Trapped outside her body, Anna sees and hears but cannot touch the one she longs to hold.
Anna has a secret: she can astrally project out of her body. But when there's an accident and her classmate Taylor gets into Anna's body, what was an exhilarating gift threatens to become a terrifying reality. Anna and her best friend Rei form a plan to set things right, but they don't anticipate the feelings that are beginning to grow between them. Auracle by Gina Rosati is an exciting, sensual novel that explores the relationship between body and soul and the power of a single touch.
About the Author
Gina Rosati lives in New Hampshire with her husband and two children. Auracle is her first novel.
Read an Excerpt
By Gina Rosati
Roaring Brook PressCopyright © 2012 Gina Rosati
All rights reserved.
Rei Ellis whispers to me as the light goes dark.
"Anna, don't go."
I turn to find him staring at me instead of the television screen at the front of the classroom where the film credits are beginning to roll.
"Why?" I whisper back.
"Because," he points his pencil toward our English teacher, Mr. Perrin, who is busy fiddling with the volume knob, "you'll get yourself in trouble."
On the way to the bus stop this morning, Rei told me he'd heard a volcano was erupting in full force on a small, uninhabited island not too far from Hawaii. He seemed to think this was a pretty cool occurrence until I got all excited about it, too.
"I'm sorry," I whisper. I can't help myself, though. This is something I've been waiting for for a long time and it's not like a major eruption happens every day here on Earth.
Three other kids are already napping on their desks, faces down on their pillow arms, so I do the same. I close my eyes and take a deep breath, brush the weight of Rei's glare off my shoulders, and exhale slowly. Inhale. Exhale. The country fiddle music from the movie soundtrack fades gradually, replaced by the thrum of my heartbeat, the rush of blood pulsing past my eardrums.
Slow, deep breaths.
This is not quite as simple as popping an ice cube out of a tray. I relax my mind, let it slip into that space between sleep and awake, and my body grows heavy and heavier still. The tingle starts in my toes, creeps up through my legs and past my knees. Once it's climbed the length of my spine and into my neck, my body feels so heavy it seems it will sink right through the desk chair. Now I let go, let the part of me that is matter sink while the part of me that is pure energy rises to the surface like a bubble, up and out of my body ... free!
I do a little invisible midair spiral of happiness.
Rei has never been out of his body, at least not that he can remember, so he doesn't know just how phenomenal it feels to have this kind of freedom. I've told him it's like when you take off your ski boots after a full day on the mountain and you feel like your feet will float right up into the air, but imagine everything floats, lighter than air, faster than light. Bodies are incredibly useful for things like eating cheesecake and lifting heavy objects, but they're very slow and require lots of maintenance.
Of course, nothing is for nothing. Everything is so much more intense when I'm out of my body — the movie soundtrack is louder, the television screen is brighter, Courtney Merrill's perfume could gag a pig. And everyone is surrounded by their own true colors.
My physical eyes are like sunglasses filtering out the colors, but when I'm out here, the aura that emanates from every living thing is clearly visible to me. People, animals, even plants are each surrounded by this transparent bubble of color. Over the years, I've learned that the colors can tell me quite a bit about a person. Like right now, Rei is surrounded by this lemonade yellow, which looks nice, but it's the same shade of yellow my mom has when she's sold a house to someone and the loan falls through.
For a few seconds I float here, reconsidering ... stay (and make my best friend happy) or go (and see awesome volcano eruption!). By factoring in the odds of forgiveness, I reach a decision. I absorb a bit of the excess energy floating around me and flick the pencil on Rei's desk, setting it in motion. He grabs it before it moves an inch and writes something in his notebook. Don't be late!!!
Like there'll be a clock where I'm going.
* * *
It takes me all of a fraction of a second to arrive in the general vicinity of Hawaii, and from here it's impossible to miss the enormous plume of smoke on the distant horizon. Aloha, volcano! I move in slowly and let my overactive senses adjust one at a time.
The air smells like thousands of rotten eggs are baking in the summer sun. I get used to it fast, though, because there is too much to see ... orange hot lava oozes down over the rocks while clouds of black smoke billow up from the mouth of the crater and red lightning jets randomly from the smoke. The heat is intense, a blistering wind scattering ash over the surrounding ocean, and the constant sound of thunder swallows me.
How cool is this?
I am surrounded by a force that's been silently trapped for hundreds, maybe even thousands of years. It's like a living thing, this energy, and now that it's broken free, I can feel its fury and frenzy, its exhilaration and ecstasy, random chaos unleashed. I hover high above the mouth of the crater and soak it all up.
I could use a little volcano power right now.
