Sunday, January 22, 2012

Review: Anew The Archers of Avalon by Chelsea Fine

Title:  Anew: The Archers of Avalon
Author:  Chelsea Fine
Genre:  Young Adult Paranormal
Publisher:  Acacia Publishing
Format:  Kindle
Release Date:  December 7, 2011

Two years ago, Scarlet Jacobs woke up in the forest of Avalon, Georgia with no memory of anything regarding her past. All she knows is her name. She has spent the last two years lost and confused, until she meets Gabriel Archer. Gabriel’s voice is familiar to Scarlet, and she is inexplicably drawn to him. She believes he may be able to help her unlock some of the memories that are hidden deep inside her.  Even though Scarlet and Gabriel become nearly inseparable, there are still mysteries regarding Gabriel that Scarlet can’t seem to discover.  One of those mysteries is Gabriel’s brother, Tristan. After meeting Tristan, Scarlet becomes even more confused.  While she is drawn to Gabriel, Tristan makes her feel whole and complete. Now, Scarlet must put together the pieces of her past—but that past will affect any future she has. If she has a future at all.

Anew is the first book in a planned trilogy from author Chelsea Fine. I can’t give away too much of what exactly Anew is about, or I will give away a lot of the plotline.  I can tell you this:  after waking in the forest with amnesia, Scarlet tries to live a normal life.  At least it’s moderately normal—as normal as the life of an amnesiac can get—until Gabriel Archer and his brother come to town. Gabriel and Tristan know something, and Scarlet is determined to discover just what it is they know about her. But while she is trying to learn about her past, her feelings for the brothers may tear her apart.  

There is a lot going on, pretty much right from the beginning. I can tell you that this book is chock full of things to love—mystery, witches, curses and especially gorgeous boys.  Who doesn’t love a gorgeous boy? Fine’s writing is crisp and clean, and well-done.  She weaves a story that is compelling and entertaining.  It keeps you turning pages right up until the end. And then, it ends and leaves us wanting more. Literally. The last sentence of the book could not possibly be more of a cliffhanger. I sat there holding my book saying, “Really? Really? That’s it?” Kind of made me want to yell. It definitely makes you anxious for the next book. And I give Fine kudos for knowing how to pull the reader in, how to tease us with just a little bit of information and just when and how to leave the story so we are dying to read the next book (Awry is expected this summer).  

Anew isn’t like anything I’ve read before. In a genre of “been there, done that” Anew is an original.  While we’ve all seen the love triangle played out in countless books, Fine manages to give her love triangle an unexpected twist. Her take on the paranormal is also refreshing and interesting. She also drops subtle hints that we may get a lot more in future books and I for one cannot wait to see what she comes up with.  I like the characters as well. Nate is entertaining and a typical guy—man cave and all.  Heather, Scarlet’s best friend, is your everyday teenager, obsessed with clothes, hair and make-up. It’s like Ms. Fine has an inside track on the inner workings of a teenage girl’s brain. A couple of times, I could hear my daughter’s voice when Heather spoke (b-t-dubs…).  But she is a good friend who always has Scarlet’s best interest in mind. The brothers, Gabriel and Tristan, sound absolutely delicious. One brother is an open-book and one brother is a locked box that allows you to peek into the cracks, but will not open completely—which just makes you want to open it all that much more.  I like them both; I definitely cannot choose which brother is my favorite. They both believe what they are doing is the right thing, whether it really is or not. That makes them easy to love; they are utterly convinced that they are doing the right thing.  Scarlet is a great heroine—she’s tough, smart, scrappy and just a little bit vulnerable. She’s not afraid to fight for what she believes in. And she is an amazing friend. What’s not to love?   

Anew is a great book, I thoroughly enjoyed it.  It’s appropriate for teenagers and perhaps the more mature tween (junior-high age), and I think adults will enjoy it as well. Like Ms. Fine’s first book, Sophie and Carter, it is an easy read, but it definitely doesn’t talk down to you. Fine just knows how to write a book that appeals to everyone.  If you are looking for something new and different, give this one a try. I think you’ll like it!

My grade for Anew: The Archers of Avalon by Chelsea Fine:

As an added-bonus I am including the link to Chelsea’s playlist for Anew and the Amazon link for purchasing the book.

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