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{February 5, 2013}   {ARC Review} Radiant by Christina Daley

radiant ebook coverFrom Goodreads: (Ages 13+) Mary is part Vietnamese. Carter is a complete jerk. Normally, they don’t talk much.

But when Mary’s in an accident on the way to school one morning, Carter nearly dies saving her life. The doctors say his chances of living are slim, and Mary’s feeling the full weight of survivor’s guilt.

However, Carter’s back at school in a matter of days, as if nothing had happened. Although, he is a little “glitchy,” and he’s developed a sudden and intense interest in Mary. She thinks he’s suffering from major brain trauma from the accident. Or that he’s been possessed.

As it so happens, Carter really is possessed. And the thing controlling him is having the time of its life learning to be human.

Featuring a diverse cast of characters, RADIANT is a funny “paranormal-lite” story about being human, being in love, and being healed.

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This is just an absolutely adorable read!  It’s a great YA and MG novel, one you could read with your children, or recommend to them, knowing it’s clean, well written, and all around entertaining.  I really enjoyed it, especially as I learned what is possessing Carter, and why.  I just found the whole premise of the novel to be ingenious and fun, a lighthearted read that I didn’t want to end. This is a warm and funny tale that you don’t want to miss!

Mary is a great character; she’s vivid, real, and very well fleshed out.  I loved her many quirks, and the fact that she is really close to her grandmother is just awesome.  I really enjoy reading novels in which positive teenager-adult relationships exist, and Radiant certainly delivers in this aspect.  While Mary doesn’t necessarily tell her family everything going on in her life, she does spend time with her family, mainly her grandmother, and I loved that she even brought Carter along to dinners and visits.  I don’t tend to come across many novels where the families are closely knit, and it’s refreshing to see such tenderness, love, and trust.  I also liked it because I, personally, could easily relate.  Mary is the same way with her grandmother as I was with mine growing up, and this helped me easily connect with Mary on a deeper level.

Carter, like Mary, is also a great character.  I really enjoyed the humor Daley evokes as Carter’s possessor attempts to learn what it means to be truly human.  It’s natural for us, but just think, if we were to attempt to imitate another creature, how horribly would we flounder?  Watching the story unfold, we see Carter make many a mistake that leaves Mary scratching her head and wondering just how unscathed he really came out of the accident, or if he’s even Carter at all.  It was a lot of fun to see Mary trying to piece everything together, and I loved the ease with which Carter told her when she finally just asked.  Trust is key in this story, and I loved every minute of it. Five stars.

5 stars

I received an ARC of this novel from the author in exchange for an honest review.

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