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Chasing Power
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Chasing Power

4.0 3
by Sarah Beth Durst

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Sixteen-year-old Kayla was born with the ability to move things with her mind-things like credit cards and buttons on cash registers-and she has become a master shoplifter. She steals to build up enough money for her and her mom to be able to flee if her dad finds them again . . . which would mean grave danger for them both.

When she's caught stealing by a boy


Sixteen-year-old Kayla was born with the ability to move things with her mind-things like credit cards and buttons on cash registers-and she has become a master shoplifter. She steals to build up enough money for her and her mom to be able to flee if her dad finds them again . . . which would mean grave danger for them both.

When she's caught stealing by a boy named Daniel-a boy with the ability to teleport-he needs her help and is willing to blackmail her to get it. Together, they embark on a quest to find and steal an ancient incantation, written on three indestructible stones and hidden millennia ago, all to rescue Daniel's kidnapped mother. But Kayla has no idea that this rescue mission will lead back to her own family-and to betrayals that she may not be able to forgive . . . or survive.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Kayla and her mother, Moonbeam, live in disguise—they fear Kayla’s father will discover them and kill Kayla like he did Kayla’s sister. Kayla resents this life in hiding because it also means keeping her telekinetic powers a secret. Disobeying her mother, Kayla regularly uses her power to steal until a handsome teleporter, Daniel, threatens to reveal Kayla’s secret if she doesn’t use her gift to help him find his kidnapped mother. Thus begins a race to find three magical stones before they fall into the wrong hands, and both Kayla and Daniel’s families pay the price. Durst (Conjured) delivers a fun adventure with a superpowered twist as Daniel and Kayla use their abilities to solve the crises that come their way. Even in dangerous situations, Kayla retains her wry sense of humor, which brings a bit of lightness to some of the story’s cornier moments and cinematic plot twists. Think The Mummy (temples, tombs, and all) with Veronica Mars calling the shots, and a dash of romance in the mix. Ages 14–up. Agent: Andrea Somberg, Harvey Klinger. (Oct.)
New York Times bestselling author of the Tiger's Colleen Houck

Part Indiana Jones, part Jumper, the heroes travel faster than the speed of light, but even that isn't quick enough for them to escape the treachery, mystery, and danger waiting around every corner.
From the Publisher

“Durst delivers a fun adventure with a superpowered twist . . . Think The Mummy (temples, tombs, and all) with Veronica Mars calling the shots, and a dash of romance in the mix.” —Publishers Weekly

“Snappy dialogue, snarky teens and explosive exploits. A quick but complex read--enjoyable on both counts.” —Kirkus Reviews

“Fans of Durst's earlier works will find plenty to like about Kayla and her paranormal adventure.” —Booklist

“Part Indiana Jones, part Jumper, the heroes travel faster than the speed of light, but even that isn't quick enough for them to escape the treachery, mystery, and danger waiting around every corner.” —Colleen Houck, New York Times bestselling author of the Tiger's Curse series

“Durst excels at describing grotesque violence and gorgeous magical transformations alike, painting a touching portrait of first love against a backdrop of Twilight Zone–type terrors.Patient readers will respond to this slow thriller about a girl with memory loss and magical powers, and a murderer on the loose.” —Kirkus Reviews on Conjured

“With strong folklore elements, a striking setting, and thoroughly imagined characters, Durst has woven a story that does not shy from the bawdy, violent, or pragmatic realities of life.” —Publishers Weekly on Vessel

“A fast-paced, thrilling adventure . . . the highly descriptive writing forms intense visuals for the reader so that characters, animals, and locations feel rich and realistic.” —VOYA on Vessel

“Combining a sense of humor with dark appeal of supernatural romance, this book is funny, scary and thought provoking all at once . . . Even jaded fans of the supernatural find fun in this one.” —Kirkus Reviews on Drink, Slay, Love

“A fresh, modern, and humorous twist on the vampire novel . . . Durst's snappy dialogue and vivid prose are entertaining and the straightforward plot moves at a good clip, scattering enough clues to heighten anticipation without spoiling the fun.” —Publishers Weekly on Drink, Slay, Love

“Twisty, absorbing and satisfying.” —Publishers Weekly on Ice

“Durst flawlessly weaves together romance, adventure, and a modern sensibility to create a highly inventive and suspenseful story of a girl on the cusp of adulthood.” —School Library Journal on Ice