All too soon, I feel that tug, a force that beckons me back from any distance no matter how far — the invisible cord that connects what is ethereal to living flesh. The movie must be over and Rei is probably prodding my sneaker with his, trying to bring me back before the lights come up.
I coast back into the dark classroom so stoked with energy I feel I could light up the room like a thousand-watt bulb. As I pass Mr. Perrin's desk, the stale smell of smoke hits me so hard, I wonder if somehow I brought it back with me from the volcano. I drift back a few feet until I realize it's only Mr. Perrin's beat-up corduroy jacket, which is slung over his desk chair. Silly Mr. Perrin. Teachers shouldn't smoke. Nobody should smoke. I decide to relieve him of this burden.
Inside the brown suede side pocket, I find a crumpled pack of generic cigarettes and matches. Nobody seems to notice as one by one, the cigarettes slip out of his pocket and land quietly in the wastebasket. I move a few crumpled wads of paper around to hide them. There. Someday, he will thank me.
Over by my unconscious body, Rei is anxiously jostling my foot with his. The yellow aura surrounding him has gone neon bright. Keep your shirt on, I want to tell him, but he can't hear me. Nobody can hear me when I'm out here, and nobody can see me, either, unless I want them to. I flick his pencil once again before I slide back into my body.
Immediately, I start to stretch, not my physical body, but what's now back inside it. Religion teaches us that each person has a soul, a spirit, a chi. Science teaches us that everything in this universe is either matter or energy. Somewhere in the middle of all that, I'm hurrying to fuse it back together.
Rei's sigh of relief flows over me, tickling my cheek. "Have a nice trip?" he whispers. It will take me a minute to realign this energy with my body well enough to answer him, but he knows this. He's known this about me since we were four years old and my body spat me out during an anaphylactic reaction to a PB&J sandwich.
He's the only one who knows.
At one point, Rei thought my ability to astral project was the coolest thing ever. He used to love to hear about all the places I had been; he used to wish out loud he could come with me. And then one day when we were about fourteen, I told him about this unexplainably spectacular ... thing I had found out in deep space. I'm pretty sure it was a supernova. It was this mega-explosion of dust and every imaginable color of light, but the energy that radiated from it was about a million times stronger than the sun. I came back hypercharged, like a poster child for caffeine.
Rei was not impressed.
He had been studying one form of martial arts or another since he was five, so I was not surprised when he developed an interest in the eastern philosophies. Buddha, he told me, did not approve of recreational astral projection. Buddha, I told him, was no fun. Besides, that totally contradicted what he had told me a few weeks earlier. He had said Buddha encouraged his monks to practice astral projection so when they died, they wouldn't become disoriented and automatically reincarnate instead of seeking enlightenment. When I reminded him of this, Rei added that Buddha didn't like his monks to show off.
It goes without saying that Rei thinks I astrally project to show off. So I no longer tell him about most of my trips. And that makes me infinitely sad, but I don't tell him that, either.
I hear backpacks zipping. Mr. Perrin rattles off the key points from the film and a homework assignment. Bits and pieces of disjointed conversations circle around me. When the noise finally dies down, I open one eye and peek over my arm. Rei sits on his desk with his backpack shouldered, watching me patiently.
He greets me with the tiniest of smiles.
"Late night last night, Miss Rogan?" Mr. Perrin's raspy voice comes from somewhere within the room. I consider looking around to see where he is, but my head is not quite working in tandem with my body just yet. "You'd better hurry. Next class starts in two minutes," his voice fades as he leaves the room.
Except for the ticking of the clock, there is absolute silence. I don't move, not because I can't, but because I can't do so with any measure of grace yet. The irony is that I feel like a can of warm soda that's been vigorously shaken. I want to bounce around like popcorn but all I can manage is to count silently to one hundred before I lift my head slowly so I won't see stars.
Rei offers me his hand. "Want some help?"
"No, thanks, I'm good." I push against my desk and stretch, arch my neck and my back until I'm staring at the stained, pockmarked ceiling tiles. "Thanks for waiting for me."
"Sure." Rei glances at the clock. "Take your time. We've got lunch next anyway."
"Okay." Both my feet have fallen asleep while I was gone, and I have to stomp the remaining pins and needles out of them before I dare try standing. Rei is so used to all my little quirks and quagmires that he doesn't even bother to ask.
One, two, three ... okay, I'm up. I let go of the desk tentatively, one hand at a time.
"So, magical, mystical Auracle girl," he picks up my backpack off the floor and slings it over his own shoulder. "What color am I today?"
