Transcend

( 17 )

Overview

All seventeen-year-old composer Ien Montgomery desires is an escape from his family's rigid expectations for his life; someone to inspire his music. When he meets a beautiful violin-prodigy, Kiera McDougal, his life music takes on new life. With her, he imagines a future outside of his parents' control. That is, until a horrible accident tears them apart.

Sent to die in a sanatorium, Ien's obsession for Kiera grows unbearable. Tortured by thoughts he can't escape and the truth ...

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Overview

All seventeen-year-old composer Ien Montgomery desires is an escape from his family's rigid expectations for his life; someone to inspire his music. When he meets a beautiful violin-prodigy, Kiera McDougal, his life music takes on new life. With her, he imagines a future outside of his parents' control. That is, until a horrible accident tears them apart.

Sent to die in a sanatorium, Ien's obsession for Kiera grows unbearable. Tortured by thoughts he can't escape and the truth of his monstrous disfigurement, he flees, desperate to exact revenge on the people that ruined his life - his parents. But, vengeance is empty. Betrayed by those closest to him, Ien discovers that the price for his happiness may be his sanity.

Set amidst the landscape of New York's Gilded Age, and inspired by Phantom of the Opera, TRANSCEND exposes the fine line between love and madness.

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon, B&N, Goodreads - Heather McCorkle
"...so powerful, so deep, and dark. It took me on an amazing journey into places most people fear to go...leaving me breathless." ~Heather McCorkle, Author of To Ride A Puca
Goodreads - Michelle McLean
"This Phantom of the Opera-inspired tale is hauntingly dark and achingly beautiful. A story of love, loss and obsession set against the decadent backdrop of historic New York that sucked me in and wouldn't let go, from the first page until long after I'd finished. Ien still haunts my dreams..." ~ Michelle McLean, Author of Treasured Lies (Entangled, 2012)
Goodreads, Amazon, B&N - Ali Cross
I could not put Transcend down. Its dark and twisty curves kept me too engrossed, too enthralled with what would happen, too determined to uncover the truth of Ien's world to think about anything real-life.

The writing is lyrical, beautiful. The story is disturbing and intense and utterly unique." ~Ali Cross, author of BECOME.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780985180478
  • Publisher: Compass Press
  • Publication date: 9/18/2012
  • Pages: 314
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Critically acclaimed nonfiction and YA author Christine Fonseca is dedicated to helping children of all ages find their voice in the world. Drawing on her expertise as an educational psychologist, her nonfiction titles address issues of emotional intensity, resiliency and giftedness. In fiction, she explores the darker aspects of humanity and delivers gothic thrillers that take you on a rollercoaster ride of emotions. In life, she teaches her own children to embrace their unique talents and find their voice by being a force of positive change in the world.
When she’s not writing or developing programs to support children with exceptional needs, she can be found spending time with her family, sipping too many skinny vanilla lattes at her favorite coffee house or playing around on Facebook and Twitter. For more information about Christine Fonseca or her books, visit her website – http://christinefonseca.com or her blog http://christinefonseca.blogspot.com.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 17 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(14)

4 Star

(2)

3 Star

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2 Star

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Sort by: Showing all of 17 Customer Reviews
  • Posted September 12, 2012

    A poetic, torturous, emotional ride into madness that is a must-read!!

    I was warned before reading Transcend that it was not going to be easy on the emotions, and wow was that the truth!! This story was such a creepy, heart-wrenching, unforgiving tale of torment. It grips you from the very first page and never lets go, planting a seed in your mind that slowly drives you to the brink of madness. Bravo to Christine Fonseca for this outstanding work, and for absolutely taking me by surprise and flooring me with a story so compelling that it's guaranteed to captivate any reader!

