Sunday, November 3, 2013

Awakening Foster Kelly by Cara Rosalie Olsen

If only a pile of wayward curls and the inability to stay on her feet were seventeen year-old Foster Kelly’s most pressing concerns. Unfortunately, stubborn hair and clumsiness are just the tip of it. At the age of five when Foster is told, “You don’t belong here,” it was only a mistake, but the result is one broken heart. These four carelessly spoken words have shaped and shadowed Foster, and now—a senior at Shorecliffs High-school—she seeks the wallflower’s existence, denying herself the most casual of friendships, much too afraid that someone will see what she believes is certain: she does not belong anywhere—or with anyone.

This reality would continue to suit her just fine; however . . . Love has a long-standing history of undoing broken hearts.

Like a comet, an unexpected arrival knocks Foster out of the crowded, starry sky, sending her directly into the limelight. Exposed and afraid, she will attempt to regain anonymity; but it isn’t so easy now that someone is watching. He pursues this shy enigma, confronting Foster’s deepest fears head-on, and in the process falls wholly and completely in love with her. But there is something he is not saying . . . a secret capable of certain ruin. Either he will break her heart once and for all, or he will heal it.

In the end, though, it is Foster who must decide if she is worth mending.

I tend to enjoy the dystopian genre in young adult books but the description of Awakening Foster Kelly intrigued me, so I took a leap.  I'm very glad I did as  Foster is someone you won't immediately forget.

She's invisible, or tries to be.  She is an outsider, clumsy, awkward, heck we've probably all met someone like Foster or were when we were a teenager. She sings like an angel, she's brilliant and she has almost no friends.  But she puts on a great front because she doesn't want her parents to worry about her.

Then she's paired with Dominic on a project at school and he doesn't want to work with her. They work through things and she makes two new friends, a set of twins.  She begins to open up and realize that she can be normal, but then the unexpected happens.

Awakening Foster Kelly is a gem of a book.  Personally, I'd like to see it broken up into two novels or have some editing done as it is over seven hundred pages.  But, it's definitely worth the read.  The characters are fully developed and Olsen manages to throw in quite a few unexpected plot twists that really made the novel just pop.  If you want to read an exceptional young adult book, then I'd recommend picking up Awakening Foster Kelly.  I look forward to what Olsen writes next.  She just has a knack for creating characters and scenes that just bring the story to life.

*I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

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The old grey donkey, Eeyore stood by himself in a thistly corner of the Forest, his front feet well apart, his head on one side, and thought about things. Sometimes he thought sadly to himself, "Why?" and sometimes he thought, "Wherefore?" and sometimes he thought, "Inasmuch as which?" and sometimes he didn't quite know what he was thinking about.

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