Intrinsical by Lani Woodland

Intrinsical by Lani Woodland(Cover picture courtesy of Lani Woodland’s site.)

Sixteen-year-old Yara Silva has always known that ghosts walk alongside the living. Her grandma, like the other females in her family, is a Waker, someone who can see and communicate with ghosts. Yara grew up watching her grandmother taunted and scorned for this unusual ability and doesn’t want that to be her future. She has been dreading the day when she too would see ghosts, and is relieved that the usually dominant Waker gene seems to have skipped her, letting her live a normal teenage life. However, all that changes for Yara on her first day at her elite boarding school when she discovers the gene was only lying dormant. She witnesses a dark mist attack Brent, a handsome fellow student, and rushes to his rescue. Her act of heroism draws the mist’s attention, and the dark spirit begins stalking her. Yara finds herself entrenched in a sixty-year-old curse that haunts the school, threatening not only her life, but the lives of her closest friends as well. Yara soon realizes that the past she was trying to put behind her isn’t going to go quietly.

[Full disclosure: I received a free ebook copy of this book in conjunction with the blog tour in exchange for an honest review.]

This book is a solid ‘meh’ for me.  There were some things I thought were really awesome and some things that weren’t so awesome.  So first I’ll talk about the awesome things.

I loved how Intrinsical sounds pretty much like your typical YA novel from the blurb but Lani Woodland completely deviates from the usual formula.  Yes, there’s romance and ghosts but there are so many plot twists you won’t be able to predict the ending.  One of the strengths of Lani Woodland’s writing is definitely her ability to plot a novel so that you’re not really sure what’s going to happen next but you’re very, very eager to find out.  I didn’t really have the urge to put this book down until I was actually done.

One of the ‘meh’ things was that Woodland’s voice seemed far too sophisticated for a sixteen-year-old, even one going to an elite private high school.  It was just too mature, too descriptive compared to Yara’s actions.  It’s a shocking contrast to hear Yara thinking like a thirty year old woman but acting like a three year old when she throws her temper tantrums.  Some authors can pull this off but this was one of the things that distracted me from the admittedly great story.

The characters were okay, aside from the voice-action contrast I mentioned.  Yara is interesting in that she denies her heritage before finally embracing it fully.  Brent is interesting in that he’s not a typical male lead because he’s not constantly trying to make out with Yara.  He’s actually quite shy about the whole romance thing, which is a refreshing change from your typical bad boy type of love interest.  They’re both well fleshed out characters so I can’t really complain about that.

Essentially, Intrinsical is a good book and I’d recommend it to some people.  But be prepared for the voice-action dissonance in Yara making this book go from a ‘good’ to a ‘meh’.

I give this book 3/5 stars.

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