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“The Da Vinci Code meets Freaky Friday.... Flashbacks to [ancient Rome] provide an engaging back story and helpful clues to solving the murder mystery. The focus on friendship will appeal to chick-lit fans, while those tired of vampires, fallen angels and the like will appreciate the fresh take on the paranormal.”
"An intriguing blend of mystery and mythology, Projection kept us guessing until we devoured the final pages."
—Lisa and Laura Roecker, This Is W.A.R. and The Liar Society
"Thought-provoking... An enjoyable read."
“[A] suspenseful mystery.... [with a] mix of friendship drama and paranormal mystery [that] should win over readers.”
From the Hardcover edition.
Posted September 18, 2013
This book is a great new addition to the YA genre. Like many other YA books its appeal expands to older readers as well (I definitely qualify as an older adult). I started reading the book on red-eye airplane trip from the west coast to the east coast. Although my plan was to sleep most of the way, I had a hard time putting the book down. It is a combination of murder mystery, contemporary sci-fi, and teen chick lit.
Gretchen’s mother is murdered the night of her eighth grade graduation. Her mother had been a leading member of the Oculus Society, an exclusive social group that turns out to be much more that it appears on the surface. Gretchen is determined to find her mother’s killer and accuses Ariel, an unpopular schoolmate. Gretchen’s best friend, Jessica, is invited to join the Oculus Society and as a result she learns their secret, they are heirs to the Plotinus Ability. Plotinus was an ancient Greek Philosopher who discovered a ritual, involving a kiss, for projecting his soul into another human. Jessica shares the secret with Gretchen and the two decide to see if it works. They hope that by exchanging bodies they will discover information about who killed Gretchen’s mother. The girls are caught “kissing” each other by Ariel who posts it on YouTube where is goes viral. Eventually the three girls realize that they are going to have to work together to discover who killed Gretchen’s mother.
I highly recommend this book. I know my two young adult daughters will enjoy reading it when they get a chance. The only parts on the book I had issues with were the scenes of underage drinking. The teens are afraid of getting caught but the drinking is accepted as a norm at their parties.
Disclosure: I received this book as part of a Goodreads giveaway on the premise that I would review it.
Posted September 5, 2013
*Disclosure: I received a review copy from the publicist in exchange for a honest review.
Green’s debut novel Projection is a clever and unique addition to the Young Adult genre.Projection is a paranormal/sci-fi sleuth novel (on the light-side) set in three time periods that will appeal to a lot of readers.
The book opens to Rome 249 A.D., introducing readers to Gemina, her best friend Amphiclea, and Gemina’s teacher/a philosopher Plotinus. Gemina believes her husband is cheating on her. Plotinus says the only way she will know for sure is if they ‘project’ with one another. Projection (The Plotinus Ability) is where two people switch souls with one another (sort of like breathing into the other person’s mouth, or think Lindsey Lohan’s Freaky Friday movie LOL.) In order for a safe projection, Gemina and Plotinus needs someone to witness their soul exchange and that is where Amphiclea comes into play, she is chosen as a ‘witness’ and if anything bad happens she will tell others the truth. The novel then fast-forward to the present day to Gretchen and her friend Jessica, both 13-years-old who just graduated from the eighth grade. Gretchen’s mom celebrates this monumental moment by throwing a lavish eighth grade graduation party for Gretchen and the entire eighth grade class…but there is also another reason to celebrate Gretchen’s mom says. Gretchen doesn’t ever find out what her mom wanted to say because she is murder that night. Jessica then reveals to Gretchen that her mom was going to pass on her Oculus Society (a disguised philanthropy club that really is protecting the Plotinus Ability) leadership role to her. The leader/group swore to protect the ability to project for over 2,000 years, a tradition that’s passed from mother to daughter. In order to find the killer, they project with one another and while they succeeded in projection they couldn’t find the murderer. The book then fast forward again two-years, and the girls are now 15-years-old and they’re still determine to find out who murdered Gretchen’s mom.
Gemina and Plotinus's back-story is told in a couple of chapters between Gretchen, Jessica and Ariel’s chapters, sprinkled through the short book (288 pages) to better explain the Plotinus Ability. At first I didn’t see how Gemina/Plotinus story was really relevant to the present day girls but everything ties together nicely towards the end. I wasn’t a fan of the back-story at the beginning, but as I got further into the book I found myself looking forward to reading more about Gemina and Plotinus. I was sad they didn’t get a happy ending like the girls, but I’m glad the Gemina/Plotinus chapters were added because it added something more to the story. The projection concept is quite refreshing, having never read a YA like it. It was fascinating to see how all the characters used the Plotinus Ability, and how it eventually aided them in finding out who killed Gretchen’s mom. When the girls switched places with one another, they learn a lot not only who the killer was. They learned how it is to live in another person’s shoe (even if it’s for a day) and that though you think you know someone, you don’t really know what happens when you’re not around or behind closed doors. They also learned how others perceived them/how they see themselves, which was fun to see.
Green did a great job in creating an engaging plot that had me guessing till the very end. There were so many twist-turns that I didn’t see coming, especially who the killer was! Overall, Projection was very well-written and the cast of characters were realistic even with the hint of paranormal/sci-fi. I enjoyed every aspect of this book, and think it will appeal to a lot of readers, not just young-adults. I highly recommend this book to everyone looking for a refreshing, page-turner.