JJ Reads

Here: On the Otherside Series, Book One

Here - Denise Grover Swank This book was such a nice surprise. Not only was it a great freaky thriller (just the way I like them), but that it surprised me somewhere along the middle by totally giving out this dystopian vibe that I so enjoy. There is a love triangle, mystery, drama, romance, world-building, and everything you can possibly ask for in a good book. Denise Grover Swank hit it out of the park with this one, in my opinion.

The main character, Julia Phillips, is complicated, disturbed, and with a serious case of guilt and self-destructive tendencies. Ever since the car accident that took her best friend Monica's life, Julia has become withdrawn and has shut everyone out of her life. Drowning in self-pity and guilt, Julia's life is spinning out of control as everyone around her reacts to her new self-deprecating attitude and causes tension. This tension is so strong that it is making things even worse for Julia, because now even those who love her are fighting and arguing over how to best help her. Julia's depression has been attributed to the trauma of the accident and losing her best friend, but a bracelet somehow appeared on her wrist at the scene of the accident, engraved with Julia's name, and causing even stranger things to happen to Julia, including dreams of the accident and abilities to show that she never had before.

Even at school she's getting attention that she never had before, from boys she never dreamed would even look at her. Evan Whittaker volunteers to be Julia's tutor, to help her get out of the hole she has gotten herself into by failing her classes. Evan is popular and good looking and completely ignored Julia , that is until the accident and the events that followed. Now all of a sudden Evan is obsessed with her, wanting to help her out of her depression. He does exactly that, help Julia, but Julia can't shake the feeling that Evan is hiding something important from her.

I enjoyed this book so much that I can't wait to read the next book in the series. The dystopian elements came out of nowhere but that pleased me more than anything, probably because I enjoy dystopias so much. I loved the characters as well. I felt that Julia had a lot of issues to work through and she was so broken that I felt like picking her up myself and try to make it all better. I felt her hurt, her pain, and I wanted to make it stop. I give this book 4 stars. Denise Grover Swank nailed this supernatural thriller with a twist. Read it and thank me later in the comments.

(Originally reviewed at JJiReads.blogspot.com)