Monday, 27 January 2014

Review: Scintillate by Tracy Clark

Title: Scintillate (The Light Key Trilogy #1)
Author: Tracy Clark
Release date: February 4th 2014
Publisher: Entangled Teen
Genre: Young Adult Paranormal
Format: eARC
Pages: 338
Source: Publisher

A mighty flame follows a tiny spark.

Cora Sandoval’s mother disappeared when she was five and they were living in Ireland. Since then, her dad has been more than overprotective, and Cora is beginning to chafe under his confines. But even more troubling is the colorful light she suddenly sees around people. Everyone, that is, except herself—instead, she glows a brilliant, sparkling silver.

As she realizes the danger associated with these strange auras, Cora is inexplicably drawn to Finn, a gorgeous Irish exchange student who makes her feel safe. Their attraction is instant, magnetic, and primal—but her father disapproves, and Finn’s mother orders him home to Ireland upon hearing he’s fallen in love. After a fight with her father, Cora flees to Ireland, both to follow Finn and to look for her missing mother.

There she meets another silver-haloed person and discovers the meaning of her newfound powers and their role in a conspiracy spanning centuries—one that could change mankind forever…and end her life.

Scintillate has an intriguing and unique premise that got me interested right from the start. It's definitely like no paranormal I've read before, and I really liked that. Plus, I found the connection to Irish culture really cool, since I don't know much about it and it's obviously very rarely focused on in YA. Scintillate is filled with action and suspense, just the way I like it.

Cora lives with her dad and stepmom in California, but she's always dreamed of going to her birth country, Ireland, where her mom was from. When Finn Doyle, an Irish exchange student, starts taking an interest in her, Cora sees the opportunity to learn more about her mother and even about herself. Because Cora knows she's different - she can suddenly see auras around people. And she's being stalked by a dangerous man with a pure white aura. Cora needs answers more than ever, and she decides to take matters into her own hands and travel to the place she was born, the one place she can find what she's looking for.

I liked Cora well enough, especially her independence. Although it does get her into a lot of trouble. She didn't stand out too much to me, though. I didn't feel like there was enough depth to her character, so hopefully it'll be explored more in the next book. I really didn't like Cora's dad. He's controlling and oppressive, under the guise of being protective. No wonder Cora left! I probably would have done the same after being lied to straight to my face so many times.

Cora's best friends were a nice addition to the book. One is her cousin Mari, who knows way more about fashion than Cora ever will. The other is a guy called Dun (funny name!). He's downright hilarious. We don't get to see too much of them since Cora runs off to Ireland soon, but I hope for more in the sequel. Especially since Cora detects a certain something between the two!

Speaking of a certain something, let's come to Finn. He's quite charming and really nice, nothing like what Cora thought he was in the beginning. And he's Irish, so he talks funny - which I found pretty amusing. And his singing and guitar playing? It blows everyone away! The guy has a serious talent for music. But he's keeping a secret, and Cora knows it but she has no idea how it could shatter everything she knows about Finn.

I kind of have mixed feelings about the romance. It's definitely insta-love, but it wasn't too annoying since there's a reason behind it, and behind the strong connection they feel to each other. Their feelings get a little too intense at times, especially Finn's, and that wasn't too appealing for me. Again, there's a reason, but I still felt iffy about it. Also, the feelings develop way too soon. The romance lacks build-up, and it disappointed me because that's usually my favourite part of a romance. We can see the beginnings of a possible love triangle here between Cora, Finn, and the guy Cora meets in Ireland - Giovanni, an Italian who's just like her. In the sense that he can see people's auras too, and his own is silver, like Cora's. I loved Giovanni, but I'm not a fan of love triangles, so that aspect of it wasn't too great.

I love the part in these books where we finally get to find out everything! And Scintillate's revealing moments are certainly captivating. The action scenes are great too, and I loved that I could see everything vividly happening in front of me. I haven't read a book that did that for quite a while, so I'm glad for it. There are a lot of shockers, like a good action-packed paranormal usually has, and those were done perfectly. Most of them you'll never see coming.

Despite the insta-love and overload of intensity in the romance, I enjoyed this book on the whole. My favourite parts were the ones without Finn present, so I guess that sums up my feelings about the two of them together. Though they have this undeniable connection, I think Giovanni would be a better guy for Cora to be with. And not just for the obvious reasons you'll find out later in the novel. He really gets her, even though they barely know each other. And his concern for her is really sweet. I did love the twists and turns in this book, and the writing completely drew me in. Tracy Clark's debut is definitely worth checking out.

*Thank you to Jaime at Entangled Publishing for providing me with an eARC for review*

Rating: 4/5


  1. Thank you so much for reading and reviewing! (You'll definitely see more of Mari and Dun in book 2!) I appreciate your time and comments! It's thrilling to know that people are actually reading my book! (Ya know, besides my best friends and family.) LOL

  2. Great review and I am excited about the rating! Thanks for stopping by and letting me know you did a review!
    Missie @ A Flurry of Ponderings


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