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Forever Fifteen: Book I of The Lucia Alberti Trilogy (Volume 1) Paperback – October 31, 2005
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About the Author
Kimberly Steele is the proudly indie author of seven novels, a forthcoming collection of short fiction called Bedtime Stories for the Criminally Insane, the I Love Music Theory Method for Guitar, and the Forever Fifteen (Lucia Alberti) Trilogy.
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And yet, despite all of this, the book was surprisingly enjoyable.
The protagonist has a strong voice, and really carries the otherwise-unremarkable material. The author states in the prolog that she wants Lucy to feel like a real girl from centuries in the past, rather than a modern girl who happened to live in the Dark Ages. This decision helped make the book stand out from the overcrowded teen vampire romance genre, as Lucy is believable as a girl, who, for most of her life, predated women's rights and sufferage, and is a bit over her head in the modern world. She's believably flawed, which makes her far more identifiable than a lot of female protagonists with anachronistically 2000's-era values.
The biggest flaw is the pacing. There are several events in the book (Lucy's mother dying, Lucy being turned to a vampire, her first kill) that are breezed over in a paragraph or two, but in the modern-day chapters, pages at a time will be spent on how people dress, how they do their hair, what they eat for dinner, etc. The modern day chapters, as a whole, dragged because so much time was spent on filler, while the flashbacks are by far the most interesting parts of the book.
Lucy was an intriguing character. I enjoyed trying to figure her out while the book switched back and forth between her present life and her beginnings in the fourteenth century and later her life after being turned.
I am a big paranormal fan and not much of a romance fan, however Lucy's two romances in this book where not overdone and didn't take away from the true theme to this book: which was the strength of this girl/woman, who learned to survive and conquer in this strange and disturbing lifestyle that was forced upon her at the tender age of fifteen. And even after living this lifestyle for hundreds of years, Lucy still managed to keep her kind demeanor and a certain amount of naivety. I'm not sure that this would be possible in a real life situation but in Forever Fifteen, the author sure makes you believe it's Lucy's true character.
I have a 16 y.o. daughter that I was planning on sharing this book with but I have changed my mind since reading the whole book. There are several sex scenes in the book which are descriptive, yet they are mild compared with a lot of books I have read. And there are also some descriptive scenes of Lucy "taking nourishment". While this book is about a teen, I believe it's better suited to an adult or older teen audience.
In any case, it was a fun read which I didn't want to put down. I'm excited to read the next book in the series!
This seemed like it was a first draft of a book. The author jumped between past and present so often that I was sometimes unsure which part I was reading. There were also a few times we were taken into another character's mind, which caused even more confusion.
Something that drove me nuts, I might be alone here, is the way people spoke wasn't taken into consideration in the writing. As in, no dialect, no contractions, no personality.
I gave this two stars because I didn't like it. But I didn't exactly hate it. The story was ALMOST interesting, the ending even seemed to take that away... I wouldn't reread this, but if the author were to be given an editor, I would definitely try to read more of her work.