Saturday, April 13, 2013

Review: The New Girl in Town (White Swans)

The strange new world Kendika found herself in after the deaths of her parents has claimed another victim. A simple wish for adventure lands Jillian in what she thinks is the perfect place to live out her fantasies. However, when she realizes her role is to play the part of a servant, her wish suddenly doesn't seem so appealing. 

I was surprised at first to realize this did not open with Kendika, but I was interested to see who this new girl was and how she would both impact the faux Regency world, and how it would affect her. 

I didn't immediately take to Jillian. I thought she was rather self centered and lacked the warmth Kendika had. As I continued to read, I realized the reasoning behind why Bazzi wrote Jillian this way. Her attitude created conflict with Kendika (who is still a part of this book). The two young ladies are quite different from each other, and their understanding of the world is miles apart. Kendika became even more likable to me as she attempted to help Jillian. I was pleased with the subtle changes her character had undergone from the first book. 

What I had a bit of trouble with was the balance between how much face time each girl got. Jillian was selfish and a bit annoying, which she was meant to be. She was a great contrast to Kendika. The issue for me was that Jillian took up most of the book, so readers spend the most time with a character they don't really like. I think if the time had been split between Jillian and Kendika more evenly this wouldn't have been an issue. 

My only other issue was that I didn't feel like this section of the overall story wrapped up as completely as the first section. At the end of book one I felt Kendika had learned a lesson and had been changed by her experience. In this book, Jillian is punished, but I never felt she really learned her lesson or changed at the end. This may just be that her story will continue to grow and develop in the next few installments, so I am prepared to wait and see. 

Overall, this was still a fun read. I am enjoying the serial style of this story and I think young readers will like the emotional drama in each page that teens can easily identify with, as well as the desire to wish away problems in hopes of something better being around the corner. The story itself was well written and will click with young readers easily. 

The New Girl in Town is available now from Amazon