Thursday, March 3, 2011
Review: Intrinsical by Lani Woodland
Intrinsical: Lani Woodland
Page Count: 298
Publisher: Pendrell Publishing
Publication Date: August 20, 2010
product description from barnesandnoble.com
Sixteen-year-old Yara Silva has always known that ghosts walk alongside the living. Her grandma, like the other females in her family, is a Waker, someone who can see and communicate with ghosts. Yara grew up watching her grandmother taunted and scorned for this unusual ability and doesn't want that to be her future. She has been dreading the day when she too would see ghosts, and is relieved that the usually dominant Waker gene seems to have skipped her, letting her live a normal teenage life. However, all that changes for Yara on her first day at her elite boarding school when she discovers the gene was only lying dormant. She witnesses a dark mist attack Brent, a handsome fellow student, and rushes to his rescue. Her act of heroism draws the mist's attention, and the dark spirit begins stalking her. Yara finds herself entrenched in a sixty-year-old curse that haunts the school, threatening not only her life, but the lives of her closest friends as well. Yara soon realizes that the past she was trying to put behind her isn't going to go quietly.
I have to start by saying that the cover of this book is outstanding (FYI: the author took the photo). The colors, the model, the fontwork...it all goes together so well. Well enough that the cover was one of the reasons that I bought the book, and I'm so glad I did!
Lani Woodland has created a very descriptive and unique world in Intrinsical. She has taken the age-old story of ghosts and added a new, distinct twist that is very refreshing. Her main character, Yara Silva, is well written and complex, with an excellent YA voice. Throughout the book, Yara struggles to deal with a special gift that has been passed down through her family; a gift that she doesn't want and tries to ignore. Her conflict is expertly written by Lani, making us feel Yara's embarrassment and, ultimately, acceptance of her abilities.
Like all good books, romance is at the forefront of Intrinsical. Yara meets Brent, a handsome fellow student who has secrets of his own, and the two have an instant connection. Their love story, however, is very different from others (and no, I'm not telling you how!) in its premise, but all the traditional feelings of young love are there, magically written by Lani. Nearly from the first moment these two characters met, I found myself rooting for them the entire way, hoping that the surprise twist in the story was somehow fixable (yeah, you're gonna want to read this book to find out what that twist is!).
Lani's prose is beautifully crafted, weaving a world full of sights and smells that makes the reader feel like they are sitting right next to Yara beneath that tree enjoying the scents of nature. Her action scenes are engrossing and keep you on edge; but they are perfectly balanced with the right amount of romance and humor, so you don't feel like your head will explode through the entire book!
Overall, I adored Intrinsical. Beautiful writing, excellent story, engrossing characters...what more can you ask for in a book? The only regret I have is that I read it too soon, because now I have to wait for the second book in this enthralling series. Excellent job, Lani! I give Intrinsical 5 stars, and urge you all to pick up a copy now!