Scintillate by Tracy Clark is a 2015 Desert Rose RWA Golden Quill Winner.
A mighty flame follows a tiny spark
Cora Sandoval's mother disappeared when she was five and they were living in Ireland. Since then, her dad has been more than overprotective, and Cora is beginning to chafe under his confines. But even more troubling is the colorful light she suddenly sees around people. Everyone, that is, except herself-instead, she glows a brilliant, sparkling silver.
As she realizes the danger associated with these strange auras, Cora is inexplicably drawn to Finn, a gorgeous Irish exchange student who makes her feel safe. Their attraction is instant, magnetic, and primal-but her father disapproves, and Finn's mother orders him home to Ireland upon hearing he's fallen in love. After a fight with her father, Cora flees to Ireland, both to follow Finn and to look for her missing mother.
There she meets another silver-haloed person and discovers the meaning of her newfound powers and their role in a conspiracy spanning centuries-one that could change mankind forever...and end her life.
About the Author
Tracy Clark grew up a "valley girl" in Southern California but now resides in Nevada with her daughter and son. She is the recipient of the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) Work-in-Progress Grant and a two-time participant in the prestigious Nevada SCBWI Mentor Program. Her debut novel was inspired by her enchantment with metaphysics as a teen, seeing it as the real magic in life.
Read an Excerpt
The Light Key Trilogy
By Tracy Clark, Karen Grove, Kate Fall
Entangled Publishing, LLCCopyright © 2014 Tracy Clark
All rights reserved.
I was kindling for the fire raging in my body. Whole one moment, but soon reduced to ash. And the world would forget I had ever existed when the wind scattered me to the stars.
It's possible that feeling like death made me morbidly poetic.
A hand touched my fevered brow, leaving behind a ghostly imprint, as if I'd been branded with ice. I floated in a haze of voices and images.
Sensations pricked at me from the world, but I had one foot out that door, frustrated that no one would let me go through it. My blood flowed searing and thick through my veins, and my mind took to conjuring relief, dreaming I floated on sheets of water beneath an icy moon, though my body burned under its cool gaze.
Every ounce of strength had been wrung out of me. Janelle found me on my hands and knees on the bedroom floor, trying to crawl to the toilet. She had to help me to the bathroom, even pull down my undies for me, which might have mortified me if I'd had the energy. Right then, I decided I could maybe love my stepmom.
"I think we should take her to the ER," I heard my father say before I threw up again. Another racking spasm of heaving and spitting, my body turning inside out.
"I'll go start the car," Janelle said. Her frantic vibe scared me more than my father's thinking I was sick enough to warrant a hospital visit. I heard the rattling of keys, the slam of the kitchen door to the garage. Disjointed, frantic whisperings faded in and out. Then it was really quiet for a long time. Or a minute.
In the ER, white walls and strange faces rushed by in a blur.
Foreign latex hands on my barbed skin.
"Her temperature is 106.2," the doctor said. "It's dangerously high. Because of the vomiting, I'm going to administer a rectal suppository so it will stay in her system long enough to start working on her fever."
"Great," I groaned.
My father smoothed my hair. "Sorry. I think it's necessary, sweetheart."
I nodded. They could stick that medicine in every orifice I had if it would make me better.
"We'll give her something for the nausea and an IV. She's likely very dehydrated."
I dry-heaved again to punctuate the doctor's comment, then I drifted off into a strange half sleep with no peace. My flimsy awareness was like a pesky mosquito I couldn't swat. My body ballooned and shrank, in my mind, to strange and disproportionate sizes. I was sure if I opened my eyes, my hands would be big, helium-filled, Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade versions of themselves while my head would be as small as a tennis ball.
Pain pricked the soft inside of my elbow. In my bleary daze, I could swear my father was drawing my blood into smooth little vials that clinked together when he dropped them into his breast pocket.
"Could this have anything to do with her mother?" Janelle whispered.
I fought to stay alert, needing to hear his answer.
He responded with silence. Janelle's voice lowered. "What if Cora's got it?"
My already erratic heartbeat stumbled.
Dad didn't answer her. He did that—left questions lying on the ground like dirty socks.
I fought against the oblivion blanketing me. I wanted to ask him why he was taking my blood. I wanted to ask what Janelle meant about my mother. I wanted to ask him so many things, but sleep dragged me under to where there were no answers.
