Top critical review
Lessons Everyone Can Learn From
Reviewed in the United States on October 15, 2012
Both Cassie and Violet are young girls in high school, but with very different backgrounds. Cassie was in the "popular crowd" and Violet was a girl with magical abilities tied to nature. Cassie is someone who doesn't hold back her opinion and is very strong in her values, pretty much a rarity in high school!! Once she begins a tenuous friendship with Violet, she is forced is to choose between her old crowd and this new girl who intrigues her. Let's just say that Cassie doesn't do well being backed into a corner, because she will follow her heart even if that means getting ousted from the cool crowd. Violet has never had a friend before, and isn't quite sure where or how Cassie fits into her world. Violet is a descendant of a race called "The First". They are people who were one this planet long before humans were and are tied to nature and able to draw upon its abilities. Violet is one of the most powerful people yet, but has a gentle and loving heart.
When Cassie first saw Violet use her abilities she immediately wanted to use it to help her dad and the soldiers in Afghanistan. She brought it up several times with Violet, but once she saw how extreme Violet's grandfather was and how he only wanted to use Violet she realized that friendship is based on respect and compassion and she never wanted to put Violet in that position. While originally reading this, I thought that whole situation was bizarre until I realized that most anyone in Cassie's position would want the same thing. The fact that she backed down on her position, acknowledged she was wrong, and then proceeded to help Violet without thinking about what could be gained I realized that the author was telling a story that everyone could relate to. Most of us might not be as reasonable as Cassie, when it came to letting our own agendas go especially when they pertain to those we love!!
I thought this was an original idea and I enjoyed the quick read. Zaske did a good job of telling her story, even down to the extremist views of Violet's grandfather. There are extremists in every culture, race, religion, and government in the world. By extrapolating the lessons from this story most everyone can see that in their own perspective, but Zaske does it in a way that doesn't bore or condescend to the reader. It looks like this is going to be a possible series, but it is a well told stand alone novel. While the book didn't hold my attention the way a lot of compelling YA books have in the past I still enjoyed it.
I was given a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion