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OblivionFrom Goodreads: Lisa McMann’s Dead to You meets Kate Ellison’s The Butterfly Clues in a psychological thriller full of romance, intrigue, and mystery. 

One year ago, Callie was found in an abandoned apartment, scrawling words on the wall: “I KILLED HIM. His blood is on my hands. His heart is in my soul. I KILLED HIM.” But she remembers nothing of that night or of the previous thirty-six hours. All she knows is that her father, the reverend at the Church of the Holy Promise, is missing, as is Hannah, a young girl from the parish. Their disappearances have to be connected and Callie knows that her father was not a righteous man.

Since that fateful night, she’s been plagued by graphomania — an unending and debilitating compulsion to write. The words that flow from Callie’s mind and through her pen don’t seem to make sense — until now.

As the anniversary of Hannah’s vanishing approaches, more words and memories bubble to the surface and a new guy in school might be the key to Callie putting together the puzzle. But digging up the secrets she’s buried for so long might be her biggest mistake.

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Oblivion is a beautiful yet disjointed story that sucks readers in from the get go. Much like Callie’s mind, pieces of the story are told in fragments and Callie struggles to live in the here and now while dealing with her debilitating graphomania—a compulsion few truly understand. But through all its disjointed glory, the reader begins to experience what Callie truly feels when unable to get her words out, and she struggles throughout the entire story to make sense of it all, focusing on her words and events from the past in order to understand what truly happened that fateful night a year ago. Slowly, the pieces come together, and as they do, readers will find themselves glued to the pages. Both frustrating and intriguing, I could not tear my eyes away, and in the end, the novel left me breathless.
Dawn’s debut is absolutely superb, and I adored her characterization. I felt that all the characters were extremely real, and though I’m sure others will disagree, being a teacher I see students from all walks of life, and though I’ve never had any with graphomania, I have had those in similar situations as Callie and her beau, and I think Dawn captures their realities quite vividly in this novel.

Truth be told, I never knew graphomania was a reality for some people, and it was intense watching Callie attempt to deal with her compulsions. As a teacher, I feel like I would have responded much as Callie’s teachers in the novel do, and that’s disheartening. While it is true that we don’t truly understand something until we experience it, I hope to now be able to say that, should I ever have a student who suffers from graphomania, I will show compassion.

This is a truly haunting story that I loved immensely, and I hope you will too. Five stars.

5 stars

I received this novel from the publisher, via Netgalley, in exchange for an honest review.

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13412377From Goodreads: With the Prime Destinations body bank destroyed, Callie no longer has to rent herself out to creepy Enders. But Enders can still get inside her mind and make her do things she doesn’t want to do. Like hurt someone she loves. Having the chip removed could save Callie’s life – but it could also silence the voice in her head that might belong to her father. Callie has flashes of her ex-renter Helena’s memories, too …and the Old Man is back, filling her with fear. Who is real and who is masquerading in a teen body? This is the thrilling sequel to Starters.

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This novel pulled me in and kept my attention to the very last page.  Sequels are perhaps the hardest novels to write in a trilogy, but Price did an amazing job with Enders and I actually enjoyed in more than the first book in the series, Starters.  I felt that there was a lot more action in this novel, and it kept me guessing as it unfolded.  The fact that I was better able to connect with the characters in this sequel was also helpful, and I found that I liked Callie much more this time around.  Price really threw me for a loop with a few of her revelations within this novel, which made it all the more fun because I never saw any of it coming.

Although Prime Destinations is no longer a threat, the chips in the starter’s heads are still just as lethal, especially as the Old Man has developed a way to remotely detonate them.  Callie is the main target, but not for detonation.  Instead, she is wanted because of her unique ability to co-exist within her body at the same time that someone else controls it, as was seen in Starters.  This makes her the only entity that can be controlled and used as a weapon, which is bad news for Callie and everyone she cares about.  Imagine being taken over and having to control of your body, but being able to see and hear everything happening around you.  That is scary in and of itself, and Callie’s life just got a whole lot scarier as she learns the truth about her abilities, and those of the Old Man.

This is a great read that went in directions I hadn’t even thought about.  I really enjoyed it, and I highly suggest it to readers who enjoy sci-fi and dystopian novels, even if Starters wasn’t your favorite. It’s a fun ride.  Four stars.

4 stars

Delacorte Press has been extremely gracious in allowing me to read an ARC of this novel, via Netgalley, prior to its widespread release on January 7, 2014.

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