* * *
Sometime later, a few pairs of hands lifted me off one bed and onto another much colder one. Freezing, actually. My back arched with the shock of it against my bare skin. Like lying on one of those gel ice packs Janelle insisted on putting in my lunch bag.
An unfamiliar voice answered, "I know, sweetie. It's a refrigerated bed. We need to keep your body temperature down, get the fever under control."
Every nerve in my body came alive, making my sensitive skin feel like an angry army of sharp new hairs were pushing to break through. My teeth chattered, and I tasted the sharp tang of blood from biting my tongue. "This—this is inhumane. C-can I have a blanket?"
"Sorry, Ms. Sandoval. The point is to cool you down, not warm you up. No blanket. You can have this sheet, though." She draped scratchy fabric across my legs, too insignificant to count as covering. My shivering started almost immediately, a deep shaking that rumbled from my chest outward.
Eventually, I slept, though fitfully due to a creepy light that appeared whenever I closed my eyes. It began as a far-off point but advanced—bit by bit—toward me. My stomach clenched with fear. The light moved deliberately, as if nothing on earth could stop it. As if it were time itself stalking me. A lucid shred of my mind knew this must be delirium from the fever, but it didn't make it any less scary.
I wished Dad were with me. He'd hold my hand and talk until I fell asleep to the soothing timbre of his voice in the Chilean accent everyone said he had but I couldn't hear. When he talked, I only heard ... my dad.
I was a child of accents I couldn't hear: Dad's Chilean one, inaudible because I was used to it, and my mother's Irish accent that had faded from my memory because she didn't bother to stick around.
All I inherited from my mother was my fair Irish complexion. My curvy figure was pure Chileno, as was my hair: deep brown, almost black, and wild as if it had been wound around thick tree branches every night.
My awareness drifted below the waves and bobbed back up to the surface now and then, especially when people came into the room. It was like my body registered their presence before my brain did. I wrestled one eye open and saw the outline of a tall, gangling man standing in the doorway. The glaring lights of the corridor behind him were so bright, the man himself was shadow. He stood absolutely still, watching me. I wondered if there had been a shift change with the nurses and, if so, why wasn't he, you know, nursing me instead of standing there, staring?
Chills assaulted me again, a rolling tremor that made my skin hurt and my chest ache. "Please ...," I mumbled, though I didn't know what I was asking for.
The man glided into the room, bringing the bright, white light with him so that the hall behind him darkened as he walked toward me. With every step he took, my heart picked up speed, churning to life like an accelerating train. An icy wind blew through me, taking my breath with it.
He stopped just out of arm's reach and continued to stare at me with dark eyes. They had a crazy look to them, the kind of eyes you see in pictures of serial killers, deranged and remote. This man didn't belong here. I knew he didn't. What do you want? my brain screamed. I opened my mouth but couldn't form words, could barely keep my eyes open. I struggled for air.
The light reached into me. I was being pulled out of my body. Evaporating. I crossed my arms over my chest, trying to hold me in. The man took a step back. A flicker of frustration passed over his face. He backed out of my room, his light retreating with him. From the doorway, he gave me one final look, a chilling smirk.
"A mighty flame follows a tiny spark."
* * *
"What time is it?" I asked in a scratchy voice when the nurse came in for the umpteenth time to check my temperature.
"Almost morning. The doctor will come see you in a while."
I swallowed past the burning in my throat. "Is my dad here?"
"I think he's the gentleman sacked out on our waiting-room couch. Devoted guy, your father."
I half smiled. "He is." After my mother's disappearing act when I was five, it seemed like he tried to love me twice as much so I wouldn't feel the sting. It still stung. What he didn't realize was that twice as much love was like wearing twice as many seat belts. His love was starting to feel like a five-point harness.
"Knock, knock." My father stood in the doorway. His pants were a wrinkled mess, as was his shirt. His tie was gone, and one sleeve was rolled up to his elbow; the other flopped around his wrist. It was alarming to see his meticulousness so spoiled. He ran his fingers through his salty black hair and walked to my bedside, nodding politely to the nurse as she left. "How're you feeling?"
"Tired. I swear they checked my temperature every hour last night. As if anyone could sleep on this icebox anyway." I fixated on the slow drip of IV fluid streaming into my arm. "And you were here, right? You took blood samples from me." My eyes flickered up to meet his. "Why?"
