Amanda Hocking is an author name that I recognize from my bookshelf browsing, but not someone I’d previously read. Her books seem to target the YA audience, with relationships and the paranormal as motivation and environment for her books.
Freeks takes place in the world of a carnival. Who doesn’t like a carnival?! But in this supernatural romance, the side-show freaks really are who they represent – ‘freaks’ with supernatural abilities. And while the circus (Gideon Davorin’s Traveling Carnival) itself has an aura of mysticism surrounding it, the town they’ve currently set up in – Caudry – has some secrets of its own that will shock even these carnival workers.
Teen carnival employee Mara, who hasn’t shown any special abilities, is with the carnival because of her mother – a psychic (who really is). The carny folks are her friends, but she has always felt like an outsider since she doesn’t have any abilities of her own. In Caudry she meets local heart-throb Gabe – a good-looking guy who takes her breath away. She doesn’t want to get involved since she knows she’ll just be moving on to the next city anyway, but she can’t resist this handsome hunk. They sleep together and make promises that they have every intention of keeping. But Gabe has a secret that is connected with Caudry’s secret.
When some of the carnival workers are attacked by a dark, furry creature, Gabe does everything he can to protect Mara – his true love. But Mara begins to discover her own unique power just at the right time.
This was a quick read, and I tried to look at it from a YA perspective. It should definitely appeal to the young, likely female reader looking for a little supernatural escapism. There is the usual YA longing for romance that becomes requited (with a brief sexual encounter that is described in just enough detail to push this reading level up a notch), but in a YA twist, the parent(s) – usually heartless and an obstacle, are much more understanding here.
The plot is, well, a bit thin. There are no surprises here, even though the reader is supposed to be surprised by a couple of revelations, it’s painfully obvious what is going on to anyone who’s read a book or two.
I haven’t read a lot of supernatural romance books, and fewer YA supernatural romances, but I enjoyed this quick read. I can see where it might be just the right work for the mature ‘tween reader, though I would recommend it for most readers.
Looking for a good book? Freeks is a YA supernatural romance/mystery by Amanda Hocking that moves along quickly and should appeal to younger readers.
I received a digital copy of this book from the publisher, through Netgalley, in exchange for an honest review.
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author: Amanda Hocking
publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin
hardcover, 400 pages