    Transcend hits you with a knock-out punch to the heart from the very start, with a broken Ien writing a beautiful love letter to his Kiera. He was so full of hurt and anguish, and I knew right then I was in for a story that would rip my heart out!! It seemed like at first his love for her was muddled in with his hatred for his mother's overbearing control of his life. She had her mind set on what he would do and be in life, what kind of woman he would marry...but he had grown tired of the lack of freedom in his life. When he proposes to Kiera and they share a sweet moment, it was clear that his feelings for her ran much deeper than a simple rebellion. It was a sweet, tender moment before all hell broke loose after the accident, and he relives that moment over and over again in his head, grasping at that one glint of happiness in his otherwise strained past.

    Ien was left so disfigured that even those he loved were sickened by it; he was sent away to die in a sanatorium, his parents pretending that he had died because they were too ashamed to have him a part of their lives anymore. The only one who could bear to be near him was Jenna, the one who cared for him no matter what- whether whole or broken, handsome or scarred. The pain and torture he goes through after the accident was so upsetting to read, and to watch him have to endure the life he once had go on around him was just awful. I wanted so badly for him to turn to somehow find peace with Jenna instead of his obsession with Kiera, but as he slowly slipped further and further into madness it seemed like there was no good left for him anyway. It was truly heartbreaking.

    I went through an Edgar Allen Poe kick when I was in highschool, and this story gave me the same goose bump-enducing chills I got back in the day!! There was this feeling of foreboding and madness throughout the whole story, and it left a knot in my stomach as Ien grew more and more desperate. The only thing that drives him is making his mother pay and winning back Kiera's heart, and he's so blinded by this that he pushes everything else out of his mind. He doesn't know who to trust, what to believe, or what is truly real, and you can't help but get sucked right into his despair with him. When everything finally began to unfold and Ien's madness was unleashed, it was like a whirling torrent of insanity, heartbreak, and anger that I couldn't tear myself away from. This was such an intense and beautifully-written story, and I just loved the wild, poetic ride that Christine Fonseca created!! Five enthusiastic stars for this amazing work of art!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 12, 2012

    I'm someone who reads pretty quickly, but I really savored Trans

    I'm someone who reads pretty quickly, but I really savored Transcend. I spent more time thinking about what I was reading and what was to come.

    "Will I become the thing I fear the most of all?"

    Ien, a seventeen year old musical composer is overwhelmed by pressure from his family. He is ready to begin his life with his musical partner and love, Kiera, until horrible circumstances rip them from each other. Ien is sent to die at a sanatorium where he begins to plot revenge against the people who have left him disfigured and alone. But Ien will find more than he expected when he begins his crusade of vengeance.

    "New truths. I'm more than the flesh and bone that defines me. More than the pain that consumes me and the madness radiating through me. I am a man. And I am still alive."

    This book reads like a song. It flows easily, starting with a beautiful introduction then coming to a grand climax that will leave you breathless before crashing around you. I loved the alternating between first and third person. I liked being inside Ien's head, but at times it was quite intense, so it was also nice to have the third person point of view.

    I usually have strong feelings for main characters, whether it be love, hate, lust, etc. What I felt for Ien was different. The madness and hate inside of him frightened me. Then I felt pity for the things he'd lost and the things he could never have. I got so wrapped up in his reality I couldn't tell what was real and what wasn't. Ultimately, I genuinely cared about Ien. I cared about what would happen to him.

    I fell completely in love with the story of heartache, pain, and vengeance. The characters, whether real or imaginary, found their way into my mind and rooted themselves there until the last page.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 12, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    OMG....Wow....what a ride... I was pulled in right from the sta

    OMG....Wow....what a ride...

    I was pulled in right from the start. Wow... I'm so shocked and still reeling from the story. I'm still trying to figure out what really happened and what was all in Ien's mind. Such a haunting story. Kudos to Christine Fonseca for writing this beautifully evocative tale. Wow...still trying to wrap my head around it.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 12, 2012

    Transcend is unlike any other book you have read. When was the l

    Transcend is unlike any other book you have read. When was the last time you read about a boy, a fractured boy, and the love of his life? The love he would sacrifice everything for--including his sanity?

