Winterborne by Augusta Blythe
Published: 24th April 2011
received in exchange for an honest review
Sixteen-year old Mia Winterborne is destined to be special. Details are sketchy, though, as her dad disappeared with all the answers when she was five. Mia only knows that she'll inherit her kickass superpowers on her seventeenth birthday. Helping Mia prepare for her anticipated ascendancy is Loie Bryce, her best friend and eternal sidekick extraordinaire. The girls' intense friendship has never wavered until now, when Andreas arrives in Salcey Ridge. They both fall hard for the British hottie, who quickly becomes a fixture in their lives. When they discover that Andreas is not who he appears to be, the frightening reality of Mia's powers finally hits home. The nearer Mia's birthday draws, the more the danger escalates and long-buried lies are exposed, putting the girls on a path that they never expected
The narration of this book is extremely unique as it's narrated not by the main character, but by her best friend. In that sense, it seemed almost like a biography of a famous person, written by someone who knew them well, and I think that really emphasised the relationship between Mia and Loie in a very clever way.
I found Loie to be an excellent storyteller, and whilst I really did feel for her situation I felt she was a bit defeatist at times. She just decided she could never be anything except Mia's friend, and she didn't really try to be. It infuriated me a bit. Mia was your typical girl who has it all. You can't really blame her for the way she acted, because it's not really her fault.
I wasn't really taken with Andreas if I'm honest, I genuinely didn't see anything appealing about his character, or why the girls liked him so much. He was british yeah, but the only british thing I got was one use of the endearment "love" and that was about it. Saying that, I really enjoyed how the love story played out in this, I thought it was really clever.
The plot in general was very clever, and very different to the majority of the books in the same genre I've read. I definitely didn't figure out a couple of the twists, which is always a nice surprise I think. I loved that with the absence of Mia's dad, there was no exposition about her potential powers. You learnt ride along side her and Loie and I thought that was pretty cool. I thought the world Blythe created was really realistic and obviously well-planned. I loved the foreshadowing and hints that were included, and how they made sense at the end, when everything had been revealed. There was a big thing made of animals following them and being threatening throughout the book that I really didn't get. I dont *think* it was ever explained? I just found that a bit weird.
The writing style was middle of the road for me. Nothing stuck out as appalling, but nothing stuck out as fantastic either. I just really enjoyed reading it, and felt it flowed well. There were maybe a few slow points where the plot was concerned, but overall this was a really interesting, well conceived and fairly unusual paranormal YA read.
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