Aura by Rebecca Talley
My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars
Source: Received an electronic copy for review purposes
Genre: Paranormal YA
Book Description: "I half-turned to her and shrugged, still processing what I'd seen, or at least what I thought I'd seen, in Ms. Neal's eyes—like they weren't hers. Obviously, they were her eyes, but it looked like she'd plucked them from someone else's head. A dead someone else's head."
In the fight between good and evil, Light is your only weapon.
Crystal Scott finally feels like a normal teenager. She has a lead in the high school play, a best friend, and a gorgeous boyfriend. With prom only a few days away, Crystal’s ordinary life seems perfect.
Endowed with great Light because of her virtuous choices and her inherent gifts, Crystal’s aura has become visible to those with the ability to see auras. Unfortunately, her power has also attracted the attention of demons intent on destroying all Light.
When Vincent Crandall, the human host for a powerful demon, discovers that Crystal’s Light is strong enough to disrupt the connection between demons and their hosts, he realizes she may be able to sever the connection altogether. Determined to stop her from interfering with his plans to rule the world, he sends operatives to neutralize her Light.
After the operatives fail to disable Crystal, Vincent decides he must harness her power for himself. He kidnaps her parents, and Crystal is thrust into battle against a demon army she didn’t even know existed. With the help of a mysterious young man and his mother, Crystal must learn to use the power within her before Vincent kills her parents and exploits her Light.
My thoughts: Crystal has spent most of her life moving from place to place with her parents. Her father is a minister and they move to help new congregations. She is in her senior year of high school and finally settled into a place where she feels at home. She has as best friend and a boyfriend. She is the lead in High School play and going to Prom. Her dreams are coming true.
Things take a drastic change when she begins to be pressured to take part in activities that she is not comfortable with. She decided years prior that she would remain a virgin until marriage. Best friend and boy friend think that Prom is the perfect time to change that.
They apply pressure and start acting strange. At this point her life is turned upside down when she finds that she has a pure light emanating from her aura. She attracts the good and the evil with her light. The evil of course wants to dominate her and control her. It lured her two closet friends with the power of money and fulfilling dreams to get to her.
This book is a fight of good verses evil. Crystal was unaware of the demon activity around her until it made itself obvious to her. The point is made in the book that most people are not aware of some of the bad things going on around them, that we're kind of in a bubble. Someone has to pop the bubble to introduce us to what we don't want to see.
I loved Crystal's determination to stand by her values. She makes a valuable point about others respecting her decisions and not belittling her for them. Crystal displays strength and courage as she struggles to help good prevail.
I enjoyed the book. At times some of the themes seemed to be pounded on a little too hard for my taste. It is an excellent book to read to help teens find a reason to stay true to their values and beliefs.
It looks as if Crystals fight is just beginning. I wouldn't mind reading a sequel if one is in the plans.
Author Rebecca Lynn Talley
Rebecca Lynn Talley grew up in the gorgeous seaside city of Santa Barbara, CA. She met, and married, her husband, Del, while attending Brigham Young University. She graduated from BYU with a degree in Communications. She currently lives in rural Colorado on a small ranch with a dog, too many cats to count, and a herd of goats. She and Del are the proud parents of ten wildly-creative, multi-talented children.
Rebecca is the author of a children's picture book, Grasshopper Pie (WindRiver 2003), a children's chapter book, Gabby's Secret (DuBon Publishing 2011), four novels, Heaven Scent (CFI 2008), Altared Plans (CFI 2009), The Upside of Down (CFI 2011), and Aura (DuBon Publishing 2012). She has also authored numerous children's stories and articles for both print and online magazines.
When she isn’t writing, Rebecca loves to date her husband, play with her kids, swim in the ocean, and dance to disco music while she cleans the house. She has folded at least one million loads of laundry, baked hundreds of batches of chocolate chip cookies, and eaten 5,478 gallons of ice cream.
Read an Except:
Erin walked down the hall so I strolled over to the parking lot only to find the reporter guy waiting by my car. As I got closer, my pulse quickened. I’d never been interviewed before, and the idea terrified me—I didn’t want to sound like a loser.
He stood straighter when he noticed me. “Hi.” His voice was like warm honey.
I gave a slight nod. “Crystal.”
