Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Review & Giveaway: Phantom by Laura DeLuca


 YA Thriller
Title: Phantom
Author: Laura DeLuca

Date Published: 3/2012

The “Phantom” was a musical phenomenon that Rebecca had always found enchanting. She had no idea that her life was about to mirror the play that was her obsession. When her high school drama club chooses “Phantom” as their annual production, Rebecca finds herself in the middle of an unlikely love triangle and the target of a sadistic stalker who uses the lines from the play as their calling card.

Rebecca lands the lead role of Christine, the opera diva, and like her character, she is torn between her two co-stars—Tom the surfer and basketball star who plays the lovable hero, and Justyn, the strangely appealing Goth who is more than realistic in the role of the tortured artist.

Almost immediately after casting, strange things start to happen both on and off the stage. Curtains fall. Mirrors are shattered. People are hurt in true phantom style. They all seem like accidents until Rebecca receives notes and phone calls that hint at something more sinister. Is Justyn bringing to life the twisted character of the phantom? Or in real life are the roles of the hero and the villain reversed? Rebecca doesn’t know who to trust, but she knows she’s running out of time as she gets closer and closer to opening night. Only when the mask is stripped away, will the twenty first century phantom finally be revealed.


I love The Phantom of the Opera, but not as much as the heroine of our story, Rebecca, does.  Rebecca has seen the play a ton of times, read the book countless more times, and seen every single movie version ever made.  When her school’s drama department decides to do Phantom of the Opera, Rebecca knows that she has to be part of it – and spurred on by the encouragement of her besties Carmen and Deb she tries out.  To her surprise she wins the lead role of Christine.  This immediately makes her the enemy of Wendy, the school’s normal starlet.  It also catches the attention of all-American boy Tom and gothic and mysterious Lord Justyn.

Over the span of the book, Rebecca receives threats in the form of letters quoting lines from Phantom of the Opera.  She then goes on to receive more direct threats.  There are “accidents” and several people die.  Who is killing people in this school theater?  Could it be Justyn, the new student – who is not only gothic, but Wiccan?  Rebecca’s friends keep putting the suspicion on him.  Could Wendy be taking her vendetta against Rebecca to the extreme?  How many people will die at the hands of the school’s Phantom killer, and will Wendy escape with her life?  You must read Phantom to find out.

I think Laura DeLuca did something cool and unique by writing a book interwoven with The Phantom of the Opera.  I always loved the play, and found myself so sad for Erick (the Phantom) and the fact that he could never really have Christine.  I, like Rebecca, often wished I could rewrite that ending. 

I loved the way this story was done.  The characters are all really well done.  I don’t want to tell you who the culprit is, but it came as a complete surprise – not only the person, but the motivations behind the atrocities committed.  I liked the supporting cast.  It’s hard to make up my mind about Tom.  He seems sweet at times, but your average high school popular guy at other times.  Justyn was more my type.  I like dark and brooding.  I won’t tell you who Rebecca ends up with – you should read Phantoms and find out.  I can hear some of you sighing, because there is a love triangle – and usually I would be right there with you.  In this case, it works.  For one thing the original Phantom of the Opera is based on a love triangle between Christine, Raoul, and Erick (the phantom).  Rebecca is playing leading lady Christine and Tom and Justyn have the roles of Raoul and Erick respectively, so it’s only fitting there would be a love triangle.  It’s done well.

Overall, the book is really well done.  The writing is excellent.  Lauren DeLuca paints a creepy word picture. I was literally on edge in certain parts of the book.  Ms. DeLuca is excellent with build-up and making the reader emotionally invested.  I felt like I was there among the cast.  Almost everything about the book is so well done I give it 5 stars.

I have two issues I feel are worth mentioning.  My first issue is the cover.  Many people judge a book by its cover, whether that’s right or wrong.  Most people I talk to are drawn first to pretty, well done covers.  I would have read this book regardless, because of the subject, but I think that having a better cover would make this book more appealing to others.

My second issue has to do with all of the threats, warnings, “accidents” and deaths.  Rebecca doesn’t tell the police.  Even when she gets a phone call warning her someone has been murdered she never tells her parents or the police.  Rebecca notices things around “accidents” that alert her to the fact that someone did them on purpose and/or tampered with things.  She never tells the police.  Ms. DeLuca isn’t the only author lately who’s teen character doesn’t report to her parents or police incidents that I feel any normal teen would speak up about.  I don’t understand this trend.  I just wish Rebecca had been a little more responsible in this area.

Other than that – the book is an excellent read and I highly recommend it for adults and young adults.

*Disclosure of Material Connection: I am a member of Reading Addiction Blog Tours and a copy of this book was provided to me by the author. Although payment may have been received by Reading Addiction Blog Tours, no payment was received by me in exchange for this review. There was no obligation to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are entirely my own and may not necessarily agree with those of the author, publisher, publicist, or readers of this review. This disclosure is in accordance with the Federal Trade Commision’s 16 CFR, Part 255, Guides Concerning Use of Endorcements and Testimonials in Advertising*


GabbyLowe said...

Thanks so much for sharing my book on your blog. I'm glad you enjoyed it. I actually agree about the cover. We are actually re-releasing the book Sept 3 with a new cover! Check out out here:

I'd love to hear your thoughts on it!

Thanks again!
Laura DeLuca

Jennifer G said...

Hi Laura,

Thanks again for allowing me to read your book. I really liked it!

The new cover is much better! I love it.

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