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Ashlyn's Radio Paperback – January 19, 2012
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"Warlight" by Michael Ondaatje
A dramatic coming-of-age story set in the decade after World War II, "Warlight" is the mesmerizing new novel from the best-selling author of "The English Patient." Learn more
"These two blessedly talented ladies have created a story that is to die for!"
--Uniquely Moi Books
"...a good scary story...in the tradition of Christopher Pike's Remember Me."
--The Phantom Paragrapher
"I am a real sucker for good old creepy ghost stories. And this book is one of them."
From the Author
Wilson Doherty is the writing team of Norah Wilson and Heather Doherty, both from Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada. Wilson is published in romantic suspense and paranormal romance, while Doherty is published in literary. Together they write YA paranormal.
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Top customer reviews
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Yes. I'm a total wimp with an incredibly overactive imagination. But I digress...
The books I tend to enjoy the most are the ones in which I'm able to create a real emotional connection to the characters or a specific character. For some reason, I had a lot of trouble connecting to Ashlyn in the beginning. I'm still not exactly sure why. But thinking more about it, perhaps it's because she actually acted more like a typical teenager than most YA protagonists. Most of the heroines in today's young adult fiction have a real gravity to them, wisdom beyond their years, a better grasp of the consequences of their actions; they're more adults than kids. And in the paranormal genre, this is due largely to the life-and-death, world-ending situations that authors throw their young characters into. That's not to say that there aren't extremely mature teens out there, there are. And that's not to say I find Ashlyn to be extremely immature, I don't. I find Ashlyn refreshing in that she acts seventeen - her age. It's nice to meet a character who's not a 30-year old trapped in a 17 year old's body, I just didn't connect with her as much as I would've liked and that might have had more to do with my own age (shhh!) than anything else. However, I think Ashlyn's character, once she realizes what she's up against, matures as a result of her situation and I found her a lot more relateable toward the end of the novel.
The character I felt the strongest connection to was Ashlyn's friend, Rachel. The authors did an excellent job bringing her to life - her vices, fears, her deep-seated emotional troubles, her issues - and they've created this wonderfully paradoxical character who is a strong personality, unique and witty and yet completely vulnerable and emotionally broken. This girl has real problems and not just of the paranormal variety. She is a sympathetic character who steals each of her scenes and who sees a real transformation over the course of the book.
Another thing I really enjoyed about Ashlyn's Radio was the romance. Though slightly venturing into insta-love territory, the detour is forgiven, because Caden is just so adorable, sweet, funny....and a photographer. Their connection feels genuine, even though it develops quickly. Another thing I appreciated about Wilson Doherty's portrayal of Caden is that he's a person of color, an African American. How incredibly refreshing! I really believe that racial and ethnic diversity is something sorely lacking in today's young adult US market and kudos to the authors for breaking out of those stereotypical young adult molds.
While there were many things I loved about Ashlyn's Radio there were just a few things that didn't quite work for me. The origins of the train and radio were a little confusing and didn't thrill me as much as I had hoped. That said, the fast pace and well-crafted tension helped ease some of this. But while the revelations were interesting, I was hoping for that gasp-worthy, "AHA!" moment. I also wish that more of the creepy, small town vibe would've been communicated through the residents of Prescott Junction. I felt like I really didn't get to see much of the town, let alone memorable, quirky individuals. It could be that I read this coming off of a "Haven" marathon - the paranormal SyFy show also set in a creepy, sleepy town in Maine - but I guess I was expecting a little more "Twin Peaks" than I ended up getting.
I also feel it's important to note that there are some heavier, non-paranormal themes going on in this novel such as abuse, substance abuse, self-mutilation, and to some extent, suicide. I wish that Ashlyn had been a little more proactive about seeking help for those people who had these issues, but the truth is - once again - that Ashlyn dealt with these issues like a teenager probably would. I think it's important for teens to realize however, that sometimes outside, adult help is needed to ensure the well-being of a friend or loved one.
Overall, Ashlyn's Radio was a deliciously creepy, fun and fast-paced read that I would recommend to anyone who loves spine-tingling chills and thrills.
Ashlyn seems to be already keen about the family curse, that she will suffer it but not necessarily what it's specifics are. As time passes do we find out that a) in her grandmother's basement is a prescient radio which has been infused with a power unlike any radio ever before and b) running through the town is a ghost train who's conductor is eager to possess the Caverhill souls, or any other person looking for a ticket out.
As things wind down and Ashlyn realizes her friends are in trouble as is the soul of her long departed father she is informed... in a way, by her radio what it is she needs to do so as to save the souls of those aboard.
A young adult read that is mushy at points, has it's supernatural element and the stereotypic rebellious teen all culminating to save the day. A well written story that offers the riders redemption at the `end of the line'.
What the book has going for it is some serious creepiness, lots of unanswered questions (all answered by the end of the book), and a resolution that is certainly satisfying on at least one, if not all, levels. (To avoid spoilers, I'll just cryptically say that what Ashlyn learns about key people in her life near the end of the book is satisfying.)