"I did," he admitted, grudgingly. Were all scientists trained to be vague in case they couldn't prove their hypotheses?
"But you study outer space, not inner."
He smiled, wry and sparing. "They're not as different as you think, kiddo." He ran his hand over my forehead, a temperature check concealed in a gesture of affection. "I wanted to run some tests of my own. You've been very sick, honey."
His answer gave as much satisfaction as chewing on air. "Tests of your own?" I pressed. "And why did Janelle ask if my sickness had anything to do with my mom?"
"Janelle was worried, grasping. This has nothing to do with Grace." He sighed as if her name was heavy coming off his tongue. "There have been some mysterious deaths, not anything the general public needs to know about yet, but I'm on a team that's working to find out what might be the cause. Keep that between us, okay? I took your blood as a precaution." He shrugged like, can you blame me? I'm your father. "Your hospital tests aren't back yet. They still don't know what's wrong with you. There was one point when they weren't sure—" Dad's voice cut out before continuing. "Losing you, Cora— I'm not sure I could've dealt with it. Not you."
We stared into each other's eyes, saying all the words we never said aloud about loss, about fear for the other's safety. About love. It was an old, silent conversation we'd shared at different times over the years. Though lately, our real conversations had become a little more combative since I realized we were on opposite sides in a war of independence.
Dad broke the silence, his eyes glassy. "Thank heavens you're a fighter."
Strange that Dad would call me a fighter. Me? The quiet, introspective book lover. No one had ever called me a fighter before. I barely remembered the last twelve hours. I had been in another place, floating in and out of consciousness.
What part of me did the fighting?
Dad bent over and placed a gentle kiss on my head. As he straightened, a fuzz of light formed around his head, undulating like heat waves on pavement, as though he were going to slowly rise up into the ceiling.
I recalled the strange man from last night. A chill passed over me. I didn't exactly have a handle on the past few hours, but I remembered being scared down to my soul. Did I have what people called a near-death experience? If so, there was anything but love and peace in the white light.
I reached for my dad. "My eyes are funny."
He squeezed my hand. "You're tired. As soon as the doctor is done with us, I'll make sure they let you sleep for a good chunk, okay? I'll go find her now."
I nodded and blinked, but still the distortion around my dad persisted. Even as he walked to the door to look for the doctor, the hazy light followed him, seemed part of him. He was mountain and he was mist. I closed my eyes. I was just tired.
* * *
Janelle made a drive-by visit, a Tasmanian devil with control issues and impeccable nails, dropping off folders of schoolwork, neatly grouped by color and stacked by due date. She had already arranged a makeup date for my missed math test. She exhausted me, but I appreciated her efforts. I was happy when Dad had finally remarried five years ago. He deserved to have a life, and I had hoped it'd take his focus off me so I could have one, too. That hadn't exactly panned out.
Just when I began to sink back into my pillows, the door swung open again, and I couldn't have been more surprised by who entered. Of course, I knew of Finn Doyle. The whole school knew of the intriguing new student from Ireland. Despite the fact that he was from the place of my birth, and that I'd cultivated a robust obsession with Ireland since my dad moved us to the States when I was little, I'd never tried to get to know him.
Finn Doyle had unfortunate taste in friends.
He was one of them. The banal, popular crowd I found so irritating. I nicknamed them the VIPs. (Vapid. Irritating. Populars.)
I gaped at Finn in his striped volunteer apron as he neared my bed, while trying to ignore the cloud of colors surrounding him. It wasn't unpleasant, though. Kind of like the sun was setting over his shoulders.
"A guy candy striper?"
"That's surprisingly discriminatory. The family friend I'm staying with, who since birth has been male, works here as a lab tech. And I do believe your doctor is a woman. I'm willing to bet the world's ready to accept a guy candy striper," Finn said in his thick Irish accent. He followed through with a wide, teasing smile.
There was something so focused about him as he spoke to me, it was unsettling. I scowled, getting on my own nerves for allowing Finn Doyle to make me self-conscious. I did my best to avoid the VIPs at all times. They were like soul sandpaper. Some of my humanity rubbed off with each interaction.
It didn't matter that Finn had been in the States as a foreign-exchange student for only a couple months. They'd snatched him up and adopted him the minute he landed. Gorgeous guy from Ireland with impossibly adorable accent equaled immediate in with the VIPs.
