Author: Violet Lumani
Publication Date: 07/20/2021
Length: 416 pages
Read Date(s): 03/31/2021 – 04/03/2021
***Thank you to NetGalley and Uproar Books for providing a copy of the book for my fair and honest review!***
Cassie stares across the street in horror as a boy dies from being hit by a car. Except it didn’t really happen. She initially brushes it off as a manifestation of her OCD until she learns that she has the gift of scrying, seeing events that will happen in the future. Cassie then decides to spend the summer training to become a scryer as part of her effort to save the boy from the accident. Along the way, she makes her first friends since the death of her mother and gets pulled into political conspiracies while trying to cope with her OCD and grief.
What I Liked
The depiction of OCD in this book was spectacular. The author did an excellent job of providing a vivid picture of what it is like inside the head of someone with this disorder. As a therapist, I also enjoyed seeing the character use some of the most common therapeutic techniques often taught to clients with this disorder. Additionally, I just loved the premise of turning something that many people see as a liability into a superpower of sorts. This book did that very well. It did a great job of showing the potential impacts of grief on a family and friend system, as well. Seeing how Cassie began to open up despite her grief was one of my favorite things about the book. Overall, I was really impressed with the tackling of mental health topics in this book.
The idea of the ‘coil’ was a really interesting one. It provided the story with a perfect test for the main character. It made use of interesting imagery and mystery while requiring the characters to overcome their fears in an inventive way. It also provided a great obstacle to someone with OCD since completing the task successfully required control over one’s mind.
While a lot of the plot was predictable, there were some surprises at the end that I did not see coming, which makes me interested to see where the story goes. There were also surprises about some of the characters that I enjoyed, and I was happy to see some assumptions about particular characters turned on their head throughout the story. It helped to keep the story engaging.
What I Didn’t Like
Large parts of this book were nothing but an info dump. After Cassie started her training, there were countless descriptions of her learning stuff in class. It felt like I was sitting in the classroom with her, which is what I assume the author was going for. However, I wish the world-building would have been more organic and allowed me to learn about the world from the things happening to the character rather than being taught the information. And despite all the info dumps, I don’t feel like I know this world all that well. I still don’t understand the coil or the society of scryers much better than before starting the book.
The writing of the romance in this book made me cringe. The language used and the insta-love were annoying. And for the love of God, why did there have to be a love triangle. It was completely unnecessary and added nothing to this story.
This book was an enjoyable read that boldly tackled tough mental health topics in an imaginative and unique way. Despite the clunkiness of the world-building in numerous info dumps and the cringy romance, there was a lot to like. Therefore, I rate this book 3 out of 5 stars and recommend it for individuals interested in mental health, fantasy, or love triangles. 😁