Ok, so...when I started, I was like, "Oooo yay!!" And after the first four chapters, I couldn't bring myself to read anymore. I couldn't connect with Main Character. I also felt the writing was sporadic. Just in those four chapters. I really had high hopes, and since I have what's there so far as a series, to this date, in paperback, I'm pretty sure I'm going to go back and try and re-read this. So, here's to hoping.
At first glance, Born at Midnight falls into the same well-worn paths as many stories before. The main character, Kylie, finds herself at a summer camp where she discovers that she may not be human, and instead has special powers. Surrounded by vampires, werewolves, witches and the Fae, Kylie isn't normal but also isn't like the other supernaturals. This book is her quest into learning who she is and growing to accept the new world around her.
Stories about magic camps and magic schools, where characters discover that they aren't "normal" or maybe even human, are growing more and more popular because it is a good vehicle for a coming of age tale. Some are better done than others, however, and Born at Midnight is one of the good ones. It's fun, the characters are multi-dimensional, and the author has obviously put a lot of time and thought into this world she's created.
I haven't been reading for leisure lately. Lots of homework and obligations now that I'm a Junior in high school. Reading just didn't feel fun anymore. Fortunately, my amazing book-nerd friend threw this paperback novel at me a week ago. And not wanting to disappoint her and trusting her good tastes, I picked up and began to read this book one night. And I was hooked, "line and sinker" they would say. I would read it whenever I had a reprieve, right after I finished classwork in class, while I was eating my dinner... Not even my iPhone could compete with this beautifully written YA novel. The language was a little too simplistic for my taste but otherwise, it's perfect. I'm looking forward to reading the next book in the series.
C.C. Hunter’s Shadow Falls: The Beginning is an interesting tale about a camp for supernaturals reminiscent of James Howe’s The Misfits.
The main character, Kylie Galen, is a wishy-washy teen on a quest of self-discovery. Naturally, there are the usual elements in these stories. She doesn’t quite fit in at school. She has the usual ex-boyfriend who dumped her because she wouldn’t put out. And, she has the best friend she can tell almost everything. But, that’s all that’s normal about Kylie and her story. She sees things that no one else does. And, it’s this anomaly that ultimately lands her at Camp Shadow Falls.
Normals aren’t aware that the camp is a front for supernaturals. But, these aren’t just any supernaturals. They are teens who are trying to understand and accept their uniqueness. And, that’s the premise of Hunter’s story–learning to accept yourself and all your quirks.
Shadow Falls is also a story about friendship. Kylie was against being at the camp until she started making friends. Della, a vampire, and Miranda, the resident witch, become her new best friends. Kylie had to learn to look past her hangups–Della is cold to the touch and drinks cups of blood–in order to find people who would do anything for her.
I have to admit I didn’t like Kylie in Book One. She seemed whiny and overly concerned about not wanting to be supernatural. Once she started to accept herself, Kylie became more interesting. Surprisingly, her gifts started to surface quickly. That’s kind of how life works–self-acceptance allows you to live your life fully.
By the end of Book Two, Kylie’s true supernatural nature is still a mystery. Her relationships with Derek and Lucas are also questionable. But, Kylie is no longer iffy. She is stronger and determined.
C.C. Hunter’s Shadow Falls is a well-written tale about self-discovery. If you subtract the supernatural element, you are left with an intriguing story about teens coming of age.