Rei bestowed this dorky nickname on me a few years ago when I told him that not only could I see the colors of his aura when I was out of my body, but they also changed according to his mood.
"You are ... powdered lemonade yellow."
"And is that good?"
"Ha! I didn't think so. And how was your volcano?"
I can't hide my foolish grin. "It was amazing! It was ... what's better than amazing? It was incredible! It was ..."
As I struggle for just the right adjective, I see that slow, wide smile appear on Rei's face, the one I've known for nearly seventeen years. He reaches over and lightly squeezes the back of my neck, his signature sign of affection for me. "Tell me on the way to lunch."
I am forgiven.CHAPTER 2
The cafeteria reeks of overcooked broccoli, and even Rei wrinkles his nose. Seating is scarce since we're so late, but Rei's best guy friend, Seth Murphy, is sitting at our usual table. His dust-colored backpack holds a seat for Rei on his left, and his big, grungy sneakers are propped up on the bench across from him, holding my place.
"Want me to go through the line with you?" Rei asks.
"No, thanks. I'm good."
"Yeah?" He rests his hand on top of my head and points out the obvious.
"You're still shaking."
"I'm not shaking," I say as I step into line. "I'm converting."
"Converting!" Rei grins down at me. "To what?"
I poke him with my elbow. "You're the one who told me energy can't be destroyed; it can only be converted, so quit laughing at me and go eat. Seth looks lonely."
"He's fine. Do you have lunch money?"
I bounce on my toes and flex my fingers. "Yes, your mom paid me last Saturday."
Rei's parents own a health food store down on Main Street, and Rei's mom, Yumi, also offers yoga classes and Reiki, which is a hands-on healing technique. Yumi has a room set aside where I babysit the little kids while their mothers take yoga classes.
"Yeah, but did your mom give you any lunch money?" Rei asks as he hitches my backpack up higher on his shoulder.
"I have lunch money," I assure him. "Go sit. I'll be right there."
I read through today's menu: cream of tomato soup, garden salad, that foul-smelling broccoli comes with mashed potatoes and meatloaf. Nothing exciting. There's always the infamous Byers High Mystery Meat Sub, which is tempting, but Seth will just steal the salami out of it. Even though we're late, the line is still pretty long, which is good. It gives me time to settle into myself a little more. I bounce some more, roll my shoulders, jiggle my arms, and generally annoy the people standing close to me. By the time I help myself to a salad, garlic bread, and a bottle of water, though, I feel good. In fact, I feel great! I hand the lunch lady a five-dollar bill and stuff the change in my back pocket.
I emerge from the cafeteria line with my tray balanced high on one hand like a seasoned waitress, except now I have to sidestep Jason Trent, a senior football jock who reminds me of a Yeti. He stands right smack in the middle of the exit, why, I don't know and I doubt he does either. Of course, just as I walk by him, he decides to move and bumps into me, nearly knocking the tray off my hand. I steady the tray just before it tumbles, but the water falls over the side. I am so pumped with volcano mojo that I manage to hang onto the tray and grab the bottle just before it hits the floor.
Jason glances down and has the audacity to wink at me. What a creep! I let a tiny hiss of steam escape as I stand, then hurry off to Rei and Seth's table.
I put my tray down and sit, one foot curled up underneath me to give me a height advantage.
Rei reaches over and spears a cherry tomato out of my salad with his fork since he knows I don't like them. "Arigato."
"You're welcome. Here, take this one, too."
"Okay. Hey, did I just see Jason Trent wink at you?" Rei sounds amused.
I am not. "I don't know, did you?" I shrug. "He must have had something stuck in his eye."
"Trent is a tool," Seth says as he helps himself to my garlic bread and takes a huge bite out of it before I can object.
"I was going to eat that," I tell him.
Seth sticks out his tongue and makes a big production of licking the entire top of my garlic bread before he offers it back to me. "Here you go."
"Mmm," he takes another bite.
Rei doesn't even bother to referee. Instead, he roots through his backpack and pulls out an orange, then a slightly bruised Granny Smith apple. "I have extra fruit if you want some," he tells me as if this is something new and he doesn't bring extra fruit with him every day. He sets them on the table in front of me.
I reach for the apple, but Rei intercepts my hand with his. Crud. He pushes the sleeve of my black hoodie up slightly and measures his thumb against a bruise on my wrist before he lets go of my hand.
"Where'd that come from?" he asks casually.
"I whacked it on the dishwasher last night." Really. I did. We stare each other down until he's convinced I'm telling the truth.
"You know, if you'd get a little more vitamin C, you wouldn't bruise so easily," he says. "I wish you liked oranges."
