Blast From the Past
Like yesterday’s post, my review of Rebecca Hamilton’s The Forever Girl was a very early journey into the world of reviewing and book blogging. If I can be blunt with everyone, between reading Lichgates and The Forever Girl and diving into the world of Indie Authors through observing both Boyce and Hamilton, I began my own “career” as an Indie Author. This book (and in time, the working relationship/friendship developed with authors from these early days of reviewing) was a catalyst for where I am today.
At first, I didn’t know if I’d be a fan of a paranormal romance book. I was wrong, and I proudly admit that. The Forever Girl series is one that’s stuck with me all this time. So far, we’ve been able to read a novella that’s a companion to the series, called Her Sweetest Downfall. But I’m eagerly awaiting the release of Come, the Dark, book 2 of this series. I guarantee you’ll be seeing more about that release when the time comes! 2014 will definitely be abuzz with news about book 2.
For now, please enjoy the long, rambly (sorry, I was a few years younger and green to the world of reviewing) review of The Forever Girl below. There’s even a little treat when it comes to this one. The author has published an extended preview of the book for FREE if you’re interested in checking out the first bit of the story before buying the entire novel. You can find links to that below as well.
The Forever Girl
Title: The Forever Girl (The Forever Girl series #1)
Author: Rebecca Hamilton
Rating: 5/5 stars
“Sophia’s family has skeletons, but they aren’t in their graves.
At twenty-two, practicing Wiccan Sophia Parsons is scratching out a living waiting tables in her Rocky Mountain hometown, a pariah after a string of unsolved murders with only one thing in common: her.
Sophia can imagine lots of ways to improve her life, but she’d settle for just getting rid of the buzzing noise in her head. When the spell she casts goes wrong, the static turns into voices. Her personal demons get company, and the newcomers are dangerous.
One of them is a man named Charles, who Sophia falls for despite her better judgment. He has connections that might help her unveil the mystery surrounding her ancestor’s hanging, but she gets more than she bargains for when she finally decides to trust him.
Survival in his world, she learns, means not asking questions and staying out of the immortal council’s way. It’s a line she crossed long ago. If Sophia wants to survive the council and save the people she loves, she must accept who she is, perform dark magic, and fight to the death for her freedom.
The Forever Girl is a full-length Paranormal Fantasy novel that will appeal to lovers of paranormal romance, urban fantasy, witches, vampire fiction, ghost stories, paranormal mystery, and paranormal horror. (description from Goodreads)
Over the week I have been reading The Forever Girl: Sophia’s Journey by Rebecca Hamilton. This is the first in the Forever Girl series and I hope future titles are just as enjoyable a read as this first one was.
The book revolves around the character of Sophia. She is a twenty something college graduate living in a small town in Colorado. She lives alone in her deceased grandfather’s house, works at the town dinner as a waitress, and tries to get through each day having to deal with ever-present voices in her head.
There is no apparent cause or cure to these voices and Sophia just puts up with them. She makes occasional attempts to quiet the voices through positive energy rituals she performs, but it’s never a permanent escape. Did I mention that Sophia practices Wicca? Well she does. And this doesn’t help the town’s attitude toward her, especially Mrs. Franklin. She’s the leader of a church Sophia’s mother is part of and they are based out of Mrs. Franklin’s basement.
Sophia has only two friends, Lauren and Ivory. They don’t even know about the voices. She tries not to tell anyone. But eventually things start happening around her that she can’t ignore. One night out on the town with Ivory changes her life forever, and she is thrown into an underground world of supernatural beings and ancient secrets.
Will she ever find the source of the voices she hears? Can she trust the new friends who saved her life? Can she control her attraction for the mysterious Charles? Well, you’ll just have to read the book now, won’t you? That’s more of a summary that I normally give, but I have to try to sell the book to my readers somehow. It’s just that good.
