Friday, May 15, 2015

REVIEW: Cipher by Cindi Madsen

Cipher (Cipher, #1)
Summer Davis sees deaths before they happen. She attempts to live a normal life by focusing on the dance team and her quarterback boyfriend. But then the way-too-cheery Angel of Death shows up and tells her she’s a Cipher—a person chosen to help people who are going to die resolve problems with their loved ones. Ashlyn Moore, one of Summer’s classmates, is going to die, and she needs Summer’s help before that happens.

It’s nearly impossible to get through to Ashlyn, who surrounds herself with chess nerds and geeks and makes it clear she doesn’t want to be friends. Desperate to complete her Cipher task before it’s too late, Summer turns to Troy, the guy who’s always been there for her and one of the few people she can trust. With his help, she makes progress. In fact, the closer she gets to Ashlyn and her friends, the more she feels like she’s finally found where she belongs.

As the clock starts running down on Ashlyn’s life, Summer decides to change her objective. She’s going to save her new friend before it’s too late—even if it means messing with fate.

Summer has the ability to foresee deaths. Ever since she foresaw her own mother's death, unable to stop, Summer has hated her gift. Now, an Angel of Death comes to her and tells her that people with her ability have a name. They are Ciphers and they are meant to help those who are about to die finish what needs to be done. Apparently, a girl named Ashlyn at Summer's school is about to die and Summer needs to befriend her and fix Ashlyn's relationship with her mother. Easier said than done. Not only does Ashlyn want nothing to do with her, but how can she fix a mother daughter relationship when the mother is constantly criticizing the daughter's weight? And when Summer is able to break through Ashlyn's walls, how can she sit and watch her new best friend die?

I've seen the idea of someone foreseeing deaths before, but this one had an interesting new take. I've never come across one where the MC has to help the person before they die. Usually books have ghosts with unfinished business, but this is pretty much the opposite. Another interesting thing would be how this book has a very contemporary feel. Yeah, the whole plot revolves around Ashlyn future death, but the book has a large focus on the growing friendship between Summer and Ashlyn, as well as family dynamics. In fact, this book had a very realistic feel to it.

Character wise, Summer is a great MC and she grows a lot throughout this book. In the beginning, Summer was with the popular, shallow girls and saw them as their best friends. It took Ashlyn for her to see that those girls were not her real friends and what she has with Ashlyn is a real, fun friendship and it's absolutely fantastic. It's amazing how close these girls become in such a short amount of time. Ashlyn is also an amazing friend and she's such a fun girl! This is really the kind of friendship you want to have!

For issues, I didn't have any huge problems. In the beginning, I found the appearance of the Angel of Death kind of oddly placed. I don't know how to word that, but I felt like things went along too quickly. It could've have also been the fact that this felt like a contemporary book except for her random appearances. Another picky thing I have is that the pacing was a bit slow, but that's not that bad because I enjoyed seeing their friendship grow.

This book was very different with a fun friendship, yet it was still sad. I recommend this book to anyone who enjoy paranormal books with realistic contemporary elements and I do plan on continuing with this series!

I hereby give this book
3.5 Wheels
Meaning: I liked it, but it wasn't quite amazing.

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