"I like clementines better. They're easier to peel."
Rei glances at my chewed up fingernails, then rolls the apple toward me, along with a conceding smile. "Did you at least have juice with breakfast this morning?"
Did I even eat breakfast this morning? My mom was getting ready to leave for an overnight real estate convention, so things were kind of hectic. I think I ate some Froot Loops. Rei pokes his thumb through the rind of his orange, and the sweet citrus scent fills the air.
"I'm working today," Seth announces randomly through a mouthful of the pizza he's now eating.
"So you can't run with me?" Rei doesn't look up from peeling his orange, but I can tell he's disappointed.
"Nah, I need gas money and Remy offered me hours."
Seth works at Remy's Garage up on Main Street after school a few days a week doing stuff like changing oil and tires. It's a good job for Seth, who doesn't care if his hands get dirty and who'd rather tinker with cars than study.
Rei doesn't mind getting his hands dirty, either, as long as they don't stay dirty. And unlike Seth and me, Rei enjoys learning from books. He's a naturally smart guy who is in almost all advanced placement classes and who is consistently ranked in the top three students in our junior class. I don't envy him for that.
Excerpted from Auracle by Gina Rosati. Copyright © 2012 Gina Rosati. Excerpted by permission of Roaring Brook Press.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Reading Group Guide
1. Anna has the experience of seeing her body move and speak when she is not in it. How do you think an experience like this would make you feel?
2. Why do you think Anna's mother tolerates the way Anna's father behaves?
3. Taylor changes Anna's body while she inhabits it (tattoos, piercings, etc.). But how do you think being in a different body changes who Taylor is?
4. Seth did nothing illegal, but he ran away. How would you have explained yourself to the police if you were Seth? On the other hand, Rei did something illegal and dangerous to help Anna get her body back. Can you ever justify breaking the law to help a friend?
5. Rei doesn't like it when Anna astrally projects out of her body. Why do you think he's so opposed to her behavior? Is he right or should Anna continue leaving her body?
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
This book is amazing! I recently finished reading it, and I absolutely loved it. When I first saw this, I really wanted to read it, because it sounded so interesting... and I was not disappointed. The idea of writing a novel about astral projection is so creative, and the story that went with it was so gripping and exciting. The plot was great, the concept of astral projection and everything that went with it in this book raised some questions I had never considered before, and the characters were very lovable. With an amazing story and a satisfying ending, this book is a must-read. I will be anxiously awaiting Gina Rosati writing more books!
Auracle was simply surprising. I had major cover lust from the moment I laid eyes on this breath-taking artwork, and I had to find out why this girl was hovering next to a beautiful waterfall. I was not disappointed when the cover was actually part of the story! How refreshing when that happens. Gina Rosati’s writing style is clear, beautiful and descriptive, and she blends a thrilling, addictive storyline with romance and tension that kept me engaged through the whole story. Anna is a compelling, witty character with real emotions and believable actions. I understood her thoughts, and loved how smart this girl was. It’s awesome to read from a character’s POV that rationally thinks situations through, but still also captures the impulsiveness of what it’s like to be young. The villain of the story was not true evil like a lot of Paranormal, and I was able to sympathize with her, even understand some of her irrational actions, and that made for a more believable story. By the end, I felt sorry for her, and was relieved when the story gave closure to each situation. The romance in AURACLE was a slow build rather than attraction that borders on infatuation, and I appreciated this so much. I felt Anna truly loved Rei as a friend, and then through the story, through their trials, their already established bond grew deeper. A suspenseful read that made me a fan of Rosati’s right away, AURCLE is an amazing debut, and I can’t wait to read more of this author’s works.
I loved the cover of this book when I first saw it, but now that I've read the book, I totally get it and love it a thousand times more. This is a great page-turning read that has a surprising amount of humor in its very fast-paced and compelling story. It is very much a paranormal, but something a little different than what I'm used to from the genre, which made it a very refreshing read about a girl who can astrally project and her best friend who try to fix the bad situation they find themselves in (I don't want to give anything away by talking about the plot too much). It was also very sexy without being graphic and I loved Rei and Anna together, even when they were so far apart physically for most of the book. Looking forward to more from Gina Rosati!
