Monday, May 27, 2019

REVIEW: Intrinsical by Lani Woodland

Intrinsical (The Yara Silva Trilogy, #1)

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 wasn't sure what to expect from this book. I've had it on my TBR since 2012 and some of those books have been misses rather than hits lately. I ended up actually liking this book, though I don't have particularly strong feelings towards this book.

Yara is starting at a new school, a prestigious boarding school that has just started accepting girls, along with her best friend Cherie. Cherie wants to investigate the school's curse in which top students end up dead every two years and may be connected to a mysterious accident at the swimming pool sixty years ago. Yara doesn't really care to investigate. Her grandmother can see and talk to ghosts, a gift Yara worries will pass on to her. When she sees a dark mist attack a classmate, sees ghostly footprints, warnings, and a dream about drowning, Yara thinks that there is something dark on campus, but will she survive long enough to find out?

I like to read ghosts stories, that's one of the things that has not changed since 2012. This book wasn't outright frightening, it had its scary moments, but I could easily fall asleep after I started reading this book. As I've read many YA ghost books, I can say that this one certainly brings new ideas to the genre. There is a classification of "Waker" for the one who sees ghosts, there's astral projection, and even the common trope of a school curse was dealt with in a unique way. What really made me interested in this story is a major twist midway through the book. I don't want to spoil it, so I'm being very vague, but throughout the twist, I really wanted to know how the characters were going to get out of this situation and I loved how it increased the interactions between the characters. What I did not like was how the situation was solved [highlight to view spoiler]how Yara came back to life[end of spoiler] because it happened very quickly and I had thought that they did not solve it, but suddenly they did? It was just confusing.

Yara was an okay main character. It is clear that she does not want her ability to see ghosts and that that comes from how others have treated her grandmother, but I still did not feel like I knew her. There is very little backstory on her life, mostly some related to her grandmother, but we never really get a chance to know more about her family. She has a brother who died and she's probably still grieving, but that barely even gets a mention. It sometimes made it feel like she did not have a life outside of the school even though I know that is not true. There is also not much about her personality that makes her different from other main characters.

When it comes to the romance in this book it was okay but I would have been fine without it. I'm not really a fan of romance in YA books anymore especially if it doesn't really do anything for the story. The love interest is Brent and he's okay I guess. I didn't really like him very much in the beginning. [highlight to view spoiler] I know that it turns out that Brent was not Brent near the beginning of the book, but he was still Brent when he made those comments about who he thought was Cherie (and was actually Yara) being crazy and he did not do a great job of noticing when Yara did not want to do something (like throwing her in the pool when she was obviously scared. This is very early on in the book). [end of spoiler] As he and Yara interacted during the midpoint of the book I liked him a little better, but I still kind of felt like the relationship between them was being forced. They've been through all of this stuff together so they just have to become a couple. I guess there is attraction between them, but I think I just wanted this book to deviate from the typical paranormal romance. 

Overall, I did like this book. Some elements within the plot and the romance I did not like as much, but I did like the other paranormal and ghostly elements in this book, such as the twist midway through the book. I have an ecopy of the next book so I will be continuing the series.

I hereby give this book
3 Stars
Meaning: I liked it.

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