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Meridian Hardcover – August 11, 2009

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 7–10—Meridian's parents try to give her a normal childhood in spite of the strange attraction she holds for the dead and dying animals that appear in her bed nearly every morning. On her 16th birthday, a horrific traffic accident occurs right in front of her, causing her terrible pain even though she is uninjured. Her parents realize that the time has come to tell Meridian what she truly is: a Fenestra. Within hours she is on a bus heading to Revelation, CO, and her Auntie. She learns that a Fenestra is a being capable of opening windows into the afterlife for the dying. With the help of Great-aunt Merry, also a Fenestra, and Tens, her Protector, Meridian comes gradually, though reluctantly, to understand her powers and her place in the eternal struggle between the forces of light and darkness for the souls of humankind. The author brings a fresh voice to the realm of teen paranormal romantic fiction. Although the narrative stumbles occasionally, and the ending is hurried, the characters are compelling and the themes of good and evil, life and death will keep readers engaged.—Jane Henriksen Baird, Anchorage Public Library, AK
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

All her life, dead and dying things seemed to find Meridian, and eventually she got used to it. But when, on her sixteenth birthday, Meridian is faced with more pain and death than she ever imagined, her parents decide the time has come to whisk her away to a safe place and let her know what she really is: one of the last remaining Fenestra, part-angels who help the dying find their way to the other side. Taking refuge with a great-aunt who shares her talent, Meridian meets, and after a rocky start, falls in love with Tens, who is destined to be her lifelong protector. And she needs the protection when she finds that a charismatic preacher is turning the townspeople violently against her and her aunt. The relationship between Meridian and Tens may feel supremely romantic to those who relish the victim-protector dynamic but may be a hard sell for others. Though flawed, the book has dark supernatural themes that will definitely be draws for certain readers. Grades 7-10. --Heather Booth

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 and up
  • Grade Level: 7 and up
  • Lexile Measure: 590L (What's this?)
  • Series: AWARDS: Arkansas Teen Awards 2011
  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Delacorte Press (August 11, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385736681
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385736688
  • Product Dimensions: 5.9 x 1.4 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (87 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,671,298 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Hello bibliophiles,

Thanks for finding me here on Amazon. I'm thrilled to say I've moved into the hybrid author category and now am also publishing books directly to Kindle. I've always loved Christmas romances so this year I wrote my own. WISH is available directly to Kindle so be sure to check it out.

I delve into taboos with my stories--PIECES OF ME looks at the connections formed by pediatric organ donation, A MATTER OF DAYS is my ode to survivalists, the Meridian books deal with dying and death, and my Gert books take on human sexuality and "good girls." All are wrapped up in stories I hope have readers entertained and turning those pages.

When I'm writing there's always a candle going--with the correct scent for the book of course! The wrong candle can make me nauseous so I'm often in candle stores sniffing and snorting and thinking about projects! A MATTER OF DAYS candle was "dirt" and came from a great shop in Indiana. MERIDIAN was pine and fire, SPEED OF LIGHT grape bubblegum. ONE BUTT CHEEK AT A TIME required hazelnut coffee and that held true for the second in that series FROM BUTT TO BOOTY. My middle grade novel from Penguin coming out summer 2016 has been scented of fresh tomato!

Like the character of Auntie in MERIDIAN, I quilt. You can see photos of completed projects on my websites. I'm most proud of the quilts I've made and sent to The Freedom Quilt Project which matches quilts with families who've had a service person killed in action.

I have lots of animals: a dog, cats, a rooster named Hunk and a flock of hens who wander our property in Puget Sound. I like watching the nature channel out the windows and have fed wild birds for years.

I read 20 or more books concurrently. Everything is game for me--I never know when a character or book will need a certain piece of information so I read obscure to the popular, fiction and non, YA and adult. I change books the way other people change the channel. If you're interested in what I like visit my personal website and check out the best of page where I list books I'm reading and my thoughts.

I'm addicted to trashy reality television--I'm sure you've wondered who the people are who watch those VH1 and MTV love shows--that'll be me! I adore sour candy like Sour Patch Kids, Gummy Worms, and hard jawbreakers. I'm always listening to loud music--be it pop, international hits, classical, musical or metal. There's a soundtrack/playlist for each of my projects and it helps me get into the writing zone faster to have the right music going.

I'm grateful for the awards my books have received but nothing beats a heartfelt message from a reader who found comfort, solace, joy, perspective or something else personal in one of my stories. PIECES OF ME received a Kirkus star, Kirkus Award Nominee, and incredible blurbs from some of my favorite authors. A MATTER OF DAYS is a Lonestar Book in Texas, a finalist for the Truman award, Cybil Award nominee. MERIDIAN was an Arkansas state book award winner.