Reading AURACLE was an amazing experience for me, particularly because I was the first person on the list of the Class of 2k12 ARC Tour. I know it sounds silly, but I felt special because I'd gotten an early peek at a book that people are going to go bonkers for. I loved everything about this story. I'll start with the cover--it's magical and mysterious and just plain beautiful. The cool thing is that all the very same words--that I just rattled off--also apply to the story inside. The plot feels new. I hated putting the book down because I wanted to find out what was going to happen next. In fact, I was even clutching it on my lap at a recent dentist appointment. I took it with me everywhere, on the off chance that I would have a free minute or two to read it. The characters are real and flawed and relatable and so well done. I immediately fell in sync with Anna and fell in love with Rei. But there are other characters in the book that I have strong negative reactions to, and while their flaws are not sugar coated at all, I found empathy during the journey I took with them. In my opinion, Rosati gives a master class in "show don't tell"--all the rich detail of AURACLE's characters and setting are seamlessly woven through the story. I devoured this book, racing to the end only to find myself deliberately slowing down, hoping to stop the magic from coming to an end. Is it too soon to start wondering what Rosati will write next?
I point to my chest, mouthing the word me.¿Me,¿ he says softly. ¿`That¿s not me.¿ That¿s not you? Well, then, who is it?¿ He looks more confused than ever. Over at my house, the front door opens. Taylor comes out barefoot and walks slowly up the driveway toward the mailbox. She doesn¿t look over, but Rei sees her, and he knows I can¿t be here and there at the same time.I mouth the word very slowly. ¿Taylor.¿Auracle was a real treat to read. Rosati smoothly blends vivid details and evocative writing with an original, emotional story, heartfelt and down-to-earth characters, and a plotline that will keep you reading until the very end. Growing up, I watched the show Charmed religiously, and I remember thinking Prue¿s ability of astral projection was one of the most amazing abilities ever. To be able to escape from both your body and life, traverse to places of unforetold wonder, experience things such as sight, smell, and sound more intensely than in your physical body, it would truly be a life-altering experience. While the concept of astral projection was what drew me to Auracle initially, I quickly discovered there was so much more to love about it. The characters themselves were exquisitely rendered, each with their own strengths and imperfections, and they felt genuinely real. Roasti brilliantly constructs deep bonds between the characters, and portrays what it means to be a true friend. Personally, I found the strongest and most compelling part of this story to be the growing relationship between Rei and Anna. Having been best friends since childhood, there were already close to one another, but I loved watching their relationship realistically and gradually change as they became aware of the romantic connection between them. (I was totally giggling the first time Anna realizes that Rei has abs! Yum! :D)Utterly unique and emotionally gripping, Auracle is easily a book I would recommend to anyone. It has quickly been added to my list of top favorites, and it is the type of book that you will reach for again and again. To put it simply, Auracle was an absolutely mesmerizing read, and I hope it dazzles you as much as it did me.
really interesting and the next best series.
How many books out there are about astral projection? Not that many and not enough, as far as I’m concerned! And Auracle by Gina Rosati is such an epic stepping stone to get this ball in motion. I absolutely LOVED Auracle. It has what a fantastic book should have; humour, suspense, intrigue, pulls on various emotions, and has characters that you can’t help but fall in love with. In Auracle, we are introduced to Annaliese Rogan (aka Anna) who, for as long as she can remember, has been able to astral project herself all over the world…even into space. Not everyone is aware that she has the ability to do this, except for her best friend Rei (who is officially my new book boyfriend!) During one of her astral projection excursions, Anna takes it upon herself to follow her friend Seth who is heading to the falls to confront a stalkerish, fatal attraction type chick named Taylor who has decided to play a little game involving his cell phone. Suffice it to say, everything goes downhill, and an unfortunate accident ends Taylor’s life, and Seth is the main suspect. To make matters worse, Anna is the only eyewitness, and she returns to her body, only to discover that the femme fatale herself, Taylor, has taken over her body. Dun dun dunnnnn… Now it is up to Anna and Rei to a) prove Seth’s innocence, and b) get Taylor the heck outta Anna’s body! Auracle was one book that I absolutely could not put down. I needed to know what was going to happen, and how it was going to happen. Rosati has combined humour with suspense and created this masterpiece. When Anna comes back to her body to find Taylor stumbling around in it, my heart sped up, and I literally gasped out loud which was accompanied with an enthusiastic “what”! Rosati’s delivery of shockworthy moments, and humour is what brought Auracle to life for me. She has provided so much personality into the characters that even though you can’t help but feed off the emotions that are portrayed in the pages. I was pissed off when I was supposed to be, I was annoyed at the right times, and I was smirking with the presence of possible love. And don’t even get me started on Rei. He is H-O-T. Her description of his looks, his personality, his style…he had so much presence that I couldn’t help but crush hard on this dashing hero. I dare you not to crush on him! This book was amazing! I was taken on a ride that I was not ready to get off just yet. With a cast of characters that will hold true to your heart, and a genre that is hardly every touched upon, Auracle will be a sure hit for YA fans everywhere.
