Rae of Hope (The Chronicles of Kerrigan) by W.J. May. Smashwords ed. (Mitchell-Morris Publishing, 2011). Review copy provided by author.
Rae Kerrigan has no idea why she's been accepted into the elite Guilder Boarding School in the English countryside. For the past nine years, she's been living with her Uncle Argyle in New York--ever since her parents perished in a mysterious fire that she survived, though with emotional scars from the loss. She immediately finds that though she knows no one there, everyone has heard of her, and they all seem scared of her, too. She soon learns that Guilder is a school for students who get special tattoos (called tatus), associated with unique powers, on their sixteenth birthdays. The ink appears mysteriously during the night and only one child in a family gets it. Rae's chatty roommate Molly Skye and the super cute senior Devon Wardell help Rae catch up, but there are some mysteries she must unravel on her own: about her parents, their powers, what they did, and, most importantly, why they died.
Rae of Hope is an excellent, fast-paced read with a bit of romance and some mystery as well. The boarding school setting works well since it's isolated enough that the students can practice their skills with little outside interference. The special powers associated with the tattoos add a lot of interest; students figure out the extent of their powers and how to control them since no one on the outside is supposed to know about the tattoos. It's especially interesting to follow Rae's transition from knowing nothing about this mysterious world to getting her own ink and figuring out her powers. It's a bit hard to believe, though, that in New York she was virtually friendless, and suddenly she's beautiful and popular in England, but the notoriety of her family and the confidence boost from learning she's special seem plausible enough explanations. Overall, Rae of Hope is a unique and enticing paranormal read, recommended for ages 13 & up. Mild sexual situations, alcohol.
I read a lot, especially kid and young adult lit. This blog will review what I've been reading. I get most of my reading material from the library, plus I buy books at school book fairs and the usual stores. I look for freebies on Amazon for my Kindle, and I'm happy to review any ARCs or e-galleys I can get my hands on.