Thursday, January 8, 2015

Soul Journey by Miranda Shanklin - Book Review

**I was given a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review**


First off, let me just say that I really quite like the cover of this book. The colors are definitely eye-catching, and that's part of what intrigued me about the book. I was also mildly intrigued by the synopsis and wanted to read Soul Journey to find out what it was all about.

Soul Journey tells the story of Annisa, a fifteen year old girl who believes she's normal. A simple, normal high school girl. Sure, she's captain of the cheerleading squad and happens to be dating the quarterback of the football team, but that doesn't make her anything special. Or so she thinks...

Enter Chase and Penelope, Annisa's new neighbors. There's something very appealing about the pair, and Annisa can't help but be drawn to them. However, befriending them starts her down a path that will forever change her entire world.

Can Annisa handle the truth about who she really is, and is she prepared to face the challenges that come with that truth? You'll have to read the book to find out.

Okay, so when I first started reading Soul Journey, I was a little surprised by how rushed it seemed. At least it felt that way to me. There really isn't much back story for Annisa. It just sort of starts with her meeting Chase and Penelope, and then things progress from there. You do eventually find out a little more about Annisa later on, but I wasn't expecting the story to start so quickly.

There is also a very adult scene in the book that went on a little longer than I expected it to. I have no problem with adult content in books, but I went into this believing it was young adult. I felt like this scene was a bit too much for the genre, especially considering the characters are sixteen. I know teenagers do these things, but it kind of threw me out of the story for a little bit.

As for the characters, I found it a bit difficult to get attached to any of them. I don't know if it was because the plot seemed to move along at the pace it did, or if it was something else. The only character I really even remotely cared about in some small way was Rayne, and she's considered a "bad guy" in the book.

Annisa and her boyfriend, Landon, have the All-American apple pie vibe going on. They're popular and pretty and well-liked. Penelope and Chase seem a little too perfect, as well. I guess it could be because of the secret they're hiding, but I didn't particularly care for any of them.

It also seemed like once the truth came out and things started to progress in the book, all four of the main characters didn't really have to struggle with much. Everything seemed to come naturally to them, and very rarely did they make any mistakes. I found that a little hard to believe and was slightly disappointed by this. Sure, there are a couple of consequences here and there, but for the most part, nothing too bad ever really happens. I would have liked to have seen the group dealing with more "problems" or pitfalls.

Now, I do feel bad saying this, but the one thing that really made me struggle to get through the book was the editing. I don't know if the book was edited, but there were so many grammatical errors and a handful of spelling errors/wrong word usage throughout the book that I had to keep stopping to fix the mistakes in my head before continuing on. I honestly don't like being so harsh, but bad grammar and spelling are a huge pet peeve of mine. Even moreso now that I've started an editing service. I feel like if the book had been edited a little better, it wouldn't have been such a problem for me to get through it.

Overall, I felt like Soul Journey had potential, but it sort of fell a bit flat for me. I really did like the premise of the story, but I just couldn't get into it like I wanted to. I do believe in being 100% honest in my reviews, even if I feel kind of bad that I've rated a book on the low side. I think constructive criticism and honesty can be good, and if I were an author, I'd want readers to be 100% truthful in their reviews.

Anyway, even though I wasn't overly fond of Soul Journey, I am going to give Soul Redemption, the second book, a shot and see if I like that one any better. Soul Journey, for me, only gets a 2.5 star rating.

If you think you'll like the story more than I did, and you're into young adult stories with romance and supernatural elements, then give Soul Journey a chance.

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