From School Library Journal
Grade 7 Up—College freshman Kim suffers from dark bouts of depression that are caused by a viri. Fortunately, her new roommate, Jaimie, belongs to a secret clan of magicians and is determined to help. Joined by a spirit guide in the shape of a lizard and Jaimie's three cousins, the young women set out to discover the identity of the elusive viri. Things get more interesting when another viri shows up claiming to want to rein in the rogue that is causing trouble for Kim. Close encounters with the culprit, the juggling of academic duties, and Kim's breakdowns keep the plot progressing at a well-measured pace. Unfortunately, the ending includes a bizarre twist that will turn readers off to the final pages of the book. Playful language and humor prevail throughout, with an appealing use of colors to describe Kim's moods. Background information about Kim's and Jaimie's lives before college is at times confusing, and the characters' strengths lie in their light, witty exchanges. With its quirky tone and colorful imagery, this novel has more spirit than shadow and is recommended for those interested in what Harry Potter's first year at a muggle college might be like.—Emily Rodriguez, Alachua County Library District, Gainesville, FL
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When Jaimie, a magical teenager with a rebellious past, decides to experience the world outside her isolated community, she is dismayed that she must share a college dorm room with a normal human. When her roommate, Kim, is accepted by Rugee, a guardian-like Presence that alternates between invisibility and varying reptilian forms, Jaimie is compelled to soften her stance. After Kim succumbs to a series of brutal attacks of profound despair, Jaimie comes to believe Kim is being psychologically manipulated by malevolent unseen things, and she vows, along with Rugee and an assortment of additional and also magical family members, to rid Kim of her predator. Told in the alternating voices of the two roommates, this is an original story with many unique (occasionally confusing and sometimes superfluous) details. The book labors to convince readers that much is at stake, and it lacks intensity and literary polish of Hoffman's earlier works. Nevertheless, this is an intriguing and well-paced story that will appeal to those who enjoy both fantasy and mystery. Holly Koelling
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