Alexis Randall is anything but a normal 16-year-old girl. Knowing that her curse can lead her to commit acts of extreme violence, she has vowed to live by one simple rule: Stay away from Normals. However, Alexis' clear-cut rule is tested by a chance meeting with one boy and an encounter that leaves another in a coma. As she struggles to suppress her feelings for the first and live with her guilt about the second, Alexis soon realizes that reality has a funny way of catching up with her. With engaging characters and fascinating plot twists, the first installment of THE ENLIGHTENED SERIES thrusts its readers into the wild and surreal life of Alexis Randall.Review:
While I was a bit hesitant to pick up Allyson Richards' Enlightened at first, it turned out to be a fabulously fun debut, one that is sure to have readers begging for more books about Alexis and the gang.
Alexis Randall has a one big problem: she has special talents (like super speed and super strength) that can cause major harm if not used correctly. To say the least, Alexis is the typical high school student, and because of that, she has turned to isolation and anger over the past for years, praying for the moment this seemingly horrible curse will be lifted from her. However, everything changes when she Taylor, a sweet and kind boy. She suddenly feels normal and calm, which allows her to desire one thing she hasn't in a long time: time to spend with a seemingly ordinary 'normal.' Everything changes, though, when she allows her anger to over take her and in the process harms an innocent person. Suddenly, Alexis and her mom are on the run once again, much to their dismay, but this time everything will be different. Secrets will be reveled, relationships will be tested, and Alexis just may find herself in the process...
While Alexis was a bit hard to like at first because of her anger and resentment about her condition, she began to become more and more likable as time continued and more was reveled about her past. What I liked best about her character, though, was learning more about her 'curse.' It was always interesting to see what she was able to do, and what it meant for her character in general. I also enjoyed the addition of Taylor's character. He was sweet and kind, and while I felt a little more development could have been used, I always liked seeing how Taylor affected and changed Alexis as a person over time.
The premise and plot of this book was also great. As mentioned before, I really enjoyed the focus on Alexis' abilities. The background and mystery surrounding them was always interesting, and due to the surprising twists and turns they took over time, I'm eager to see what will be reveled in future books.
One of the main reasons I was bit hesitant to pick up this book in the beginning was because of the fact that it was self published. However, my worries were quickly thrown to the wayside as I saw Richards' writing. She did a great job of creating the characters and bringing the characters to live, especially given her young age. Yeah, sometimes things were a little underdeveloped, but I was still quite impressed.
Mysterious and enchanting, Enlightened is a great new addition to the genre of YA, one that I recommend you give a try.
To find out more about Allyson and her books, visit her website.