Published by Booktrope Editions on January 14, 2014
Series: The EVE Series #1
Genres: Historical, supernatural, Time Travel, Young Adult
Source: ecopy from Publisher
Jocelyn Timmons does not believe she is anything special - just an ordinary high school senior, living an ordinary life full of school-work, volleyball and friends. She's about to find out how wrong she is. Jackson Chandler moved in to the house across the street. His dark wavy hair, green eyes and charismatic personality draws everyone to him. Everyone, but Jocelyn. Whenever Jackson gets near Jocelyn she feels ill and dizzy. When he touches her, she blacks out and has visions of another life, in another time. As the odd hallucinations evolve and become clearer, she feels a strong pull towards the people she sees there. Frightened, she watches her once stable life begin to crumble around her and she begins to question her own sanity. Could it be possible that these episodes are actually her own memories of a life she is living somehow, somewhere, some-when? Maybe this is time-travel or some other paranormal mysticism? Our minds often wander, but can our souls?
Essence takes place in two time periods. The chapters alternate between the present, 2009 and 1848. I really enjoyed trying to piece the mystery of what was happening together. I liked reading the dual stories because I just couldn’t pinpoint what exactly was happening. Some of the characters were the same, but many of the characters in the two time periods were different not only in name, but also in personality. So I just couldn’t figure out if they were all going to have “future/past” selves or if only one person was time traveling, or if it was something paranormal. But then again, that is kind of the point of the whole book. Trying to figure out just what was going on. And I thought the answer was really very interesting. I will warn you though, you have to wait pretty much the whole book, until the answer is revealed. It was kind of frustrating, but effective because now I really want to read the next book because I want to see how everything is going to work out.
Jocelyn is the main girl in the story, in both time periods. I really liked Jocelyn. In the past she was inquisitive and she loved to learn. She was unhappy with the role of women at the time because she wanted to go to university like all of her brothers. I liked her intelligence and spunk. She still was very true to the customs, but she wasn’t blindly accepting of them. She wished things could be different. Jackson was her fiance in this time period and they are both very much in love. They have known each other their whole lives and their relationship is very sweet.
Flash forward to 2009 and Jackson moves in across the street from Jocelyn, who is a more confident version of her 1848 self. She excels in school and in sports and she seems really happy with her life. I liked 2009 Jocelyn a lot, maybe even more than past Jocelyn because she was getting to do what she always wanted. But every time Jocelyn sees Jackson she started feeling sick and when they touch she blacks out. This would freak me out so much. I would be as far away from him as possible. I thought it was strange that no one else put two and two together that these episodes were only happening in Jackson’s presence. But for me they only added to the mystery. I had to see how they fit into it all. 2009 Jackson came on a little strong for my tastes, but he grew on me. I liked how determined and set he was on hanging out with Jocelyn.
My only critique of Essence was that the book was a little slow. It seemed like the whole book was setting the stage for book 2, where I feel like the real story will begin. That may not be a fair assessment, because there was a ton of character development and ground setting, but not a whole lot in plot advancement happened. It was still a really interesting story, and the reveal at the end took me by surprise, but I feel like the real action will be in book 2. At least I hope it is because I am interested in this series, but I hope the pace picks up a little. I am interested in seeing how Jackson and Jocelyn handle everything now. I anticipate enjoying book 2 more than this first book. Overall, Essence is an interesting concept, and is a lovely description of how different life can be for a girl in 1848 and 2009, with a large dash of mystery thrown in.
There are two giveaways for you to enter. The first is for an ecopy of Essence. Open INT (book briefs contest policy applies)
The second giveaway is tour wide and you can win a SIGNED set of books 1 and 2 in the EVE series. Fill out the rafflecopter below to enter
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