"I'll have you know a guy can deliver flowers as well as a girl can," Finn continued. "Perhaps better." He gave a slight bow and whipped a bouquet of daisies from behind his back. My dad always gave me daisies. "More flourish and technique."
An insufferably amused smile curled the corners of his full lips. I noted a dimple on his left cheek and added it to the list of his irksome qualities. I looked away from him, out the window, anywhere else.
"I've seen you around school before," he said thoughtfully. "You seem different somehow, up close."
Did he have to point it out? "I've been sick." I was sure he heard the word "moron" at the end of my sentence, even if I didn't say it.
"Right. Well, I imagine being in the hospital would make anyone cross. Or is this your normal disposition?" he asked, setting the flowers on the bedside table and arranging a few stems to his liking.
I glanced sideways at him. "Yes."
Finn leaned in and adjusted my pillow. He was so close I could see the faintest hint of a tattoo reaching up from his chest to his neck. I had an intense, irrational desire to know what the tattoo was, and it was all I could do to fight the forceful urge to pull his T-shirt collar down for a better look.
Finn smiled a pirate's smile, rogue and full of mischief. His gaze flitted from my hand back to my eyes, and I realized I had grabbed Finn's T-shirt and still had it wound tightly in my fist.
Startled and flushing, I released him. The impulse had been powerful, overwhelming, but how could it make me act without any awareness or control? It was disturbing. I drew the sheet up to my chin, wishing I could sink into myself and disappear like a TV fading to black.
Clearly, the fever had fried a few brain cells, but still I recognized his tattoo—three interconnected spirals spreading like the traces of fingertips over the left side of Finn's chest, teasing up to his collarbone.
I'd seen the triple spiral before. It was a symbol carved into the megalithic stones of Newgrange, one of the world's oldest prehistoric sites atop a grassy hill in Ireland—older even than Stonehenge or the Great Pyramids. Though the symbol of the three spirals had been hijacked by Celts, Wiccans, and even Christianity over time, no one had a clue as to the original meaning of the carving. I had a picture of it in my Ireland scrapbook.
I longed to ask him about it, to feed my hunger for all things Irish, but I couldn't hoist myself over the wall of pride I'd already erected. Not to mention swimming through the moat of embarrassment after grabbing his shirt like an idiot. "Sorry," I murmured.
Excerpted from Scintillate by Tracy Clark, Karen Grove, Kate Fall. Copyright © 2014 Tracy Clark. Excerpted by permission of Entangled Publishing, LLC.
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.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
There are few new territories in YA, but Scintillate just might have forged an original niche with the metaphysical elements. The author is definitely going for the unexpected as the last part of the book is FULL of twists you won't see coming! There's a much larger story here and I expect the author is gearing up to take us on quite a ride with this series. What appears to be insta-love is fully explained at the end in such a way that I can't wait to see where these characters go from here! DYING for the second book!
When is the second one coming out omg!!! I hope soon this book was amazing I really want Cora and Giovanni to be together!!! But seriously when does the next book come out I can't wait!!!
Scintillate is the first book in a trilogy that looks to be promising. The supernatural aspect is combined with an Irish twist in the form of a hottie named Finn. Cora, the main character and heroine is not perfect by any means, and she has a gift that involves seeing auras. The story line was good, and though there was an insta-love, Scintillate did prove to be an enjoyable read. I love anything to do with Ireland and Irish Folklore, which was a definite draw to the story for me. It does have a love triangle theme, something I am not a huge fan of, but there was enough mystery and suspense that it kind of balanced out. While not blown away by this story, I did find it interesting and plan to read the future installments. Scintillate is YA paranormal romance that teenage fans of this genre will enjoy checking out.
Every once in a while you come across an outstanding new book, one that Wows you from the start. Scintillate is just such a story. To make it even better its part of a trilogy, with Tracy Clark's writing you know you are going to get two more fabulous installments in this series. Why did I love Scintillate so much? Besides the marvelous characters that came to life and jumped right off the pages... The story is a completely original premise, but not slowed down by world building. Yes, there is world building and background but its presented in such a way that you learn right along side Cora, the main character. Clark brilliantly hits all the emotional triggers, bringing laughter, fun, heart ache, family issues, chemistry, love, and betrayal to this riveting plot. Scintillate is full of unexpected plot twists and turns, a refreshing, magnificent read. I highly recommend you add this story to your must read list. Tracy Clark, you have a new fan. I received this ARC copy of Scintillate from Entangled Publishing, LLC - Entangled: Teen in exchange for a honest review. This book is set for publication February 4, 2014.
