Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Book Review: Jaded by Kristy Feltenberger Gillespie

JADED (Nirvana Series 1)
By Kristy Feltenberger Gillespie
Publisher: Keep Calm Publishing
Published: Feb. 16, 2014

Amazon Synopsis:

Jade has spent her entire life within the confines of the eye-color- obsessed Nirvana commune. She dreams of experiencing freedom but travel to the Outside is forbidden. Besides, she’s a dutiful daughter who never breaks the rules. As her seventeenth birthday approaches, however, she realizes just how little she wants to follow the commune rules. She doesn’t want to undergo another eye color surgery, or immediately choose a life partner, or follow her parents’ life paths of teaching or wine making. In fact, her green eyes suit her just fine, she’s never even been on a date, and she’s passionate about photography. And yet she’s resigned to do as she’s told because it’s easier for her to close her eyes and follow orders. 

Her Grandmother Ruby’s murder is the catalyst that causes Jade to open her eyes wide for the first time in her life. She’s devastated yet determined to find the killer and their motive. With help from her mysterious friend Tyrian, and Peaches, the commune leader’s sweet daughter, Jade unearths dark secrets which include her mother’s illicit affair, her maternal grandparents’ escape from Nirvana, and a plethora of murders. To make matters worse, someone is hell bent on ending Jade’s mission for the truth, and that someone is most likely the killer. 

Jade can’t continue conforming to an evil society and yet she fears the Outside is just as corrupt. If she resolves to flee and is caught, the punishment is banishment to the slave cabins…and blinding. 

Although Jaded is considered a young adult dystopian novel, adults will be able to relate to Jade’s plight. 

Book Links

My Thoughts:

Jade is almost 17 years old and will soon be choosing her life path, either following in her mother’s career as a teacher or her father’s as a wine maker. At that time she will undergo an eye surgery to change the colour of her eyes to indicate her life path choice. This is the rule of the commune in which she lives.

When her grandmother, with whom she is very close, dies, and secretly gives her a journal telling her to tell no one about it, but read it, she does and realizes she has two choices, stay in this commune and follow the rules that chafe at her, or risk trying to escape where failing means blinding. But a successful escape would bring the possibility of bringing Outside authorities in to stop the evil practices going on in her commune.

Jaded is a fast-paced dystopian novel that grabs your attention from the first page and doesn’t let go until the final word on the last page and still leaves you wanting for more. This novel is full of plot twists and turns that will keep you guessing. I didn’t want to put it down.

The author does an excellent job of creating characters worth caring about. Their sorrow will touch you and their love for one another will touch you. The romance between Jade and Ty is clean romance, so no need to worry for your younger teen audience.

This book has something for mystery, suspense, romance, dystopian, young adult, adult readers alike. It definitely goes into my favourites category! I gave it a rating of 5 stars out of 5!

Thank you to the author for providing a copy of the book in exchange for a fair and honest review. A positive opinion was not required. All thoughts are my own.

About the Author:

Kristy Feltenberger Gillespie lives in Warrenton, VA with her husband, two cats, and two dachshunds. She's a middle school counselor, graduate student at Longwood University, (pursuing a degree in School Library Media) blogger, short story and YA novel writer. When she's not working, she's traveling or dreaming of traveling. She's been to 39 states and is planning a 9 state road trip with her mom in the summer of 2014.

Author Links
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