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Meridian

Meridian is a YA paranormal novel by Amber Kizer.

Since Meridian was very, very young she’s attracted dead and dying creatures. It would be a horror waking up in the morning to a bed full of lifeless insects, frogs, rabbits, etc. Her parents never said a word about it, but Meridian could see the disgust and revulsion in their eyes as they silently cleaned it up.

Even when she was at school creatures would find their way to her, just to die at her feet. She became an outcast from the get-go, other students and even teachers seeing her as a freak – probably even wondering if she was doing something to the animals to cause them to die.

Then on Meridian’s sixteenth birthday there is a car crash right outside her house and her body explodes with pain – she can hardly walk, hardly move. Her mother drags her away from the accident, quickly packs her in the car, hands her a stuffed backpack, and directs Meridian’s dad to get her to the bus terminal as fast as possible.

Meridian’s pain lessens the further she gets from the accident, but the story her father is telling her makes absolutely no sense. As her dad dodges traffic he haphazardly explains to Meridian that she is a Fenestra, a half-angel, half-human link between the living and the dead.

And she’s in serious danger.

Before she’s had a chance to even try to process this information, Meridian’s being instructed to get on a bus and go an aunt she’s never met in person – to leave her family behind.

Meridian’s life will never be the same…

Meridian has a really interesting premise; it’s unique and dark for sure. But I had a really hard time connecting to the story. The writing almost seemed a bit stale to me, sometimes a little on the cliché side and just overall had an odd vibe that kept me at a distance. Because of this, I lacked the investment that would allow me to get lost in Meridian – I always felt like I was at arm’s length.

Once Meridian got to her Auntie’s house, things began to improve for me. There were more characters, more dialogue, and some majorly dramatic “wow” moments that began to turn me around. There are some disturbing plot twists and events that really bring the threat against Meridian and her abilities to the forefront.

We also started to get more potential romance in the shape of Meridian’s hot protector Tens. Her attraction and feelings for him are charismatic – and I got to the point where I cared enough for our main character to long for her to feel wanted – her life had been so lonely so far.

Yet, despite all the improvements as Meridian continued, I still felt occasionally awkward (especially in romance department, as things progressed) and the book was stilted from time to time. Now, as I always say, this is just one bibliophile’s opinion. You could completely disagree with me – but I just had a bit of a hard time with Meridian. Something always felt a little off.

It’s funny to say this, because just last year Seven Kinds of Ordinary Catastrophes by Amber Kizer made by Stand-Out Books of 2011 list. But that book was a contemporary humor novel – so, maybe the different tone doesn’t work for me?

Overall, Meridian is a compelling and effective new paranormal fantasy – but, for me, an uneven and uncomfortable one.

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