Intertwined by Gena Showalter (NY: Harlequin Teen, 2009).
Sixteen-year-old Aden Stone has always heard voices in his head. He's not schizophrenic, though he's been in and out of institutions all his life. The voices are real, and they belong to four distinct souls who have been trapped in his body as long as he can remember. Not only do they talk to him, but they all have special talents: raising the dead, predicting the future, traveling through time, and possessing another person's body.
Now he's landed on the D and M Ranch in Crossroads, Oklahoma, a last chance facility for troubled teens, and he's determined to act as normally as possible. But lately he's been having visions of a beautiful, dark-haired girl, who he's sure somehow can save him from the endless tumult of his life. In fact, the first dark-hair girl he meets, Mary Ann Gray, miraculously acts as a buffer between himself and the four souls, and he enjoys the peace he finds whenever he's with her. Then a second dark-haired girl enters his life, vampire princess Victoria, who has been attracted to Crossroads by a mysterious magnetic confluence that has suddenly emerged there. Aden and Mary Ann are both in danger as they seem to be the source of this powerful force, and Victoria's werewolf guardian Riley begins watching over Mary Ann as well. Soon they realize that all manner of supernatural creatures are converging on Crossroads, and they will have to work together to help themselves--and save humanity!
This novel has a fascinating premise--a boy with four souls trapped within him who is seeking a way to release them. This alone would have made the story interesting, so it's a shame that Showalter felt compelled to add in not just vampire and werewolf love interests for Aden and Mary Ann, respectively, but all manner of nasty ghouls, goblins, witches, fairies, etc. Even without the heated descriptions of ripped werewolf abs, Showalter dips dangerously into the Twilight realm, but the pretty vampire stuff--as well as the cloying quarrels over relative attractiveness and blood lust--needlessly drags the story down. Twilight fans will undoubtedly enjoy Intertwined, yet the novel would have been better without pandering to them.
Recommended for teens, 14 & up. Sexual & intense situations, violence, alcohol, drugs, language.
#MiddleGradeMay: Ghost Boys - You guys. This book. My heart. I just... This is one not to miss if you've got kids asking questions about social justice or things they've heard (or seen ...
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