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Thursday, May 27, 2010

Manifest - Artist Arthur (Young Adult)

Released August 2010

Having grown up on a steady diet of Loveswept's teen romance line, I'm delighted to see Harlequin's offering teen romances again. Every teen girl dreams of that special person and having books that respond to those dreams provides escape and lures many to really enjoy reading.

In Manifest, the first novel in the Mystyx series, fifteen-year-old Krystal Bentley is new to Connecticut. Following a divorce and remarriage, her family moves to a smaller town, away from the glamor of New York City. Moving to a new school is hard enough, but things are harder because Krystal sees and hears ghosts. It's been months and she's still struggling to make friends that actually exist in the real world.

Ricky Watson died, but he has unfinished business. Unless he can convince Krystal to help him solve his murder, Ricky's stuck in limbo. Krystal's having a hard enough time adjusting to a new stepfather and small town life, the last thing she needs or wants is to be helping dead people. When she learns she isn't the only one in her high school with unusual powers, handling the ghosts around her may not be as bad as it seems.

I'm hooked. Manifest is slightly romantic, enough that teens will enjoy the relationships, but not so much that the hook ups are the main plot. It's the paranormal aspect of this novel that kept me on the edge of my seat. Crisp writing, a handful of mysteries and copious twists fill the pages.

The mysteries within Manifest vary in thrills. There's the question involving the reason behind the break up of Krystal's parents. The story behind the Mystyx abilities. Ricky's murder. Mysterious romantic or disturbing text messages to Krystal from anonymous senders. Plus, I wondered if there are more teens with powers lurking in the school.

As the first in a series, some aspects are summed up nicely, but there is a continuing storyline that is left open. I'll admit I'm bummed that I'll have to wait before the next story is released. I don't want to wait!

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