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29 of 29 people found the following review helpful
on May 19, 2012
Format: Paperback
Book: First Vistions, Second Sight by Heather Wood
Pages: 228
Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal
Source: Sent from author

Short Synopsis: Ever since waking up from a coma, Kate Edwards receives visions of the past, which in turn helps her to find a missing boy.

My Thoughts: An interesting change of the psychic genre, and kept me wanting to read more through out the novel.

Kate Edwards, now 21, has survived a two year coma. Upon waking from the coma, Kate was able to locate a missing boy. And when the information turned out to be true, Kate was bombarded with the media constantly, until Kate lied and told everyone that it was a one time deal.
After the coma fiasco, Kate started to lead a normal life as best as she could, though a little sheltered. Her parents are in denial of her special powers, but Kate does everything she can to cope. It isn't until a handsome cop named Jared Corbett shows up at Kate's door one day. He claims that his girlfriend's sister has been taken captive, and Jared is asking Kate to help him out with any possible leads on the case.
At first Kate denies that she still has the power because of unwanted publicity, but after Jared's visit, Kate has a vision of what had happened to Cori, Jared's girlfriend's sister. Kate decides to help Jared out, as long as her identity stays a secret. But with Jared's jealous girlfriend, Kate's ability doesn't stay hidden very long. Can Kate manage to save Cori from her kidnapper in time, and set aside her strong attraction to Jared too?

A very different take within the supernatural genre. Most psychics I read about have visions of the future, and not the past. It was interesting to read how Kate's powers worked, and how she used them to save the missing kids.
I loved reading about the relationship between Jared and Kate. And though he was already taken, it was interesting to read how their relationship developed, and what they really meant to each other. And though it was understandable, I didn't really like how he had treated Kate when he was with his girlfriend. The one person who also managed to get under my skin the most was in fact Jared's girlfriend Nikki, and the fact that she abused personal information to gain her own satisfaction didn't help the situation either.
It was intriguing to read how Kate's powers worked. The fact that she couldn't control whose mind she slipped into, and what visions came to her, makes the reader understand why she hasn't had too many relationships or friendships as well. And because of her special powers, it also shows that she isn't always perfect, but she tries to do what's right. In general, an entertaining novel, with colorful characters, and I can't wait to read more about Kate and Jared.

Would I recommend this book: Yes

Rating: I give this book a 4/5.
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
on May 1, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition
I almost hate to use the word "fun" to describe a story that is about kidnapping, adventure, shyness, intrusive media and so many other challenges we humans face. Yet, this book took them all on in a fresh and believable manner. It all felt like it could be a real story, from the fear to the steps the detective had to follow.

Well paced throughout - never gets bogged down in useless descriptions - but keeps you going from scene to scene.

Unlike many books nowadays - you can watch both the main characters grow and change in "normal" ways - they are not flat or static, nor do they make superhuman jumps in behavior. I just really was enamored of this story and I am looking forward to the next - because I hope this turns into a series.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
Format: Kindle Edition
This was a delightful clean romance with a side of mystery with psychic abilities. It's a short, fun read and doesn't feel rushed or missing anything.

Kate has a great snarky attitude. Several of her comments and antics had me giggling. Jared is hot niceness. He is both patient and flaring with impatience: a study in hot contrasts. He put up with a lot more of Kate's snark than I expected, and could definitely give as good as he took.

This sweet story ended on a happy note, with a definite expectation of more. The story wrapped up, but it was easy to tell this was part of a series. One that I can't wait to read more of.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
Format: Paperback
Kate is a reluctant medium who's pulled into this missing persons case by Jared, a desperate police detective. In my eyes there were two main plot lines here, 1 the missing persons case 2 Kate and Jared's romantic issues. Plot 1 I enjoyed, plot 2 I had issues with. Plot 1 was intriguing, pulled me into the book and was basically the soul reason I kept reading to find out if they find Cori.
I wasn't crazy about the characters in this book, Kate was immature she blames everything on her being in a coma. While that in itself wasn't bad and could've been a great point to use, I don't feel the author used it to her advantage as much as making it Kate's excuse. Kate knows shes immature but blames it on being emotionally stunted when she came out of the coma. Um... what? She was in college living in a dorm when she went into the coma, so I would've assume she would be above the age of 16 which is how she came across to me. Her tough girl attitude was all a front, because of what she went through when she woke up and helped with a previous case.
Yet to me Kate was just full of contradiction. She's holed herself up in the house, that part was totally understandable, yet she wasn't a complete shut-in going outside to work, party occasionally with her friend. She's angry with her father for leaving her and her mom for another women, yet has only a passing problem with trying to steal another girls guy. Granted the other girl is a super witch, but still.
Jared I didn't get either, he's heading the investigation to find his girlfriend's sister. Which is a conflict of interest to begin with, but I usually give these things a pass since they are so prevalent in fiction. He wants to be the good guy, yet can tell him and Nikki, his girlfriend, are having issues. During a very tragic time for Nikki he starts flirting with Kate, yeah there was a small spark but still. This really isn't the best time to be feeling out someone new. While I didn't like what Nikki does, she's totally justified.
To me the whole relationship aspect wasn't great, other than understanding her outsiderness I didn't get Jared's attraction to Kate.
I feel this could have been a really good book if the characters had been worked with more. They needed to be fleshed out more and fine tuned. I think Ms Wood did a good job with the suspense aspect although I wish she had focused more on that, giving us more clues so we could work it out. Yet still good. I might be being a little to critical about this book yet this is how is appeared to me, my suggestion check it out and make your own decision.