We stood in silence for a few moments. I tried to persuade my nerves to settle down, but they sizzled throughout my body. I mentally yelled at myself for noticing how attractive he was in his dark jeans and gray t-shirt. A t-shirt that hugged his biceps. And his pecs.
I tilted my head to the right. “This is my car.”
He smiled and my stomach flipped. “I know. I wanted to meet you.”
I cleared my throat. “For your article on the play? You’re a reporter for the school paper, right?”
“Um, yeah.” He jerked his head to the side and knocked his wavy, black hair away from his forehead.
“Is that why you’ve been following me?” I didn’t want to stare, but I’d never seen such blue eyes before. Cobalt blue. And there was more. His eyes were so clear, so full of depth. Mesmerizing.
“I wondered if we could talk for a little while.”
I tore my gaze from his and glanced at my watch. “Right now?” I told my heart to calm down—after all, he was a reporter. That was all. Whatever I felt was nerves, nothing else. Definitely not attraction. At. All.
“If now works for you.”
He peered at me, as if searching my soul. His eyes were hypnotic. So much so that I didn’t notice when someone walked up.
“What’s going on here?” Nate demanded.
I took a few steps back, trying to distance myself from Alec and his eyes, dark lashes, strong jaw, and full lips. Especially the full lips. His lips? What am I thinking? Why am I noticing this guy at all? Focus on Nate—my boyfriend. My. Boyfriend. I turned to face Nate.
“Nothing.” My voice sounded weak.
Nate moved toward Alec. “Doesn’t look like nothing.” Alec didn’t step back, even though Nate was a few inches taller and more intimidating with his narrowed eyes and clenched jaw.
I pulled at Nate’s arm. “It’s nothing. He’s a reporter from the school paper. He wants to interview me about the play.” Nate’s jealousy fascinated me. I’d never seen him, or any other guy, act this way over me. Of course, it wasn’t like guys had ever flocked to me. A gangly, awkward, invisible girl wasn’t exactly a guy magnet. And yet, here were two guys arguing about talking to me. Me. So weird.
Nate looked Alec up and down. “The school paper? Is that right?”
Alec nodded, keeping his gaze fixed on Nate. Unflinching. “I wanted to talk to her for a few minutes, if you don’t mind.” Sarcasm lingered over his words.
Nate frowned. “We have plans.”
“We do?” I asked.
“Yeah.” He didn’t even glance at me.
“I must’ve forgotten.” I gave a faint smile. We had no plans, but I didn’t want to embarrass Nate in front of Alec by saying so. I felt like a useless ragdoll tossed between two snarling dogs, unable to do anything but watch.
Nate stepped next to me and glued himself to my side. “She’ll have to talk to you later.”
“Is that what you want to do?” Alec asked me.
I swallowed hard, trying to keep my gaze away from his eyes. “Yeah.”
“You got a problem with your hearing?” Nate snapped. I could see a vein starting to bulge in his neck, and I was scared he might punch Alec. And for no good reason. What was going on? With Nate? With the Alec guy? Was I in an alternate reality?
Alec glared at Nate without blinking.
“I can answer your questions later,” I said, hoping Nate would back down and we could leave. I hated scenes—especially when I didn’t even understand why there was a scene at all.
“When?” Alec’s gaze captured mine, and time stopped for a moment. My cheeks throbbed. I wanted to look away, but I was powerless to do anything but stare at him.
“Crystal?” Nate said, breaking the spell.
I shifted my attention back to him. “It’s only an interview, Nate. No big deal. Right?” I said, refusing to chance interlocking my eyes with Alec’s again.
“Right.” Alec’s voice slid into my ears, warming them.
I yanked at Nate’s arm. “Come on.”
“I don’t like this,” Nate said as we walked toward his truck
“You’re overreacting.” I noted the irony of our reversed roles—I was the reigning queen of overreactions.
“And you actually believe everyone only has good intentions. That guy’s after you.”
I reached up and touched Nate’s cheek. “He’s doing an article. Nothing else. No need to worry.” I tried to convince myself of the same thing, but the crackling at the edge of my mind told me there was much more.
I followed Nate toward his truck, but couldn’t help glancing over my shoulder. Alec was still watching us.
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