Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Review: Angelina's Secret by Lisa Rogers

*this was supposed to go live yesterday – glitch*

Book Description via Goodreads:

Paperback, 186 pages
Published February 1st 2012 by Spencer Hill Press

As a child, Angelina spent years in counseling learning that Josie, her imaginary friend, wasn't real, but it turns out her childhood friend wasn't imaginary after all. Now Angelina has to accept she's either (A) crazy or (B) able to see ghosts. Wanting to believe in her sanity, she chooses (B) and welcomes Josie back into her life. But even Josie can't help her deal with Shelly, the spirit of a confused teenager, and things go very, very wrong. When Angelina finds herself in a psychiatric hospital, she faces a choice: she can spend the rest of her life pretending to be someone she isn't, or she can embrace who she is and take a chance that she may never get to go home.

Source: Kate & Spencer Hill Press (Thank you!)

My Thoughts:

Angelina’s Secret was probably the only ghost story that didn’t mainly involve a romantic element. Instead it was focused on Angelina’s gift and curse.

Angelina was a cheerleader who thinks she can see and communicate with ghosts. After finding out that her imaginary friend, Josie, was far from imaginary, she chose to consider the possibility that she could see ghosts. Soon she found out that it wasn’t just Josie. There were others. But when Shelly came into her life, things went awfully wrong. Her mother and father were now even more worried about her sanity. As Angelina became careless, caught talking to persons her parents and her brother couldn’t see, she ended up in a psychiatric hospital where the real crazies thrive. I understood Angelina’s choice of not pretending to be someone she wasn’t. I understood how conflicted she felt having to stay true to herself while trying not to upset her mother. However, I wanted to get to know her better – to know more about her beyond her ability to see ghosts.

Josie was like a grandmother to Angelina. She was different compared to the typical ghost. She was neither scary nor disturbing. She was just like a happy, caring grandma who appeared everywhere. I could see how she could be a convenient imaginary friend for Angelina when she was younger. However, not all ghosts were like Josie. There was Rosie, the girl who died from the fire and Shelly, the confused cheerleader. I found Shelly to have two sides: the very strict, perfectionist type and the soft, caring and sweet teenager.

In the psychiatric hospital, Angelina met Rebecca, a woman with a passion for colors. Like Angelina, she could see ghosts. She could even talk to Josie. She helped Angelina survive inside the hospital. I liked how Angelina related to other people – how she strived to be nice and friendly even to outcasts. For once, I like that even though she has problems, she’s still good when it comes to interactions with other people.

Angelina’s Secret in general seemed like Bring It On with a supernatural twist. (You’ll get what I mean when you read it.) Readers of paranormal, ghost and maybe psychological stories might like this.

Why Read Oppression?

Hi everyone – this was supposed to go up on the 28th. But there’s been a blogger glitch. :(

I’m a fate-believing kind of girl and for this reason, I’m really, really looking forward to Oppression by Jessica Therrien wherein Elyse, the main character’s life is so tangled with the fate of the future of her race. (I'm reading it now - it's GOOD! And did I mention that it's Greek-mythology-related?)

I remember reading a really good book last year, In the Storm by Karen Metcalf.
Imagine your life as a tree. Your future branches out in different directions. Those branches represent all the possibilities that could happen in your life but you can only live in one path, in one big possibility. The other branches that will never happen are the ‘what-ifs’ but either way, they are still predestined at some point. 

In Beautiful Creatures, Beautiful Darkness and Beautiful Chaos by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl, it was proven that fate was such a strong force of nature but that doesn’t mean that Elena and Ethan couldn’t make their own decisions, their own fates.

In The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith, Hadley and Oliver wouldn’t have met in a once in a lifetime chance during a flight if they weren’t destined to meet.

What is fate for me?

I see ‘fate’ as this set of certainties that will happen if we choose to go a certain path or if we decide to do something. It’s the most realistic set of probabilities there is in the universe. It’s just rational, logical for the most probable thing that could happen to be our fate. It all still depends on what we decide and what we choose. That way, fate is flexible.

Why do I believe in fate?

I can’t imagine living without the notion of fate in my head. I’m the kind of girl who always thinks about the future. As a blogger, I have this fate-dependent-probabilities-chart in my mind. I usually think like this: If I request this title from this publisher, I may or may not be approved…if I’m approved, I would most likely review this, interview the author, do a feature or start a blog tour. And if I’m not approved, I could always try requesting the title from Netgalley – I could approved or not – and so on.

Because I just see fate as a chain of possibilities in my life, it’s not hard to accept the concept of it.

Now, if you’re into fate-themed, destiny-themed books, here’s a YA novel for you!

Oppression by Jessica Therrien

Elyse knows what it means to keep a secret. She's been keeping secrets her whole life. Two, actually. First, that she ages five times slower than the average person, so that while she looks eighteen years old, she's closer to eighty. Second, that her blood has a mysterious power to heal. For Elyse, these things don't make her special. They make life dangerous. After the death of her parents, she's been careful to keep her secret as closely guarded as possible. Now, only one other person in the world knows about her age and ability. Or so she thinks. Elyse is not the only one keeping secrets. There are others like her all over the world, descendants of the very people the Greeks considered gods. She is one of them, and they have been waiting for her for a long time. Among so many of her kind, she should not be very remarkable--except for the prophecy. Some believe she will put an end to traditions, safeguarded by violence, which have oppressed her people for centuries. Others are determined to keep her from doing just that. But for Elyse, the game is just beginning--and she's not entirely willing to play by their rules.

You can buy the ebook for 2.99 in Amazon but it’s just sold for 0.99 at Barnes& Noble.
For people who prefer paperback, you can secure a copy here.

Also, I’ll be a part of the Oppression blog tour so be sure to drop by on March 1 for an author interview with Jessica. Learn more about Oppression and the characters.