VOYA, December 2014 (Vol. 37, No. 5) - Lauren Straub
Sixteen-year-old Kayla and her mother, Moonbeam, are leading hidden lives to protect Kayla from her father, who murdered her older sister, Amanda. Another thing that sets Kayla apart from a “normal” adolescent is her ability to move things with her mind. Although her mother begs her not to use these powers, Kayla and her best friend, Selena, use them to steal to help provide for Kayla and her mother. When a strange boy, Daniel, discovers Kayla’s powers and blackmails her to help him find his own mother, she realizes she should have heeded Moonbeam’s warnings. The plot thickens when Daniel’s mother’s kidnapping directly relates to Kayla’s father and an extremely dangerous outcome. Kayla faces many decisions that test her loyalty to family and friends, as well as her ability to trust someone who has severely betrayed her. Kayla’s decisions can support lessons that can connect to students’ lives. The conflicts between Kayla and Daniel, Kayla and Moonbeam, and Kayla and her father directly reflect how particular lines of dialogue and action propel the drama in the story. Reviewer: Lauren Straub; Ages 11 to 14.
School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up—Kayla and her mother, Moonbeam, have settled down in a coastal California town to lead a quiet, normal life. Forbidden from using her special "gift" for fear of attracting attention from her murderous father, Kayla secretly hones her skills with acts of petty theft. However, her gift of moving things with her mind is noticed by the mysterious, dark-eyed Daniel, who teleports her to a rooftop to blackmail her into helping him locate his missing mother. The two set out on a dangerous worldwide hunt to unravel the mystery of his mother's kidnapping. Throughout their adventures they meet numerous characters with supernatural powers, all of whom wind up having a historical connection to Daniel and Kayla's parents. Kayla's best friend, Selena, is enlisted to help with researching the clues they receive while acting as the diversion to keep Kayla's mother in the dark about their near-death experiences in various locations across the globe. The pacing is slow and drawn out, especially in this long volume. The character's voices are indistinguishable and at times Kayla's irreverent narration seems stilted given the severity of the situations. The budding romance between Kayla and Daniel is predictable and not quite palpable. Overall, this is a general purchase for collections in need of additional adventure titles that have a healthy dose of the supernatural.—Lynn Rashid, Marriotts Ridge High School, Marriottsville, MD
Kirkus Reviews
Telekinetic teen Kayla lives a charmed life with her hippie mom until the past catches up with them. Kayla's mother, Moonbeam, covers their California cottage with spells and amulets, but her New-Age exterior and excessive eccentricities mask both true power and a fear of her husband, who (may have) killed their other daughter, Amanda. Having spent the last eight years on the run, Kayla is always prepared to fight or flee. Despite her mother's orders to keep a low profile and never use her powers, Kayla employs her telekinesis to shoplift, pick pockets and generally cause havoc while hanging out with her rich friend, Selena. When a boy named Daniel approaches Kayla for help rescuing his kidnapped, cold-fish academic mother, Kayla finds herself teleported around the world in search of three magical stones. The stones are essentially a narrative MacGuffin, making the teens confront their irresponsible parents and discover the source of their powers; as voodoo queen Marguerite remarks, "Who hides an evil spell and then leaves a map?" While the novel starts simply enough, it soon takes a kitchen-sink approach, layering issues of domestic abuse, fraught parent-child relationships and amoral power plays beneath teen romances, tourism and dizzying action sequences. Thankfully, Durst leavens the angst and childhood trauma with snappy dialogue, snarky teens and explosive exploits. A quick but complex read—enjoyable on both counts. (Fantasy. 12-18)

Product Details

Bloomsbury USA
Publication date:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
8.30(w) x 5.90(h) x 1.40(d)
Age Range:
14 Years

Meet the Author

SARAH BETH DURST is the author of the young adult novels Conjured, Vessel, Drink Slay Love, Enchanted Ivy, and Ice, as well as the middle grade novels Into the Wild and Out of the Wild. Sarah lives with her husband and children in Stony Brook, New York.