I am sorry. Addiction in any form is NEVER romantic.
This book certainly started off with a bang. We dive right in to Cora's life as she fights to survive some mysterious illness. She starts seeing things and no one can really figure out what is wrong with her. This is a major changing point in her life, and it was a great way to start the book with a hook. Cora is a really well-rounded character. She has her friends, that are amazing, but she isn't the most popular girl in school, she isn't the most unpopular either. Her life is incredibly ordinary up until this point - an overprotective father, a step-mother that loves her, and suddenly she sounds like any other teenager. But her illness changes her and suddenly everyone is spouting colors all around them. Enter the meat of the story, and one of the points in a potential love triangle (I'm hoping not - I'm not a fan). Finn is one of the popular kids, but he seems to really like Cora - almost too much. He's a little bit of a stereotype at first, but once Cora heads to Ireland to find him, he becomes a whole other person. It was a great spin in the story and has tons of potential going forward for the best kind of drama - the kind that you have with yourself. Lots of lore, especially Irish, but other cultures mixed in as well, all done very well. I loved how they all played off each other. Plenty of excitement and adrenaline with a dash of romance (maybe) for good measure. I really want to see what Cora's in for next, and where the lore is heading, this is not a book you can just walk away from without having the next. *This book was received in exchange for an honest review*
I’ve always been fascinated by auras, and had been thinking of writing a novel about the subject. But now I don’t have to! because Tracy Clark has already written it, and done a great job. She has also added a fascinating Celtic/Irish twist to the mix, and populated her novel with intriguing, vivid characters. I really like her writing style—great images and figures of speech throughout. I had to stop and admire a few lines. The ending is breathless and tense. Some nice surprises in the end (some not-so-nice ones too; if you’ve read it you know what I mean!). The ending is left a bit up-in-the-air, but hey, it IS the first book of a series.
Scintillate blew away all my expectations. I was expecting to like this book, but I was wrong. I loved it. Cora and her friends are all really awesome characters. They are developed and they are all realistic. I enjoyed listening to their banter and I especially loved Finn. But who wouldn't love an Irish boy with that much charm? ;) The auras of this book were so cool. I thought it was fascinating going through the different emotions of people just by seeing their colors. But I absolutely adored the whites and silvers. I love how they advance the story. The Scintilla and Arrazi are incredibly interesting. Tracy does a fantastic job showing how they act and how they interact, along with the necessary backstory for each. Okay the plot twist at the end. Well, the almost end. I almost cried. But first I had to put down my book. It was that powerful and shocking. Overall, this book is well-written and left me begging for more. Good thing I have my copy of Deviate to start now.
A really great YA Read with mystery and adventure. A great story of love and an author to be watched! I received this book in exchange for an honest review via NetGalley. This book was excellent. It engages you from the very first sentence and keeps you hanging on in wonder. It's full of mystery and intrigue and so not "Twilighty" like some may suggest. It may have some of the stereotypical YA Fantasy tropes but I didn't mind at all. It's very well written and intriguing. I like the Ireland connection it was very mystic. All of characters were well developed and it kept me guessing. Cora is a good MC and I like the supporting characters just as much as the leads. While it was a bit on the creepy side how Finn introduced himself I really liked his character, it was obvious he liked Cora but man I wasn't expecting everything that transpired. The whole "auras" thing was pretty cool. And I didn't mind the attraction she had to Finn one bit. I have always thought if "fate" was involved it is what we call instalove. When you know you just know. I mean I met my husband and 8 mos. later we were married and have been for almost 18yrs. now. It exists and I like it in this book Finn is a swoon worthy guy but it was frustrating when the parents came into play, always a complication for the under 18 crowd. It frustrated me that Cora's dad knew things and kept them from her, but it made for some good reading. I love, love when the scene moves to Ireland I myself have always wanted to visit Emerald Isle so that was a great mental adventure for me! There was enough action and romantic substance to keep me reading all night long. I had to know what happened next and oh my good night! Can you say CLIFFHANGER!!! I NEED book 2 like yesterday! Ugh! I feel so tortured! A very good YA read that I recommend if you love and mystery with a magical element plus lots of adventure to it.
