Illuminate-Alive, She Cried
by Jamie Haden
I can’t really write a proper review because I was not able to finish this book. I only got to 24% on the eBook. This is the second book in the Talisa Santiago series so I think that starting with this one contributed to my inability to finish. I felt like I had come in the middle of a conversation.
Illuminate-Alive is about a girl named Talisa Santiago who has some kind of spiritual power. I am not quite sure what. She is called a Spirit Seeker (title of first book) with beliefs steeped in Native American culture. She has three “blood” brothers who have sworn to protect her. In this book, she has already acquired her powers but she needs to know what they mean and how to use them. She and her blood brothers go to a remote Native American community in the mountains not only to learn about her ability but also to escape some group that wants her dead because of her ability. And that was as far as I got.
I did not like Talisa very much. She is needy and indecisive. She leans too much on her “blood” brothers for validation. Also, I did not like how she spoke to or about her mother. She is disrespectful to her mom before she leaves and then spends the remainder of the time wishing her mother is there with her. She also seems to be in the heat of puberty because every single guy she meets turns her eye. It is even pitting two of the “blood” brothers against each other.
As a YA book I was concerned about the level of alcohol drinking and other “behaviors” by these “under-aged” characters. There is also a pregnancy issue going on that I was uncomfortable with. (Guess I’m a prude.) Although if you read the book, you come to find out that some of them only “seem” under-age. Which brings me to the fact that there is a part I read about the “blood” brothers’ origins which just came out of nowhere to me. One minute they’re talking about leaving home for the mountain community and then it launches into a history of the “blood” brothers that was all spooky and cryptic, speaking in a somewhat prophetic tone. It threw me. It was so narrative that their conversation sounded staged.
So I will have to read the first book in the series, Spirit Seeker, before I can form a proper opinion. But right now, although the concept seems interesting, the book was dragging a bit and Talisa’s I’m-confused-who-I-love and low self-esteem personality are sounding a bit too familiar. It may be a while before I pick up Spirit Seeker.