*Disclosure of Material Connection: I am a member of Reading Addiction Blog Tours and a copy of this book was provided to me by the author. Although payment may have been received by Reading Addiction Blog Tours, no payment was received by me in exchange for this review. There was no obligation to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are entirely my own and may not necessarily agree with those of the author, publisher, publicist, or readers of this review. This disclosure is in accordance with the Federal Trade Commision's 16 CFR, Part 255, Guides Concerning Use of Endorcements and Testimonials in Advertising*
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on August 6, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition
First Visions is a nice little series starter and introduction for me to Heather Topham Wood. While I felt that it was a predictable take on a much used storyline, the characters are what made it come alive for me.

I particularly liked Jared, as he was the most solid character of the book. He was charming, hot, and likeable. He was also a gentleman, which is something I appreciated while watching him struggle with his feelings for two women. I also appreciated that he was humble despite his sex appeal and his handling of Kate, who came across as immature for most of the book. As a heroine, Kate annoyed me at times and made me laugh in others. I understand that she's a 21 year old college student, but by 21 I was already married with a child and just can't understand her actions at times. I guess it all comes down to mental age and Kate's came in at around 15. Her co-dependent relationship with her mom didn't help matters, and neither did her temper tantrum about halfway through the book. I couldn't understand how a girl who wants everyone to forget she's psychic, throws a hissy fit when she discovers her mother knew the truth all along but didn't say anything. You're the one who didn't want anyone talking about it! This part of the book grated my nerves...hard...but then, something wonderful happened. Something that hardly ever happens when a heroine is immature or annoying....Kate evolved!

*gasp*

Finally, an author who sees her character's flaws and works throughout the book to fix them. Even Kate knows that she's codependent and ridiculous. By the end, I liked her a whole lot more and I think that speaks to the author's talent.

While this book had plenty of laugh out loud moments, there were also some deeply poignant and emotional moments that really drew me into the romance. One of my favorite parts of the book was when Jared and Kate almost share a kiss under a pavilion by a lake. The moment was so tense that my pulse was racing...I wanted Jared to stop being a gentlemen just long enough to give Kate what she wanted. Another incident, the climax of the story for me, when jared and kate have a huge blow up over their feelings. Jake is so torn because he wants Kate, and you can practically feel his emotion and Kate's heartbreak. You may notice that most of my positive criticism revolves around Jared. That's because he made this book for me. He was definitely a hero to root for.

The paranormal aspect of this book was a nice addition to the story, although this is the part I found predictable. Every move the criminal made in the kidnapping case, I saw coming a mile away. This is something I hope changes in the next book. More unpredictability would make the next book an even greater read than this one. All in all though, I enjoyed it and by the time the climax of the book hit, I was hooked. I couldn't put it down until I knew the outcome!
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
I just finished reading this book. I managed to get through it but wondered why I didn't put it down and forget it. I decided there was just enough plot that it could have been good, maybe even great. First off, I really didn't like the main characters. They were flat with little personality development. I never could relate to them. I thought the writing style itself was weak and immature as were the characters. The plot was very predictable. Once the triangle of Kate, Jared and Nikki appeared, I knew the ending. There were no plot twists or surprises. Perhaps the book needed better editing. I like paranormal mysteries and romances. There are books out there with similar plots but are written much better. Linda Howard's "Dream Man" is one example. My advice to aspiring writers is if you are going to recycle an over used plot, you have to do something to it to make it unique so that it stands out as special. It needs content, not just words. I wish nothing but good luck to this author. I think she has talent.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on July 30, 2012
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
Wow! what a read! Intereting plot, great characters, memorable conflict and plot events.... great read and I thought Ms. Woods use of humor made the book very readable. The end of the book is not as well written as the rest of the book. It is almost an after thought to who the female character was at the beginning of the book. It made me feel like her change as a character meant forget life as you know it and move on. Having said that, the book is a great read and you will enjoy it!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Format: Kindle Edition
Where do I start? Well first...I really loved this story! I've been waiting for a book like this to read, and this was just wonderful. The Prologue really makes you interested to see what the rest of the story will unfold. I immediately liked Kate; she just felt so relatable, and in general, I love relating to the characters; it makes me connect to them and to the story even more. She was stubborn, sarcastic, untrusting, but also kind, witty, and funny. Since waking up from her Coma (due to meningitis) two years earlier, and now at age 21, she is sorta unsociable, not because she was almost killed, but what news she presented when she woke up: knowing where a young kidnapped boy was. Everyone, including her close friends and family, thought well she was sorta crazy for her to see these so called visions, and some would say she is psychic. Well, the boy was fortunately found, just where Kate said he would be, but she lost a lot of friends, her parents separated, the public either liked/hated her, but it was attention she did not want. These past two years have not been so kind to Kate. But then, there is a new abduction case, and one skeptical detective/cop knocks at Kate's front door to see if she has seen his girlfriend's little sister, Cori. Kate doesn't want to help at first, but then after having a vision while she sleeps, she agrees to help, and now do they find Cori or not? The answer you will have to find yourself.