    I could not put Transcend down. Its dark and twisty curves kept me too engrossed, too enthralled with what would happen, too determined to uncover the truth of Ien's world to think about anything real-life.

    The writing is lyrical, beautiful. The story is disturbing and intense and utterly unique--and in the end? In the end you'll listen to your favorite recording of The Phantom of the Opera and you'll feel as though you're hearing it for the first time. You'll finally understand the true tragedy of it all.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 12, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    This Phantom of the Opera-inspired tale is hauntingly dark and a

    This Phantom of the Opera-inspired tale is hauntingly dark and achingly beautiful, a story of love, loss, and obsession set against the decadent backdrop of historic New York that sucked me in and wouldn’t let go, from the first page until long after I’d finished. Ien still haunts my dreams…

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted September 12, 2012

    Where do I begin? Or better still, how do I go about even trying

    Where do I begin? Or better still, how do I go about even trying to write a review for a book that is a masterpiece? It would be like trying to describe the feeling you would get standing under the glorious roof of the Sistine Chapel. There really are no words that would justify that. This is exactly how I am feeling now *takes deep breathe to calm my beating heart* I am floored. I am completely and utterly blown away and I really must say that this is pure artistry at it's best. Christine Fonseca is a brilliant writer, who has a poet's heart and an artist's soul. I am in love with her words that move me in more ways than one. Before I continue though, I really want to thank Christine for providing me with an ARC copy of Transcend in exchange for my honest review, and I am completely honoured to have been given this opportunity. As soon as I knew about this book I feverishly wanted it and low and behold, I was graced with it. Thank you.

    Transcend really is a story filled with so much anguish and pain, and sorrow and torment I really was an emotional wreck reading it. Every word weaved so beautifully against the page, coming together and forming a story that dripped in melancholy. I could feel every emotion with every word, with every sentence. My heart ached and it soared. My stomach churned and it fluttered. My head hurt and it hummed. My blood boiled and it flowed, fuelling the fire that was coursing through my veins. I wasn't reading a story about a young seventeen-year-old composer named Ien Montgomery, who was in total despair. Living the life he did not want, according to his family's expectations. Giving up everything including the woman he loved, Keira, and his love for music. Instead, I was that young man, being tormented and tortured by the voices and visions consuming his mind and soul. Every moment he breathed, I exhaled. Every time he cried, my tears flowed. Everything he ever endured, I pained along with him. This is what reading Transcend does to you. It enters your heart and flows through your veins. It forges into your mind, tormenting and maddening. The real and the delusional, blurred beyond recognition.

    The moment I read the last word I finally exhaled. I had held my breath the entire time and I am emotionally drained and exhausted, but rewarded in so many ways. Transcend is beautiful and lyrical, captivating and thrilling, dark and creepy, mysterious and intoxicating, alluring and seductive, and painful and tortured. Set against the New York's Gilded Age, you will be swept away by it's opulence and magnificence. It's a simple story of love, yet it is fuelled with vengeance and betrayal. You will be thrown into the depths of Ien's torment, he's own hell, and you will be desperately trying to claw your way out, hoping to drag him back with you. It is with this that I end this review. I'm hoping I have persuaded you all that this book is a MUST READ. Christine Fonseca has thrown her heart and soul into this book, and the evidence is noticeable. You will NOT be disappointed and it will be amongst your favourites forever. I know it will be on mine.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 12, 2012

    Wow! Not sure exactly what I expected, but Transcend exceeded al

    Wow!
    Not sure exactly what I expected, but Transcend exceeded all expectations! Thank you, Christine, for offering this book for a review. I am not even sure what to write. I have loved all of your books, and have raced through them all. This was no exception!

