Monday, June 3, 2013

Book Review of Culture Shock

Book Review of Culture Shock
 Sponsored by Enchanted Book Tours  

Welcome to Books, Books, and More Books.  I am pleased to share this book with you.  Thank you for visiting and please come again.

Title: Culture Shock
Author: Jeanette Pekala
Genre: YA Paranormal

Blurb : 

CULTURE SHOCK is a witty tale of mystery and romance with a large helping of southern hospitality.

Macy Holmes is a seventeen-year-old socially-isolated introvert since her best friend's death a year ago. When her family decides to move from Manhattan to the quaint country town of Bougainvillea, Florida, Macy finds she's in a completely different world. Macy is no longer the outsider hiding behind designer clothes when she is sought out by three strange students, one of whom she is particularly interested in. The more time she spends with Chad the more things don't add up. When his true identity is finally revealed, Macy is pulled into a supernatural society with its saturation of inhabitants residing in Bougainvillea.

You would think she has enough on her plate, but no, then her dreams become infiltrated by an external magical force, Macy and her band of supernatural misfits must find the culprit behind the magic-induced nightmares. They must dodge zombie assassins, shifty shape-shifters and high school bullies in order to stop this perpetrator before Macy, her friends or her parents pay the ultimate price. Especially when Macy has the sneaking suspicion that these dreams are reality...
About the Author:

After finishing her degree in Sociology from the University of Florida, Jeanette Pekala had no idea what she wanted to do with her life.
While her husband was deployed overseas, she focused on what she loved to do, write, where she has finally found an outlet for her overactive imagination.
 She lives a not so normal life just a wee bit north of Bougainvillea where she resides with her husband and two children working on Shock Wave, book 2 in the Culture Shock Series.


