from Lina’s dreams appear in her yard? Readers quickly get reacquainted with the characters they enjoyed in the first book and soon get some answers. As the story continues, readers journey along with Kalina as she makes a place for her new horse in her life. She doesn’t know it at first, but the horse will lead her down a path to her past. She will gain information about her heritage and her unique abilities. Readers pick up on her special way with animals as they read of her gentle nature and various healings. She is not limited to helping animals. When needed she also uses her healing powers to help people. Although Lina’s power is not typical and the events surrounding the healings are out of the ordinary, the author’s vivid descriptions and interesting presentations make them believable. Many authors focus on the negative stereotypes when presenting a minor culture. Whether true or fictional this author presents traditions and healing power in a way that doesn’t degrade the Gypsy culture. While the characters are described as very poor and old fashioned, it is refreshing to see this people group portrayed as peaceful, helpful and out to do good.
Kalina is a special girl trying to live a typical teenage life. She longs to fill her life with animals, friends, school and family activities. At times the pull to help is too strong to resist. She and her family know what it’s like to uproot and move just when they are settling into a new community. They are often forced to relocate when the secret is in danger of being revealed. Lina tries to think and act like other teens, but her love for animals leads her to make some interesting decisions. She tries to be cautious when it comes to strangers but her strong desire to help others leads her to risk it all in times of greatest need.
Cory, the older and charming neighbor boy, Marnie, her best friend, Aunt Jessie, Uncle Jeff, a host of pets and many schoolmates return in book two. New characters also appear in this sequel. The most interesting are Kalina’s grandparents, Stela and Todor,. As Lina learns who they are and how they have helped her at various times in her life, she also learns more truth about Aunt Jessie and how she came to be with her adoptive family. She learns how Toniya came to her. The more she learns of her past, the more she wonders how it will fit with her present. Will Aunt Jessie and Uncle Jeff accept her heritage? Will they believe her grandparents are who they say they are? Will they stick by Kalina even when she goes against their advice? Will her best friend Marnie think she is crazy if she reveals her heritage? Will her neighbor Cory get scared away as he starts to piece together what she can do with her powers? So many questions and once again they will not all be answered by the time readers turn the last page of book two.
Pearl believes the author is developing as a writer as she works on this series. This book is just as innocent and wholesome as book one, but it contains deeper insight into the characters, clearer scene descriptions and more realistic dialogue. This novel is a great follow-up to The Eyes of Innocence. The day-to-day life of an animal loving teenager is woven among the threads of mystery and magic that surround the main character. Kalina will continue to intrigue readers with her secret powers. This book is unusual in nature, but easy to follow. It answers many of the questions left when The Eyes of Innocence ended. Reader’s still don’t know the whole story though. The saga will continue when the third book Window to Her Soul is released later this year.
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Posted in Book Reviews, paranormal, young adult, tagged Book Reviews, books, Fiction, novels, paranormal, teens, The Eyes Of Innocence, Tika Newman, Working Girl Reviews, young adult on June 4, 2009 |
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The Eyes of Innocence
By: Tika Newman
ISBN: 978 0 9821507 0 2
Thistlewood Publishing, October 2008
Fiction – Paranormal
Buy Link: http://www.thistlewoodpublishing.com
The cover of this book is stunning. It is a wonderful preview of the story within. Readers will be drawn to this cover and intrigued even more once they read the synopsis of the story. Orphaned at the age of three Kalina Weston is raised by her Aunt Jessie and Uncle Jeff. The story picks up when she is 15 years old and the family is on their way to a new home. Readers find out early on that the family moves frequently to keep Lina’s strange abilities a secret. These abilities include seeing the future, communicating with animals and the ability to heal. The powers seem to come and go and Kalina doesn’t always have warning ahead of time nor memory of her acts afterwards. This leads to some interesting twists and turns in the story. In an effort to give her a normal life, her aunt and uncle not only relocate frequently but also try to help her hide her “gifts” and downplay the healings. Kalina doesn’t always agree with their assessment of a situation, but seems grateful for all they do for her.
As she reveals Kalina’s special powers, the author creates several descriptive scenes that are well written. Readers will learn of the special gifts little by little and scene by scene. Readers have special insight into her dreams and await the time they will play out in Kalina’s life. This makes the story compelling. The author obviously researched various facts before presenting them. Often the “Gypsy” or Roma culture is presented stereotypically in books. The author wove them into the story without leaning on stereotypical misrepresentations of this people group. In addition to her miraculous rescues (which I won’t describe for fear that it would spoil the story for new readers) the book is filled with teenage ups and downs, friendship, crushes, homework, hobbies and a slice of betrayal.
This story draws the reader into the life of the main character and several minor characters. Readers may not like Tarrah the drama queen or her awful antics, but will be drawn to Cory the friendly neighbor boy. Cory shares a love of horses with Kalina and plays a large role in Kalina’s rescue after a mishap in the woods. As the story goes along Cory is close to figuring out the secret. Will he fit all the pieces together? If so, will he reveal what he knows? You will have to read and find out. On a side note, Cory’s family has a horse farm and this reviewer was most surprised to spot her own name Pearl in the book. I won’t tell you too much, but I think Pearl was the perfect choice for a new addition to the family farm.
The Eyes of Innocence has an interesting story line. I found myself eager to read to see what would happen but to be honest, I became bogged down in trivial matters. I feel the author went into a little too much detail about food, drinks and snacks the characters ate, as well as too much discussion of chores being done around the house. It got to the point that these seemed like page fillers to me and the book would have been just as interesting without them. Additionally some of the banter back and forth between characters didn’t seem realistic for the setting or time period. I am giving the book a 3-½-shoe rating because much of the story deals with teenage drama that may not be of interest to older readers. The book is very well suited to teenagers and those that enjoy that age group may rate the book even higher. The storyline itself is interesting and readers will enjoy getting to know Kalina and her special abilities.
The author knows how to keep her readers coming back for more. As her sixteenth birthday approaches Kalina begins dreaming regularly of a white horse. Oddly, she actually sees that exact horse at the edge of her property the day of her birthday. She just knows it is a gift for her, but who gave her such a gift and how did that horse get in her dreams? Not all questions were answered when the last page was read and this reviewer was left wondering about the next book in this unique series.
The book is full of short chapters that are easy to read. If you enjoy the paranormal and are looking for a quick summer read this may be the book for you. The eyes of Innocence is book one in a planned series of three. My guess is that the unanswered questions will make many readers eager to read Forever in Her Dreams, which is book two of the series.
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