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Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Book Review: Grey (The Romany Outcasts Series, Book 1) by Christi J. Whitney

This has unique elements and is an engaging story.
Grey (The Romany Outcasts Series, Book 1)
by Christi J. Whitney
  • File Size: 1302 KB
  • Print Length: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Harper Voyager (April 30, 2015)
  • Sold by: HarperCollins Publishers
  • ASIN: B00MT9E66E
  • Genre: Paranormal, YA
  • My Rating: 4.25 of 5.0

Book Description
Publication Date: April 30, 2015
Sebastian Grey dreams of a girl. But when she turns up at school, Sebastian realizes that this isn’t your average teenage fantasy.
Sebastian Grey always thought he was a fairly normal teenager – good friends, decent grades, and a pretty sweet job in his foster brother’s tattoo shop.
But when strangers arrive in town, Sebastian soon realizes that his world is nothing at all what it seemed. Secretive gypsies surround him, shadowy figures stalk him, and the girl he’s been dreaming about turns up at school.
Now Sebastian must protect this girl at all costs, even if it means he will never be normal again.

Sebastian has always been a quiet young man who has tried to lead a normal life. He enjoys his friends at school and looks forward to apprenticing at his foster brother’s tattoo shop. It doesn’t bother him that he doesn’t remember his life before he was adopted by a couple who left him with the elder ‘brother’, Hugo. But he is bothered by some strange dreams of a gypsy girl whom he struggles to protect.

Sebastian is startled when the girl of his dreams, Josephine, shows up at school and his compulsion to protect her intensifies. He is also troubled because his body is changing as though he is sick and his emotions have become strangely volatile. Hugo and his tattoo partners are keeping a close eye on him and finally explain to Sebastian that they are gypsies and that Sebastian has an important role in the family. They tell him to stay away from Josephine who is from a different clan, but they won’t give him more details.

The story has a bit of Romeo and Juliet family animosity, plus some other Shakespearean similarities that are well used. At first I found the teenage angst a bit trying but fortunately there are surprising elements in the story that kept my attention. I was frustrated that no one would talk straight with Sebastian even as they all wanted to manipulate him for their own uses. This works to keep Sebastian at odds, not knowing who he can trust when he most needs friends. Ms. Whitney manages to pull the reader into an emotional commitment with Sebastian. The romance with Josephine is a bit one sided considering she has a pre-arranged mate/boyfriend who, or course, takes an immediate dislike to Sebastian. But Josephine does seem to sense a special connection with Sebastian.

The writing flows well and I really enjoyed the unique issues of Sebastian’s character and circumstances. The author has presented a creative story and I will be interested to follow how Sebastian copes with his future challenges. I recommend this to readers who like a creative paranormal and are comfortable with some YA issues.

I received this title through NetGalley from the author for an honest review as part of Pump Up Your Book Tour. This is part of my NetGalley Challenge.

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Christi J. Whitney is a former high school theatre director with a love for the arts. She lives just outside Atlanta with her husband and two sons. When not spending time with them or taking a ridiculous number of trips to Disney World, she can be found directing plays, making costumes for sci-fi/fantasy conventions, obsessing over Doctor Who, watching superhero movies, or pretending she’s just a tad bit British.
Her latest book is the young adult urban fantasy novel, Grey(The Romany Outcasts Series, Book 1).
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