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Essence [Kindle Edition]

Lisa Ann O'Kane
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)

Kindle Price: $1.99

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Book Description

Autumn escaped a cult, but now she realizes she's fallen into another. Growing up in San Francisco's Centrist Movement, sixteen year-old Autumn Grace has always believed emotions--adrenaline, endorphins, even happiness--drain your Essence and lead to an early death. But her younger brother's passing and a run-in with a group of Outsiders casts her faith into question. Ryder Stone, the sexy, rebellious leader of the Outsiders, claims Essence drain is nothing more than a Centrist scare tactic -- and he can prove it. Autumn follows Ryder to his Community of adrenaline junkies and free spirits in Yosemite National Park, and they introduce her to a life of adventure, romance, sex, drugs and freedom. But as she discovers dark secrets beneath the Community's perfect exterior, she realizes the more she risks in search of the perfect rush, the further she has to fall. 


Editorial Reviews

From the Author

I hope you enjoy my debut novel ESSENCE. It was inspired by the summer I spent living and working in Yosemite National Park--as well as the crews of adrenaline junkies I have fallen into and out of through the years. If you have any questions or would like to connect with me on social media, please visit my website for more information. I look forward to hearing from you!

About the Author

Lisa Ann O'Kane is a wildlife educator and former vagabond who once camped out in Yosemite National Park for an entire summer, an experience that inspired her debut novel ESSENCE. She currently resides in Florida, and she is now a huge fan of shooting stars, indoor plumbing and keeping both her feet planted firmly on the trail.

Product Details

  • File Size: 804 KB
  • Print Length: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Strange Chemistry (June 3, 2014)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00H6J6KHK
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #398,689 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
(15)
4.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Fast-paced, Adrenaline-fueled Read July 4, 2014
By Precy
Format:Kindle Edition
This is the kind of book that will leave your palms sweaty and your heart rate elevated while reading, especially if you’re afraid of heights. That cover alone makes me want to cling to my bed post and never step down. Highlining over hundreds of feet of just air?! I can’t even imagine.

The Centrist movement is essentially a cult lead by a man named Cedar, who insists that every person has a quantifiable amount of Essence that can be drained if people let their emotions rule them. Hence the saying: Neutrality is the key to longevity. If one stays neutral–no happiness, no sadness, no fear, no extreme emotions–then they preserve their Essence and, in theory, acquire a long life.

It doesn’t take long for Autumn to start having doubts about the Centrist’s beliefs, especially when her little brother dies too soon. So when a group of Outsiders--Ryder and his gang--offers her an alternative, she jumps at the opportunity to get away.

The Community Autumn finds herself joining aims to disprove the Centrist movement's theory of Essence. They do this by encouraging their members to do daring acts and stunts to spike their heart rates and elevate their hormone levels. Then these readings are recorded to be filed away as proof that one doesn't die from Essence drain. And so it is that Autumn begins to try out a myriad of adrenaline-fueled stunts, experiencing emotions she's never before experienced including falling in love.

While the concept sounds wholly original, I would have liked more world-building to get a real grip on this dystopian world and how the Centrist movement started after the Great Quake, or if it has somehow replaced the government, or if it’s just a localized community (it’s in San Francisco while the other cult/community takes place in Yosemite).
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Could Not Put Down! October 4, 2014
By Shana
Format:Kindle Edition
Could not put this book down and could imagine the characters talking and adventuring as though it was a movie in my head. Very vivid writing and I loved the setting of Yosemite.

I also love how much of the author went into this book. I know the author personally and she has an adventurous spirit, but stays true to her family, friends, and that which she values in life. Autumn and other characters are like this too.They try to act in a way they feel is true to themselves. I like reading a story where this is the case.

Regarding genre, yes, many Young Adult novels share similarities: romantic decisions, finding yourself, learning to see people for who they are, and dramatic confrontations between good and evil. This is why it can be helpful to keep in mind that the audience here is teenagers and young adults with older adults as a secondary audience. The main character's preference for the "bad boy" and insistence that he would change for her annoyed me a bit; however, it made sense as the story played out and the reasons for this character's behavior became more clear as he undergoes his own growing-up struggle. That being said, this did not distract from the flow of the story nor my enjoyment of the adventure.

