Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Blog Tour: Manipulation (Shadows #2) by Jolene Perry (Review + Giveaway)

The Manipulation Blog Tour is hosted by YA Bound. Find the rest of the tour stops here.
About Insight (Shadows #1)…
Published: September 3rd, 2012 (Next Door Books)
Pages: 367
Micah hates her ability to “see” things when she touches people. She’s terrified of relationships, holds on to guilt over the death of her classmate, Lacey, and has no idea what to do with a vision from Landon, a boy from her school. She feels him falling for her, but Micah doesn’t do friends, much less relationships.

Enter a spooky history project about a tragedy from three hundred years ago, and voodoo dolls that Micah somehow feels has to do with her gift. Suddenly she’s sure the shadows in the woods are following her every move—without Landon’s relaxed attitude about what’s happening in her life, Micah would be sure she’s going crazy.

With no ideas on timing or specifics, the visions of both herself and the people she cares about are turning dark—and it appears the shadows around her house do move on their own. But as Micah and Landon try to prevent Micah’s visions of the future, the shadows close in, and they’re now afraid they’ve become the cause…

Micah's story is the first of three girls, with unique talents, who are part of a 300 year old tragedy that follows them in the shadows. [Description from Goodreads]

Published: January 13th, 2013 (Next Door Books)
Pages: 260
Rating: 3/5

Addison Prince has almost always gotten what she wants.

Dean Courser only wants to find his brother, but it's the one thing he’s failed at... Even with his unusual ability.

Dean and Addison share the gift of Manipulation—a brief touch that forces others to do what they wish. But when they meet and realize their connection, they find more questions than answers. Suddenly Dean is seeing shadows move on their own, and Addison is learning her father’s mysterious group may know more about her abilities than he’s ever let on.

As Dean and Addison second-guess every decision about who they are and why they're wanted, time is running out. With shadows following their every move, they're losing hope they’ll ever get to safety—if such a thing exists.
{Description from Goodreads}
Having not read the first book in the series, Insight, I wasn’t sure what to expect prior to reading Manipulation. I’ve heard people rave about Jolene Perry books, so I thought it was time for me to try it out myself. Upon finishing, I’d have to say that despite a few qualms here and there, I thoroughly enjoyed the book.
I was kind of out of the loop since I didn’t read Shadows #1, but I picked up on the gist of things pretty well. I do wish there had been more of a refresher at the beginning, for the sake of odd people like me who choose to read books out of order. Once I figured out what was going on (ok, so they see shadows? But the shadows are people… that follow them everywhere…um, freaky much?), I began enjoying the storyline. I liked the rich-girl-plus-poor-boy romance theme going on, though I had trouble getting past my irritation with Addison. That was one of my biggest qualms. The whole snotty, spoiled, girl thing seemed overdone. Even after the [traumatic incident which I will not mention at this time], when she was supposed to have developed some admirable qualities (or at least realize her weaknesses), she failed to do so. Her character felt spoiled and indifferent before she fell for Dean, and after she fell for him she seemed needy and weak. I really wanted to like her, but I couldn’t. I just couldn’t.
Thankfully, I liked Dean a bit more than I liked Addie. A small part of me wishes that he could have been a little stronger as the male MC, but that’s just because I’m hard to please, especially when it comes to characters. *hehe* Like the author said in her Goodreads review, I liked that the story kind of morphed into a road trip book because I may or may not have a road trip book fetish. I liked Jolene’s voice and how she wove other issues (such as Addie’s relationship with her dad and Dean’s relationship with his brother) into the main climatic issue. I also like where she leaves us- not on too much of a cliffhanger, but enough of one to make us want to read the third book, Seeker.
All in all, Manipulation was definitely good. Maybe not fantastic, but definitely good. There were a few things that bugged me, like Addie, but that’s not to say it’ll bother every other reader. I wasn’t too impressed with the romance, though I was impressed with Dean’s respect for Addie, despite their many ardent make-out sessions. This being my first taste of Jolene’s work, I have to say that I liked her voice enough to want to read more of her books. And isn’t that one of the one things all writers strive for? J
Quick Content Review: *may contain spoilers*
Language: Mild (a few words scattered throughout)
Violence: None
Sexual: Mild-Moderate (Two characters kiss often, sometimes passionately. Clothing is removed while the two are drunk, but they go no farther. Sex is discussed inexplicitly.)
About the author…
Jolene kissed a boy on her high school graduation night. One she’d wanted to kiss for a long time. They got married two years later, have built two homes together, survived military deployments, law school, student loan debt, and two children.

Jolene plays the guitar, takes pictures, and loves to hike. She doesn’t like rivers, but loves the ocean. She loves to fly, but gets motion sick. Her ultimate vacation would be to sail through the deserted islands in The Bahamas. Two years ago, she got that wish when her parents retired on a sailboat.

She taught high school French when she was only a few years older than her students, and then taught middle school math with her degree in political science and French.
She spends grocery money on designer fabric, shoes, and books.

Jolene cannot express how many times she wished she could write a whole novel. And now she has. Several times. Life is good.

Prize #1:  (1) Paperback copies of Insight and Manipulation (International)
Prize #2:  (1)Paperback copy of Manipulation (US only)
Prize #3:  (3) e-book copies of Manipulation.  Kindle or Nook (International)

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