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Nadya loved her life. She was a daughter of a family who loved her. She traveled to different countries, terrains, and regions spreading joy and hope to others. She was part of a band of musicians and herbalists who moved around never staying in one place. She loved the different cultures and colors of the people she would meet. The strange cultures were a mystery to her, a secret she would always want to unlock. Each night, she and her family would perform on a wooden platform stage, which unfolded from their carriage. Performing each night and sleeping in large tents. They traveled with other families as well, some sold goods, food, herbs among other things.
An eccentric foreign man visited their settlement one day and had ushered her parents into their tent. Nadya couldn’t resist, she had to hear what this peculiar man would say. He looked like he came from money, but in a roundabout way. You can tell by his rude manners and the gaudiness of his dress. It was like he was advertising his wealth instead of just being confident in it. Nadya put her ear up to the thick canvas of her family’s tent. “She’s a pretty one, she is.” An English accent. “Oye could pay a pretty penny for ‘er. She’d make you rich and me even richer.”
“Oh, I don’t know, Stefan?” Nadya’s mother addressed her father. What could they be talking about?
“We need the money. She’s nothing but dead weight. We can barely feed ourselves. You say she’ll have a good life. The States, right?”
“Yes. She will be a United States Citizen in a week’s time. She will have a good life. You 'ave me word.” He said it so flourishingly that Nadya figured he bowed at the end of it, as her family band does at the end of a performance.
There was silence for a while, then Nadya heard her father speak. “Alright then, it is settled. How may we be in contact with her? Is there an address I may have of yours so I may contact my daughter?”
“Of course, 'ere’s me card,” the man said. His voice was definitely English but it was in a businessman’s sly sales voice. Almost slithering like a snake. She’d heard others from their traveling band speak like that when they were hustling patrons. Nadya didn’t like him from the start. She heard rustling in the tent and scurried away to avoid detection.
“Nadya! Nadya!” her father bellowed through the camp.
Nadya came from behind the tent from which her father came. He was with the strange man, “Nadya. There you are. I have someone I’d like you to meet. Mr. Oliver, this is our daughter, Nadya. Nadya, this is Oliver, you will be leaving with him.”
“Father? What do you mean leaving?” Nadya could hear her heart pounding faster in her chest, could hear it now in her ears. She felt a little nauseous to be in the presence of this horrid man whom was sickening to her.
“Nadya, as you know, we can barely feed ourselves and times are tough. We can no longer afford to keep you. You must leave. Mr. Oliver has offered to pay a handsome price for you. He will bring you to the States; you will be with a good rich family. You’ll be away from the prejudice of our kind. You will grow up well fed and able to make your own choices. Live in freedom, the American dream.”
Nadya felt bile rise in her throat. This can’t be happening. She’s been sold. “Father, no! Please don’t,” Nadya begged falling to her knees. Crying out, “please, I am already free, please don’t make me leave with him, please, I’ll be good, I’ll make more money, please, please, please”. The last few words fading into a whispering sob. Nadya heard her mother cry out now from the tent. She was as hysterical as herself. Why would they do this to her? She was nothing but a child, barely sixteen.
“Pack yer things now, girl, straight away,” Mr. Oliver said without making eye contact.
Nadya’s father gave her a kiss on her forehead and said, “please don’t cry my darling, we will be in touch. We shall visit each other one day. Go now, see your mother”.
Her mother was crying. Tears were streaming down her face like someone had opened a faucet. Her mother couldn’t even look at her. “I’m so sorry my dear, we have to, I’m sorry. Here,” was all she said. She handed Nadya a book. A thick leather bound book, with parchment pages and handwritten passages. Nadya took the book and her mother patted her hand gently, “Now go. You must leave right away. Take this with you,” she pointed to the book. “It will give you strength when you feel you have none.” She kissed her daughter on both sides of her cheeks. “Go, go, go,” she cried. As Nadya left her family’s tent for the last time, she heard her mother’s whines and wails growing worse and worse with each step Nadya took. She, herself was crying.
The man stepped up and said, “I’ve grabbed yer things, let’s go”. He grabbed her by her arm and dragged her. The force with which he used on her arm, made pain shoot up and sting. I thought he was supposed to take care of me. She got a terrible feeling at that point, this was no friendly trade. She was going to an awful place and there was nothing she could do. She had remembered hearing stories of girls being bought from their families and sold into slavery. She had heard that these girls were thrown into a life of sex or hard labor and never heard from again. She had an odd feeling that that’s where she was headed.
She started kicking and screaming, anything to escape this man with his plans and his hand that was digging harder into her upper arm, making it bleed. “No, let me go, let me go, mother, father, please, help please.” She could see her father in the distance standing in front of their tent. He had a grim look on his face, but all he did was nod and turn to enter the tent through the canvas flaps. He was gone. Her life, as she knew it, as she loved it, was gone.


So my favorite thing about fantasy novels is the whole “what if it was real?” dreaming you can do while reading them.  That’s what this book is about.  A big city New York girl move to the tiny Southern home of her mother.  She is totally out of place.  They are Wranglers and t-shirts and she is Dolce Gabbana and Louis Vuitton.  She is also totally lost since she lost her best and only friend.  Now her parents are acting stranger and gone all the time.  She is having odd dreams about people she doesn’t know.  She finally made friends and turns out they are not what you think.  In fact, they are like the start of a really bad “so A, B, and C walk into a bar” joke.

            Her new friends turn out to be a fairy princess, a werewolf, and a vampire.  (Doesn’t that just sound like a really bad joke… “So a fairy princess, a werewolf, and a vampire walk into a diner…).  Anyway, if that’s not enough of a culture shock, someone wants her dead, and she doesn’t know why.

            Fabulous book.  I loved that it was set in a “normal” town and that they whole ‘supes’ think was just kept quiet around the ‘norms’ for the sake of normalcy.  I give this book 4 out of 5 clouds and can’t wait for book 2.

This product or book may have been distributed for review; this in no way affects my opinions or reviews.

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