This book was a pleasant surprise. Based on the blurb, I expected intense fantasy/paranormal tropes with some young adult romance thrown in. And yes, it had some of that. But it reads mostly like a realistc adventure/mystery with some fantasy elements thrown in. In some ways this reminds me of Stiefvater's paranormal series, but I must admit I liked this one better. I can confidently give this to my adventure-loving students and they will eat it up. (And the teen girls will eat up Finn AND Giovanni. *sigh* Two charming, handsome, international guys to drool over in one book.) *ARC from NetGalley
Wow! I really enjoyed Scintillate. I'm usually pretty leery about reading some YA books, especially if there is a slight chance that there will be a love triangle involved. However, I am such a sucker for Irish folklore (and hot Irish guys), that I knew that I had to give Scintillate a shot. I'm so glad that I decided to read it! It grabbed my attention from the very beginning. The story begins with seventeen year old, Cora, battling an unusually high fever. While she is battling her sickness, she hears her dad and step-mother talking about her mother who has been missing for twelve years, and becomes alarmed when her dad (a research scientist) draws some of her blood to study. Cora also sees a strange, creepy man watching her and making her feel lethargic, even from a distance. She later discovers various colored lights that surround the people she comes in contact with. After having these strange things happen to her, she decides to do some of her own research to find answers. I liked Cora's character. Although smart and intuitive, she could also be pretty impulsive, and tended to jump into things without fully thinking of the consequences. She was definitely determined young lady. I have to say, I fell in love with Finn from the get-go. He was very sweet and compassionate...and a musician to boot! I thought that there was something fishy about their instant attraction, but I just couldn't put my finger on it. The author really managed to surprise me, which isn't something that is easy to do these days. I was so stoked that part of this story took place in Ireland! I loved hearing about the pubs and the scenery. One of my dreams is to go to Ireland, and this book made me want to travel there even more badly. The Scintaillate and the Arrazi are a new concept for me, and I found them to be very interesting and intriguing! I'm really looking forward to reading more about them. I cannot wait for the next book to come out. I definitely need more Finn, and I do believe Giovanni may have some more explaining to do.
This book while good, didn't quite grab me the way I had hoped it would. I loved the idea of Cora seeing auras and the mystery element of this, but the romance aspect kind of got to me after a while. The strong point of this book is definitely the storyline had the romance not overtaken it so often. I did find myself intrigued and wanting to know why the things that happen in the story were happening and how everything tied together. Though I figured out some things, other things were still a mystery. I like it when I am not totally sure where things are going. Cora was a bit of a dumb character to me. She makes some really stupid decisions that made me wonder what in the world she was doing. I understand that she was confused, frustrated, and wanted to find the truth, but she still annoyed me at times. If someone tells you not to tell anyone something because it is dangerous, you probably shouldn't rush out and tell two people pretty much right away. And if you've been over protected and sheltered for your whole life, rushing off to Ireland is probably a really dumb decision. She constantly throws herself into these bad situations over and over again. I didn't hate her or anything, but it was hard to really connect with her or like her that much. Finn was a bit too much to handle. He was so intense and too into Cora almost instantly. I know that they have this draw to each other and a connection, but he was so intent on wanting to be with her every second. He did say some charming things, but it was bordering on cheesy. He is also kind of a pushover which I didn't like. He goes from not knowing Cora exists, to her being his everything. It was a bit overdone I think. So the story, besides the romance, was great! Not that I hated the romance, I just think it overshadowed the rest of the story and was a bit too present. I liked the idea of the different auras and how scintilla are rare and there are people after them. It was interesting to see Cora follow the clues to find out what happened to her mother and discover things about herself. I wish we had learned a bit more about the scintilla that she met up with, but hopefully in the next book we will get more. In the end there was a lot of lingering questions, but that's not a bad thing. I will definitely continue this series to see where it goes from here. *An advanced copy of this book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive any compensation.
