Author: Mary Lindsey
Genre: Paranormal Young Adult
Publisher: Philomel Books
Summary: A thrilling debut story of death, love, destiny and danger. Lenzi hears voices and has visions - gravestones, floods, a boy with steel gray eyes. Her boyfriend, Zak, can't help, and everything keeps getting louder and more intense. Then Lenzi meets Alden, the boy from her dreams, who reveals that she's a reincarnated Speaker - someone who can talk to and help lost souls - and that he has been her Protector for centuries. Now Lenzi must choose between her life with Zak and the life she is destined to lead with Alden. But time is running out: a malevolent spirit is out to destroy Lenzi, and he will kill her if she doesn't make a decision soon.
The Dish: There are only two words I can use to describe Mary Lindsey's debut... completely amazing. It's always exciting when an author hits the mark the first time with story, characters, and pacing, and Mary Lindsey definitely hit it dead-on.
The story was a concept that hasn't been explored as much as others, and it was refreshing to read such a unique story involving reincarnation. Lenzi is simply an amazing girl, and I adored her right from the beginning of the book to the very last page. She really became more than what she originally thought she was capable of in the first chapters while still trying to overcome her persistent doubts. It was both fascinating and frustrating watching how Alden's attempts to help her overcome the doubts sometimes caused even more doubts, but that is the mind of a teenage girl, even one who has apparently lived many different lives through the centuries.
There were times that I wondered what was going through Lenzi's head when she made decisions that placed herself in danger, but that added to the realism of her character. She is a teenager, and teenagers don't always make the best of decisions (trust me, I remember being a teen and making bad decisions, too). Given the traits of her past self, that Alden and others like them knew as Rose, which were gradually revealed to Lenzi as well as the reader, her decisions did make sense. When it came to Alden, I thought she did ultimately make the right decisions. Oh, Alden... a swoon-worthy boy if ever I did see one, though sometimes he did take his orders a bit too seriously. It's no wonder that Lenzi became so frustrated with him, but in the end he also made the right decisions for her.
With the story really being about Lenzi coming to know who she is by learning who she was, the pacing had the pages turning at a consistent rate. It always astounds me how authors find the balance that keeps baiting the reader to keep moving on to read even more. There were some areas of the story that were left open to a possible sequel, however I'm not sure if one will happen. Even without a second book, I am impressed and delighted to have found such a wonderful author and storyteller in Mary Lindsey. I look forward to reading more from her in the future.
Bottom line: You must read this book. If you are a Texas YA blogger, then you MUST read this book.