on July 26, 2014 :
The world is filled with unknown wonders. Some of us are lucky to see some of them. Others are fated to be part of them.
Juniper’s a senior in high school, and her life is as ordinary as it gets. She spends her school hours battling senioritis with her best friend, Carrie. Then she meets Darius, a guy she’s never really noticed before, and things get interesting. They have a connection she can’t explain…at least she thinks they do. She’s just not ready to trust her instincts.
With her senior photography project due in two weeks, one she hasn’t even started, Juni focuses on her schoolwork and stops procrastinating. Inspiration strikes, and she thinks of the perfect subject for her project. She has no way of knowing her choice will change her life forever, and nothing can prepare her for what follows.
I loved the premise of Normal is the Watchword. The story line moved forward without giving away an important part of the plot. The characters were driven by an instinctual need to discern right from wrong, find justice and make amends. These are all laudable character traits and give plenty of room for conflict.
For me personally, the opening page rocked, but the story started slow. A huge bit of back story front-loaded the novel, the first active dialogue came on page 10, and heavy narration marked the book’s tone. Decisions made by both Juni and Darius were inconsistent with emotions, dangerous and implausible. Yes, they are teenagers, but both are intelligent characters and more should have been expected from them, not less.
While I would have enjoyed more character depth, enough was given for me to like the characters. I am interested in seeing how things progress in Loyalty (Watchword #2) between the good and bad guys, and especially between Juni and Darius.
*author ecopy provided for honest review
(reviewed 9 days after purchase)