Her mom is dead.
Ghosts follow her around.
Her best friend is an elephant.
And she’s about to meet the biggest game changer of all: a boy. With a secret.
When circus-dwelling Gemma Flannery learns she will be attending public school for the first time in her seventeen years, little does she know that fitting in with her 12th-grade classmates will be the least of her concerns. A pro at hiding her knack for seeing the dead (“shades”), Gemma is grieving the recent suicide of her mentally ill mother, a process eased by the introduction of her first real love interest, the charming and painfully handsome Henry Dmitri, who is harboring his own collection of dangerous secrets. Together, they will be presented with a frightening challenge: to assume their roles as heirs to a 3000-year-old magical text, the AVRAKEDAVRA, a book the über-rich, sleight-of-being master Lucian Dmitri would do anything to get his hands on. As each terrifying layer in her new reality melts away, Gemma unearths truths that her quiet, nomadic life with the Cinzio Traveling Players is not at all what she’d always cherished. Gemma and Henry must rely on each other to stop Lucian’s diabolical plotting that will bring the world to its tired, scab-riddled knees, and are sent on the flight of their young lives, to save themselves, their families, and the world from the darkest kind of destruction.
Let the chase begin.
Gemma Flannery is written with such a fierce center of realism that at times I was taken aback. There is none of the weakling heroine in this book, no sir! It was a refreshing change from the cookie cutter characters from other YA novels who all seem to teeter on the real life teenaged experiences but never follow through in a believable way.
Sleight will take you to many places in your imagination through out it’s 340 pages, and I must warn you it’s not all for the faint of heart. A lot of socially unacceptable topics are brought up, and to this I stand and applaud, and even go so far as to toss out the Arseno Hall “Woo Woo Woo” arm pump.
Sommersby doesn’t shove these typically unmentionable topics under the rug and find another way to tell the story, she puts them out there in black and white and says “Hey, this is really happening with our youth, why can’t I put it in a book”. Too many times I find authors, weather directed by editors or not, soften the sharp edges of life to make the book more likeable. And I think that at times it can take the realism out of a story.
Now, not every story needs sex, drinking, smoking and swearing (among other things) to fill it’s pages with a worthwhile story. That’s not what I’m saying at all. What I do mean, is that in some books, with the way some characters are written, it’s obviously a cop out for them to say “Gaul Dang it” when what their “tough-as-nails” persona mixed with an intense, or even life threatening situation, would lead you to believe a “God Damn It” was in order. I’m not a fan of wishy washy leads in books. If you’re going to write it, then own it the WHOLE way through, don’t give out here and there. And Sommersby delivers on this!!
The plot, the story and the people you meet while in this fantastical world Sommersby creates will stay with you long after you finsih the last page. It’s a strong story, with each chapter being headed by a quote that helps explain what you are about to read. Quotes from everyone from Voltaire to Berttie Pruitt from Hope Floats. The amount of time and effort that must have gone into this is duly noted Jennifer :0) Thank you for it.
There were a few points for me that were difficult to take. The main one is the fact that in this book we are dealing with an ancient magic from a book called the AVRAKEDAVRA. Now this word is an old word from which Abracadabra originated and it’s origin and history is laid out in the book in detail. All based on greatly old myths that were researched no doubt to the fullest extent while Sommersby wrote the book.
Thats all great, but I’m guessing you’re like me and the first thing you thought of when you read it was Harry Potter. (specifically Voldemort killing
Edward Cedric in Goblet of Fire) And I was actually told about this in an e-mail when Jennifer contacted me for a review, so I knew it was coming and still couldn't get it out of my head. LOL.
I think that if it had been a word from a less popular set of movies/books then it would have been ok, but because it does match so much to Harry Potter, I am thankful she shortened it to AVRA-K when discussing it in the book. It makes it more unique and less prone to comparison.
The last thing is, the cover. BUT I have just found out that the cover has been redesigned for the printing of paper backs and I can’t wait to see it. Let me note that I don’t dislike the cover, it just doesn’t really have much to do with the book itself. And maybe I’m a wee dense (it’s been known to be said I am) but I couldn’t much pin point where the name Sleight came from for the book. I’m guessing I was so excited with the pint-sized power house that is Gemma that I over looked it.
I’m giving this book 4 birds for not holding back on real life, for giving us a great fantasy life and for the author who put up with some mean threats from me during my reading it. I believe I told her I hated her with the passion of the fiery pits of hell for some of the twists and turns you go down. You won’t be disappointed.
- Buy Sleight for Kindle $2.99
- Buy Sleight for Nook $2.99
- COMING SOON – buy a paper back on Amazon (we will post details on this when they are made available)