AVRA-K Book 1
by Jennifer Sommersby (blog, twitter)
Published March 23rd 2011
copy received from author.
amazon (Kindle) , Barnes & Noble (Nook) and smashwords
synopsis from goodreads
Her mom is dead.
Ghosts follow her around.
Her best friend is an elephant.
And she’s about to meet the biggest game changer of all: a boy. With a secret.
When circus-dwelling Gemma Flannery learns she will be attending public school for the first time in her seventeen years, little does she know that fitting in with her 12th-grade classmates will be the least of her concerns. A pro at hiding her knack for seeing the dead (“shades”), Gemma is grieving the recent suicide of her mentally ill mother, a process eased by the introduction of her first real love interest, the charming and painfully handsome Henry Dmitri, who is harboring his own collection of dangerous secrets. Together, they will be presented with a frightening challenge: to assume their roles as heirs to a 3000-year-old magical text, the AVRAKEDAVRA, a book the über-rich, sleight-of-being master Lucian Dmitri would do anything to get his hands on. As each terrifying layer in her new reality melts away, Gemma unearths truths that her quiet, nomadic life with the Cinzio Traveling Players is not at all what she’d always cherished. Gemma and Henry must rely on each other to stop Lucian’s diabolical plotting that will bring the world to its tired, scab-riddled knees, and are sent on the flight of their young lives, to save themselves, their families, and the world from the darkest kind of destruction.
Let the chase begin
This is the story of Gemma and Henry. Gemma lives with a circus and this setting alone is unique and fresh since I cannot recall any other book that is set around a circus. I was however skeptical in the beginning, but I turned out to absolutely love this story and world building. Gemma just lost her mom and never knew her father. She lives with her Aunt and Uncle at the circus and never knew something else. The kids were of course home schooled since the circus moves to new places ever so often…
After her mom died, the circus decided to stay at one place for a longer time which also gives the kids a chance to enroll at the local high school. The circus found a wealthy business men who founded this stay. Gemma was afraid of a normal high school with normal kids.
Also.. Gemma is not truly normal and never has been. She can see Shades, or Ghosts. They don’t talk to her but she always sees them around. Nobody apart from her closed family knows about this, so of course she’s also afraid someone might find out her secret.
First day at school, she meets this gorgeous boy: Henry, who is the son of Lucian Dmitri, the men that finance the circus. But not just the circus, she nearly owns the whole town. Lucian is an enigmatic man and Gemma is slightly afraid of him… There is a secret lingering around this men and the boy, something dark and mysterious which makes Gemma truly weary.
But Henry is so much different from his father and it doesn’t take long for them to fall for each other. But there is more, a secret Henry is dying to share with Gemma and that will turn everything she ever knew upside down and that will change her life forever.
You barley have time to breath since the plot moves forward so fast! I love thick and layered plots that is full of secrets for me to discover. Sleight definitely has such a plot. The world building is fantastic and the characters wonderful, deep and genuine. Even the secondary characters clearly were loved when developed and not just side objects in a novel around two main characters. Also, Jennifer Sommersby doesn’t spare the reader big emotions which I always welcome, as hard as it might be.
…the magical atmosphere of the circus only helps to underline the the mystery around Gemma and Henry. The book is so full of happenings and could have easily split in two books already, which makes me bounce with excitement about what is coming in the next book. This is a 3 book series and guessing from this one, the next books will be truly amazing and will leave you breathless.
Mystery, magic, love, romance, loss and an amazing world and plot makes Sleight a page turner par excellence. I can’t wait to follow Gemma’s and Henry’s journey and I’m waiting impatiently to hear what will happen next and afraid about what is more to come!