    This book is about Ien. He is one of the most tortured, disillusioned, heart breaking characters I have read about. Christine keeps you guessing until the end about what is real and what isn't. I could not help feeling gut-wrenching heartache for Ien as his story progressed, and I learned secrets about his past. I had mixed feelings about Mother, Kiera, James, and even Erik, as the story progressed and I learned new things. Sometimes I hated them, and other times I felt they were victims, and hoped for their peace. Throughout the book I really felt sad for Jenna. She seemed to truly care for and love Ien, and she tried her best to help him. This is definitely a page turner as you race to find what is real or in Ien's mind.

    This is a story about insanity at its worst, and how it controlled Ien's life and actions. Christine Fonseca is a spectacular storyteller, and draws you in from page one. A wonderful read for all young adult/adult book lovers. I recommend to everyone!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 12, 2012

    This books was nothing like i expected, and it was like nothing

    This books was nothing like i expected, and it was like nothing i have ever read and i loved it so much there are so many words i can use to describe this book WOW, MASTERPIECE, SUPEREB, WORK OF ART, ONE OF A KIND, those type of words come to mind.

    I loved Christines writing when i read Lacrimosa but damm this one was on a whole other level. The writing is amazing, insperational, poetic. Christine is a born writer born poet.

    This book bought tears to my eyes, it made my heart do twists and turns, there is so much torment, pain, suffering, loss, my heart was breaking. It bought so much emotion in me.

    Ien Montgomery is a 17year old composer, who wants nothing more than to escape his families high expectations. He falls deeply in love with Kiera McDougal a fellow musician, and suddenly he only wants her nothing else matters, he cant imagine life without her. Then a terrible accident tears them apart leaving him badly difigured. Sent away to die his love and obsession with Kiera only grows stronger but it is also his motivation to live. In desperation to get Kiera back he escapes determined to get her back and also to get revenge on all those closest to him that have betrayed him. Want to know more?? well go out and buy this AMAZING book and read it and it will leave you numb by this incredible, beautiful disturbing story.

    This book was passionate, dark, gothic, heartbreaking, tormenting, poetic, disturbingly beautiful. It was an amazing incredible journey. I cannot wait till i get this on Hardback so i can re read it all over again.

    Christine you have outdone yourself this time i cannot wait to read what you write next. :)

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 16, 2012

    My heart is bleeding and battered from the couple of days I spen

    My heart is bleeding and battered from the couple of days I spent agonizing while reading this hauntingly beautifully written tale of longing, love, and despair. I have to admit that this is not a book I would've normally chosen to read if it were not for the accolades and ravings of many fellow readers over the brilliance of this harrowing story. So I stepped outside my comfort zone and begged Christine for the opportunity to read and review this marvelous book of hers. I can't express the level of awe and respect I feel towards Christine Fonseca's talent as a writer because the writing in this book is simply SPECTACULAR. From the first chapter I found myself captivated. There's a love letter written by the main character Ien to the love of his life, his heart's obsession, Kiera. That love letter had me choked up with a knot in my throat that's how beautiful it was. I literally had to read it aloud to one of my friends because the words were so beautiful they needed to be shared. To write words capable of bringing readers to tears is a gift and I'm so very thankful to Chritine for sharing this gift with us.

    As I said, this is not the type of book I normally choose to read because it is dark and mournful, filled with despondency and sorrow. Yet I found myself glued to its pages even as I cried and yelled continuously at my Kindle asking it to tell me WHY WHY? My heart kept breaking and breaking and I didn't know if I was going to be able to see Ien through all the pains of his misfortunes. I felt my heart burst with so much love for Ien. I felt pity for him. All the while wanting to urge him to fight and hold on to his love for Kiera. I loathed his horribly manipulative cold unfeeling mother. More consumed with the appearances of what she deemed acceptable and proper in well appointed society. I despised Ien's father even more for his ruthless and unyielding treatment of his sons especially Ien. I fell in love eith Jenna. Sweet trusting loving Jenna. The only true innocent in of heart as she gave Ien fealty, comfort, and love throughout their entire lives. The character development in this book are exquisite. The pacing is perfect. The story held me gripped in its folds from start to end. I loved the quotes at the opening of each new chapter giving you a sense of what was to come.

