Friday, June 5, 2015

Emmy's Book Review... Sweet Unrest

Sweet Unrest
Lucy Aimes has always been practical. But try as she might, she can’t come up with a logical explanation for the recurring dreams that have always haunted her. Dark dreams. Dreams of a long-ago place filled with people she shouldn’t know…but does.

When her family moves to a New Orleans plantation, Lucy’s dreams become more intense, and her search for answers draws her reluctantly into the old city’s world of Voodoo and mysticism. There, Lucy finds Alex, a mysterious boy who behaves as if they’ve known each other forever. Lucy knows Alex is hiding something, and her rational side doesn’t want to be drawn to him. But she is.

As she tries to uncover Alex’s secrets, a killer strikes close to home, and Lucy finds herself ensnared in a century-old vendetta. With the lives of everyone she loves in danger, Lucy will have to unravel the mystery of her dreams before it all comes to a deadly finish.

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Buy Links:
Amazon US | AU | CA |UK
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“Wow!”  I said to myself, as I had to force myself to stop reading: “This is YA?  Really?  Damn, it’s GOOD!”

I was very pleasantly surprised by this little gem of a tale.  Lucy has moved to New Orleans with her family the summer before her senior year because her father has landed his dream job.  He has been hired to collect and curate the artifacts at an old sugar plantation, with the ultimate goal being to bring it back to working order.  I’m a history nut, so this sounded like a dream job to me as well.  Not so much for Lucy, who only wants to be able to return to Chicago at the end of the summer for her senior year in high school.

The family hardly gets moved into their new home before the mysteries start to gather around them.  There is talk of spirits, and dark rituals in the past.  She meets a handsome boy, Alex,  who (she thinks) is one of the re-enactors working at the plantation.  His reactions to her confuse Lucy, but when she tries to find out more about him, no one knows who she is talking about.  Lucy befriends Chloe, another worker, who introduces her to Mama Legba, the local Voodooienne.  Mama shows immediate interest in Lucy, while Lucy herself is wary of her and her strange beliefs.  

The book mentions that all of her life Lucy has had a recurring dream of drowning, and after she meets Alex her dreams change.  She suddenly finds herself in a full technicolor dream movie of the past, riding along in the body of a young woman named Armentine.  While that would be strange enough, when Alex appears in the dream as Armentine’s leading man, Lucy is beyond confused.  The story between the two continues on every night, and Lucy’s sense of deja vu grows stronger with every interaction she has with Alex.

Her dreams take a tragic turn, which is soon mirrored with a very similar real-life tragedy.  Lucy finds herself wondering just what is real and what is not: if her dreams are turning into reality.  The mystery surrounding the Alex that Lucy knows vs. the Alex in her dreams deepens, and takes a turn that Lucy did not see coming.  Dark forces surround them both that ultimately lead to Lucy facing an immortal enemy bent on harming her and the people she loves.

I found this story to be very unique, and I enjoyed the settings and characters.  I loved all of the history involved, and the inter-meshing of the past with the present.  I liked Lucy as a character, and thought she had an inner strength that was admirable.

The next book follows on with this story, although the focus is on other characters in the same world.  It is called Gathering Deep, and is available now.

Till next time, keep the pages turning!

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About the Author:

Growing up in Northeast Ohio, I spent the summers reading everything I could get my hands on. My mom often told me to put down the books and go play. I rarely listened.
I liked books so much that I decided to give up the rather sensible idea that I should be a lawyer and decided instead to get a not-so-sensible degree in English.
Then I decided that there couldn't be anything better than reading books for a living and forcing other people to talk about them with me. So I got another English degree...and another one.
What can I say? I make awesome life choices.
More years than I want to admit later, my family moved to Birmingham, Alabama for my husband's job. I had two small kids, no local friends, and no full-time job of my own, so I decided to try my hand at writing fiction to fill the hours. I don't think anyone was more surprised than me to discover that I loved it. Maybe even more than just reading books for a living. Go figure.
I no longer live in Alabama, and I currently teach full-time at a local college, but I'm still writing fiction for teens. I like my stories dark and magical with a splash of romance.
After moving from Ohio to Pennsylvania to Illinois to Alabama (with a short stint in Italy thrown in for good measure), I now live with my family in the DC Metro area. I plan to stay indefinitely.
I'm represented by Kathleen Rushall at Marsal Lyon Literary Agency. You can find me most days on Twitter, but I blog regularly at the Fall Fourteeners.



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