Unique. One word that describes this book. A very unique novel about something we don't see in YA novels, astral projection. A great concept that easily blends into our world that by the end, we question if it is real or not. Not sure if this is a spoiler, but I'm pretty sure it's not because I'm not revealing anything about the major plot, anyway... The fact that everyone basically astrally projects is something that I love the idea of. Remember seeing someone in your dreams? the answer, astral projection. All little things like this pull on the strings of reality and myth. Do we really astrally project when we are dreaming and not realise it? I love the dash of culture thrown in the novel. Rei being half Japanese is not something we hear much of in other YA noels. Yet Rei's 'oh-so-hotness- makes him well placed above other YA characters. Anna's personality is very easy to relate to and get along with. All of her little thoughts placed in italics, brings out the side that we know she has lost her body, but not her spirit. We laugh at some of the little remarks that she makes as well as how she reacts to her body. We easily connect with Anna and get the whole 'best friend' vibe. We get to know her more, about all of the little things that really makes Anna, Anna. when she lost her body and Rei talks about her allergies and her life. We also find out her last name and all the other things about her we didn't know. The back story is just as important as Anna getting her body back. Every time Rei and Anna try something to get Anna 'back in', we are on the edge of our seats in anticipation for something to work. The relationship that blossoms between the two gets complicated throughout the novel, we don't get bombarded with their feelings for each other, but we see the relationship forming. The ending keeps us guessing as to how she and Rei will go. Will they really be together? What about College? These questions leave us thinking long after the book finishes.
Auracle is a unique offering in the overcrowded genre of YA paranormal literature. Anna can astrally project out of her body and travel around the world. Since I've never read a story with astral projection being the main supernatural gift, I was intrigued from the beginning. Rosati has created a richly detailed world with believable characters and a suspenseful plot. This is one book that YA paranormal fans will not want to miss. I really loved the characters in this book. Anna and Rei were both just good characters. They weren't angsty, bratty, or mean. They weren't tortured souls. They had their problems, like all people do, but they dealt with them. They were well-adjusted and compassionate. It was refreshing to read about characters who came across as individuals, but weren't tortured and depressed. There was no having to break through the other's defenses. It was a nice change. The secondary characters, like Taylor and Seth, had defenses up, and Taylor was a major brat. However, the world is filled with brats. I'm just glad that this book didn't try to paint brats in an appealing light. The story is told from Anna's first person POV, and she is a good narrator. You trust her right away because, while she's not a goody-goody, she is a good character. You just know she wouldn't lie to you. The dialogue, however, was a problem for me sometimes. The words were fine, and each character had his or her own unique voice, but Rosati went extremely overboard with the exclamation points. Every other sentences ended with one, even when it was an inappropriate punctuation for the context of the sentence. It would go like this... "Hi." "Hi." "How are you?" "Okay!" That wasn't actually said, but you get the idea. Since the copy I read was an ARC, though, the finished edition may not be filled with so many exclamation points. I hope an editor calmed the author down a bit because it was kind of ridiculous. The plot was intriguing and suspenseful. There really wasn't a mystery. Everything was laid out from the beginning, but I had to keep reading to find out if Anna got her body back or not. I figured out how to accomplish this long before they did, but in their defense, if they'd figured it out right away, then there wouldn't have been a story. That being said, the pacing lagged in a few places. Rosati did an excellent job of showing instead of telling, but she showed too much. She should have, in my opinion, cut down on the scenes of Taylor trashing Anna's reputation and body. I got the point after the first fifty times. More could have been tacked on about Anna and Rei, though. That would have been a lot more interesting. Anna and Rei's relationship was interesting, especially in the world of YA romance, because they were best friends since birth. This wasn't insta-love, and the relationship happened organically. However, at one point, I am not sure how or when they went from "You don't like me." "Well you don't like me," to agreeing that they liked each other. That wasn't handled very well and could have been clarified some. It was awkward one minute and perfect the next. That just felt a bit choppy to me. The ending tied things up nicely, but I still hope for a sequel. One could be written. I would love to learn more about Anna's gifts as she discovers them. I'm sure she could get into more trouble with her astral projecting, so I hope that another book is writte
'Auracle' is a refreshing young adult paranormal/fantasy novel that brings a fresh voice and interesting new topics to the genre. The book focuses on the main character, Anna, who has been able to astrally project for as long as she can remember. While outside of her body, she is able to visit places that most people can only fantasize about - watching a supernova in outer space or experiencing a volcano eruption up close. One day, while watching a meeting between two classmates, Anna witnesses an accident that leaves her classmate Taylor dead. When Anna tries to return to her body, she is horrified to find that Taylor's spirit has taken up residence and she is not willing to let go. Anna must find a way to force Taylor out of her body for good and to figure out a way to get herself back in. This is one of the most unique books I've read in the YA paranormal genre. I haven't read many books that deal with ESP or other phenomenon, especially not one that focuses on astral projection. The idea is new and exciting, and it made the book a great page-turner for me. I liked the way the characters were portrayed - especially Anna. She was sarcastic and rude at times, but fiercely loyal to her friends. That made her very likeable to me and it was easy to root for her throughout her trials. I also liked the romance that slowly develops between Anna and Rei, her best friend and neighbor. It was sweet and portrayed an innocent first love in a realistic way. Overall, I thought that the book was very well written with an addicting plot and a great flow that made it almost impossible to stop reading once I started. I found it very original and unique, which is hard to find in the YA genre these days. I highly recommend this book to fans of YA paranormal fiction and I will definitely be reading more of Gina's work in the future. Disclosure: I received a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.
