Thursday, August 15, 2013

Review: ANEW by Chelsea Fine

Two years ago, Scarlet awoke in the forest alone, afraid, and unable to remember anything. Lost and confused, her life was a mystery...until she met a boy with a familiar voice.

Gabriel Archer has a voice from her past, and Scarlet's determined to remember why. She immerses herself in his life only to discover he has a brother he's kept hidden from her: Tristan Archer.

Upon meeting Tristan, Scarlet's world becomes even more muddled. While she's instinctively drawn to Gabriel, she's impossibly drawn to Tristan--and confused out of her mind. As she tries to piece together her history Scarlet realizes her past...might just be the death of her.

Okay, I have to start this post with a fact: Chelsea is one of the sweetest and most hilarious chicks ever. I had the chance to "officially" meet Chelsea and hang out a little at UtopYAcon this past June. If you haven't read about that experience, you can here. Chelsea even shares her own thoughts on What Not to Do at Book Conference. HILARIOUS video. We'd known each other through Twitter for some time, but as most of you have probably experienced, the face-to-face introduction is always more interesting. I mean, you can only say so much in 140 characters, right?

Continuing on, I got a signed copy of the first in her Archers of Avalon series, ANEW. After hearing everyone RAVE about it, and listening to Chelsea's experiences writing the series, working with the models, and various inspirations, made me all the more eager to get started. Thankfully, I had 12 hours worth of flying and layovers to get me started! Yay me!

Needless to say, between dinners, meetings, and changing time zones, I finished ANEW in no time flat ... then proceeded to immediately download the sequel, AWRY. Yeah. It's that awesome.

And here's why:

We begin the story with Scarlett, a teenage girl who lives with her amazing foster mom, Laura. Scarlett came to be under Laura's care when she woke up in the woods with full-blown amnesia wiping her mind of anything about her life leading up to that point. Yeah, talk about freaaaky.

Scarlett is a super down-to-earth girl who cares about her interim family and zealous friend more than fashion and boys, much to her BFF, Heather's disapproval.

They crew of awesome characters live in a small town called Avalon, Georgia. Much to my delight, Avalon is like less vampire-werewolf-doppelganger version of Mystic Falls when it comes to fun activities and festivals. And one of Scarlett's least favorites is The Kissing Festival--that is until she bumps into Gabriel Archer.


Gabriel Archer, that gorgeous, selfless, heartthrob of a guy. Chelsea definitely has the swoon worthy boys in her stories! Why do I say boys as in more than one? Because Gabriel happens to have an identical twin brother named Tristan! ::flatline::

Now, before you go thinking, "Is this going to be YA?" Let me say, yes. Yes it is. ;) Actually one of the things I love most about this series is how Chelsea works the love-triangle-but-not-a-love-triangle ... angle. Stay with me here.

See, Scarlett has ties and emotions and all kinds of stuff going on in her pretty little head, but it isn't because she's wishy-washy or a player. I can't tell you more than that because I don't do spoilers. You're welcome. But throughout the story, you really feel her distress and experience the challenge of the twins as they try to navigate the situation. Chelsea knocks it out of the park when it comes to believable and relatable characters. Their responses and feelings toward things are spot on, and you can't help but sympathize with their tragedy and triumph!

I will caution you now though ... have the second book on hand! OMGosh! I didn't sleep for waaay too long trying to find out what happened after book one ended! Good job, Chelsea!

So, with that, I give ANEW five very enthusiastic top hats! It's a definite must-read!!!

Buy. Read. Be happy.

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