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Sparked Paperback – October 3, 2017
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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." Pre-order today
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"A rush of missing sisters, supernatural powers, breathless crushes, ancient prophecies, and deadly secrets revealed at glamorous parties... spooky and fun!" ―Daniel Handler aka Lemony Snicket, author of A Series of Unfortunate Events
"Suspenseful, atmospheric, and romantic―Sparked transported me." ―Lauren Kate, author of the New York Times-bestselling Fallen series
"Supernatural teens in literature are old hat, but Echlin and Watrous inject their novel with zeal and ingenuity. Characters, for one, are expertly drawn. The narrative playfully reveals supertalents one at a time while the greatest mystery is who the demon-esque Druj will inhabit... A fresh, enthusiastic, and wholly satisfying take on a familiar subgenre." ―Kirkus Reviews
"Sparked is a masterful mélange of action, the supernatural, and teen romance. Every character is unique and every twist is unexpected. The story, told with wit and candor, just kept accelerating until its rip-roaring ending. I tore through this book." ―Katie Crouch, author of New York Times bestseller Girls in Trucks and The Magnolia League series
"Sparked is that rare thing―a gripping mystery with psychological depth. It's a hauntingly accurate portrayal of the complex relationships between sisters and the lengths that the younger will go to save her older sister. I was riveted from the beginning and hooked to the satisfying end." ―Erica Lorraine Scheidt, author of Uses for Boys
"Sparked proves its worth from page one. It's a supernatural thriller that reads with an easy, almost effortless, flow. Really, really impressive." ―Mike Rich, author of Skavenger's Hunt, screenwriter of The Rookie, Radio, and Finding Forrester
About the Author
Helena Echlin, a native of the UK, is the author of the novel Gone (Random House UK, 2002) and for five years wrote "Table Manners," an etiquette advice column for CHOW, the online food and drink magazine. She has also written on topics from belly-button reshaping to cardio strip tease for publications such as the Guardian, The Times, and The Sunday Telegraph in the UK, and Yoga Journal and The San Francisco Chronicle in the US. She lives in Berkeley, California and teaches fiction-writing online for Stanford.
Top customer reviews
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Maybe not important, but "Sparked" has similarities to "How to Hang a Witch" by Adriana Mather. This story has nothing to do with witches, but if you enjoy this one, you will probably enjoy the other, and vice versa.
One odd thing: it shows I listened to Audible, but I read it on my Kindle.
Our hero, Laurel, grows as a character as do others in this nicely written story. The mystery elements and world building are nicely constructed too. While I enjoyed the novel's many twists and turns, I can’t say I was ever very surprised by them. The story, however, made sense within the world as created, which I really appreciated. Recommended!
I give Sparked 5 stars for its fast paced thrilling read.
I would recommend this book to everyone.
One example: I can’t find another book that’s a great comparison. For example, Sparked has some flavor of Alice Sebold's Lovely Bones, but they are very different books—each great in its own way. There’s overlap with Lev Grossman’s Magicians, but, again, great books with real differences. And, getting to the unavoidable, some might also compare it with Twilight. Yes, people will race through both books, but the depth of characters in Sparked makes it very different—in a good way—for me.
Looking farther, Sparked has similarities with the best parts of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Anne of Green Gables and X-men and even Mean Girls. But again—clear from the breadth—none squarely compares.
So, I can’t find an anchor to discuss Sparked, and this might be the reason why: When you start Sparked, it seems comfortably within the YA contemporary fantasy space. But, once you settle in, it's actually turning key parts of the genre inside out. And it does it in a great way.
Yes, the teenage narrator has certain teenage dilemmas while saving her world. And, yes, parts of her that are slyly adult, more so than her mother. But, along the way—no spoilers—she actually becomes more of both, more youth and more adult. And Sparked captures a value and a melancholy in each. It captures a slipperiness in coming of age and identity and relationships. I’m still not sure how the Echlin and Watrous pulled this off. But I love what they’ve left us with. The story is finished, but its resonance is not.
So, I struggled with it, and I loved it.
Now, one area where I didn't struggle at all: Finishing the book. Two sittings and done (and it would have been one if I hadn’t had to work). The story clicks by. Characters unfold expertly. But it’s a deceptively breezy read. As the story flies, there's a depth of insight supporting the action, but it never gets in the way. The characters and their lives have weight, but the story isn’t stalled to mull over it.
Sparked is a impressive book that’s not worried about impressing you. Come for the story. Leave when it's done. You won’t be disappointed.
Or, if you want to, hang onto its questions. Or, maybe even if you don’t want to, the questions will hang onto you.
I’ve been thinking about it since I finished, and I’ve already started again to enjoy another pass.
Characterization and plotting are good.
Most recent customer reviews
I received a free copy for an honest review.
15-year old Laurel's life is marked as a new turning period for her...Read more