THE GIRL AND THE RAVEN–A Review

Being sixteen just got tougher…

In THE GIRL AND THE RAVEN, a newly released YA paranormal romance by Pauline Gruber, we got a whole lotta supernatural going on.

The Girl and the RavenSoon-to-be-sixteen year old Lucy Walker is an orphan. Her mother just OD’ed on heroin and she never knew her daddy. Lucy also harbors a strange power–the ability to shoot fire from her hands when she gets angry. Now she’s leaving the trailer park in Tennessee to live with her uncles in Chicago.

She is befriended by the neighbors, a broody yet handsome boy named Marcus and her late grandmother’s BFF Persephone. Learning that her grandmother had been a witch and Lucy is supposed to inherit her powers is quite the curveball. And, what is up with Marcus? Boys never gave her the time of day back in Tennessee, yet he seems almost fixated on Lucy, and her safety.

It soon becomes clear that Lucy’s father isn’t as anonymous as she had believed. In fact, her father has known about her from the start, but he walked away from her pregnant mother and Lucy paid the price of her scorned heart. Of course, that’s probably standard operating procedure when you are a demon… Lucy’s frustrated that she was abandoned to a nightmare life due to his callousness, and refuses all Daddy’s overtures to make amends.

Demons seem to be in abundance in the big city, because there are two who regularly invade Lucy’s room, seeking what? She has no idea. But it can’t be good, right?

As the new girl in town, Lucy expects to struggle. But, not this much. She strives to make choices that will keep her safe and help her to feel normal–so she takes on a summer job babysitting the younger half-brother and sister of her school’s most eligible football player, Dylan. He’s the typical rich kid girls fall all over, and her friends are no exception. Except Dylan starts having crazed dreams and visions–just like Lucy’s mother had–followed by seizures.

Lucy’s sure her demon dad is behind the whole mess, so she takes him head-on, offering to accept his persistent attempts at a relationship, if he’ll release his destructive influence on Dylan. Naturally, Demon Dad has seven aces up his sleeve and Lucy’s so outmatched she can’t see the danger until it’s in her face. Good thing Marcus is more than just a friend–or a boy. His own supernatural powers come in handy when Lucy’s poisoned. And flung off a roof and nearly killed. Twice.

Man, that Marcus has his work cut out for him, keeping Lucy from a pine box fate!

The action in this story is pretty intense. There are so many characters–and the point-of-view switches between characters in several chapters–I had the teeniest trouble keeping up. Particularly with all the shapeshifting. Lucy is a strong character. Almost too strong. She’s so determined to take care of herself, that she jumps into problems she would have avoided–by simply asking for help. I wished she would have been less stubborn, though she takes her bizarre heritage in without even a qualm, which surprised me. I’d have been more than freaked learning that I was half-witch, half-demon. For all the witchiness in her lineage, Lucy doesn’t actually learn any witchcraft, or practice it, in this book. We do see a good deal of her demon-side however. I suppose the rest waits for Book Two. The story ends in a quiet place–no cliffhanger–but sets the stage for further books.

Interested? You can find the THE GIRL AND THE RAVEN at Goodreads, Amazon and Barnes & Noble. I received a review copy of this book via NetGalley.

If you happen to pick it up, come back and tell me what you thought!

And, remember to keep reading my friends.

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