    I almost feel like this story was like a runaway train In the sense that life or fate contrived in setting events in motion that could not be stopped or undone. With poor Ien tittering on the edge fighting to stay the course and not give into the bleakness of the life he was born into. I loved that I was able to feel in my soul all of the hurt and despair. All the love and the hate that Ien felt throughout the entire book. And I was surprised at the end because you never know exactly was it to become of Ien nor where his fate and actions will lead him. This was truly a revelation for me. An experience that I will not viery soon forget for Ien is embedded in my heart for a very long time. One of the most uniquely written characters I've read in some time. Christine, you have won yourself a new fan and as such will excitedly look forward to reading your work.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 26, 2013

    Wow... this story was intense! I honestly don't have words to de

    Wow... this story was intense! I honestly don't have words to describe this story besides wonderful. The middle of the story was a bit slow, but wow, once it moved towards the end I was a goner. The end picked up the pace and I read the last half of the book in one sitting. Spoiler!!! [ Actually the end threw me for a turn... I honestly did not believe that Ien imagined the proposal. I really thought his mother started the fire. And I can't believe that Jenna died! And I wish he would have discovered his love for her sooner. (hide spoiler)] Throughout the story, Ien's feelings were so raw and passionate that it was easy to get caught up in the story. I felt connected to his character and genuinely cared for the ending of his story. I would recommend this story to anyone who enjoys a thriller or historical fiction. But, I would not recommend this story to anyone who can't handle depressing topics.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 9, 2013

    Madness

    First of all, thank you to the author for a copy of this book. I've never read anything quite like it! I especially enjoy when there's an excerpt or quote in the beginning of every chapter, so kudos to that!
    Poor, poor Ien... Throughout the whole story, I wasn't quite sure if he was going to make it. Such raw emotions. I wish I would've taken a video of me reading so I could see my reactions to some of the parts. My husband even asked if I was okay one night!
    The characters were all great. I think I felt almost as sorry for Jenna as I did Ien.
    I could hear the violin and piano in my head. I want to see Phantom of the Opera now. :)

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  • Posted April 1, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    5 Disturbing, Head Tripping Stars! BRAVO! A Definite Masterpiece

    5 Disturbing, Head Tripping Stars! BRAVO! A Definite Masterpiece! 

    The Review: 
    Eyes wide, heart pounding and mind boggled. I’m in complete awe of this book!

    My Thoughts…
    I loved this book for the simple pleasure of reading it. Beautifully told, the authors poetic writing combined with stark and vivid imagery make this read an eerie tale of obsession, chaos and mind shifting phantasmagoria. The story flowed, shifted, catapulted and entranced, captivating me with its harrowing journey of one man’s quick descent into insanity.

    Ien is a seventeen year old prodigy pianist in the 19th century. He comes from an affluent family who has business aspirations for young Ien but he’s trying to find his own way of life without suffocating in the restricted world his mother wants him to flourish. Leading the life his mother has mapped out for him, from taking over the family business to trying to fill the shoes of a deceased older brother, Ien’s life isn’t his own. However agreeable he might seem, his mother has put one too many restrictions on him, declaring the girl he’s fallen in love with to be unsuitable. Ien decides, against the advice of his best friend James, to fight for his forbidden love. In an act of rebelliousness, love and desperation to exhibit his independence, he proposes to the beautiful and talented violinist, Keira.

    Happy and looking forward to a fulfilling future, Ien sets out on a night stroll only to find himself fall victim to a horrific accident. Waking up in a pain so profoundly searing, it literally obliterates his mind, Ien suffers every moment he’s lucid. After months of medicine, prayer and even an attempt at new age medicine, his mother finally accepts his unhealing deformities and ships him off to a sanitarium where she tells the nuns to either heal him or kill him. 

