Just because it’s happening in your head doesn’t mean it isn’t real…
All Renee Ward ever wanted out of life was two things: Good friends to share her love of fantasy and fairy tales, and for magic to be real. When her family moves to the quaint coastal town of Waterside, it seems as if her dreams have finally come true. But after a visit from the mysterious Blake Carter, Renee’s new utopian life suddenly turns into a never-ending nightmare.
With the line between fantasy and reality blurred, the teens find themselves the unwilling pawns in a deadly game of cat and mouse. Their very survival now hinges on Renee’s overactive imagination. Unfortunately, that’s also what got them into this mess.
I’ve read almost all of Christina’s other books, so I knew going in that this one would likely be a fun, exciting read. I also suspected she’d find some way of turning the normal boundaries between genres into pretzels while the tale took you on a roller coaster ride of fun. Beyond that? This is Christina McMullen we’re talking about here folks – you never know what to expect from her.
The first thing that comes to mind is “Yowza!” Even with the warning in the description, I was stunned when things took the right turn for Strangeville, rather than having a more mundane explanation offered up. Each time the setting changed, Christina developed the new setting quickly and with enough sensory information I could experience where the characters were with all my senses. Typically, even when I get “lost” in a book, I don’t experience that level of immersion. It’s usually more like a movie, rather than a personal experience.
In all of her work, Christina is an expert at bringing her characters to life. I don’t mean just making them sound realistic, rather I mean along the lines of making the characters (good and bad) your long-lost friends whom you’ve missed horribly or have blessed the seconds they’ve been out of your life.
Throughout the tale, until things started resolving, telling who the real bad guy was proved to be an intriguing missed after missed educated guess. You knew it had to be a person, yet discovering who that was proved to be as elusive as figuring out if the tale was happening in reality or not – you kind of hope you don’t find out, yet you really want to finish the dimensional view of the characters you keep glimpsing.
The pacing of this book is really why I think it fits into so many categories. (OK, the settings help, but not for ages.) It’s fast enough to keep Millennials reading, yet not so fast older generations would find the read exhausting. Even though the opening scenes may appear to be a touch on the slow side, they don’t stay that way long. These scenes are merely the loading ramp for the roller coaster you have embarked upon as you enter the exciting, enthralling ride trapped between the covers.
Need you ask? An enthusiastic 5 of 5 paws from this pukah. Even when I put time between me devouring this book in a night and the review, not only does the story stick with me, leaving behind a warm glow of a temporarily sated mind-belly, but I can still remember the essence of individual scenes. Definitely a memorable book, and one I highly recommend to anyone who is looking for a read suitable for the entire family.
If you are intrigued, and wish to read the book, then hop over to Amazon and pick up your own copy of Kind of Like Life today. Something tells me, you won’t be disappointed.
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