February 25, 2012

I wanna be a Wanderer!!!!

Ever since her sixteenth birthday, strange things keep happening to Seraphina Parrish.

The Lady in Black… burns Sera’s memories.

Unexplainable Premonitions… catapult her to other cities.

The Grungy Gang… wants to kill her.

And a beautiful, mysterious boy… stalks her.

But when Sera moves to Chicago, and her aunt reveals their family connection to a centuries old, secret society, she is immediately thrust into an unbelievable fantasy world, leading her on a quest to unravel the mysteries that plague her. In the end, their meanings crash into an epic struggle of loyalty and betrayal, and she’ll be forced to choose between the boy who has stolen her heart and the thing she desires most.

Wander Dust is the breathtaking fantasy that will catapult you through a story of time, adventure, and love.

I initially came across Michelle Warren through Inkpop (a division of Harper Teen for young writers/readers). She posted the first chapter of Wander Dust on the site and offered 'free reads' to others. I thought she was crazy, but I was also intrigued. So I read her snip-it and was instantly hooked!

Michelle takes us on a wild and mysterious ride, right from the first page. Each chapter brings more questions you just have to know the answers to. Who is this Lady in Black? Why is she sent to Chicago to go live with her aunt? Who are these creepy goons that seem to follow her after popping up out of thin air? Who? What? Why? Ahhhh!

The world Michelle creates is fantastic! Forgive my geek out moment, but I TOTALLY want to go to a school like the Academy! It's like a mish-mash of Hogwarts and House of Night with fantastically embellished rooms, crazy instructors, and out of this world that-so-should-not-be-real type of ambiance. Michelle describes everything so flawlessly it was like being there with Sera and Bishop.

The story behind Wander Dust is also incredible. I love a good time travel book and this one does not disappoint. The twist to the norm with the teams (Seer, Wanderer, and Protector) is fantastic and I love the chemistry required with the teams. Michelle weaves through a great plot full of intrigue, history, unexpected twists (which I LOVE), adventure and non-stop action. There was not a moment I got bored! It just keeps on a comin!

Sera, Bishop, Sam, Stu, Macey... I just loved Michelle's characters. They each had a great voice and true personality. Even Mona, Sera's aunt, is someone who I could totally have tea with. She is like that quirky relative you can't help but adore. Sera is a great lead character. She is strong, but doesn't know it. And it's not that cliche sort of quiet strengths, but a realistic holy-crap-who-am-I-to-think-I-can-actually-do-this-crap kind of chick. Bishop is a great guy and I so look forward to seeing more from him. Michelle kind of back-played him a bit so I have my questions. Don't get me wrong, he is totally swoon worthy. Hell, green eyes and a British accent... SWOON Bishop certainly has some background and I am anxious to learn more and see how the relationship between him and Sera plays out.

The romance was not as pronounced as you see in other YA reads, but that is not necessarily a bad thing! There were definitely those moments where you scream "JUST KISS HER ALREADY" at the printed words in front of your face. Moments that were incredibly sweet and made me giddy, and others where you could totally feel the fierce blush on Sera's face. It was awesome!

Overall, Wander Dust was a GREAT read and I am so glad I found another fantastic debut author! Do yourself a favor and pick this puppy up and READ IT! Michelle is working on book #2 as we speak and I am definitely looking forward to it.

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