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The Shapeshifter's Secret by Heather Ostler
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

She tried telling herself to stop, but it was useless. Something had fully claimed her mind and body. A sound began to erupt from inside her chest, a deep sort of growl that seized her entire being. She felt as if there was a grizzly bear inside her, trying to escape. And then a deafening roar echoed from her mouth, only inches away from Lancer’s face. It took everything inside of her not to attack him.
In Julia’s life, timing is everything. Like the time her paranoid father put bars on her window so she wouldn’t sneak out at night—even though she’s never given him a reason not to trust her. Or the time this weird new kid showed up at her school and pretty much every girl in sight instantly and inexplicably fell in love with him. What was up with that?
But as time moves on, things in Julia’s life go from strange to seriously impossible. Now it’s all she can do to keep herself and the life she’s always known from falling apart.
This fast-paced action-adventure story is packed with humor, romance, and enough twists and turns to keep you guessing to the very last page. Get lost in a world of hidden royalty, shifting alliances, and dangerous vendettas, but don’t ever forget: nothing is what it seems.

This e-ARC was provided to me by NetGalley and Cedar Fort Publishing.

I hate bashing a book by a debut author, but dear Heather Ostler, my feeling after I finished your book is identical to the feeling I got after I had been Rickrolled.
Oh, that famous ankle-dancing simply melts my heart

Like, if I were to pull a prank on an innocent victim, I'd tell that person to read this book because;

This fast-paced action-adventure story is packed with humor, romance, and enough twists and turns to keep you guessing to the very last page. Get lost in a world of hidden royalty, shifting alliances, and dangerous vendettas, but don’t ever forget: nothing is what it seems.

Remember that? It's from the blurb. And I got almost nothing of those.

I'VE BEEN TROLLED BY THE BLURB!!!

It was bit unfortunate because I read this right after I finished with Daughter of Bone and Smoke, so it was like one of those moments when you just ate a banquet from a top restaurant, you come home and someone offers you a plate or yesterday's microwaved lasagne.

To add salt to the wound, I was forced to read this on my laptop, in pdf format because somehow I couldn't copy it into my tablet (and I don't have a kindle account to ask for the kindle format).


I had several moments where I was so tempted to pile this in my DNF shelf but unlike Wilde's Fire, I kept telling myself to move on because for the first 280 pages out of 330, there was technically nothing going on! How am I supposed to write a review if I had nothing to review on?

This is so frustrating because look at the cover! It is beyond gorgeous!!!

*Tries to calm herself by singing soft kitty*

I'm sorry to say but the opening can't get anymore cliche than that. Set in a US high school, Julia and Sierra are two besties. One day, a new boy, Caleb enrol in the school and he seems to know a lot about Julia and Julia is instantaneously drawn to him.

Usually I'd be grateful when I know that ***Spoilers ahead*** the mysterious guy like Caleb is not the protag, Julia's love interest. That's new! But no, her romance with Terrence was all over the place and more like a customary jock-cheerleader relationship than an actual love.***Spoilers finished***[the mysterious guy like Caleb is not the protag, Julia's love interest. That's new! But no, her romance with Terrence was all over the place and more like a customary jock-cheerleader relationship than an actual love. (hide spoiler)]

The story did pick up afterwards. The home raid and the escape whereby Caleb saved Julia's life was surprisingly well-written. Now that I thought about it, it seems like someone else was writing those parts.

What happens next reminded me a lot of Hex Hall...

...and Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secret.

Tom Riddle Julia is a descendent of Salazar Slytherin Siron, therefore she's the only one who can open the chamber portal...

Sophie Julia's grandmother mother tries to kill her...

The idea of a school for wizards shapeshifters and water people (yes, that phase is used by the book), the invisibility cloak rock, the bitter Prof Snape Mr Knightley yada yada.

No, simply no.

It's puzzling me that this is a stand-alone book because lots of background information was thrown in the book, some of them are not relevant at all and at the end, ***Spoilers ahead*** Alexis escaped and the government still remained corrupted. And the lie detector ring! I thought it'll come into use somehow!***Spoilers finished***

And last time I checked, this book is tagged as Young Adult not Juvenile or Middle Grade but the writing is very basic and simple. And if I have a middle-grader sister, I would still ask her to avoid this book because I hardly found any inspiring characters or valuable lessons out of it.

God...what's with the teenage angst and deserting your friend because he didn't tell you he has a girlfriend?

And these dialogues...
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I imagined them coming out of this girl
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Yup, the infamous annoying facebook girl

So...I should expect that this book has many twists and turns?

The only twist I got was at the end, and it wasn't even remotely surprising because I long had expected it to be an inside-job.

Sorry, but I'm off to grab an aspirin.

View all my reviews

5 comments:

...Well, crap. I requested this one on NetGallery and it's waiting for me to read it. *facepalm* What have I done?

Great review though, very fun to read. If only it didn't spell out my own sad, inevitable future..

Love this review! Very amusing to read. And ya I agree with you, great cover. Too bad you were disappointed by the inside contents :( Hate it when that happens.

Love your blog and a new follower. Look forward to your future posts.

Check out my blog at http://bookluvrshaven.blogspot.ca/ and you enjoy it enough to follow back.

Lily & Erin

@ Linny: just do as I say. Stay.away.from.this.trainwreck. It was a miracle I was able to finish this book. Now, I wish I could get back my lost time. Tsk2.

@ Lily & Erin: followed you too. Awesome blog you have there!

Love this post it's humorous and honest. All that you described...kind of reminded me of the "Fallen" book.

Anyway, very fantastic. Looking forward to reading more!

@ Auggie: Thanks! I know right, I hope I'm not too brutally honest XD

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