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Chasing Power 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
MissPrint More than 1 year ago
Kayla had planned to spend her summer lazing about the beach in Santa Barbara with her best friend Selena and occasionally stealing things here and there to keep her mind sharp. After all, a sharp mind is very important when you can use it to move things. Her plans for the summer are effectively derailed when a boy named Daniel appears out of nowhere. Literally. Because Daniel has a power of his own--the ability to teleport anywhere instantly. Threatened with blackmail, Kayla agrees to help Daniel steal a set of three ancient artifacts to help Daniel rescue his kidnapped mother. As Daniel and Kayla travel around the world to collect the artifacts, Kayla soon realizes that the secrets she has been keeping, the kidnapping, and the artifacts may all connect back to each other--and to her own family--in a shocking act of betrayal that could change everything in Chasing Power (2014) by Sarah Beth Durst. While Kayla is a willful and often impulsive character, she is also an honest one who is willing to own up to her mistakes. Kayla's own rash behavior is balanced well by best friend Selena who offers a down-to-earth foil to Kayla's magical powers. Kayla's mother is another a great addition to this story with her own charms--both magical and otherwise. Chasing Power is a streamlined blend of magic, romance and page-turning action. This story is part urban fantasy and part treasure hunt in a satisfying blend of adventure and suspense. Possible Pairings: White Cat by Holly Black, Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins, Guardian of the Dead by Karen Healey, The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson, Rampant by Diana Peterfreund, The Demon's Lexicon by Sarah Rees Brennan, Extraordinary by Nancy Werlin, Companions of the Night by Vivian Vande Velde, The Replacement by Brenna Yovanoff *A copy of this book was acquired for review consideration from the publisher at BEA 2014*
valercrazy More than 1 year ago
Chasing Power was a solid 3.5-3.75 star read for me; the characters were hilarious though a tad exaggerated, the plot was thoroughly interesting, and there were plenty of twists that I didn’t see coming. I did have my problems with this book but overall, it left me feeling satisfied.  First up, this book is all about a motley bunch of weirdoes which appealed to my weirdo loving heart from the start; our main character is Kayla, a telekinetic who secretly uses her powers behind her mom’s back. Next up is Selena, Kayla’s best friend, who is loud and proud and awesome, she is the computer of the operation. Daniel is the mysterious boy who shows up and maybe sort of blackmails Kayla into helping him; he is also “special” with the gift of teleportation. Finally, there’s Moonbeam, good old mom with a few secrets up her magical sleeves. All of these characters are on the exaggerated side which I enjoyed (I wouldn’t have enjoyed this in a contemporary but I enjoyed it for this book) but then the unthinkable happens…. The characters did things that were… out of character. Oh my heart! I just need for characters to be well-developed and then to stick to whom the author made them to be and that wasn’t always the case for Chasing Power. My heart still hurts a little. The plot was probably my favorite part of this book; it started off right away and there was plenty to keep me hooked. Daniel’s mother is kidnapped and the only way to retrieve her is to collect two stones located in various places around the world. You know what that vaguely sounds like? People, it sounds like National Treasure! I LOVE National Treasure! It was a really fun journey to find the stone and a few extras along the way. I honestly didn’t see over half of the plot twists coming and that’s my favorite way to read a book, I had to put it down and freak out a few times. This plot was on point! Aside from the things that I liked, there were some things that I didn’t love so much (like the characters acting out of character). The weirdest thing about this book is that it’s written in third person when it shouldn’t be, it made everything confusing and it made the book difficult to read at times. It is also possible that people could think that this book is boring and drags on, I didn’t think that until the ending… I barely got through it.
SezjbSB More than 1 year ago
Chasing Power is an exciting and adventure-filled standalone novel, a tale filled with magical abilities with the sites of the world as it's setting. Like a scavenger hunt only with ancient items that need to be found, it's a life and death situation where to lose is to gamble on one of our main protagonist Mum's life. Kayla is a sixteen-year old girl who has a gift, she has telekinesis and has used her ability to steal, money, jewelery whatever she feels like, she takes what she can and saves it for the moment she and her Mum are on the run again, from her abusive Father, Moonbeam who we know as Kayla's Mum, doesn't know that she uses her ability, she has in fact forbidden her from using her telekinesis even in the safety of her own home, one day she gets caught by Daniel a boy who has an ability of his own, he can teleport and he desperately needs Kayla's help to rescue his kidnapped Mum, so after being blackmailed by him she agrees to help and it's here where the action starts. There's never a dull moment, danger seems to be around every corner, and then there's a bit of romance thrown in as well between Kayla and Daniel. This was the first book that I've ever read of Sarah Beth Durst, while I do own other books of hers I've yet to have the opportunity to pick them up, however after reading and loving this book I'll be sure to put them higher up on my tbr pile. Sarah has created an extremely enjoyable tale, with engaging characters and a plot that will surely keep you on the edge of your seat. Highly recommended.