If you haven't seen the cover for the Girls on Fire Boxed Set yet, you can find it here! Definitely take a minute to check it out and learn about the other books in the set!
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Title: Awakening (The Geis #1)
Author: Christy Dorrity
Year Published: 2013
Synopsis: Because some Celtic stories won’t be contained in myth . . .
A little magic has always run in sixteen-year-old McKayla McCleery's family—at least that’s what she’s been told. McKayla’s eccentric Aunt Avril travels the world as a psychic for the FBI, and her mother can make amazing delicacies out of the most basic of ingredients. But McKayla doesn't think for a second that the magic is real—it’s just good storytelling. Besides, McKayla doesn’t need magic. She recently moved to beautiful Star Valley, Wyoming, and already she has a best friend, a solo in her upcoming ballet recital—and the gorgeous guy in her physics class keeps looking her way.
When an unexpected fascination with Irish dance leads McKayla to seek instruction from the mute, crippled janitor at her high school, she learns that her family is not the only one with unexplained abilities.
After Aunt Avril comes to Star Valley in pursuit of a supernatural killer, people begin disappearing, and the lives of those McKayla holds most dear are threatened. When the janitor reveals that an ancient curse, known as a geis, has awakened deadly powers that defy explanation, McKayla is forced to come to terms with what is real and what is fantasy.
A thrilling debut novel based in Celtic mythology, Awakening is a gripping young adult fantasy rife with magic, romance, and mystery.
Review: I'm not really familiar with Celtic mythology, but that doesn't mean that I don't enjoy reading books that have a basis in it. Luckily, this book had enough of a background and enough explanations that it didn't matter that I knew very little!
I especially loved the way that Rourke's past ties in to the history of Ireland and Irish dancing. I'm not sure if some of the explanations were real stories in Celtic mythology or if Tir na nOg is an actual place in their stories or not, but it all felt like it could be, which I really thought was nice. We only learn a little bit of Tir na nOg in this book, so I'm looking forward to the rest of the series because I hope we learn more! Star Valley, WY is interesting enough, but I would have loved to have spent some more time in Tir na nOg.
Since this book is in the Girls on Fire boxed set, I knew the heroine was going to be one spunky girl who wouldn't back down even when presented with situations that seemed (and were) out of this world. McKayla is willing to accept things that other people might be hesitant to accept because she knows that it's the best explanation. She does keep secrets when she needs to, but she's also always the first one to jump in when anyone needs help, especially her Aunt Avril. I'm really excited to see how she continues to grow in the next book and use her newly discovered powers to rescue her friends in need!
There's also quite a bit of romance in this book, and many types of relationships are explored. Most of them have their fair share of heartbreak and problems, but the characters are all willing to try and work things out, for the most part. The relationships all felt very real, even if there was a bit of magic interwoven with them, and it was really fun to watch them progress. Especially because the book often changes perspectives (it's mostly first person from McKayla's perspective, but we also see a little third person from Rourke and Leah), we get to see how some of the secondary characters feel about everything.
There were a few parts that just seemed really convenient and I wasn't entirely convinced that things would ever have worked out so nicely, but it helped the story progress at a decent pace so I was willing to overlook most of it. Overall though, it's still an excellent book with an awesome heroine, and I will definitely be doing whatever I can to get my hands on a copy of Displaced ASAP! This book was very well written, and I would definitely recommend it to anyone even vaguely interested in Celtic mythology or just mythologies in general. I also think fans of YA fantasy novels would really enjoy this one. I would give it a 4/5!