Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Jenn's Review: ASLEEP

Summary: Adisa Summers doesn't know her boyfriend, Micah Alexander, can fly. Micah's odd emotionless behavior, rigid posture, and vacant eyes are a mystery sending mixed messages to Adisa. When a flash of lightning sends a tree crashing down on her, Adisa is shocked to see Micah actually flying to her rescue!

In an instant, Adisa is in his arms, looking up at the sky over his shoulder as they fly parallel to the ground. Micah shifts, shielding her completely with his body. As the tree explodes against Micah's back, Adisa feels him shudder with the impact and the air fills with wood chips and sawdust. Miraculously, they aren't smashed into the ground. They safely continue flying.

After this dramatic rescue, Micah finally begins to open up to Adisa about his secret life as a superbeing and she discovers another shocking secret. Micah burns for her--literally as well as figuratively.

This African American superhero teen love story is set in modern day Atlanta and is filled with humor, mystery, romance, and suspense.

Review: I was a little... apprehensive about starting this book. I love YA fantasy, but I am -or was, I should say- a fan of Heroes, and I saw first hand that romance and superpowers do not mix. It only took me about thirty pages to realize that apparently, Heroes just did it wrong! Wendy Raven McNair has written a rich and compelling story of girl-meets-boy ...who just happens to be a superhero.

The plot unrolls slowly, but steadily. Not once did I ever feel like it was dragging, nor did I do that 'I'm-bored'-skim-ahead that I am guilty of on many occasions. There was plenty of exposition, but it was engaging and beautifully done. It is our experiences that make us who we are and in this way Ms. McNair allows us to thoroughly get to know Adisa. I loved getting to know her friends and family as well as discovering Micha with her. The only time things felt rushed is when Adisa first gets pulled into Micha's world, but then again, things felt rushed for Adisa too, so in a way, it was kind of perfect.

Adisa is one of those strong female characters that I adore and that lately is severely lacking in YA literature (I'm lookin' at you Ms. Meyer!). Adisa is not without her faults, she is a teenager, yet these are balanced by her virtues. Her temper is quick and her loyalty is fierce. Over the course of the school year, Adisa grows from a self-involved girl with no interest in boys to a responsible teenager with her first love and all the complications that go with it, plus a few extras due to the fact that her boyfriend is just a little unusual. Through a cataclysm of events stemming from her sixteenth birthday Adisa learns that every thing is not always what it seems. She discerns that no one is all villain, or all hero, super or otherwise, and that families and life are complicated.

Ms. McNair has created a fascinating world of supers balanced on the edge of reality. ASLEEP is part of a trilogy and by the end of the novel the action has really started to roll. Though there is much to absorb, she leaves the reader craving more. I cannot wait for the next book, AWAKE to be released sometime this year!

Final Take: 5/5



Julie May 18, 2010 at 4:09 PM  

This is very intriguing and this is coming from someone who won't read YA books. Except those I read when I was YA.

Melissa June 28, 2010 at 10:48 PM  

Hmmm...no I haven't read this one. Looks pretty interesting. I'll be on the look out. :)

Thanks for the heads up. :)

Kristen @ Daemon's Books August 2, 2010 at 9:48 AM  

This sounds good! I hadn't heard of it before, so thanks for the heads up. I'm with you, I like YA female characters that are strong and independent.

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