Author: Alyson Noel
Genre: YA/ Fantasy
Having solved the matter of the Radiant Boy, Riley, Buttercup, and Bodhi are enjoying a well-deserved vacation. When Riley comes across a vicious black dog, against Bodhi’s advice, she decides to cross him over. While following the dog, she runs into a young ghost named Rebecca. Despite Rebecca’s sweet appearance, Riley soon learns she’s not at all what she seems. As the daughter of a former plantation owner, she is furious about being murdered during a slave revolt in 1733. Mired in her own anger, Rebecca is lashing out by keeping the ghosts who died along with her trapped in their worst memories. Can Riley help Rebecca forgive and forget without losing herself to her own nightmarish memories? [via Amazon]
Against Bodhi's wishes, Riley decides that she will help the big, mean old dog she finds on the beach cross-over. In search for the dog though, she meets the it's owner, a sweet, young girl named Rebecca. But looks can be deceiving, for Rebecca harbors so much anger that Riley, Bodhi & even Buttercup get up in the world full anger and desperation that Rebecca has created. While coming to terms that she is trapped in this world, Riley meets a young Prince who explains why Rebecca is so angry and how she has kept so many of his brothers and sisters from crossing over. There's nothing that Riley loves more than a good challenge - and a challenge it will be since she knows she'll have to work through her own nightmares in order to reach the other side.
There's just something about Riley that I absolutely love! She's spunky, sassy, funny and even though she's dead, she's so full of life. Rebecca's life as well as that of Prince Kanta and the other slaves were so full of misery and violence. Although Ms. Noel only skims over some of this violence, you do get a feel for what they went through. Rebecca in need of a loving father and her tragic death during a slave revolt. While Prince Kanta and the other slaves were ripped from their homes and taken to far away plantations to work from sun up to sun down.
Riley really had her work cut out for her with Rebecca. She had to confront her fears, her past and really work through her emotional issues, but in the end I think she came out a stronger and more mature young lady. I do recommend you read Radiance before you read Shimmer only because you get a lot of information on the Here and Now as well as the friendship/mentorship between her and Bodhi - that is only skimmed upon in Shimmer.
Although these books - Radiance, Shimmer and Dreamland (releases September 2011) - are mid-grade books, they can easily be enjoyed by adults as well. Riley shines! She is a superstar! I'm intrigued by the thought of the Here & Now and I can't help but want to see what adventure Riley will find herself in next.
GIVEAWAY: I have 5 ARC copies up for grabs - thanks to the lovely folks over at Macmillan.
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Rules: This contest is open to U.S. & Canada residents. International followers feel free to enter giveaway as long as you have someone in the U.S. or Canada willing to accept the book for you. Winners will be drawn Friday, March 4.