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Manifest (A Mystyx Novel) Paperback – July 20, 2010
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From School Library Journal
Gr 7 Up–This story has many of the elements that readers enjoy: three attractive teens, romance, and mystery. Best of all, it has two teen ghosts who can't cross over to the other side until a murder is solved. All of this makes for a quick, rewarding read. Krystal, Sasha, and Jake are African-American teens with normal adolescent issues, but with the added burden of having superpowers that they have not yet learned to control. Krystal, around whom the story revolves, can see, hear, and speak to the dead, which is why Ricky Watson, murdered and dead for a year, contacts her. Jake has superhuman strength, and Sasha has the power to disappear. Together, they form the Mystyx. Each character is called upon to fight a menacing evil that grows stronger each day. Manifest is the first in a series, and teens will be interested in finding out what happens next.Carol Jones Collins, Hanover Park High School, East Hanover, NJ
© Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Fifteen-year-old African American Krystal is angry and wounded after her parents’ recent divorce, which her mother won’t explain: That’s grown folks’ business. After moving from New York City to small Lincoln, Connecticut, Krystal is miserable until she begins to receive visitations from Ricky, the ghost of a murdered teenager who wants Krystal to uncover the truth behind his death. Then two students at school reveal that they share Krystal’s unusual M-shaped birthmark, a sign that they all possess secret powers: Sasha’s is teleportation, and Jake’s is telekinesis. After Krystal reveals Ricky’s story and her own abilities as a medium, the three unlikely friends join forces to expose Ricky’s murderer and discover a potent, shapeless evil force along the way. Some of the scenes and dialogue have a campy, teen-movie feel. Still, this start to the Mystyx series will draw readers who enjoy fast-paced, supernatural mysteries with romantic intrigue, and the IM messages, slang, and culturally diverse characters add contemporary appeal. It’s the realistic tensions between Krystal and her parents, though, that may stay with readers most. Grades 7-11. --Gillian Engberg
Top customer reviews
I like the way the story began; it certainly made me want to read on. I did think Krystal went from not wanting to help Ricardo (Ricky) Watson - a dead teenage guy - to anticipating his next visit pretty quickly, though. But then again, she was lonely. She felt so alone that she began to have feelings for Ricky - again, a dead guy. Now, that's really lonely. My reaction: `Oh, my goodness. I don't think so!! Ricky's a likeable character, but he's dead.' Manifest is fiction but are there people who can see things in the spiritual realm? Yes, I believe there are. But having feelings for a dead person was a bit much. I was concerned for Krystal.
Krystal had to move from New York City to Lincoln, Connecticut, because her mother left her father. She wasn't happy with her situation and I wasn't happy with the way she disrespected her mother. I know she was upset about not having her dad around, but being mean to her mother wasn't going to bring him back. It seemed the blended family problems could have been avoided if Krystal would have trusted that her mother knew what was best. Instead of judging the woman for a choice she made and distancing herself from the one person who loved her more than anybody else, Krystal could have been more supportive.
When this book was released the cover immediately caught my eye - it is beautiful because the girl is beautiful - but I wasn't sure I wanted to read it after finding out about Krystal's ghost-whispering talent. I wanted to give it a try, but I wasn't sure what to expect. I kept thinking it would be too creepy or too scary for my taste. However, I have stepped outside of my comfort zone lately when it comes to my reading choices, so now was the time to purchase Manifest. What happened to Ricky was sad, as well as what was happening with teenage girls at Settlemans High. The mystery of it all kept me reading, because, of course, I had to know who was responsible. And with all of the `supernatural-ghost whisperer-spirits walking around having conversations with the living' that took place, there was nothing about Manifest I couldn't handle reading. I was glad about that, because I need to be able to sleep at night.
I appreciated that the cast was multicultural -black, latino, white- and multi-class -upper, middle, bad-side of the tracks, and even "hip-hopper" (the author's phrasing, not mine!). This is the first in the series and it looks like everyone's going to get their say. What I did not like about this book is that for the first quarter, the sympathy I felt for the MC was thwarted by the love interest. She was rightly wallowing in divorce-child-syndrome and the love interest, a ghost BTW, told her numerous times to just get over it. I had a problem with that because her stepdad was a douche and her mother let him talk to her any kind of way and then whisper "are you ok?" First: Hells to the naw! Second: You can't set someone up as a villain in one breath and then tell the protagonist to get over it in another.
Strange activities follow Krystal. Marked with a M-shaped birthmark, perhaps Krystal has a larger purpose in life than she once thought. But along with helping Ricky and discovering the circumstances surrounding his death, Kyrstal also finds others with similar powers, as well as evil forces she must contend with.
Overall, this novel was enjoyable. Sometimes Krystal was annoying and bratty, but only because she had many family problems to deal with. It was quite suspenseful. I haven't read any other tale of teenage mediums, and I definitely want to read the sequel to this. I read the ARC via Netgalley.com, courtesy of the publisher, and I'm glad it caught my eye.
With no friends to speak of Krystal integrates slowly into her new school. But when the voices invade her head that she's managed to block out or ignore for many years won't go away, she retreats to her safe haven, her bedroom. "Help me !" the voice continues to ask and "Ricky" appears in her room what will Krystal do?
When Krystal meets Sasha and Jake they reveal something each of them share. As they come together and use what makes each of them special, will this trio be able to assist "Ricky" and get him the help he seeks? As spirits continue to visit her, and someone or something is sending pictures to her phone and hacking into her email will the trio be able to put the pieces together. Will it be the answer to help "Ricky" or is this some spirt filled danger the trio has now become a part of?
This book was a great read, although targeted for the young adult readers I have to say I enjoyed it myself. I recommend this book to anyone looking for something a little different.
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