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Isabelle Holloway is not your average teen. As if being reincarnated and having confusing flashbacks about her past isn’t enough. Now her boyfriend Erik is back from her life in the 1800s. Not to mention the man who murdered her has returned to seek his vengeance. Even though her friends want to catch the killer, Isabelle can’t trust anyone. Can they stop him, or will they fail?

Blurb and cover from Goodreads

3 out of 5 stars

I wanted to like this book. I wanted to like this book so badly. I think it is an incredible achievement for a thirteen-year-old writer to complete a story like this (I was one, too) and I believe that this could have been an amazing story if it had just gone through a few more rounds of editing. As it is, it felt like there were too many inconsistencies and clichés and things that didn’t make sense. Like I said, it was a good premise, it just needed more polishing.

The plot:

This story has an interesting storyline, combining vampires, reincarnation, and magic. Isabelle is a sixteen-year-old with a previous life in pre-Civil War New England that ended when she was murdered by an unknown killer for an unknown reason. She is haunted by dreams and flashbacks of a man named Eric she knows she loved, but can’t seem to make heads or tails of what to do until he shows up at her high school. The storyline didn’t drag, one of the qualities of this book, and I was pleasantly surprised when I was taken unawares by the twist of the villain’s identity at the end.

The characters:

I had a real problem with Isabelle. She seems unstable, silly, and doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. It seemed that every few scenes she was telling Eric to go away and leave her alone. It may just be me, but if I met the man I’d been dreaming about and pining after for years, I would be nervous, but when I did speak to him my first words would be something other than “leave me alone.” Most of Isabelle and Eric’s moments involved her asking him to go away and I didn’t think it made sense considering she was supposed to be in love with him. Even when it becomes clear that her life is once again in danger and he is attempting to protect her, she keeps doing ridiculous things like running off by herself.

The author attempts to put in a love triangle that has carried over from Isabelle’s past life. The love triangle has become one of the hallmarks of the vampire romance and I believe it is the puffer fish of literature—one wrong cut and you taint the whole story. Personally, I remember only ever reading three, perhaps four, love triangles which I actually thought were written well. (Two of those were by the same author in the same series and in both cases the romances were never requited, so I don’t know if they count.) Personally, I think Ms. LoPresti should have handled that element of the story differently—perhaps not eliminated it altogether, but edited it further to make it more believable.

There were a lot of things in this book that bugged me, but I still read it in a single evening. I did enjoy parts, I just would have enjoyed it much more if the issues I had were addressed. I think this author does have talent and she should definitely keep writing, I just think she needs to find a good editor to help hone her skills.

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