As I was reading, I immediately liked the characters: Kate, Jared, Darlene (Kate's Mom), and Julie (Kate's best friend). They were all well developed, and each had personality, as there is humor that lightens the situation (abduction case) that threatens to darken the story. I liked how there was a good amount of back story, to help us understand these characters better. Everything just flowed so nicely. I was also intrigued by the whole psychic abilities/second sight. I'm not saying I do/do not believe in it, but it's just something that I've sorta been interested to read more about. I do admit, that I was a fan of the show Medium, and this story sorta reminded me of the show, which was great! So, the concept of the second sight was just a wonderful and important element to this story, and I simply cannot wait for the second book in this series! This story has so many components that make it so wonderful to read: there are tender moments; a sense of rejection; taking charge of your life; having that one best friend you can confide in; conflict between characters, and...perhaps a romance....

Yes, this was just fantastic. I encourage you to read this; it's just too good, and I definitely Recommend it!
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on February 2, 2013
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
I can see from other reviews that not everyone agrees with me, but I had trouble finishing this book. A 747 could fly through some of the plot holes. The characters are inconsistent; Kate sometimes speaks like a 40-ish matron and other times both speaks and behaves like a petulant 12-year-old. Jared moves way too quickly from a woman he was planning to marry to another intense relationship. I didn't find either character completely likable.

The psychic angle is the saving grace of this story, and the way Kate has visions, but finds herself unable to control or rely on them, is touching and helps me to like Kate a little. The reactions of others seem mostly realistic, but sometimes way over the top, a consistent flaw in this book. Much of it seems over the top. The story has real potential, but I never felt it was fulfilled.

I hope Ms. Wood does not self-publish again without hiring a good editor. The many unwitting errors in grammar and mechanics make this book appear as if she didn't take it seriously.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Format: Kindle Edition
First reviewed over at New Adult Addiction - I received this book in exchange for an honest review via Xpresso Tours.

I gave this a 4.5, but I round up.

First visions breaks the current new adult mold because although this book has romance, this is not a traditional romance. It's a mystery. I'm not generally a mystery reader, so if you're not either, stay tuned. It's not just a mystery, it's a paranormal mystery. And as I mentioned, it also has a romance in it, so it should appeal to a wide variety of readers. :)

The story begins two years after Kate Edwards recovers from bacterial meningitis and comes out of her coma having visions. The one in particular that changes her life is a vision of an abducted boy. Kate ends up giving the police the key clue to unlocking the identity/whereabouts of the killer, and thus, she is pushed into the limelight of Freakville.

Yeah, this is not cool if you're just a new adult looking for a normal experience filled with normal new adult stuff. It basically ruins Kate's life, so when uber hot Detective Corbett appears on her doorstep (after a very long dry-spell, OK) she's a little caught up in the whole "possibilities" thing. Until she figures out Corbett has a girlfriend and that's the reason he's on her doorstep - her GF's little sister has been abducted and he wants her to try and help them.

As a mystery, this case was just OK, but as a romance within a mystery, this was a fun read. I enjoyed watching Kate and Jared weave in and out of the various obstacles put in front of them and I also enjoyed Ms. Wood's writing style. This was another easy read for me - and in case you haven't been following my reviews, this does not mean simple. It means the style enables the book to be read easily and without hesitation because the sentences flow. It's a skill that not all authors have.

I also enjoyed the way in which Kate's unwanted paranormal skills impacted her life. In most paranormal novels the new ability is almost overwhelmingly positive, but Kate experiences things in her visions that are not anything people want to see. And it goes beyond your parent's marital problems (yuk, right!?) and right into the personal relationship of the man she's interested in, only the relationship is not with her, it's with another woman.

Yeah.

Not fun.

So that was an excellent reality check that usually gets glossed over and I enjoyed it.

And Kate's mom, I loved her! She was great and the fact that Jared played along with her plotting was awesome, it made him sneaky, but in a cute way.

If you're looking for a quick, fun, and completely out of the mold new adult book, you'll want to pick up First Visions and give it a try.
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