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Revel Hardcover – February 12, 2013
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From School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up-After Delia McGovern's mother dies of cancer, the 17-year-old has to seek out a grandmother she has never met, who lives on a mysterious island off the coast of Maine. Trespass Island doesn't appear on maps, and the residents forcibly discourage outsiders. When Delia manages to make her way to the island, she discovers that it is home not just to human beings, but also to sea-living descendants of the Greek god Poseidon called Aitros, or First Ones, who rule over the humans. Prevented from leaving, Delia makes friends with other young people and with Jax, a young male First One who is an outcast from the Aitros clan. However, she finds that the protection of the First Ones comes at a price. At Revel, the summer solstice ceremony, young human women are compelled to mate with male First Ones and give up any resulting infants to them. When Delia resists, she makes a terrifying and amazing discovery about her true nature and her mother's reasons for fleeing the island. This mash-up of Greek mythology and HP Lovecraft's The Shadow Over Innsmouth is a cut above many other recent YA titles featuring mermaids, mermen, sirens, and other water creatures. The Maine setting is described in loving detail. Delia is a strong heroine who finds her voice both literally and figuratively as she opposes the First Ones' exploitation of the human residents of the island, and the enigmatic Jax makes a compelling love interest for her. Purchase where paranormal romances are popular.-Kathleen E. Gruver, Burlington County Library, Westampton, NJα(c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
After her mother dies, Delia flees the foster care system and heads off to the mysterious island off the coast of Maine where her grandmother lives. Once she arrives, though, Delia realizes that there is a terrifying reason her mother fled Trespass Island: real monsters who won’t make it easy for Delia to leave. Blending paranormal elements, romance, and Greek mythology is becoming a common occurrence in YA titles, and Guibord’s novel is a nice addition to that genre mash-up. The fast-paced story features enough hot guys and winks at steaminess to appeal to most teen paranormal romance fans, and while Guibord reveals some mysteries early in the book, she saves others for the end, propelling the story along. The teen characters—especially smart, resilient, and forthright Delia—are a likable bunch, making it easy to find at least one well-drawn character to identify with in this enjoyable offering. Grades 9-12. --Snow Wildsmith
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Top Customer Reviews
The first half of the book was a little slow going and I made a few rants over some of the characters, but nothing too serious, and at the end I almost forgot about the bad stuff, almost.. which is why I'm giving it 3.5 stars.
Revel by Maurissa Guibord
Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: February 12, 2013
Rating: 5 stars
Source: Copy provided by the author
Summary (from Goodreads):
There's an island off the coast of Maine that's not on any modern map.
Shrouded in mist and protected by a deadly reef, Trespass Island is home to a community of people who guard the island and its secrets from outsiders. Seventeen-year-old Delia grew up in Kansas, but has come here in search of her family and answers to her questions: Why didn't her mother ever talk about Trespass Island? Why did she fear the open water? But Delia's not welcome and soon finds herself enmeshed in a frightening and supernatural world where ancient Greek symbols adorn the buildings and secret ceremonies take place on the beach at night.
Sean Gunn, a handsome young lobsterman, befriends Delia and seems willing to risk his life to protect her. But it's Jax, the coldly elusive young man she meets at the water's edge, who finally makes Delia understand the real dangers of life on the island. Delia is going to have to fight to survive. Because there are monsters here. And no one ever leaves Trespass alive.
What I Liked:
First, let me say that this book is in no way associated with Mrs. Guibord's first novel, Warped. Warped (2011) is AMAZING, a story about time-travel and curses and Fate, and I totally recommend to anyone, but Revel is not related to Warped in any way. Just a note :)
Second, can I just say how GORGEOUS the cover of Revel is!? I love the blue and white swirls, and trust me, it's even prettier in person. AND SHINY. This one is quite the stunner from Delacorte.
Okay, now the actual book. This review might be a little short, because I LOVED this book. And usually, with books that I absolutely love, I tend to go on and on and gush endlessly about things that I loved (which tends to be everything), and I'm sure people get the idea after a while.
The story does not start slowly at all - which I appreciated. While I will read through them, I am not a fan of slow starts. Revel kicks off quickly and gains speed, adding the mythological aspect of the book faster than I expected (not at all a bad thing). The pacing of this book was perfect (in my opinion), and fit the story extremely well.
I enjoyed reading about Delia. She is a heroine that anyone can like, and she is tough and inquisitive. I love the way she stood up for herself at every chance she got. She wasn't snarky or rude, but she was assertive, and I found myself cheering her on. It is never easy fitting in a place where no one wants you. I think she handled everything thrown at her very well, especially the no-technology-on-this-island thing. That one would not have sat well with me.
