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Sleight Hardcover – April 24, 2018
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“Jennifer Sommersby’s Sleight makes magic from an enthralling premise, wonderfully-drawn characters, and beautiful words. It’s hard to avoid descriptors like entrancing, spell-binding and mystical.” ―Michael Grant, New York Times bestselling author of the Gone series
“Fantasy readers will fall in love with Sleight. Like a circus, it’s an intoxicating mix of beauty, humor, magic, and danger that means the reader can’t bear to look away until the final page.” ―Eileen Cook, author of With Malice
“Startlingly imaginative and vividly realized.” ―Ira Bloom, author of Hearts & Other Body Parts
About the Author
Jennifer Sommersby is, among other things, a collector of elephants, a Shakespeare freak, a wearer of tattoos, and a copy and line editor. She lives in Vancouver, British Columbia with her family.
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Don’t expect one dimensional ditzy high schoolers who are angsty or melodramatic (while there’s nothing wrong with those reads, it’s refreshing to have a book that delves deeper than “does he like me/am I cool enough”). You’ll find within these pages young adults who have amazing skills (both magical and athletic/artistic) but see a different world than your average kid.
I wish I could have known Delia personally, but through Gen, Baby, and Alicia we are painted a picture of a woman who lived a complex and beautifully tragic life doing what she loved and felt called to do with passion. It’s incredible to me how much of a main character she remains despite not actually being present for most of the book.
You’ll find a little bit of everything, making it nearly impossible to put this in a specific genre, though I suppose the best would be fantasy fiction? It’s also mystery, history, a little romance, adventure, and full of family love and loyalty.
If you loved the Harry Potter series, A Discovery of Witches Series, or the show Timeless (because I saw some similarities to Garcia Flynn in Lucian, also kind of sort of time travel) you’ll find a lot to enjoy about this story.
I really liked the main character, Geni. She was intelligent, mature, and just imperfect enough to be realistic. Her first thoughts in regards to the magical, dangerous book was that she wanted nothing to do with it (which was smart). When she realized that wasn't an option, she wanted to find it so she could destroy it, and she continued to handle things as best as she could. Even at the dinner party when Henry started flirting with her, she considered the possibility that he might've been sent by his father to find out more about her and what she knew, so she didn't let her guard down. She made a decision near the end that didn't quite make sense, but it wasn't so bad as to ruin the book.
Henry was likeable too, in a sweet way. He's the type of person I'd love to have around in real life because he was so kind.
As for the plot, as I said, it was kind of slow with not a whole lot happening for a while since Geni was trying to figure out the mystery. It was frustrating and didn't really make sense that Geni's mother would've kept Geni in the dark about everything the way she did though (one of those, if we're being honest, seemingly forced plot things that had to happen in order for there to be a story). But that issue was offset some by the fact that Geni also thought it was the wrong move on her mother's part and was equally frustrated. It was also offset some by the fact that Baby (a nickname, he's basically her dad, though not by blood) told her everything he knew and was there to help her with all this. That's something you don't see often in YA books where the protagonist has to figure out some sort of mystery---the character actually getting information and help from an adult. I liked that Baby really did play such a big part in things and was always there to help and tell her what he knew.
Last but not least, there was the setting. I had hoped, when I saw the protag was an aerialist in a circus, there would be some actual circus stuff, especially about performing, but there wasn't much, other than the elephants and the fact that they lived in trailers on the circus grounds. And I can't see the next one having much circus either. That disappointment is on me though for having certain expectations. And I'll admit the elephants were adorable (they were rescues, treated well, and I think they were eventually going to go to a sanctuary).
So overall, while this wasn't as circus-y as I wanted it to be, it had mystery, a bit of romance, some supernatural abilities, and a main character who was easy to root for!
Rating: 3.5 Stars
Original Review @ Metaphors and Moonlight (link in profile)
Most recent customer reviews
No seriously. I need to know.
Oh. My. Goodness.
My heart; it aches for Genevieve, has fallen a little bit in love with Baby, cheers for Henry and...Read more
Sleight is a slightly different genre than what has been my go-to lately and it made me realize I really need to step out of what has been my “comfort zone” more...Read more