Review : Leah – Andrea Baker
Author Andrea Baker
Number of pages 282
Publisher Taylor Street Publishing LLC
Publication date 11 October 2012
Leah knows that her mother died in a car accident when Leah was small and that her father, who used to be the gentlest dad in the world, has become increasingly controlling and occasionally violent. She also knows that her recurring dreams are telling her something more about how and why her mother died, and why her dad turned nasty, but they are becoming progressively more disturbing and confusing. When Leah meets Ben, she is excited to have a friend she can confide in and have fun with, but is he what he seems? The voice of Leah’s mother repeatedly tells her to rely on her instincts, but when Leah is run over in a freak accident and Ben’s family take over her welfare, are they protecting her or using her? And why would anyone, good or evil, bother with an ordinary girl just about to go to university?
‘Leah’ is the first book of the ‘Worlds Apart’ series and follows the adventures of Leah Clinton, a 19-year old girl who recently moved with her father to a cottage in lovely Warwickshire. There she meets Ben, a local guy from the same age and they’re getting attracted to each other. Leah has always had bad dreams and they’re getting worse with each storm that occurs during that summer.
That’s in short the storyline of this romantic fantasy tale for young adults. And while this book is obviously meant to be mostly enjoyed by YA and in particular by teen girls, I must say that I, as a man of 37, liked this book more than I thought I would be. And that to my great surprise.
We are living in a time where we see a lot of ‘Twilight’ rip-off’s appearing each month. And so it is refreshing to read a YA paranormal romance book where we don’t see sparkling vampires and werewolves appear in the story. Because I don’t want to spoiler here, I can’t say what the paranormal beings are in ‘Leah’, but believe me when I say that they are original.
The mystery about Leah’s dreams and the creatures that inhabits them is gradually explained during the tale, but the story ends with an open ending. An open ending that worked very well, because after that ending, Andrea gives us a small treat of things that are going to happen in book 2 and 3. That small treat explains a little why the series is called ‘Worlds Apart’ and it makes me curious after book 2.
Although I liked the book more than I thought I would do, there are still two remarks I would like to make. The first remark I want to make is about the writing style. I don’t say that the style is bad, which it definitely isn’t, but it could use a little more polishing. By that I mean that the style could be a little more mature. I know it’s a YA book, but I think it’s a little too much of a youthful style in places. But since this is Andrea’s first book, I’m sure that will improve with her next book.
The second remark I want to make is about the romance itself, which is a little too cliché, in my opinion.
And now for my conclusion of this review. ‘Worlds Apart – Leah’ is a surprisingly entertaining story about a young girl in a world where nothing is what it seems. So if you want to read an original YA paranormal romance novel, that isn’t about vampires and werewolves, then you should definitely read ‘Leah’. A worthy debut.