by Gina Rosati
To be published by Roaring Brook/Macmillan
on August 7, 2012
My summary: Anna has a secret talent: astral projection. She can leave her body at will and float around unseen, then return to her physical self with no one around her the wiser. Anna uses her gift just for fun, or to escape her alcoholic father. But one night after Anna has left her body, she witnesses the accidental death of Taylor, a classmate. As if that isn't horrifying enough, Anna returns to her body to find that it's already occupied -- by Taylor. Now Anna is counting on her best guy friend Rei to help her get back into her body and prove that their friend Seth is innocent of Taylor's murder.
My take: There were a lot of things I liked about this book. The set-up is clever and well thought out. Body switching is a familiar concept in both YA fiction (Freaky Friday or Don't You Wish) and the movies (The Change-Up, 17 Again) but the concept of astral projection is an interesting one, and not something I've seen before in YA.
I especially loved the astral projection musical chairs -- taking the idea of body switching and then removing one body out of play -- that is set up in Auracle. Anna witnesses the death of Taylor, then discovers that Taylor has "stolen" her body. That leaves Anna literally out in the cold, unable to stop Taylor from blaming Anna's good friend Seth for her murder.
The only problem I had with this book -- and this is just my own preference as a reader, not a flaw in the book -- is that based on Auracle's cover and blurb, I was expecting paranormal suspense. I wanted this book to be a thriller, focusing on Anna's high-stakes struggle to get her body back and exonerate her friend. According to the high school rumor mill, Taylor did some pretty bad stuff in her past, and I would have liked it even better if she had tried to pin her murder on Anna.
Instead, Auracle was more of a dramedy. Or dram-com?? I'm not sure what the official term should be. It was suspenseful at times, but this alternated with a whole lot of funny. Taylor, a girly mean girl, takes over Anna's body and is up to no good, giving Anna's body a crazy makeover, coming onto Rei, attending her own funeral. As I read, the tug of war between Anna and Taylor over Anna's body was paralleled by my own internal tug-of-war with this book. Every time the story veered from suspenseful to comic, I wanted to yank it back.
Auracle is definitely a book with a lot going for it. Anna and Rei are appealing characters and there's a nice romantic spark between them. I'd recommend this book wholeheartedly to readers in the mood for a paranormal book with a comedic bent, like Ghost and The Goth by Stacey Kade or the Hex Hall series by Rachel Hawkins.
Don't just take my word for it!
Here are other reviews by:
Hey Jen! Thanks for the linkage, we appreciate it.ReplyDelete
Yeah, based on the cover I would expect paranormal suspense as well. I do know that Allison really enjoyed it though. I am glad it's good for the most part, though. :-)
Yep -- sometimes my enjoyment of a book depends on what I'm expecting. In this case, I didn't get what I expected. But I hope that by letting other readers know what they're getting, they'll love the book!Delete
This one has been on my TBR list for a while. It does sound different than I was expecting, but it still sounds really good. At least going into it I will know what to expect now so I won't be thrown off. That can sometimes ruin a story for me if I am expecting one thing and get another. Great review chick!!ReplyDelete
Exactly! It IS a good book -- I hope my review conveyed that.Delete
When the marketing doesn't match what the book delivers, readers can feel disappointed even if the book is great.
The cover doesn't scream comedy but...ReplyDelete
One of my favorite old school trilogies bu L.J. Smith called Dark Powers (this ages me so, SO much) dealt with astral projection and psi stuff. I just ate it up back in the day and actually still own it! I read it again not too long ago and it it holds up okay, pretty angsty :)
Oooh, then you should read this. I've never heard of that series, but I do love angst!!!Delete
Awh that sucks that it wasnt what you expected. It definitley doesn't seem like what I expected. I'm not really one for comical PNR books, I like them heavy and intense.ReplyDelete
Thanks for the review!:))
I do love a funny book, and I did enjoy a lot of things about this one. It just wasn't what I thought I was signing on for!Delete
I don't mind suspense with comedy but it sounds like this book has an identity crisis. Auracle still sounds like there is a lot of good in the book and I've Bern waiting forever for it so I will definitely give it a chance. I have seen astral projection in a short story and its such a cool concept and I'm glad this is a whole story about it.ReplyDelete
I agree -- I'm a huge fan of Rachel Hawkins and Kiersten White, both of whom successfully combine humor with paranormal suspense and romance. A little comedy can be a great break from all the suspense.Delete
It's hard to explain, but every time I thought the book would get suspenseful, it went for the humor instead. It could just be me -- the two reviewers I linked two really loved the book.
I also think astral projection is a really cool topic. Read it and let me know what you think!
I will definitelyget to this. Whenever I get it lol. Oh I love talking books so you will be reading my thoughts. LolDelete
I love it that you find the books, give me a great review & then I benefit. AURACLE does pique my interest.ReplyDelete
Thanks so much for saying that. For me, a good review helps me decide if the book is right for me. Glad to be of help and I really hope you try this one!Delete
I'm glad I read your review, because I had absolutely NO IDEA that this book was a comedy. I'm not exactly sure if Auracle will be my cup of tea (although I DO enjoy Rachel Hawkins Hex Hall series), but I'll probably give it a go if I come across it at my library.ReplyDelete
Well, it's not ALL comedy. There definitely is some suspense there. Give it a try!!Delete
I think I will like this book now that I know what to expect and especially since I love comedy. Based on the blurb, I would have expected more suspense as well but to find out otherwise is music to my ears.ReplyDelete
I'm so glad. It sounds like this book would be perfect for you!! enjoy it and let me know what you thought!Delete
The comedy aspect makes me want to get a copy of this! I had it on my list, but I don't usually read a lot of paranormal books, so the fact that it's not straight paranormal makes me more excited! :) Great review!ReplyDelete
Randi @ Cardigans, Coffee and Bookmarks
This sounds pretty interesting and I actually really enjoy a good laugh, so maybe I should check this one out.ReplyDelete
Great review! I'm glad you enjoyed it!
Before I always read blurbs and based on that I had my vision of the book and shortly I realized that often books weren't so interesting as blurbs, so I stopped reading them. Now when I pick the book I have no idea what to expect. :)ReplyDelete
This book sounds interesting though :)
I do like humor mixed in as well and am reading the last book in the Hex Hall series right now. I'll have to check this one out too and see what I think.ReplyDelete
This book sounds beyond amazing!! I can't wait to read it myself:)ReplyDelete
Thank you for pointing out that this is a dramedy and not a paranormal thriller... I totally like to know what I'm getting myself in to and I would have had no idea!ReplyDelete
Well, I'm kind of sad to hear that it's not a dark, suspenseful paranormal! I mean, the plot still does sound good, and I love humor in books, but that cover does seem more dramatic, and those are the kinds of books I really enjoy!ReplyDelete
I'm sure I'll still check this one out, though! Great review, Jen!
Well that is what I was hoping but I did enjoy it all the same!Delete