Tuesday, June 21, 2011

FEATURE REVIEW: A Season of Transformation by Jayne Fordham

This marks the beginning of the two-day feature of A Season of Transformation by Jayne Fordham.  Be sure to hang around and catch all the fun!

A Season of Transformation
By:  Jayne Fordham
ISBN:  9781447548
Published March 31, 2011
Available Format:  Paperback, ebook

My Rating: ★★★★☆

In Jayne Fordham’s new novel, A Season of Transformation, five teenagers from diverse circumstances and social circles are brought together to save their town from a paranormal menace.  In response to this threat and with the help of their clever ancestors, each of the five begins to develop their own supernatural abilities.  In addition, each of the teens is struggling with personal issues.  Ben, the nerd, and Adam, the clown, are trying to break free from their labels and express who they truly are as individuals.  Lucas masks his pain with a bitter and repelling attitude but soon finds he might be pushing away the very person he is falling in love with.  Bonnie works hard to hide her father’s battle with alcohol behind her ‘gothic’ exterior and introverted demeanor.  Makenna, the rich kid, deals with a bit of an arrogant and judgmental mother and best friend as she develops a bond with each of the misfits of their group.  This seemingly incompatible crew must overcome their differences and learn to trust each other, or their beloved town may be doomed.

I received a copy of this book from the author for review.

What I loved the most about A Season of Transformation was that the “transformation” was not just focused on the supernatural abilities the teens develop.  It also encompassed the transformations that were taking place in their lives.  Makenna learned to truly humble herself and encouraged her mother and friends to do the same.  Lucas was able to allow himself to fully trust and love and let others into his lonely life.  Bonnie confided in her new friends and was able to get help for her father and truly open her bruised heart to love.  Each character is forced out of his or her comfort zone, where they begin to reexamine themselves and make important changes in different areas of their lives.  I think that is the essence of this book, and I believe that is the most important message the reader can gain. 

There were a couple times in the book that I had to stop and re-read and ask myself who exactly was talking.  I think Jayne switched the POV then, and it just threw me off for a minute.  If she were to change anything about the book, I think I would work on syncing up all the points-of-view and making everything flow more smoothly in that regard.  I also felt these shifts in POV and the changes in scene should have been separated more within the text.  For instance, we might be alone with Makenna in her bedroom one minute, and then right away in the next paragraph we are suddenly walking the high school halls chatting with Aliysha.  If there was just an extra space or something there to highlight the change, it would have made it easier to follow.  (I was reading this on my Kindle, so formatting issues could also be attributed to the type of file.)  Aside from these minor technical, easily fixed issues, I cannot criticize anything else about this read!

I have been truly honored to be allowed to read, review, and feature this novel.  Coming from a psychology background, I feel that Jayne can relate to the human feelings and interactions of the group better than most authors could.  I think it is a wonderful way to help teens realize that they can all too often be self-centered and judgmental of others through their own struggles and insecurities.  In that way I think the message of this book is if we can open ourselves up and accept others for what they truly are, rather than what they appear to be, we can overcome anything and work together to make the world a better place.