Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Jaz Primo - Gwen Reaper

Gwen Reaper, Jaz Primo, Rutherford Literary Group LLC (release date: August 18, 2012)

"A thing of beauty is a joy forever: its loveliness increases; it will never pass into nothingness." John Keats, English romantic poet I never thought that my first exposure to real beauty would be tinged with the threat of oblivion… ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ When high school junior Scott Blackstone is forced to move from his childhood home in Springfield, Illinois to small-town Custer, South Dakota, he expects nothing less than to languish in complete disappointment. Instead, he discovers a beautiful and mysterious seventeen-year-old girl named Gwen, who captivates him from his initial, adrenaline-laced sight of her on the shores of Stockade Lake. Scott’s pursuit of the elusive Gwen sweeps him into the midst of a potentially lethal family heritage that was birthed in hope, only to be passed into a legacy of guilt and death. Scott engages in a journey of discovery, tinged with both angst and danger. Like many dire legends throughout history, he is unprepared for the untimely revelation that both love and despair are often two sides of the same coin. 

Gwen Reaper killed me!  Alright, actually she killed the grass...alot, but even girls with freaky abilities and pet alligators deserve a special someone.  Completely captivating, cleverly crafted, Gwen Reaper draws the reader into the very ordinary world of a teen boy who moves to the middle of nowhere at the worst possible time.  A tragedy for most high schoolers, Scott Blackstone holds no hope for a successful transition to a new high school in his junior year until the day he spies a teen girl with an alligator in a local lake. No big deal except they live in South Dakota!  Fascinated, bordering on obsessed, Scott makes it his mission to get to know the reclusive beauty and uncover the secrets she's hiding from the entire town.

A super foray into the YA world Jaz Primo, more commonly identified with his Sunset Vampire series, continues to craft strong female characters. Interestingly, however, is the fact that the story is told entirely from Scott's perspective which draws the reader into his world immediately and together we suffer the wait, the angst, the need to discover Gwen's elusive secrets. Their angsty beginnings have such a natural progression that the reader follows along, page after page, hoping that the two will finally connect and that Gwen will find the strength to open up about her family's heritage, the tragedy that holds her back and chance to move forward together. The superimposed fantasy elements into the ordinary world, along with an intensely action-packed suspenseful plot takes this YA romance to a whole new level.

With YA fiction being the new, hot thing, the flood of stories on the market has exploded much to teens' and teens-at-heart's desire.  The keys to success seem to lie in generating that perfect balance between reality and fantasy, strong characters who adapt to the circumstances of their world and have that quality of being universally relatable.  With superstars like Rachel Caine, Jennifer Estep, Richelle Mead, Cassandra Clare to set the bar, Jaz Primo may find he's definitely a contender if he continues to create characters and stories like Gwen Reaper!

This book releases on August 18, 2012 - keep your eyes peeled for it and snag a copy as soon as it releases!

I give this debut treat four chocolate dipped strawberries.  If you haven't checked out his adult paranormal romance/urban fantasy series The Sunset Vampires, you're missing out: butt-kicking heroines, snappy dialogue and action packed fun!

This book was provided by the author for an unbiased review.  Many thanks!

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