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Sixteen-year-old Leah Grant has given up on being normal. She’d settle for stopping the voices in her head, intrusive visions of the future, and better odds of making it to her seventeenth birthday.

That’s the thing about pretending to be human in a world where magic used to exist – at any moment, her cover could be blown and she’ll be burned to death like the rest of the witches.

Everything changes when she loses control of her powers and flees the orphanage she grew up in. She desperately wants to be invisible but finds her face plastered on every news channel as humans panic over the possible resurgence of her kind. And now the hunters won’t give up until they find her.

Making friends for the first time in her life and falling in love with one of them drives her to discover why she is unlike any being she’s ever met – human or otherwise. The dangerous powers inside of her that would repel Nathan, her new, handsome reason for living, are priceless to some. The locked up forever kind of priceless. And to others, they are too dangerous to allow her to live.

Let’s hope she can stay hidden.

Blurb and cover from Goodreads

5 out of 5 stars

Whoever said indie books aren’t quality should take a shot at this one. I was extremely impressed with Ms. Lathan’s storytelling and her ability to weave a tale riddled with twists and turns and yet keep it focused. In the beginning, when Leah is taken to the mansion, her rescuer’s explanation for the deed felt a bit contrived and awkward as well as the whole set up at the house. However, that proved to be part of the plot, so I shan’t hold it against my overall rating. I greatly appreciated the elements of forgiveness and mercy in the storyline and think they are greatly underrated themes.

The plot:

Hidden is a book that kept me guessing. I confess I didn’t see the twist about the parents coming, though I wasn’t quite sure about CC. The storyline stressed me in the way that I felt I had to know the ending. It was a book that grabbed me and wouldn’t let me go and I think that is sure sign of the author’s talent.

The characters:

Leah is a girl burdened by the belief that she is evil and that she is a cursed being without a soul. Having grown up in a girls’ home where the nuns preach the evils of witches with a vehemence, guilt and a desire to “be good” is what keeps her from lashing out against the constant bullying of the other girls. Then one night she finally loses it, but before she can harm anyone, a mysterious old woman teleports into the school yard and whisks her away to a California mansion. There we see the true depths of Leah’s self-hatred and her desire to atone for the most minute of things. Her journey to self-acceptance and discovery was one that progressed beautifully and it was impossible not feel for her through her struggles.

Nathan, a shapeshifting boy who turns into a dog, is just what Leah needs. He doesn’t try to push her into anything, he’s considerate, funny, sweet, and understanding. Though he has plenty of unresolved issues of his own and a good many things he has to get sorted for himself. He was the cause of many “aww” moments and I thought their friendship and later romance was an adorable addition to the story.

There are a number of minor characters who appeared on the side as well as several other major characters who were unknown in the beginning. The twist about Leah’s parents was startling and their story heart wrenching. All the major characters were clear-cut and defined, making me worry about them—sans villains—from the beginning.

The bittersweet ending to this book left me with a sad smile and I look forward to the sequel and the author’s future work.

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