I love connecting with readers--find me on Facebook, twitter @writeamberkizer, my official website:

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

35 of 36 people found the following review helpful By K. Kincy on April 17, 2009
Format: Hardcover
I had the good fortune to win an ARC of MERIDIAN from someone who snagged it at the ALA Midwinter Conference. I read the book in nibbles and gulps, both wanting to savor it and make it last. MERIDIAN is the kind of book that my mind kept drifting to when I was trying to concentrate, or even when I was just shopping at the grocery store.

The best parts, for me: The character of Meridian, who manages to be both strong and vulnerable, mature and believably sixteen. Kizer pulls this off with Meridian's voice, I think, which reminded me a little of myself at that age. I really like how she explores her powers and the idea of death; Kizer handles these scenes with subtle, nuanced emotion, where a lesser author might stray into the melodramatic. Meridian's protector and love (as described in the blurb), Tens, came across refreshingly charming and flawed in the face of a slew of drop-dead gorgeous, brooding, and otherwise cardboard males in other young adult fantasy. Yes, he's mysterious, but not annoyingly so.

The weakest parts: At times I felt like the antagonist was just stuck in there to provide tension and didn't really have a good reason to show up so often. Even though the antagonist has a motive, it wasn't one I felt at a gut level. The ending, consequently, seemed somewhat flat, and also felt like a set up for a sequel. Also, the pacing felt a little uneven in the last half of the book; I wondered if these scenes were written more hastily than the earlier ones.

Overall, I found MERIDIAN to be deliciously different, not even bothering to tread into the realm of cliches, with great characters I could sympathize with and imagine outside of the book. I suspect MERIDIAN will be quite popular when it comes out. Highly recommended.
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Morrigan Alexandros VINE VOICE on August 10, 2009
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
This novel, written by Amber Kizer, is about a teenager named Meridian. She is not like everyone else. Dying animals seem to find their way to her. On her 16th birthday, her family leaves and sends her to her Auntie, who shares her same name. This is both for her and their safety. She soon learns she is a Fenestra, half angel-half human, and that her purpose is to help the dying transition their soul energy to that person's version of 'heaven'. But, she also learns there are dark forces after her. She must learn to transition the dying and learn a way to defeat the dark forces. Her quest is aided by Auntie, a great-aunt and also a Fenestra, and Tens, who is destined to be her Protector.

This book was pretty good. I read it in one day. The plot was not only interesting, it was gripping and the book had good dialogue. I honestly could not put it down. Thank God it was a fast read!

The mythology was well developed for a first book in a series. The author has announced a companion book to this one. I do not know if her plan if to develop a series, but she should! There is a lot of material to explore.

The protagonist was believable and interesting. I enjoyed reading about her. She seemed to grow onto her new role, maybe a bit too fast, and take the events happening relatively well. She proved to be a worthy heroine and extremely likable. Not very whiny either, like Bella in Twilight. (I liked Twilight though). Custos, a wolf, kinda-adopts Meridian and becomes her constant companion. I would love to learn more about Custos, is there something more about her, something magical/supernatural perhaps?

I wish Tens was fleshed out a bit more.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By The Compulsive Reader VINE VOICE on June 30, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Meridian has never been normal. She is constantly surrounded by dying things--insects, small animals, and on the day of her sixteenth birthday, a girl dies in a deadly accident right in front of her. Immediately after that, her parents whisk her away from her home and send her to Revelation, Colorado to live with her elderly great-aunt.

Once in Revelation, Meridian discovers the surprising truth about the death that surrounds her: she is a Fenestra, a link between the living and dead meant to lead the dying to the afterlife. But nothing is as simple as it appears-- with the help of her great-aunt and protector Tens, Meridian must learn to master her new talent before the evil Aternocti are able to get to her.

Meridian is a unique and very imaginative first book in what's sure to be an exciting new series. The whole book moves briskly as Meridian is bombarded with one surprise after another. The idea of generations of Fenestra and their evil counterparts, Aternocti, is an intriguing one, and though it's not explained quite as thoroughly as some may like, as the book goes on, more is revealed about the two, and their histories are caught up in a local, fanatical religious group. This makes for some interesting plot twists, and some slightly uneven pacing.
Meridian, however, is a very real, very tangible character, and her thoughts and feelings about death and her newly discovered powers are handled skillfully. Similarly, the male lead, Tens, is a realistic, fallible character that will still have female readers swooning.

Though many events that occur towards the end of the novel feel too convenient and there are a few confusing sequences, Meridian is a fast paced novel that will be popular with many teens, and the ending is set up nicely for a sequel. Kizer's latest is a dark, intriguing, and quick read filled with excellent imagery and fascinating tidbits of information that will have readers vying for a sequel.
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