I received this book via Author. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of this review.Shock Me by Ashley C. Harris
Series: Shock Me #1
Published by Self Publish on September 15, 2013
Length: 193 pages
Reviewing eARC from Author
A promising gymnast, Donna Young is a shy, quiet nobody from the wrong side of town. The only exciting thing in life is her secret friendship with Ryan, her childhood crush. But after the accident—one that should have killed her—she discovers she has impossible powers! Why now, at sixteen, can she transform into something shocking and inhuman? Donna doesn't know how to use her new abilities or who she can trust, but unveiling this mystery might lead to conclusions about Ryan that are deadly.
Rich kid, Ryan Applegate is the most popular guy in town. He has a face that should be on a poster in every girl’s bedroom and dates the hottest chick in school. But ever since the big explosion at the town’s power plant, Ryan has been keeping secrets of his own, that if revealed could force him to choose between his family and the girl he's forbidden to love.
As their electrifying puzzle unfolds, so unfolds a town where friends become enemies, and enemies become unrecognizable and intertwined. Tortured heroes just might be the bad guys,and Donna discovers that her and Ryan’s secrets are powerful enough to destroy everyone... including themselves.
So, so, SO good!!!
Shock Me by Ashley C. Harris is the first in the Shock Me series about a group of teens with super powers. This particular story revolves around seventeen year old Donna Young and begins with her freaking out and running home after someone told her that they would kill her if they saw her. The story is then flashes back two months and it takes almost the entire book to get back to what happened in the first few pages.
I have to say I loved this story! It took me a little while to follow it as the POV is told in third person and switches between the multiple characters, even though the main focus of the plot is Donna. Our main character Donna Young is your average teenage girl. She just wants to make it through high school then she can essentially escape her small town and never go back. However, after a near brush with death, something strange happens and it happens in front of her two best friends, Rebecca and Spencer. Rebecca is a straight-laced, all A’s student, never gets in trouble and always does what she is supposed to do. Spencer is the nerd, the class-clown, who as a town transplant (meaning he didn’t grow-up in the small town) is an outcast. I have to say that I was severely disappointed that Donna’s two best friends ditched her because they were scared, did they not think Donna was? At first I really didn’t like either of them for this, but they grew on me and redeemed themselves in the end.
The antagonists/love interest in this story are intriguing. Ryan Applegate is the youngest son of the town’s namesake and was Donna’s closest friend growing up. Then one day he just started ignoring her. Donna assumed it was because she was heavy and not popular, however there is more to Ryan than meets the eye. When I read his first POV, I knew there was something different about him, his brother Randy, and his girlfriend Lynn. The three are always together and little comments they make towards each other let you know that there is something amiss. Even in the first chapter, Randy lights a cigarette without a lighter and when Ryan scolds him he simply says I am a lighter. LITTLE brother, Chill.
Then there’s Paul. He is the penultimate nerd and a conspiracy theorist. Living in Applegate his whole life, he researches the town’s power plant which before he was born exploded. Now he believes it’s a cover for the government, but what do they want him for? He also happens to be head over heels for Rebecca who is oblivious.
So impressive set of characters, and this is only the one’s who we get a sampling of their POVs. What I liked is that these characters are intertwined and the author seamlessly moves from one POV to the next. It did take a little getting used to with such a big list of characters but I really enjoyed seeing things from everyone’s perspective.
The world-building is awesome and simple. Applegate is just a normal town with impressive secrets. Think Smallville
for the setting and X-men/Roswell
for the plot. Though I was able to predict with little accuracy what was going on in this small town, I was still shocked (no pun intended) at what all happened at its climax. I won’t spoil it because it needs to be read to be fully appreciated!
If you enjoy YA lit, suspense, action, a little sci-fi mixed with fantasy, then go pick up a copy of this book. As far as first in series go, it hooked me right away and I can’t wait to see just where the author takes it from here. Not to mention the awesome semi-cliffhanger!!!! So