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Review: Intertwined by Gena Showalter

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Intertwined by Gena Showalter
Paranormal Romance, Urban Fantasy, Young Adult
Hardcover (HARLEQUIN TEEN, 448 pages, $15.99)
ISBN# 0373210027
Most sixteen-year-olds have friends. Aden Stone has four human souls living inside him:
One can time-travel.
One can raise the dead.
One can tell the future.
And one can possess another human.
With no other family and a life spent in and out of institutions, Aden and the souls have become friends. But now they're causing him all kinds of trouble. Like, he'll blink and suddenly he's a younger Aden, reliving the past. One wrong move, and he'll change the future. Or he'll walk past a total stranger and know how and when she's going to die.
He's so over it. All he wants is peace.
And then he meets a girl who quiets the voices. Well, as long as he's near her. Why? Mary Ann Gray is his total opposite. He's a loner; she has friends. He doesn't care what anyone thinks; she tries to make everyone happy. And while he attracts the paranormal, she repels it. For her sake, he should stay away. But it's too late....
Somehow, they share an inexplicable bond of friendship. A bond about to be tested by a werewolf shape-shifter who wants Mary Ann for his own, and a vampire princess Aden can't resist.
Two romances, both forbidden. Still, the four will enter a dark underworld of intrigue and danger but not everyone will come out alive...

Author Site:

Unravel the newest paranormal world with Intertwined. (3 stars)

When he first saw Mary Ann he knew his life was about to change. Since birth he has carried four souls inside him. Souls with unique abilities. Souls that can't help but distract him with their constant chatter. Bouncing from foster home to mental hospital to boy's home, his life has been anything but pretty. His latest home isn't perfect but thanks to the abilities of one of his trapped soul companions he's pretty sure it might be his last. Only time will tell if he can free the souls trapped within him and what role Mary Ann is meant to play in their release. Yet meeting Mary Ann is only the beginning as his eyes are opened to a world of vampires, shapeshifters, ghosts and faeries. Drawn to him like moths to flame these races will play a role in his future whether he's ready for them to know who he is or not. The fates of all may be intertwined in the destiny of one young man... Aden Stone.

One of the first releases from Harlequin's new Harlequin Teen imprint, Intertwined has been very much anticipated by adult fans of Gena Showalter's writing.

While definitely on par with her adult titles in the writing, Intertwined lacks solidarity in its plot. The switching perspectives of Mary Ann and Aden do not do the story justice. It's my opinion that Mary Ann is a square peg trying to be forced into a round hole, a secondary character being forced to be a key protagonist in a plot that should have been left to Aden alone. That said there is great potential here. Showalter's characters are all interesting, likable and real enough to be relatable. Sorting out which ones are most important to the plot may be the only real issue readers find with them.

On the whole, the plot of Intertwined has a great hook. A boy with four souls trapped in him wants to find them bodies of their own so he can live a semi-normal life. He meets a girl who makes the voices in his head quiet so she must be able to help him somehow. This plot thread works well. It is very enjoyable and the resolution of this plot thread had me tearing up which doesn't happen often with young adult books. What really screws with the story is the sudden random addition of all the other races and the plot they bring with them to prepare for the second book. I hate saying it, but it kind of feels like the author was pressured to cater to the sudden obsession with vampires by adding them to the story. While I love vampire and shapeshifter stories they somewhat muddle this book up and yet couldn't suddenly be introduced in a later installment in this series either.

If you're looking for something paranormal to read and don't mind the above mentioned flaws cropping up in a book this is one worth checking out. Showalter is an engaging writer and fans of her work should probably pick this one up because in spite of the issues I had with this one, a plot has been established for the rest of the series that should be much better now that the world building has been done. Enjoy!

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