Back to my reaction of the book. I bought this book after starting to follow the author, Rebecca Hamilton on twitter. I kept seeing tweets hyping up the book, quotes from other readers reactions, etc. I couldn’t ignore it and I’m glad I didn’t. Soon after, I bought the ebook and started reading it that night. I only read a chapter or so that night, but I didn’t want to put it down. If I weren’t reading another book at the time I might have finished half the book right then and there,
Even though there isn’t always action happening at every point in the book, (what story can be only action) the book hooked me in and didn’t want to let go. A key factor that kept me reading was that I didn’t know where the book was going to go next. I mean I could tell that in the next chapter the characters were going to drive here or do something over there, but normally I can predict a major plot point well in advance. I never had that discovery with this book. It was a great feeling that left me always surprised.
Another thing I really loved about this book was how Sophia saw the world. The description of her surroundings and the people she encounters were always detailed and filled with color, smells, and sounds. There are many books out there that are good, but they can still lack strength in this area of setting. Other books can have strong description but lack in other areas. There was a perfect balance between the plot’s forward motion and the development of the scene. It didn’t get in the way of knowing what was happening, even in the middle of fight scenes.
I didn’t want to mention too much above about the characters, but now that I think about it, I should mention briefly about the supernatural characters: There are vampires, shape-shifters, and witches. Before you think “oh, another of those books,” please trust in me saying “no, this isn’t just another of those books.” Yes, I may not have read anything like this yet, and yes, there might be something similar on the market awaiting me to read it, but who cares? I don’t. I loved this book and everything about it. I didn’t think a book with vampires would interest me at all, but I was proven wrong very quickly into starting. It may also help that the mythology Hamilton creates around these supernatural beings doesn’t call them vampires and puts a reason for their creation (originally to save the world) into the story.
There is also a love story that is in the forefront of the plot, but with me being a guy, I feel safe saying that the romance factor is completely bearable and enjoyable. Not only did I not want to throw up, I also want to see where the next book takes it. This interest is increased with the way the book ends, but I don’t want to spoil anything by getting into that.
To wrap this up. I WANT the next book to be released tomorrow if not today. I would buy it right away and not put it down. I trust that it will be just as good as The Forever Girl was. For now I will have to just enjoy the aftermath of reading this one. Luckily there is a novella set for release in the summer which I look forward to reading.
One last thing to mention since it’s new to me and I want to help spread the word. I went into reading this book thinking that it was a young adult book. I thought so because almost everything similar seems to be thrown into that genre. I didn’t put much thought into this. A genre is a genre, but it doesn’t much affect my reading of the book once I get into it. With this being said, there is a push for making the genre “New Adult” known to more readers. At first I was like what’s that? Is it necessary? I think it is. I think it will help readers not only feel more comfortable reading some of the book, instead of feeling like they are reading a book written for “kids” (aka, below their level of reading.) I am not an authority on the subject, but I do support its invention (if that’s the right word for it.) New Adult can be used in association with works aimed at an audience of 18-30 year olds. I am a little questioning toward the higher end of this age range. I never really thought about what is an “Adult” book age range before though since I’ve been reading what are probably “Adult” books since high school. For more on this and to discuss I’d like to direct you to a post from Hamilton:
What Is New Adult? (I’m sorry, but it seems this post has author been removed or relocated since the original posting.)
If you’d like to grab a copy of this book, you can find it from:
As I mentioned earlier, there’s an extended preview for FREE
About the Author:
Rebecca Hamilton writes Paranormal Fantasy, Horror, and Literary Fiction. She lives in Florida with her husband and three kids, along with multiple writing personalities that range from morbid to literary. She enjoys dancing with her kids to television show theme songs and would love the beach if it weren’t for the sand. Having a child diagnosed with autism has inspired her to illuminate the world through the eyes of characters who see things differently.
To learn more about Autism Spectrum Disorder, please visit AutisticAdvocacy.org.
Rebecca Hamilton is represented by the ever-more-amazing Rossano Trentin of TZLA.