Hi there! Welcome to my stop on the Everything You Know blog tour organized by A Bound Book Tours. If you want to check out other stops on the tour, click here. Today’s book is a recently released YA Fantasy by Mary Beth Bass.
A dark forest, a screaming woman and blood. These are the images that haunt seventeen year old Emma from the moment she meets Joe Castlellaw. And so much more awaits.
Emma Mathews never believed she was like everyone else, but neither did she think herself crazy. Meeting Joe Castlellaw, Henry Dearborn High’s newest student, was like waking on a cold rock in a strange place, the world bathed in liquid moonlight. Everything is different now…and fraught. Visions of a dark forest, a screaming woman and blood have begun to haunt Emma’s dreams, and not only at night. But Joe’s lonely beauty makes her float on air, and she would follow him anywhere—out of high school and through the great tree, to a world of poetry and political savagery, of magic and murder, to a life that is entirely theirs and yet unlike anything they have ever known.
This YA fantasy romance gets to the matter quickly. The second Emma and Joe touch, Emma falls into a trance and reveals Joe’s tragic history–a history he had no memory of. The two of them are alternately attracted and repulsed, mainly because they feel so overwhelmingly attracted they think they need to stay apart, for their own good.
Joe’s a child with no history. His adoptive mother found him wandering and took him in, forging his identity. All he knows is he’s different, perhaps because as a small child he could fly. Emma’s the oddest of oddballs, in a family that is far from normal. Add telepathic to that mix and, well, even she thinks she’s cracking up.
At least, until she learns her older brother is telekinetic. And, when Joe and Emma kiss and hit the sky–literally–she knows she’s found sanctuary.See, their supernatural powers exist because they are not of earth they are gemynd refugees from the Commonworld–something nobody has bothered to tell Joe, and what Emma’s parents have actively hidden for her, and her four siblings, her whole life.
But this romance is doomed–Joe’s actual father is a hunted being in the Commonworld. Joe and Emma are both kidnapped, multiple times, in order to draw Joe’s father out of hiding so his immense power can be exploited by either of the warring political parties.
Through all of this, the bond between Joe and Emma becomes acutely strong. They are Soulmates, and the loss of either will result in certain misery for the other. Unfortunately, Joe’s father’s power is about to be usurped by an even more malevolent force that the politicians–and doing so will end all life, on earth and the Commonworld. Due to her telepathic nature, Emma knows she is the only one who can help Joe’s father–even if it means her life is lost.
It’s a quality YA romance, with so many fantasy elements, I was a bit overwhelmed myself. There is intrigue, deceit, danger, risk of self, first love, first loss, sacrifice and salvation. Emma’s family isn’t willing to go quietly, and they mount siege after siege to rescue their children who are alternately in danger. Romantically, Emma wants to take things very, very slow–she barely knows herself, she argues, how can she fully give herself to Joe? And the introspection is both fresh and honest. No agenda to be advanced as there are plenty of controversial plot elements to be had. I’d recommend it to upper YA readers.
More than a little obsessed with Keats and MOBY DICK and fueled by loud music and cold grey days, Mary Beth Bass is the author of young adult fantasy and romantic women’s fiction. Her debut paranormal-women’s fiction hybrid, FOLLOW ME received the Book Buyers Best Award for Time Travel, Fantasy, and Paranormal Romance.
An occasional travel writer, Mary Beth has written about Paris, Bordeaux, and Yorkshire, where she hiked the moors to the legendary setting for WUTHERING HEIGHTS and stood breathless in the parsonage room where Charlotte, Anne, and Emily Bronte talked out their stories with each other.
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And, as always, keep reading my friends!