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Saturday, January 12, 2013

[Review] A Chance for Charity (The Immortal Ones, #1) by S.L. Baum

Cover Rating: ★★★☆☆
Title: A Chance for Charity
Series: The Immortal Ones, #1
Author: S.L. Baum
Pages: 251 (Kindle edition)
Release Date: June 3, 2010
Source: Amazon Freebie

A new family has just arrived in the isolated mountain town of Telluride, Colorado. Welcome the Johnstons - Jason (a doctor), Rachel (a designer), and their niece Emily (a current High School Senior).

Emily has lived the life of a quiet loner in the past, trying to go unnoticed. But with Telluride being such a small and welcoming town, she finds a group of friends at school almost immediately. When Emily meets Link (another new transplant in town) her world turns upside down. She doesn't understand why she feels a magnetic pull toward him, or why she unknowingly lets her guard down around him. Link is just as confused by his own need to be with her.

Emily knows she is playing with fire. She should be doing whatever she can to keep herself isolated, to keep Link from getting too close. Danger has a way of finding Emily's family - that is what keeps them on the move. They arrive in a new town every few years - it is safer that way.

Because... Emily isn't really Emily... her real name is Charity - and Charity has an even bigger secret. Charity and her family are not like other people, they have "skills" that mere mortals cannot begin to comprehend.

Before long, Charity is struggling with the reality that her two lives are coming closer to each other with each passing day. Soon Link will find himself wrapped in a supernatural world that he never knew existed - and discover that mortals are not the only beings that walk this earth.

Emily may appear to be a spaz to her new classmates, since she can't seem to remember her name. But Emily has had a few different names, since she's been through high school a few times. She's really named Charity, and it took her entirely too long to reveal what she was. We find out how she takes her coffee and that she's bad at math before we even know what type of non-human she is. This was quite frustrating, since she's our narrator and we should know what she is from the very beginning. I guess the author was going for a mysterious vibe, but I just found it annoying.

The one main problem I had with this book was the dialogue. It was stiff, awkward, and sometimes really formal. Real people don't speak that way, so it was hard to believe the characters. A few contractions would have made all the difference though. Also from time to time it was what the characters said that felt strange, rather than how they said it. I found myself skimming through some of the longer conversations.

There's nothing really new or exciting in A Chance for Charity. I feel like I've read variations of this same basic story several times, and many are better versions than this. It's not a terrible book. I still enjoyed it, but I did find myself bored when my predictions were correct. There are a few twists along the way that I hadn't read before, but overall, this one was just okay for me. I may pick up the second book eventually to see what happens to Charity and Link now that they have each other.

Favorite Quotes

I could never seem to get over how much things had changed since I was a little girl. Everything was bigger, brighter, and louder now. Except computers, they got smaller as the years passed. (pg 8)

"I like him, he likes me, there's no kissing involved so -- sounds like a friendship to me." (pg 66)

When the paper was discarded on the floor, he pulled the top of of the box, "A weapon!" he exclaimed. "My girlfriend has bought me a weapon." (pg 189)

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