Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Dangerous Reflections by Shay West (+ Giveaway!)

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22402628Title: Dangerous Reflections (Adventures of Alexis Davenport #1) Author: Shay West
Publisher: Booktrope Editions 
Publication date: June 17, 2014
Pages: 284 (eBook edition)
Buy: Amazon
Rating: 4.5/5 stars

Alexis Davenport wants to go home. She hates her new school, her mother for moving her away from her friends, and her father for walking out.
       To make matters worse, Alex is haunted by images of strange girls reflected in her mirror. It’s bad enough juggling homework, a relentless bully, boys, and a deadbeat dad; now, she must save the world from an evil presence hell-bent on changing the past – and our futures. Who knew her A+ in history was going to be this important?


Shay  West
Shay West was born in Longmont, CO and earned a doctorate degree in Human Medical Genetics from the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical. Dr. West currently lives in Grand Junction, CO with her two cats. When not writing novels, she plays with plushie microbes and teaches biology classes at Colorado Mesa University. She is the author of the Portals of Destiny series and the Adventures of Alexis Davenport series. She has also been published in several anthologies: Battlespace (military scifi), Orange Karen: Tribute to a Warrior (fundraiser), and Ancient New (steampunk/fantasy).


Firstly, thank you so much to Pam of Booktrope for sending me a copy of this book. Hugs!

I'm typing this literally only a few minutes after I finished reading Dangerous Reflections, so forgive me if I'm rambling because I still can't get over how amazing that book was. 

Dangerous Reflections follows history buff Alex Davenport, a seemingly normal teenage girl, who moves to a rich neighborhood after her father left her and Patrica, her mother. My first impression of Alex was that she was ungrateful and bratty, but after thinking it through, I realized she had all the right to act that way. Her dad just left them, for Pete's sake. Add teenage hormones in there and BAM! But seriously, having a protagonist that wasn't a typical good girl who wears skirts, and is popular and nice at the same time was great. I felt like I could really identify with Alex.

The book has a lot of history in it, which made me think, "We get to read YA and learn at the same time? This is fantastic!" I honestly did not know about any of the people (such as Veronica Franco, Jefferson Davis, etc.) until I read this. What makes history stand out in this book has got to be the way it's written. Shay West is a master at describing, at setting the scene. I loved how clear and vibrant it was. She wrote everything wonderfully, without overdescribing (thank you!), even to the smallest details. 

All of the characters, both in present day and past, are, as I like to call them, spicy. They're not not interesting. They have their own depth that does not outshine the main character, but they aren't necessarily foils, either.

The story itself blew me away. I've read books about reflections and switching lives with the reflection before, but nothing like this. Combining history and fantasy was a brilliant idea, and I'd like to read more of that. Alex's "real" life and her life as the reflection are separated equally. Both have equal weight and importance. Alex has to deal with the reflection problem, but she's still a girl -- a teenager who has to deal with school, snotty classmates, friends, and boys. I was impressed that all of the bits from both of the worlds fit together nicely, not overlapping each other. I like how each world was given enough attention, even though it sometimes felt like reading two books at the same time.

The only thing I didn't like was the lack of conclusion. At the end of the book, I didn't quite get what the intended resolution was. I understand that this is the first book of the series, mostly to introduce readers to this new world, but I would have wanted to see more of her dangerous reflections. The first book focused more on Alex's development, which is great for her, because I have a feeling she'll have to deal with more s*it in the following books. Aside from that, everything's perfect.

If it isn't obvious yet, I am absolutely in love with book. I need to get my hands on the next books because WHO IS THIS "DRIFTER" PERSON? And WHAT WILL HAPPEN TO ALEXIS DAVENPORT? Do I sound like the voice at the end of cartoons that goes "FIND OUT IN THE NEXT EPISODE OF..."? I just can't handle not knowing what happens next. I am definitely going to follow Alexis Davenport in all of her Adventures, no matter how many there are. 

Ya'll should read this.


AND YOU SHALL READ THIS, because the wonderful people at Booktrope are so generous, they're giving away one eBook copy of Dangerous Reflections!

All you have to do is follow the instructions in the Rafflecopter widget below. You have until January 26, 2015 to enter. The winner will be notified through e-mail shortly after. This giveaway is open internationally. 

Happy holidays!

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