Thursday, December 13, 2012

Cheryl Rainfield - PARALLEL VISIONS - A Review of a Teen Psychic Novel 1

TITLE: Parallel Visions

AUTHOR: Cheryl Rainfield

RELEASE DATE: November 20, 2012

FORMAT/PAGE COUNT: Kindle/146 pages

PUBLISHER: Rain & Sun Press



Visions can kill you. Would you risk your life to save someone else's?

Kate sees psychic visions of the future and the past—but only when she's having an asthma attack. When she "sees" her sister being beaten, she needs more visions to try to save her, along with a suicidal classmate—but triggering her asthma could kill her. Parallel Visions is the story of one brave, caring girl whose unusual gifts put her own life in danger. (From GOODREADS)


Parallel Visions was one of those books I just wanted to devour in one sitting. It grabbed this reader from the first sentence! 'My chest hurts like my ribs are scraping my flesh with every breath, and I can already hear the wheeze.' Kate, the narrator of the story, has chronic asthma. Growing up with a brother who suffered asthma, that opening sentence practically made me hold my breath so I could listen for Kate's. What Rainfield did with the already present drama surrounding bad asthma attacks is pump up the severity of the action by adding foretelling visions to the character's attack experience. And she did it well!

A short read, Parallel Visions more than makes up for its size with its action packed goodness. The way Rainfield began the story with the immediate action of an asthma attack was a brilliant way to get the reader to become invested in the narrator. And the narrator's fears for what she 'sees' happening to the characters around her causes the reader to become invested with them as well. Kate sees a bleak future during her opening asthma attack...a future where death and mayhem occur. With her visions, Kate introduces us to a teen who is struggling with the destruction of her life at the hands of merciless and violent bullies. The visions also show us Kate's own sister, whose life is spiraling out of control at the hands of an abusive husband. The tone of the novel is set with the visions Kate experiences in this opening asthma attack. And the pace is put into full throttle as we move forward in a race against the possibly inevitable future Kate's visions have given her. But wait...this attack also introduces the reader to a possible hero (and love interest) in Kate's classmate, Gil. Gil is not only her classmate, but the brother of the teen Kate sees suffering at the hands of bullies. This draws Kate and Gil together, as they team up to figure out a way to save the day.

Rainfield is an excellent storyteller, and conscientious of the struggles facing today's teen community. Her books always deal with these hot-button topics in such an amazing way...a way that is neither preachy nor condescending. She makes her stories and characters approachable and real. She takes these issues and weaves wonderful stories around them. Readers can see her passion for justice and equality in every word...and they get a wonderful fast-paced ride of excitement thrown into the deal. Parallel Visions is no exception. This story deals with bullies, homophobia, abuse, rape, individuality and the struggles of being different. But beyond the task of tackling these tough issues, Rainfield delivers an exciting read. One you will remember for a long time. This is a story with bite. Just don't be surprised if you feel yourself gasping for breath along the way. Rainfield writes asthma like one who has experienced it in one way or another. Being someone who grew up around it, I constantly found myself panicked in the face of Kate's attacks. The writing is true and urgent.




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