Saturday, October 27, 2012

[Review & Character Bios] Finding Summerland by Paige Bleu

About the Book:

After his brothers recent disappearance Wesley Rochester wished he could just fade into obscurity. Searching for closure, he's haunted by visons. Consumed with decoding the messages, he begins turning dangerously deeper inward. Enter an intriguing, 'not quite' human stranger, who mysteriously arrives just as he feels all hope is lost. Together they begin to realize that their destinies are intricately tangled in a drama reaching far beyond the realms of the wold they know. Discovering the secrets plaguing Wesley since childhood are no coincidence, and everything he believes is shattered.

Captivated by her, he must decide between the life he has and the one he'd forgotten.

'Finding Summerland' is like 'Twilight' in the sense that it is a supernatural, coming of age romance—but has a genre bending, metaphysical element and a much deeper rabbit hole. Follow the journey of two star crossed souls as they explore who they are and the ties that bind them. Enter a world intentionally forgotten. A place buried by history, where only the chosen are aware of its existence. A place covenants are made and broken, where myth leads to truth and forbidden love threatens to destroy or be destroyed, becoming just another casualty in their shadow war. The introductory novel in a series of five, called 'The Ameryn Chronicles'—but compelling enough to stand alone—'Finding Summerland' is sure to be savored by anyone craving to stretch the bounds of ordinary imagination, edgy enough to engage readers who enjoy unraveling a mystery, and sweet enough to grab onto the hearts of the romance lovers! Where legends breathe and dreams are alive. A 'trippy' journey to a new reality.

My Review:  I can't say enough how much I like YA books told from a male POV.  Summerland is told from Wes Rochester's POV, which made summerland different from any other mermaid story I've read.  I've really been into mermaids lately.  Wes, is not your typical YA male.  He isn't the big-shot, star athelete, model student, etc, etc.  In fact, he has always kind of lived in his brother, Channing's shadow.  Until Channing disappears. Anyway, Wes is kind of moody sometimes, has a learning disabilitiy and thinks some rather un-nice things about his classmates and the girls at his school.  And then there is the weird stuff - the drawings he makes in his sleep. 

On a beach trip with his friend, he meets Olivia - who's eyes he has been drawing in his sleep.  Olivia says she's from France which explains why she doesn't know about cell phones and other uberAmerican things.  They start to develop a relationship over time, and Oliva eventually enrolls in Wes' high school.  Olivia is hiding something though.  Well several things.  What I'm not going to tell you.  But could Olivia's secret have anything to do with Channing's disappearance?  You will have to read and find out.

I thought this book has a lot of promise.  I really liked the main characters in the book, and thought they were well described and thought out.  There are a lot of names thrown around, and some of them never get mentioned again.  Maybe they will show up in one of the sequels?  Also, this book seems like it has a lot of set-up.  There are some things described in the prequel, that don't really get mentioned again in this book. That's really my only issue, but hopefully that will be resolved in the next book. 

Overall, I enjoyed Summerland and I look forward to the next book in the series.
Links :

Character Bios:


Olivia is searching for answers of her own when she bumps into Wesley one night on the beach. Shy and mysterious, she's clearly different from most other girls in town. Beautiful, but unaware of it, Olivia is refreshing and intriguing. People gravitate to her wherever she goes, including the stuffy socialites Wesley has to impress for his family's sake. Home schooled, she's traveled the world and is well versed, cultured, but also very organic. Wesley feels he's never met anyone more real than Olivia and pulls her into his family fold, fiercely protective of her, wanting to be as close to her as possible. She soon shares, all is not what it seems, and the demons of her own she's trying to bury. The two have an unexplainable connection, drawn to one another almost insatiably,

as they get closer and closer to each other, and answers. But there's a hidden force threatening to pull Olivia back, and the pedestal Wesley's put her on, may come crumbling down.

Channing Rochester:

High school football star, popular, handsome, and rich, it seemed Channing Rochester had it all. Girls fantasized about being with him, and every guy wanted to be him, or at least in his circle. The oldest of the Rochester children, he is poised to walk in his father's footsteps. Close to his brother Wesley, who is only a grade behind

him, he does his best to help Wes 'fit in' and has always been loyal to him. A media darling and savvy speaker, Channing has no trouble assimilating in the affluent company his family keeps. Considered highly eligible, everyone wants a piece of him and Channing loves the attention. Then, on his graduation trip, everything changes. Channing mysteriously vanishes, immortalizing him, as questions and rumors swirl in the high brow 'River Grove'.

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