Tuesday, November 27, 2012

[Review & Giveaway] Summer in Salem by Brina Courtney

Summer in Salem
Teagen’s summer has been turned upside down by a body, a pentagram necklace, and an old flame.

Nine months ago, Teagan Matthews' boyfriend disappeared and took her sense of stability with him. But when the opportunity to live with her aging grandmother in Salem arises, she decides it's time to get on with her life. A new home, new job and new friends are adding up to a beautiful summer...

...until a young girl's body shows up one night in town, wearing a necklace exactly like Teagan's.

Now a guy looking remarkably like her missing boyfriend has arrived in Salem along with a mysterious stranger who may have some answers that Teagan has desperately been searching for. Teagan must now decide who to trust. It
's a matter of life and her death.

My Review:  Summer in Salem has an interesting premise that draws the reader in and keeps them turning pages.  In the story, our lead character Teagan, has just lost the person she loves most, Jason.  Teagan is college age so I would classify this book as new adult.  Anyway, Jason was Teagan's first real love and she is devestated by his disappearance.  To get away from her sorrow for a little while, she decides to go to Salem to help take care of her grandmother.  While in Salem Teagan gets her dream job at an art gallery, makes a new best friend, and sparks the interest of a new guy, Seth.  Things seem like they are picking up for Teagan.  Meanwhile, she hears her mother and grandmother having a strange conversation about her.  She doesn't really know how to take that.  Then she thinks she sees Jason.   And the worst thing, a girl, who looks a lot like Teagan is murdered.  Teagan knows that it was supposed to be her.  What is going on?  What secrets are her mother and grandmother keeping from her?  Where is Jason and what is he up to?  Find out by reading Summer in Salem.

As I mentioned, I think the idea behind this story is a good one.  I also like Teagan a lot as a main character.  She isn't kick-butt, she's just a normal girl, going through some things.  It's really easy to relate to her, because she's not some idealized perfect girl or bad girl or damsel in distress.  Teagan gets a lot of weird information thrown at her, and she's like "no way."  That to me is how a normal person would react.  I've read too many books lately where our hero or heroine is told some crazy thing, and they're just like, "OK, cool."  A real person would freak out, at least at first.

There are two issues that I have with the book.  The first is that we don't get much insight into Jason.  What is his motivation?  I'm hoping this is addressed in the second book.  The second issue is that the book jumps from action to set up and then back to action.  I wish that the set up was done first, and then we could keep going with the action.  Neither of these things are major detractors though.  I look forward to book two and what happens next in the story.

About the Author:
Brina Courtney is a young adult author obsessed with chocolate, crime shows, and fantasy movies. She's spent the last few years as an elementary teacher and a high school cheering coach. She lives in a small town in Pennsylvania with her husband and two very loud, small dogs.

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Summer In Salem (Electi #1)
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