Thursday, September 27, 2012

[Review] Transcend by Christine Fonseca

All seventeen-year-old composer Ien Montgomery desires is an escape from his family's rigid expectations for his life; someone to inspire his music. When he meets a beautiful violin-prodigy, Kiera McDougal, his life music takes on new life. With her, he imagines a future outside of his parents’ control. That is, until a horrible accident tears them apart. 

Sent to die in a sanatorium, Ien’s obsession for Kiera grows unbearable. Tortured by thoughts he can’t escape and the truth of his monstrous disfigurement, he flees, desperate to exact revenge on the people that ruined his life – his parents. But, vengeance is empty. Betrayed by those closest to him, Ien discovers that the price for his happiness may be his sanity.

Set amidst the landscape of New York's Gilded Age, and inspired by Phantom of the Opera, TRANSCEND exposes the fine line between love and madness.

My Review:  I would first like to thank Christine Fonseca for allowing me to read her book as part of the tour.  I loved Transcend, and I've been struggling with what to say in my review for some days now.  The book is inspired by Phantom of the Opera, which I love, but is still uniquely it's own.  Transcend is one of the better written books I've read this year.  The writing is very poetic.  The story is haunting and beautiful and at times creepy.  This is the first book that made me cry in a long time.

We are brought into Ien's descent into madness as he loses everything.  As I reader, I really connected with Ien.  I felt for him.  I wanted him to have the life he lost.  Sometimes Ien's emotions were terrifying.  More often they were heart-wrenching.    His obsession with Kiera consumes him.  Ien story is very dark, much like the Phantom in Phantom of the Opera.  Much like I did the Phantom, I was rooting for Ien.  You get so far drawn into Ian's reality that you lose track of real reality.  The end was shocking, to say the least.

There are side characters - Kiera, the object of Ien's obsession, Erik the brother he has always been competitive with, his best friend James, and his childhood friend & family servant Jenna.  Jenna is really the one that is there for him through his whole life.  His family is cruel, caring only about what people think of them.  I'm not going to spend too much time on the secondary characters.  We see them alternately from Ien's mind and from a third person point of view, as though outside looking in at everything.

Overall, this book is amazing.  There were no spelling or grammar errors that I noticed.  The book is written very differently from any other book that I've read with the alternating between first person (Ien) and third person - but it works.  The pacing isn't fast paced and action, but it is well paced and intense.  5 Stars - and I can't wait to read more by Ms. Fonseca.

About Christine Fonseca
Critically acclaimed nonfiction and YA author Christine Fonseca is dedicated to helping children of all ages find their voice in the world. Drawing on her expertise as an educational psychologist, her nonfiction titles address issues of emotional intensity, resiliency and giftedness. Her titles include Emotional Intensity in Gifted Students, 101 Success Secrets for Gifted Kids and The Girl Guide, releasing April 2013.

In fiction, she explores the darker aspects of humanity and delivers gothic thrillers that take you on a rollercoaster ride of emotions not to be missed. Recent titles include Dies Irae and Lacrimosa, from the Requiem Series, and the recently released thriller, Transcend. For more information about Christine Fonseca or her books, visit her website – or her blog

Coming Soon:
FREE on Amazon:
  • DIES IRAE (Requiem .5) - See where the story begins - "Filled with action, emotion, and drama"
  • MEA CULPA (Requiem 1.5) - Zane's story - "Heartbreaking story of love"
Other Titles:

Praise for Transcend:

“So powerful, so deep, and dark. It took me on an amazing journey into places most people fear to go...leaving me breathless.”
~Heather McCorkle, Author of To Ride A Puca 

“…hauntingly dark and achingly beautiful. A story of love, loss and obsession set against the decadent backdrop of historic New York that sucked me in and wouldn't let go, from the first page until long after I'd finished.”
~ Michelle McLean, Author of Treasured Lies (Entangled, 2012)

“ The story is disturbing and intense and utterly unique…”
~ Ali Cross, Author of Become

“…thought-provoking and emotionally heart wrenching. I haven’t felt this way after reading in quite a while!”

“It is such a powerful and deep story; it will leave you completely breathless.”
~ Brooke from The Cover Contessa


Jenea Whittington said...

I haven't heard of this, but it sounds fantastic. Great review.

Jennifer G said...

Thank you! It was such a good read.

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