Release date: May 25th 2013
Genre: YA coming-of-age fantasy
Rate: Enjoyed it
Joanna Murphy's world is turning upside down. Once upon a time, Joanna had no stepdad, her mother was not pregnant and she would go to a backpacking trip to Europe with her mother after finishing high school. But now she's living with her stepdad, who she's resentful with for intruding to her family, her mother is pregnant and that means no trip to Europe.
To make her life a little bit more frustrating, she's in love with her best friend and neighbor, Tommy. He has no clue she's in love with him while she dates girl after girl, not paying attention to the freakishly tall Joanna.
But one night, everything changes. Her wishes come true after seeing a falling star and almost killing herself by falling from her rooftop. And when the falling star, not only came another alternative life, but it also brought a breathtaking teen, James, who makes Joanna forget about Tommy. When this alien encounter bring her the life she wanted, she realizes that not everything might be all dreamy and happily ever after and that you have to be careful with what you wish for. Because it may become true and you may don't like it.
Janine Caldwell's new novel, Visited, drew my attention, first for the beautiful cover, and second for the great synopsis.
What I really liked about this story is the possibility of changing your life just by wishing for it. It bring some science fiction characters, like James, an alien that turns out to be something completely different, and the realization that you must be careful with what you wish for, because not all the wishes have a happily ever after ending.
The storyline was well developed and fascinating, with great characters that make this book a must read one. And what's important, too, is that this book is written in a way that is almost believable and that holds your attention and the twists in the story and revelations were not as expected as we thought.
I would define this story, not a science fiction one, but a story where the main character, Joanna, struggles with accepting herself, accepting the fact that maybe now she's not destined to end up with her best friend and that her life is not as bad as she thought and what makes now her mother happy, If she didn't have it, she would be miserable. So she has to start thinking not only about her wishes and dreams, but her mother's too.
I have to confess that this story reminded me a little to the movie 16 candles, how the main character realizes that, after all, she doesn't want all that wishes and that her life wasn't all that bad. I really liked the movie, so you might imagine that I also liked this book.
As for the characters, they are fantastic. The main character, Joanna, is a normal teenager. She has some insecurities, like being way too tall, and because of that not having a boyfriend or the fact that her best friend is not in love with her. She's real and I like that about her.
Tommy is a little bit insecure as well and possessive and jealous. When he has a girlfriend he doesn't live her alone. He's always controlling her and when he sees her talking with another guy he assumes that she is cheating on him or that is wrong talking to another guy when you have your boyfriend. Tommy stressed me out, a lot, and I wanted to punch him in the face a lot of times. He was insufferable, like reading about a little boy who lost his precious toy.
James, on the other hand, was kind, breathtaking and mysterious. Yes, mysterious, because just like Joanna says in the book, sometimes, he glitches and asks weird questions to her, about her new life, like he is a man on a mission. Despite that he is everything Joanna likes and she stars to fall for him. Something I totally loved.
There's also a bad character, but I'll let you meet him (*wink*).
I totally felt the passion and care that Ms. Caldwell put in this story and her characters. That made this story incredible and full of magic, aliens and second chances. That's why I'm giving this book a four and a half gorjuss dolls and I recommend you to read Visited, because you would love it as much as we did. This book would make you think and would make you want to read more and more books.
We are anxious to read more books about Visited, If there are going to be more books. Hope so, because we would love to know more about Joanna, her life and her new relationship.
Janine was born in Concord, CA and raised in the small San Francisco Bay Area town of Clayton. Four days after her high school graduation, Janine attended California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo and graduated with a degree in English.
Janine now lives in Anthem, AZ with her husband and two sons. As a lifelong literature fanatic, she knew it was only a matter of time before she would become obsessed with writing her own work. With relatives like the Brothers Grimm and Anita Loos (Gentlemen Prefer Blondes), she figured fantasy writing had to be in her DNA.
Books published by Janine include Visited, a YA coming-of-age fantasy, and Rematch and Double Fault, the first two books of The Vortex Series. The final book in this YA fantasy romance, Deuce, will be released this fall.
Win (1) ebook copy of both books, 1 and 2, of Janine Caldwell's Vortex series Rematch and Double Fault