Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Not Quite Ordinary

Title:  Not Quite Ordinary
Author:  Ariana Knight
Publication Information:  Ariana Knight. 2011. Smashwords edition for kindle.

Book Source:  I received this book through the LibraryThing Member Giveaway program free of cost in exchange for an honest review. The book was delivered through Smashwords.

Favorite Quote:  "What she'd been noticing more often lately was that fifteen was a weird age. To be on the verge of adulthood, desperately trying to gain as much independence as possible, yet still clinging to the safety of childhood."

Not Quite Ordinary is a book targeted toward the young adult market. This is the first book in what is to be the Darkness Nears Trilogy. It is the story of sixteen year old Sarah, who has spent life feeling as if she is ordinary with nothing special about her and feeling like she is not good enough. At sixteen, she discovers that she is a powerful witch descended from a long line of witches and wizards. Of course, there is a prophecy and a battle of good versus evil. Her confidence and self-esteem grows as her belief in herself grows. A positive message.

The world of witches and wizards is a popular setting for books for the age group and a great place for imagination to take flight. However, some concerns about the book raise questions as to its suitability. First, the book ties its beliefs in witchcraft to the Wiccan way of life. Tying religious beliefs to a book aimed at young people is a challenging task. The book could still tell a story - the same story - without grounding it in a specific belief system.

Second, Sarah states revenge as a motivator and a satisfactory end result of certain extreme actions. (The cryptic tone here attempts to avoid spoilers). That does not seem to be an appropriate message to send to young readers.

It will be interesting to see what direction the other two books take. Hopefully, they will focus on the positive image of accomplishing great things if you believe in yourself.

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