Genre: YA urban fantasy
Cover: not my taste
Jessica Walsh is starting her freshman year at Nightshade High and trying to forget
about the tragic events surrounding her brother's graduation. She wants to have a normal
high school experience. But that's easier said than done in Nightshade.
When a new boy shows up at school, the girls are infected with a case of seriously creepy crushes. But when their obsession turns to violence, Jessica and her friends start to wonder if there’s more going on than just a little friendly rivalry. Are the smitten girls turning into love zombies?
And Jessica has other worries - like her crush on Dominick Gray, the cute but moody lead singer for Side Affects May Vary, and the mysterious tattoo that appeared on her arm one day that lets her know whenever there is trouble brewing. Jessica learns she's a Virago, a woman warrior chosen to fight evil whenever it threatens her hometown. But does a lowly freshman really have what it takes to keep Nightshade safe?
The end of the month was closing in on me, and I still had to read a book I have won. My eyes fell on this one, and as it was not too big, I started reading it. And even though it is YA, I liked it. It is the first book in a spin off series, and perhaps it would be more fun to read the previous series first, but I was not lost at all.
Jessica Walsh is a normal teenager on the outside, just starting highschool as a freshman in a few weeks. But the strange moving tattoo on her arm says something is different about her. And she knows the waitress Flo at Slim’s Diner has the same strange tattoo, so she has been avoiding her all summer. Jessica just wants to be a normal teenager, or as normal as you can be in Nightshade, California.
While leaving the diner with her best friend Eva, after Jessica has successfully avoided talking to Flo, they see a new shop opening announcement. The Look of Love. A creepy boy is handing out flyers, but they are not interested in that. The Black Opal is opening up again, and they really want to go. Eva thinks she can convince her snotty older sister to take them. Their favourite local band will be playing, Side Affects May Vary. At the night club, Jessica bumps into a new girl, Raven, and is making friends with her. Then they find out that the band has a new lead singer, who happens to be her gorgeous brother Dominic. Eva’s sister and her best friend are totally fawning over Raven, hoping she will introduce them to her brother. But Jessica is not interested in Dominic, unlike all the other girls present, she really liked the previous singers’ voice. But Dominic is intrigued by her, someone who does not fawn over him like he is used to.
After the club closes out, Bethany and Tiffany have just left Jessica and Eva, and now they will have to find a ride. Dominic thinks it is just a plot to get him to drive them home, and insulted, Jessica looks for another ride. And there is Flo, who is dating the drummer of the band. And she agrees to give them a lift home. But Flo also makes Jessica promise to come to the diner at three the next afternoon to talk. About what happened at Prom Night, and other things. And Raven will be there as well.
Jessica knows she has no choice, and so she meets up with Flo and Raven, and a strange older girl named Andrea (Andy). Flo explains that they all are virago’s, women warriors who protect their city. Raven and Jessica are new to this, but Andy proclaims to know all about it.
The bad news is, they will have to train to get in shape to fight evil, and they will have to patrol the city each night in teams. And they cannot tell anybody about it, not their parents, not their best friends. So how are they going to conceal all this?
To her dismay, Jessica is paired with Andy to go on patrol. They sure don’t like each other. When they hear some strange noises in the new shop, they set out to investigate. The strange boy opens the door and tells them everything is fine, but he does have a nasty bitemark on his arm. And it is not a dogbite as he tells them …
A few days later, school starts. And finding the right outfit for the very first day is the most important thing in Jessica’s life. You have to make the right impression. Being popular before doesn’t mean you will be popular in highschool. Eva is a bit jealous about it all, but when they start teasing each other about boys, they are fine again. Apparently Eva has a crush on Evan, a boy who really likes Jessica. But even though Jessica doesn’t want to, she is falling for Dominic. But she really doesn’t want to be like every other girl in town.
The Look of Love opens up that day, and it is a rush. There are 13 special flasks of perfume hidden in the shop, and the girls who find them, will be special as well. Jessica doesn’t get it, why is Eva suddenly so hung up about that strange boy, and why are all those girls dressing alike? It is like she is brainwashed, Eva is totally forgetting about her and ignoring Evan for this Edgar Love. They act as his personal fan squad.
What is happening with those girls, and especially her best friend? Edgar tries to get Jessica to join his team too, but she wants nothing to do with him, and luckily Dominic comes to her rescue. But will the virago’s be in time to stop what is going on and save the day?
As said before, I enjoyed this story. It was a bit predictable; it has some gross scenes in it, but not a love triangle. I liked Jessica, she does not want to be different, she wants a normal life with her family and friends, and not go out in secret at night to wander the streets. Jessica is not really paranormal like so many other YA heroines, but she does have a skill in fighting. I liked how she and Raven get closer, and how they find out the strange things about Dominic and the songs he starts singing while not on the bands repertoire.
The story and the paranormal things in this story sure are original, and I like it. The action and surprises kept my attention on the book until it was finished, and I am really thinking about buying the rest of the series.
© 2013 Reviews by Aurian