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Elle began writing Contemporary Fantasy in a desperate attempt to escape short, dark and wet Seattle days. Left-handed and hopelessly right-brained, Elle continues to survive the Pacific Northwest winters by communing with the characters in her head. She prefers her leading ladies sharp, her heroes flawed and her values tested by conflict.
When she’s not writing, Elle is usually reading, shopping, drawing, or sewing. Her weaknesses include coffee, Steampunk jewelry, and handbags. She’s been known to discuss a character or two as though they were a real person; her friends and family are lovingly tolerant of her ‘quirkiness.’
Connect with Elle online for random musings, stuff that inspires her and questions that rattle around in her head, as well as exclusive content and updates on her future books.
on Sep. 18, 2011 :
While YA paranormal titles are dominated by werewolves, vampires, angels and witches, in Shift the protagonist, Leah has inherited the ability to change her physical appearance at whim. It's a fresh idea that offers something different in the genre.
The detailed blurb summarises the storyline well. It's a well conceived plot and a solid introduction to the series, establishing the main characters and the rules of their world.
The story is told from the point of view of seventeen year old Leah and most of the conflict in the story is emotional as Leah learns to accept her genetic heritage as a shape-shifter. Slower to accept her new circumstances than I would have liked, initially I was concerned that Leah's anxiety and confusion after discovering her ability would define her character. Thankfully the author fairly swiftly moved Leah past her denial and allowed her to explore her new skills. Leah naturally has to make some big adjustments as a shape-shifter and I liked how the author explored both the emotional and social implications Leah was confronted with. Leah finds herself thinking with an Us vs Them mentality which she has to try and reconcile with her desire for nothing to change. The new aspect of her identity also changes her relationship with her best friend which Leah struggles with even as she makes new friends in fellow shape-shifters Ferris and Drake.
The romance that develops between Leah and Drake has a touch of soul mate magic but it works within the context of the story. It's quite sweet really however the relationship is a mature one, and while handled well by the author, it may not be appropriate for younger teens.
The story really only hints at the threat of rogue shape-shifters. There is if not exactly a cliffhanger, then a somewhat abrupt, conclusion to Shift and I expect that particular arc will be more fully explored in the sequel.
Shift is an entertaining paranormal series debut balanced with a coming of age story that older teens can identify with. Well written and original I was frankly surprised at how engaging I found it. If you enjoy young adult novels with a paranormal twist then Shift may be just what you are looking for.
(reviewed 6 months after purchase)
on May 23, 2011 :
Definitely a page-turner with discovery around every corner, this book introduces a new player in the fantasy character arena.
(reviewed the day of purchase)
on May 15, 2011 :
Welcome to a world where people might not be all they seem. Welcome to a world where storm clouds are gathering on the horizon.
Welcome to the world of seventeen-year-old Leah, who's just discovered that she's not like the others. Not like them at all.
Leah has a secret, a secret that if it got out would have her hunted down and then who knows… A secret that others have carried through time and now it's hers; she's a shifter.
Elle Beauregard has created a wonderful, timeless coming-of-age adventure in which a young girl reaches seventeen and discovers a secret that will change her life forever. She can't be who she was, that life is gone forever. However her new life offers possibilities as well as pains that the old one never could; a connection with a boy as perfect as Drake King for starters. Well crafted and edited, this book sets the bar for indie publishing to aspire to.
If the vampire genre is now getting a bit stale - this story will grab you and keep you hooked until the last page!
(reviewed 25 days after purchase)