Auracle ended up being one of my most surprising reads of the year, at least thus far. I didn't have much of an idea of what to expect at all, besides a fairly typical paranormal YA. I think it was because of this that I ended up being SO surprised by it and thoroughly enjoyed Auracle. There are very few things in Auracle that I would consider typical - so it's a great choice for those readers looking for osmething a little bit unique and different in their paranormal reads. Reasons to Read: 1.Childhood friends grow up: I get a little bit tired of the new "mystery boy/girl" appearance, and a story about two childhood best friends as they grow up doesn't seem to be as common anymore. But it still holds a special place in my heart. I love it because we really get to see and understand WHY Anna and Rei care about each other so much - and so it makes sense when they're both willing to risk so much to help each other out. 2.An interesting premise: I really wasn't familiar with the concept of astral projection before reading Auracle, but I have to admit that it was a fascinating idea. And I loved that Auracle really explored some possible downsides to it, instead of making it seem simply great and amazing. Plus, this defintely made it a different sort of paranormal read and I loved reading about different ideas. 3.A backwards sort of mystery: There's a certain mystery element to the plot, but the difference is that Anna (and the reader) already knows exactly what happened - the difficult is proving that without the knowledge that Anna can astrally project herself. So there's a backwards sort of approach to picking up the pieces and trying to work things out. But it definitely made things interesting, in their own way. The one thing I really didn't love about Auracle was Taylor - she just seemed so nasty and mean for no apparent reason. I just didn't feel that there was enough development given to her, so Taylor ended up feeling rather one dimensional to me and wasn't the most effective villain because of this. I have to add though that I really did love Rei! He was just so sweet and thoughtful, and I loved seeing the way Anna began to realize that things were changing between the two of them. He's one YA guy to watch out for - different from the norm, but a keeper for sure! <3 E-galley received from publisher for my honest review; no other compensation was received.
AURACLE is a story about 16 year old Annaliese Rogan. She has a secret. She can astral project. This is something nobody except for her best friend Rei knows. When they were kids, Rei loved hearing about Anna's adventures. She projects out of her body during the night when she's asleep and she visits all sorts of wonderful places. The world really is her oyster because there's no limit to where she can go. She could visit any concert she wanted to, for free, because who has to pay when they're invisible? There's nothing she couldn't see if she really wanted to. So of course, as a little boy, Rei loved hearing about her astral adventures. But as they've grown up, Anna has been keeping more and more of these times to herself because she sees that Rei isn't so awed by her travels and experiences anymore. When Anna isn't off on her astral travels - during the daytime hours - she attends school with Rei and another friend of theirs, Seth, but also with a very mean-spirited girl called Taylor. Taylor has a crush on Seth and it seems like she will stop at nothing to get him to notice her. She sits by him in class, follows him in the hallways, always fluttering her eyelashes at him. She thinks that he'd pay notice to a high-maintenance, stubborn, cruel girl like her. But Taylor doesn't seem to notice the blatant rejection. Or if she notices she doesn't care. She just swishes her hair and bats those eyelashes. No-one else would reject her, after all, only Seth. But Taylor only seems to want the one she can't have. Eventually, Taylor gets Seth to meet her at the falls(I won't tell you how). It's there that they argue and Taylor comes very close to the edge. Seth tries to save her, he really does. But it's hopeless. Taylor can't stop panicking and it's because of that, that she falls. Anna was at the falls that day, she saw Taylor slip beyond Seth's grasp. Taylor's death was nothing more than a an accident. A terrible accident. But when Anna returns from her astral trip to the falls, she can't get back into her body. She tries and tries, but she keeps getting pushed back out. Why? Because Taylor has taken up residence in Anna's body and she refuses to give it up! Faced with being locked out of her body and trapped in another dimension, Anna knows she must turn to Rei for help. But how does she get his help when, although she can choose to let herself be seen, she cannot speak - therefore even though she has his attention, she can't tell him what's going on. He just thinks she's taking an astral trip like normal. I won't tell you how Anna manages to get Rei's help, suffice to say that she does. Once Anna and Rei start to work on a plan to get her back