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Saturday, May 7, 2011

Review: Born at Midnight by C.C. Hunter

Title: Born at Midnight (ARC)
Author: C.C. Hunter
Genre: Paranormal Young Adult
Release Date: 03/29/11
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Don’t miss this spectacular new series that will steal your heart and haunt your dreams. Welcome to Shadow Falls camp, nestled deep in the woods of a town called Fallen...

One night Kylie Galen finds herself at the wrong party, with the wrong people, and it changes her life forever. Her mother ships her off to Shadow Falls -- a camp for troubled teens, and within hours of arriving, it becomes painfully clear that her fellow campers aren’t just “troubled.” Here at Shadow Falls, vampires, werewolves, shapshifters, witches and fairies train side by side -- learning to harness their powers, control their magic and live in the normal world.

Kylie’s never felt normal, but surely she doesn’t belong here with a bunch of paranormal freaks either. Or does she? They insist Kylie is one of them, and that she was brought here for a reason. As if life wasn’t complicated enough, enter Derek and Lucas. Derek’s a half-fae who’s determined to be her boyfriend, and Lucas is a smokin’ hot werewolf with whom Kylie shares a secret past. Both Derek and Lucas couldn’t be more different, but they both have a powerful hold on her heart.

Even though Kylie feels deeply uncertain about everything, one thing is becoming painfully clear -- Shadow Falls is exactly where she belongs...

Plot: 4 Stars
The idea of a summer camp for supernaturals sounded like a great idea, and I knew I'd have to read this book. I enjoy YA books where the characters are sent to boarding schools or academies for their supernatural abilities, but there are a large number of them. Summer camp, on the other hand, was an idea that I hadn't encountered yet. I also really enjoyed that it was a mix of supernatural creatures at the summer camp, instead of being just for vampires or just for shapeshifters. It allowed for interactions and the formation of cliques that wouldn't have happened had everyone been the same breed. The supernaturals could read each other with some weird psychic brain thing... I wish it had been explained better. Kylie can't do it, but it's never explained how to scan another person's brain or how to interpret what is read off of the brain. Hopefully that will be further discussed in the next novel as Kylie figures herself out.

Pace: 3.5 Stars
Once the plot twists at the end of the novel grabbed me, I couldn't put it down. But it was a bit slow getting to that point. Out of the approximately 400 pages of the novel, there didn't seem to be a lot going on besides camp life for about 300 of those pages. There were a couple moments where I almost put the book down, and a couple moments in which I wondered if the plot would actually show up. But then the twists arrived, grabbed me and didn't let go. Once the story was finished, I realized there were a number of earlier scenes leading up to the climax and resolution that were meant to foreshadow. I just didn't realize it until afterwards, so the foreshadowing may have been a bit subtle at those moments.

Characters: 3.5 Stars
Kylie was a very interesting character because no one knows what kind of supernatural she is. She spends a large part of the novel hoping that it's all a mistake. She accepted the supernatural very quickly for someone who had never experienced it before the summer camp, but a fellow camp member shapeshifting in front of you will definitely change your mind. Kylie's two roommates at the camp were a great contrast. A dyslexic witch who sometimes gets her spells wrong and a vampire who is trying to keep her family in the dark made for some hilarious scenes. This was my first love-quadrangle, and it got a bit confusing. Kylie broke up with before camp, but thinks about him a lot at camp. Derek is interested in Kylie, and the feeling is mutual, but Kylie's afraid it's because he reminds her of her ex. Lucas is a guy from her past that scares and intrigues Kylie. There just isn't enough time in the day to worry about so many boys. Hopefully the next novel will bring it down to a love-triangle. I can deal with a triangle.

Cover: 3.5 Stars
The cover model was a great depiction of Kylie. I like the way the cover model is posed on the tree. It's a very striking image. I just wish another character or two could've been included on the cover because there were so many characters that played a medium to large role in the story. I also wish something in the background could have alluded to the fact that the story bases itself around a summer camp. Although I tend to like purple covers, this one came across a bit too monochromatic.

Overall: 3.5 Stars

Disclosure: I received an ARC thru Book It Forward Tours.

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