Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Review: "Tainted Energy" by Lynn Vroman (Giveaway)


Tainted Energy
by Lynn Vroman

Release Date: 2014

Summary from Goodreads:
For seventeen-year-old Lena, living in the trailer park with the rest of town’s throwaways isn’t exactly paradise. Dealing with a drunken father who can't keep his fists to himself doesn’t help matters either. The only good thing in her life, other than track, is the mysterious man who visits her dreams, promising to find her.

When a chair burns her arms, Lena chalks it up to stress-induced crazy. Yet as bizarre incidents escalate, even being crazy can’t explain it all away… until one day dream guy does find her.
Tarek lost Lena seventeen years ago after she was accused of treason and marked Tainted. He finally discovers her reborn on Earth into a life of suffering as punishment for her crime.

However, someone else has already found her… and wants her dead. Willing to sacrifice everything, he fights to keep her safe so she can live the only life she’s ever known—even if that life doesn’t include him.

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About the Author
Born in Pennsylvania, Lynn spent most of her childhood, especially during math class, daydreaming. Today, she spends an obscene amount of time in her head, only now she writes down all the cool stuff.

With a degree in English Literature, Lynn used college as an excuse to read for four years straight. She lives in the Pocono Mountains with her husband, raising the four most incredible human beings on the planet. She writes young adult novels, both fantasy and contemporary.

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 There's no place like home…There's no place like…Oh, wait, there is. Rusted palaces just like mine usually found on Cops…Bad boys, bad boys…shut up, brain.
I wasn't running away. Swear to God. I thought about it, though. Thought about it every morning when I followed the path through the woods to the school and back. After last night, escaping sounded perfect. Not possible, but pretty damn great to think about.
The daily ritual gave me an hour with the frost biting my nose and dead leaves crunching under my old sneakers. Running was kind of mandatory, seeing as how track started next week, but I loved it.
Out here, there was no dumb shit dad, no helpless mom. No worry an anxiety attack would interfere with my ability to ignore school's rigid caste system, of which I stayed planted in the bottom rung–the untouchables. Trees didn't care where I lived. Squirrels didn't judge my clothes. But as usual, the view of the trailer park ended my life-pardon.
I stopped at the wood's edge for a minute, slowing my breath. One month and I was out of here. Not even the crazy shit from last night could dampen that excitement.
One foot met muddy asphalt as a breeze pushed through the sweaty hair stuck on my forehead and rustled the barren tree limbs. The air felt warm on my face, defrosting my runny nose–a deep contrast to the crisp, spring morning breeze.
Odd, but hey, warm air? I'd take it.
Then I heard it again, the same voice from last night.
Lena. My name carried through another bout of warm air, soft but clear.
It's time.

Whew! It's been a while since I picked up a YA that compelled me to read it the way that "Tainted Energy" did. I could probably pin that down to the fact that I appreciated the subject matter (alternate dimensions, Karmic consequences and so on). Normally I find books of this nature to be cliche or a little too Kumbaya, if you know what I mean. This kind of Sci-Fi adventure was a great imagining of the process of reincarnation, how we move from one dimension to the next... and wait... Earth is PURGATORY?

Well, no surprise there, I guess.

Just within the first few chapters I was feeling for Lena. And I was more than a little miffed to discover that her difficult life was a punishment. Lena's determination and her love make her quite likeable despite her stubbornness/hardheadedness (which I'll give her since her life.. well this life... has kind of SUCKED).

The characters are intriguing and multi-dimensional and equal measures of likable and haetable.  Wilma is probably one of my favorites. The romance is quite touching, and the idea of soul mates is expressed beautifully (sadly, but beautifully) between Tarek and Lena.

Gorgeous construction of alternate worlds! Which brings me to the writing style which I actually very much enjoyed. There were one or two parts that fell just a wee flat, but they were so few.
You can definitely feel a deeper meaning in the text. It's not necessarily in your face, the author isn't throwing it at you like you have a brain the size of a pea. The story is easy to relate to despite its fantastical settings. This  is important for me. Even if you're not looking for some kind of inspiration or understanding, the book is good and it makes you wonder about all of the places, people, and things out there that we can't even fathom yet! 

Warning - You may find the ending a bit of a shock. BUT THERE'S A SECOND BOOK! So don't you worry your pretty little self!

Tarek and Lena forever.

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  1. I love love love the cover and blurb! This is the kind of synopsis that would earn my money *laughs* I'm really looking forward to read this one, there's nothing I loved more than a story taking place in alternate worlds! Thanks for sharing your review and for the giveaway! :D

  2. A very helpful review. This sounds quite unique. I love that.

  3. I think the book sounds really interesting. I like the cover.