    Through the red haze of anguish, as the fire from the sleep inducing drugs course through his body, escalating the unspeakable pain he’s already in, Ien has to discern reality from illusion, while also battling his own mind, the injuries he’s endured and a past trauma that still haunts him. 

    One of the things I loved most about this book is you never have a definite answer to when reality is taking place versus Ien’s troubled mind. Are the people and conversations he’s experiencing real, or are they a part of the drugs or something more sinister, such as a fractured mind. Is the plot his mother is fabricating for his death real? Are ghosts from his past haunting him? Are his best friend and the love of his life moving on with their own lives while he suffers in isolation? The reader is kept guessing as we watch Ien’s life and mind spiral out of control. 

    I also loved the nod this book gives to the Phantom of the Opera, which happens to be a favorite of mine, while weaving music, delusion, realism, insanity and mania all into one story. I also can’t help but think of poor, hallucinating Hamlet and his declining psyche throughout Shakespeare’s “Hamlet” while reading this. So basically, if Erik and Hamlet had a love child, his name would be Ien. ;P 

    The Wrap Up: 
    This book was amazing. It kept me guessing at every turn. The characters were riveting, the setting extraordinary and the writing was perfection! Transcend is a thrilling story that will haunt me and stay with me for a long time to come. A definite re-read! Christina Fonseca has a new fan!!!  

    NOTE:: I read this as a R2R with We ♥ YA Books at Goodreads! As always, a special thank you to the mods and author for allowing me to participate.

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  • Posted March 20, 2013

    This book exceeded all my expectations!! A very different read f

    This book exceeded all my expectations!! A very different read from what I am normally accustomed to.
    The author writes beautifully, in such a way that you can feel how Ien slowly starts to lose his sanity and there isn't a single line that feels out of place.
    Since the very first pages of the book, the storyline captured me and I had a hard time putting my nook down, it has so many twists and turns during the whole process that it is really hard to get bored with it.
    I highly recommend it for anyone that is looking for a new and fresh story based on an old tale.
    Looking forward to reading her requiem series!

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  • Posted January 23, 2013

    I received Transcend from the author Christine Fonseca in exchan

    I received Transcend from the author Christine Fonseca in exchange for an honest review, and I didn't make a mistake doing so. My personal opinion, I enjoyed reading this fantastic, compelling book, and so I'm giving it a five star rating.

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  • Posted September 25, 2012

    This book was absolutely amazing, I have long been a fan of the

    This book was absolutely amazing, I have long been a fan of the story of The Phantom Of The Opera, I saw the movie thirteen times at the cinema, so when I found out that this book was inspired by the story I hurriedly signed up for the blog tour, and boy I was not disappointed!
    The twists and turns throughout this book had me sitting there at the end with my jaw dropped, I didn't expect the end and it was certainly a surprise.
    Ien comes from a rich family, he's expected to take over the family business after the death of his older brother, he is in love with a girl Kiera whom her family especially his mother forbids him from seeing or marrying, but against his mother's wishes he proposes and she accepts, but on the walk home he is involved in a terrible accident which leaves most of his face, arms, legs and torso disfigured from burns.
    Not expected to live he manages to hold on and the thought of Kiera keeps him going, after his parents fake his death he is sent away to die in a sanitarium, but he eventually escapes to take revenge on the people whom he blames for his accident and injuries and to find Kiera so that they can be together again.
    But what happens if the one person he trusted to love him no matter, what is terrified by his appearance?
    I highly recommend this book, the suspense in not knowing what will occur next and the journey to the shocking climax will have you on the edge of your seat.
    I will definitely be keeping an eye out for whatever Christine Fonesca writes next.
    I give this a huge 5/5.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 5, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted September 27, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

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