by Erin Cashman
ARC Provided by Publisher via TLC Book Tours
Published Date: February, 2012
Publisher: Holiday House
Book Format: Hardback; pp 236
Age Demographic: Young Adult
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Born into a famous family of exceptionally talented people, 15-year-old Claire Walker has deliberately chosen to live an average life. But everything changes the night of the Spring Fling, when her parents decide it's high time she transferred to Cambial Academy--the prestigious boarding school that her great-grandfather founded for students with supernatural abilities.
Summary taken from Goodreads.
In The Exceptionals, Claire Walker was born into an exceptionally talented and well known family. Her grandfather, founded the prominate and prestigious bording school, Cambial, for those gifted with "special" talents. She has chosen to ignore her "gift," in favor of being a normal teen, since there is no way for her to prove it, but when things go wrong the night of Spring Fling her parents make the decision to transfer her to cambial. It was refreshing to see that the students of Cambial aren't of the paranormal variety as is the case in most books like these in young adult fiction. They can utilize the different regions of their brains to develop their "specials," which is an interesting and appealing concept to the reader.
Erin Cashman, slowly develops a wonderful and highly captivating blend of fantasy, element of surprise, and romance with this enjoyable novel. The mystery of this story really starts to take place as Claire's friends begin to disappear and she has to use her power to discover where they are. It was an intriguing way to not only develop her character and give her a sense of purpose, but to also begin to unravel the suspsense and raise the intensity of the novel as well. It was also endearing to witness Claire's self-discovery in learning to believe in herself and never doubt her own "special." Watching her begin to slowly come alive and learning to trust her basic instincts by coming into her own was heart warming and just as interesting as the mystery on a more personal note.
While certain bits of the story or slight character development mishaps might have occurred or fallen a bit flat, the book was definitely a fun and interesting read. At times, it just seemed as if a few of the more pertinant details could have been explained nearer to the beginning of the story, rather than having the loose ends tied up a bit later on, so readers could understand the story being told and the why behind certain actions that occurred a little better. However, putting all of that aside, I think the best thing about this novel is the illustration that nothing and no one is perfect. We all possess flaws and are human in our errors to a degree. I definitely think that Erin Cashman is a young adult author that readers will want to keep an on, as she begins to write more and her stories only get better and better from here. She seems to be a promising new young adult author, with a wonderful sense of writing style, imagination, and the integrity to pull it out with no stops.
This book was received from Holiday House via TLC Book Tours, in exchange for an honest review which I have provided. No money exchanged hands, I review books for fun because I love to read. I am not interested in monetary gain.