Let me tell you, Ms. Tracy Clark doesn't play around in this book! The storyline moves very rapidly and there's not a lot of fluff (other than the romance of course hehe). I LOVE FIN! He is so sexy and lovable and squeezable and dreeeeaammy and I just LOVE HIM! So this is what the book is about: Auras And how Cora gains the ability to sense these auras and the fight against evil people who want to suck the life out of her...literally. Btw, I very much enjoy insta-love. There's just something so darn soulmatey and downright swoony about the whole thing. Though it was nice that the story progressed quickly, it was almost like a speeding train with no brakes and I was a little bit....worn out? Not sure if that's the proper feeling because I wasn't tired of the story, just that there was really no place to take a break and absorb all the information and new turn of events. I think the novel would have produced a better result for me if it slowed down just a bit, explained things a little earlier in the book, then had Finn and Cora working together to accomplish a goal rather than having Cora hamming her way through the entire thing until the end, still not understanding the gravity of the situation until like...90% through because by then, it's just the story wrapping up and hitting a brick wall. All in all, an easy read and I didn't feel like tearing out my hair for once due to poor editing or lack thereof. Just a bit of content issue for me.
I cannot say this enough: the sensory imagery in this book is ridiculously amazing! Only 10 pages in, I had this to say: I cannot believe how fantastic the sensory imagery is in this book! You can almost physically experience everything she's going through! Alright y'all. This book is funny, and heartbreaking, and has a fantastic heroine that is willing to travel halfway across the world to figure out who (and what) she is. I'm so glad this book is part of a trilogy, because Cora's journey is far from over! Poor Cora...there is SO MUCH she doesn't know about herself, or her mother, or her mother's disappearance. The more she learns about who, and what, she is, the more questions that come up! Oftentimes, readers say, "I can't imagine how that character was feeling, dealing with everything that happened to them." But Tracy Clark's ability to put the reader in Cora's shoes is phenomenal! As you read, you will go through the rollercoaster of emotions right along with Cora. It gave me goosebumps! (And made me feel nauseous, giddy, heartbroken, etc.) And even though Scintillate takes place right here, on this very Earth, Clark has created a whole new unseen world right around us. Cora is SO STRONG! But not unrealistically so. She still struggles with things like indecision, hurt, and anger, especially when it comes to her parents, but she presses on. At first, Cora's new abilities seem pretty cool, even if they do give her a headache. But as Cora struggles to find out more about her abilities, Cora (and the reader) discover that seeing auras is not all it's cracked up to be. In fact, there are groups out there trying to rid the world of people like Cora. It's obvious from the minute that Cora and Finn spend any real time together that they are falling in love with one another. It comes on fierce, and strong, and you want nothing except for their relationship to work out. But then you find out something you NEVER expected about both of them, and you see their relationship from a WHOLE new perspective...and it makes you question WHY they fell in love so hard, and so fast. The chemistry between Cora and Finn is undeniable, but now that she's met Giovanni, the young man who has the same silver aura as she does, I wonder if maybe they are meant to be together. I would definitely call Giovanni the underdog in this book, as far as young men in Cora's life goes. But I always have a hard time deciding if nice guys should finish last, or if they should get the girl every once in a while. :) I guess we'll find out in the next two books! I will end this review the same way I started my Goodreads review: IT CAN'T END THERE!!!!!!! I need more! When is the next book coming out?!?! This cliffhanger might just kill me!
A thrilling YA romance that kept me on the edge of my seat, Scintillate was a wonderful read. I absolutely loved this book! It had sweet romance, dark secrets, and an ending that left me wanting more. Cora was a wonderful heroine. She wasn't a confrontation kind of person, but neither would she let herself be a doormat. And, if she set her mind to something, nothing would stop her. I really liked her. I thought she was strong, likable, and a lovely character. Finn was complicated. For most of the book, he was super sweet and clever and devoted to Cora. But, then we find out something that changes everything. Yet, Finn still proved himself to be a truly good guy and a total sweetheart. I absolutely adored him. The romance was lovely. Cora and Finn were very sweet together. A revelation near the end of the book complicated matters for them, but I'm still hoping they find a way to be together. Giovanni was an important character in the book, so I just want to mention him. He was clever, strong, sweet, and I really liked him. There's a potential for another love interest in him, but we'll see what happens. The plot was fast paced and I was hooked the entire way through. There were tons of thrills, secrets, and surprises that kept me on the edge of my seat. I really enjoyed the story and the ending has me anxious to find out what happens next. I'm dying to get my hands on book 2. Can't wait! Scintillate was a fantastic YA paranormal romance. I absolutely loved this book. From the romance, to the secrets, to the thrills, this book was wonderful. YA romance lovers, this is a book not to be missed. *I received a free copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review