Delia's Gran is a fabulous mentor, and Zuzu and Reilly are excellent friends. Each character's relationship with Delia is different and rocky, but each character cares about each other and Delia, so I genuinely liked each of them by the end of the book. Sean is another sweet secondary character who fights to protect everyone on the island, which almost ended up being a disaster for him.
But Jax. Jax is my favorite character of this book. Right from his formal introduction (there was an informal one first), we know that he is not perfect, or godlike (no pun intended), or the stereotypical divine male that pops out of nowhere and is suddenly a love interest. He still is a love interest, but he's not like, the usual HOT supernatural male creature. That made me love him even more. He is an outcast, but he is so noble. There seriously aren't enough to describe this guy. Just trust me - he's amazing in a not-so-typical way. I feel like only shallow readers wouldn't like him, because he isn't perfect. But I think his imperfections make him even more appealing, and apparently, Delia thought so, too (hint hint).
So, yes, there is sort of a love triangle. But you can tell where it was going as soon as you read about both love interests. It is so obvious, which is GOOD. No choosing teams or getting up-in-arms over Delia. She knew what she really wanted, they knew what they really wanted, and the romance wraps up cleanly.
The plot of this book was fantastic. I don't want to give anything away, but believe me, you will not be bored at any point in this book. I always found myself wondering, "What happens next?" throughout the book, and I could not wait until the end to find out. And contrary to what I thought, the ceremony Revel is NOT the climax of the book. Usually, the one big event of the book is the climax, towards the end-ish. Well, the ceremony Revel is past the middle, but it isn't the climax. A nice surprise for me, who usually has things figured out halfway through books. The monsters, the transformations, the deaths... you will NOT be disappointed! Or bored!
I thought this was going to be a short review, and I wouldn't gush. Oops.
What I Did Not Like:
There really isn't anything that I can put here. Maybe the fact that I can't understand how Delia gave up technology to live on Trespass Island? I could never do that. But that's more of a personal preference, not a negative in a book.
Would I Recommend It:
YES! Go get it NOW! Anyone can read and will most likely love this book.
5 stars - there was no doubt in my mind after I finished this one that it would be 5 stars from me. Revel will definitely be in my favorites of 2013 list, just as Warped as in 2011!
Delia has no idea what she is getting herself into. Having lost her mother and being bounced around in foster care has made her go looking for the one place she should never go...her mothers birthplace. It is clear that outsiders are not welcome and Delia is no different but what they don't know and she doesn't know, is that she is. This island where no outsiders go and no insiders leave but what happens when you belong to an insider and life is about to get complicated. There is more to Trespass Island than anyone could have ever imagined and more than Delia had bargained for. The question became not if she could survive it but if she could survive the storm that her arrival has awakened upon the island.
It took me awhile to get a feel for Delia. Not that she was someone that I disliked but I wasn't instantly drawn to her. She was a well balanced character although the balance was strewn throughout the book and not a constant. The girl was anything but a pushover and once she made a decision there was no going back and as the story progressed I found that her quick mouth and stand her ground behaviour was winning me over. Not that she did everything without thinking because she often did have rational thought, a good conscious and a good sense of right and wrong in a place that seemed to be lacking in that. What I think the biggest thing was, was that despite all these quirks she wasn't overly developed and I never had a clear picture of her in my head but I liked what I knew of her personality.
I'm not quite sure if I should say there was a triangle in this one because there really wasn't but there was the making for one. To be honest the guy I liked didn't even win and I honestly thought he would. It's not like she was dating both of them and couldn't make up her mind, it was more of a they were both interested in her and she was not really sure what was going on. Sean was a good guy with great intentions but he was never really around because of his job and a few secrets he was hiding. When it came to Jax things were just as shady because he came and went as he felt with no real reason. As you can see both guys are kind of there but it was kind of the story that dictated who she was with and the why because she was never fully with either until she started feeling something fully for one.
This was a quick and interesting read that I did start and finish all in one go. It was the kind of book that kept me guessing and completely involved. Though the characters weren't as fleshed out as I would have like the story itself made up for it. What may also draw many of you is that there is no cliffhanger, as this is a standalone read!! To be honest after this I would love to get my hands on Guibord's previous novel Warped because I did love her writing so much. If you like mermaids and something a little different that you can enjoy in one go I would recommend this read. Actually if you aren't a fan of mermaids give this a go because it really is a different type of read.