Thursday, May 12, 2016

Stacy Juba - Dark Before Dawn

9. Dark Before Dawn by Stacy Juba (2011)
The Young Ladies of Mystery Series Book 3
Length: 109 pages
Genre: Paranormal Mystery 
Started: 6 May 2016
Finished: 12 May 2016
Where did it come from? Many thanks to Tami at Magic of Books Promotions for sending me a copy of this book to read.
How long has it been on my TBR pile? Since 25 April 2016
Why do I have it? I like paranormal mysteries and have read and enjoyed several books by this author in the past.

Sixteen-year-old Dawn Christian has recently moved to Covington, Maine to live with her new family - her mother, stepfather and seventeen-year-old stepbrother. Moving to a new town can be  difficult for anyone, but for Dawn it has been particularly stressful. Having lost her father at the age of seven, it's just been herself and her mom since then - or at least it was until her mother remarried and they moved in with her new husband and his son. Dawn is actually settling in fairly well - getting along with her new stepfather and stepbrother, getting used to being in a new school, doing her best to fit in with the crowd.

However, not everything is as it seems: Dawn and her mother have shared a secret with each other ever since she was a little girl. Dawn has always had the ability to predict certain events - from the benign to the horrific - and these premonitions of hers usually come true. In an effort to protect her daughter, Dawn's mother has told her to never reveal her abilities to anyone - and Dawn has always done her best to follow that advice. Yet, she can't help but still feel like an outsider.

That feeling begins to dissipate slightly when she meets two girls - Candace and Jamie - who apparently share her mysterious talents. Dawn's new friends may help her to fit in, but when she is introduced to a woman who Candace calls her 'psychic mentor' - a fortuneteller by the name of Serina - Dawn feels that she has finally found the place where she belongs. 

Serina is a striking woman; confident and warm. She is also willing to teach Dawn how to develop her abilities; telling her that she has no reason to hide something that makes her so special. After spending so many years feeling like a misfit, Dawn appreciates the acceptance that she found among her new friends. However, when a series of bizarre incidents start happening around town, Dawn becomes troubled.

While the strange incidents initially seem harmless, Dawn suspects that her new friends may be involved in some of these ominous occurrences. She doesn't want to believe that they could possibly have done anything harmful; but as time passes and each situation grows increasingly more dangerous - she can't be entirely certain that this isn't the case. Jamie and Candace just may have ties to several of these freak accidents, and Dawn knows that she has an important decision to make.

She realizes that she is standing at a crossroads in her life: should she continue developing the talents that make her special, or walk away from her new friends entirely. Dawn isn't quite sure if she has the strength to do so, but she knows that there may come a time when she needs to challenge the only people who have ever accepted her. She only hopes that she will survive the encounter.

First of all, I want to say that I really enjoyed reading this book. The story reminded me so much of Carrie by Stephen King - which was also a book that I enjoyed reading. Having said that, I must say that the characters in Dark Before Dawn by Stacy Juba seemed to me to be slightly less isolated from each other - less insulated from the world around them. The story was fast-paced and well-developed, and I was drawn into the action right from the beginning. I would give this book an A! 

A! - (90-95%)

May you read well and often

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