Monday, 21 July 2014

Book Review | Dangerous Reflections

Title: Dangerous Reflections
Author: Shay West

Genre: YA/ Historical fantasy/ contemporary

Pages: 214

Series: I believe there is a sequel called Twisted Reflections

Publisher: Booktrope

Rating: 4 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?'

When I first picked up this book, I really didn't know what to expect. The blurb really drew me in with it's hint of not only contemporary writing but also fantasy and the front cover also intrigued me. 
I have to say I really enjoyed the book and it deserves high praise indeed. The first thing that I really loved was the mixture of genres. I think sometimes and author can get mixing contemporary with fantasy very wrong, yet Shay West managed to balance out the two genres in a way in which kept the reader hooked on the plot and wanting more of both aspects of the book. I think also, by mixing these genres Shay West succeeded in what most authors struggle to accomplish: acknowledging that although in fantasy, strange things happen, the ordinary things in life do continue and also have to be dealt with. 
Linking on from the last point I made, another thing I thought made the book the great piece of work that it is, was the way in which Alexis (the main character) did show emotion and wasn't perfect. In fantasy books, females are sometimes made to look 'perfect' with luscious hair, faces and bodies and these factors are often what draws a reader in. In this book, I found, because your imagination was left to do a lot of the work when it came to some of the characters, when a detailed description of another character came along, it made a wonderful contrast.
Another thing that Shay West managed to do so very well, was hooks at the end of chapters. 
In some chapters, we got a glimpse of another character, and indeed another side to the story. These chapters seemed to be more dark and sinister than the chapters that held the struggles of teenage life and I thought, this contrast was really effective. A few chapters also ended with great hook that made you crave more.
I love fantasy, it is probably my favourite genre and I have never come across a book that  has the elements of fantasy within this book and I have to say it was refreshing and very intriguing. 
The development of the plot and characters throughout the book is fantastic. I thought that Alexis transformed from a slightly sulky, angered and upset teenage girl into a brave, happy and almost unrecognisable girl to the one the book started with. Normally, I prefer to have slow character changes that are almost undetectable until you reach the end of a book or series and realise how very different they become. I was surprised (pleasantly) to find that I really liked the new Alexis and thought the character change was very appropriate.
A final thing which I loved about the book was the subtle yet important life lessons we learn from the characters. The troubles of family, friends, boys, school and popularity seem (as many adults may forget) massive when you are a teenager and I think that Alexis is a really good representation of not only what we can do when we face our troubles, but what we can choose to be.
If I had to criticise the book, I would have a very hard job in my hands, but there is one thing that got me was that sometimes, I found that some of the character's reactions to events were not totally realistic. I don't really know how to explain this point properly without spoiling anyone, but I hope you get the gist of what I'm trying to say!
So, if you are into fantasy, history, or you just want a good book to read, then Dangerous reflections is the way to go!
I look forward to reading the sequel very soon!

Happy reading 
Hebe x

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