Highly recommend, in particular if you are interested in the concept of "buy-local." The author has self-published and has had quite an interesting journey culminating in writing this book. (Check out her blogs if your are interested.)
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Highly Recommend This Entertaining Book June 22, 2014
By Jon
Format:Kindle Edition
Highly recommend this book! Despite having other plans, I could not help but continue reading to the dramatic conclusion. Outstanding storyline and excellent character growth should allow readers to relate to the story and characters while quite possibly get lost in another world.
Although never visiting Yosemite National Park, I feel as if I have been there and experienced a great adventure. I look forward to visiting the park someday in order see first hand the landmarks referenced in Essence.
Despite this being Ms. O'Kane's debute book, I anticipate many more entertaining novels to come. I recommend taking a chance on this book, you will not be sorry you did.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Easy read to take you to another place June 13, 2014
By Sara G.
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Even though this book was geared for YA's I saw via Facebook a friend of mine was reading it. The description peaked my interest even though I'm in my early 30's :)

I'm glad I took a chance and this book. The message was awesome. Life is about love and balance.

It really reflected the author's personal journey in Yosemite as her words painted a picture, made you feel the things the main character felt on her new journey. Fantastic fun journey this book took me on. Start to finish and I'd recommend it for sure!

Great concept and like other reviewers I sure hope Lisa is inspired by a new venture to write another one.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent debut novel! August 14, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition
This book was well written and gets more and more exciting as you move into it. It's a quick and interesting read with well developed characters and enough suspense and mystery to keep you guessing until the end. I enjoyed it as a 34-year-old and then passed it on to my 16-year-old daughter who was searching for something new to read. She loved it!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unique plot, well written June 18, 2014
By Jon K.
Format:Kindle Edition
Essence has a very creative story line. It's hard to pigeon-hole it into any standard genre. One of the most thoughtful and entertaining books I've read lately. Ms O'Kane weaves it all into a book that's hard to put down.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Refreshing
I flew through this one. Essence is a dystopian that doesn’t quite feel dystopian because there aren’t heavy hits of background or an emphasis on world destruction; it wouldn’t... Read more
Published 7 months ago by ALR
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Loved this, wonderfully written and couldn't put it down!!
Published 8 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars fun read!
This is the story of a girl going from one extreme to another in search of her own "right" way to live. Read more
Published 9 months ago by Leigh
5.0 out of 5 stars I truly enjoyed reading this book
I truly enjoyed reading this book. I loved the story line, I loved the characters, i loved that the descriptive writing allowed me to absolutely paint the scenes in my mind as I... Read more
Published 10 months ago by Kelley Riedy
3.0 out of 5 stars I liked it, but I'm conflicted.
Did I enjoy this book: I'm conflicted.

I liked it (finished it in two days, actually), but I’m not sure if I like it because O’Kane’s written a good book, or if it’s... Read more
Published 10 months ago by The Every Free Chance Reader
3.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic social commentary, but not much actually happens in this...
I have conflicting feelings about this novel. On one hand, it makes some very good commentary about cults, human tendencies to extremes, flawed methods of thinking, and it exposes... Read more
Published 10 months ago by Bibliotropic .net
5.0 out of 5 stars Truly a story that kept my interest til the last ...
Truly a story that kept my interest til the last page. I hope to see much more from this young author. She can really paint a oicture with her words.
Published 11 months ago by R. Kerr
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More About the Author

Lisa Ann O'Kane is a young adult author and former vagabond who once camped out in Yosemite National Park for an entire summer, an experience that inspired her debut novel ESSENCE (Strange Chemistry, June 2014).

Her background is in zookeeping and environmental education, and she has been kicked, cornered, bitten and chased by nearly every animal she has ever loved. She currently resides in Florida, and she is now a huge fan of shooting stars, indoor plumbing and keeping both her feet planted firmly on the trail.

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