in her body, they hear that Taylor - aka Anna - has come forth as the only witness to what happened that day at the falls. She tells the police that she saw Seth push Taylor to her death. The events that pursue, of course, are a journey that you must discover yourself. All I can tell you is that it's a struggle for all involved, even Taylor. There's a lot of pain for Seth. He runs away so that they can't arrest him for murder. Then there's Anna and Rei. They want to save their friend. They want to get Taylor out of Anna's body and Anna back in her rightful place. Yet through this all, they uncover how they really feel about each other and so they struggle to communicate this to each other. Gina Rosati writes such an emotionally fraught journey for all involved but especially the reader. There were smiles and frowns, ups and downs. There was laughter and there was tears - mine. I thought that Auracle was a beautiful story about friendship, trust, love - betrayal, and hurt. It was a journey of discovery on more than one level. We didn't actually learn why Anna could astral project, but that didn't matter one bit. I didn't need to know why. I was too engrossed in the story to care. Anna is a great protagonist and Rei is an oh-so-yummy love interest. Every time I heard his name I would swoon. Sitting here writing my review, I think about him and a little smile tugs at the corner of my lips. The whole cast of characters were interesting and they all played pivotal roles along the way. From Anna's alcoholic father and her mother, the enabler to Rei's mother Yumi. They were all vital to the telling of this story. I'm not sure whether this is meant as a stand-alone story or not. There is so much more that could be done with each of the characters. But then, it sits well as a stand-alone because there's closure - nothing is left unresolved. But maybe there'll be a sequel and maybe it will tell us the why behind Anna's gift. As an author, Gina Rosati sure knows how to tell a beautiful story and I will definitely be on the look-out for more from her in the future. In my honest opinion, she will go far in her career as an author. She's more than just an author though. Someone once said to me that each and every book is like taking a vacation, well then Gina Rosati must be the best travel agent in the land because she makes me want to take a vacation with her more often. Thank you Gina for sending me one of the best birthday presents I will get this year and maybe the one after too. I am privileged to have read such an outstanding book and I cannot wait to give a copy away so that someone else gets to experience it. I know everyone has different opinions and that's what makes us so diverse, but if my opinion counts for anything, you should go and pick up a copy of Auracle right now and put it at the top of your TBR pile. You don't want to miss out!
From its very first page Auracle completely captivated me. There was something so sweet and yet still feisty about the main character, Anna, that interested me a lot and made the book even more enjoyable. Furthermore I enjoyed the fresh and exciting premise of astral projection; for me it was something utterly magical. The Plot: There was a certain lightness to the plot. I never had the feeling that the action was mindblowing and the tension never made me bite my nails; For me Auracle was the perfect summer read, just plain irresistible. It wasn't by any case slow or boring, just unique. Nevertheless I had a hard time putting this one down to eat or sleep. I have to say that astral projection was what got my attention from the start. What if you could travel to a place you always dreamed of but leaving your body safely behind under the covers of your bed? It would be completely amazing and something I never read in any novel. The romance was slow-building, just the way I like it. You can imagine how a relationship between best friends would bloom: full of awkwardness yet full of sweetness. The Characters: Anna was an amazing main character. She is both sweet and feisty which made it easy to relate to her. Furthermore Rosati adds some depth to the story by adding a dysfunctional family to her character. It is understandable then that she uses astral projection as a way to enjoy and escape her real life. Rei, her neighbour and best friend, was also a breath of fresh air to love interests in the YA genre. He was certainly swoon-worthy (I mean, he is half Japanese! I would love me some Rei) but he was an earthbound, sincere character. Plus being an Asian he had to cope with a really strict family. The other characters like Seth, the other best friend, and Taylor, the villain, made the story the even more enjoyable and added more fuel to the already amazing fire of this novel. Auracle was an utterly captivating read with many exciting and fresh twists. I will certainly be reading anything Rosati publishes in the future, since her writing was unbelievably good. With plenty of humor, suspense, romance and paranormal aspects, Auracle is a novel you should be sure not to miss!