Dark Before Dawn

Rated 4.21/5 based on 14 reviews
When teen psychic Dawn Christian learns her new fortuneteller friends may be tied to freak “accidents” in town, she has an important choice to make – continue developing the talent that makes her special or challenge the only people who have ever accepted her. More

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About Stacy Juba

Stacy Juba got engaged at Epcot Theme Park and spent part of her honeymoon at Disneyland Paris, where she ate a burger, went on fast rides, and threw up on the train ride to the hotel. In addition to working on her new Storybook Valley chick lit/sweet romance series, Stacy has written books about ice hockey, teen psychics, U.S. flag etiquette for kids, and determined women sleuths. When she’s not visiting theme parks with her family, (avoiding rides that spin and exotic hamburgers) or writing about them, Stacy helps authors to strengthen their manuscripts through her Crossroads Editing Service. Get your FREE Storybook Valley Welcome Kit on her website.

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Sue Leonhardt reviewed on Jan. 26, 2014

I received a free download of "Dark Before Dawn" by Stacy Juba in exchange for an honest review. I really enjoyed this YA paranormal thriller, geared mostly for the teenage group but also would be enjoyed by any adult.

Dawn Christian, sixteen had moved from Boston, to Covington, Maine, and now was starting her junior year at a new high school. But Dawn suffered from premonitions, and her mom wanted her to just forget about her "feelings", and get on with her life and try to make friends. But she didn't fit in...she was different. Dawn's father died when she was in first grade, and her mom had remarried, Jeff, an editor at the Gazette, and now she had a stepbrother, Ken who was seventeen years old.

Eventually Dawn met two other girls at school, one who was totally devoted to her mentor/psychic, Serina, and one in training. Dawn is drawn into their group and hidden meetings. Sewrina had tried to turn them against their families.

But two people in the same school, both had been in accidents, best friends and both killed. Dawn had to decide what path she was going to take, a choice to continue developing her talent or go up against her only two friends.

The short chapter format briskly moves the story along. The story is well developed and the characters are human. A very enjoyable read.
(reviewed 14 days after purchase)
Katherine Eccleston reviewed on March 7, 2013

Dark Before Dawn focuses on Dawn, a 16 year old girl who is forced to move from Boston to Maine because of her mother's marriage. Not only does Dawn have to deal with a new family, a new house, and a new school but she also has psychic abilities that scare her and have isolated her. She tries to keep her psychic abilities a secret but when she has a vision of a classmate's death, she feels that she must warn him. Soon she is being teased and tormented by the cool kids. And when her vision comes true, his friends spread a rumor around school is that she is a witch and she caused his death. She is befriended by another girl at school who also has psychic abilities and is introduced to her mentor. But Dawn soon starts to question the mentor's teachings and finds herself wondering if her initial bad feeling about evil was right all along.
I absolutely loved this book and read it in one sitting. The story was well-written and fast paced. I was interested from the first page to the very last. I liked that even though this was a paranormal book, it was very realistic. The interactions between Dawn and her mother were something that any teen girl can relate to and understand. The high school relationships and cliques were pretty much how I remember high school being. And in some ways, Dawn and her friends reminded me of myself and my little group of high school friends (except for the psychic abilities).
This book is very appropriate for teens and young adults, especially those interested in the supernatural. It is also an enjoyable read for adults of all ages. I highly recommend that you put this on your TBR and that you check out Stacy Juba's other books.
(reviewed 5 days after purchase)
Chani Lynn Feener reviewed on Oct. 5, 2012

I'm pretty glad I signed up for this book on one of the Goodreads group R2R programs. It's not usually the type of story I'm into, one basically completely lacking in the romance department, however I found that the story carried my along so well that I barely even noticed the absence. Dawn is a psychic who doesn't understand her abilities or where they came from. She's constantly being cut down by her mother because of them, and told to stifle her powers. When she moves with her family to Covington (love the name) it doesn't really come as a big surprise that she meets up with other psychics. While the book doesn't have many twists or turns that aren't easily predicted, the flow of the story moves smoothly. Juba has a distinct voice which makes it easy to picture what's going on. I did still have a few issues with this book. One of them is something that Dawn thinks to herself, which is that she wonders what her life would have been like if her mom had died instead of her dad. That threw me. She's gullible, sure, otherwise she wouldn't have fallen for many of Serina's tricks, but she doesn't seem cruel. While that thought isn't necessarily horrible, it is still pretty bad, and we haven't seen her mom treat her nearly bad enough for her to think it. Another thing is the use of the word avenged towards the end. Serina avenged herself, not her enemies. Of course, these two things are just semantics, I just felt the need to mention them. Other then that the only real problems I had, again, was the obviousness of all of it, including the central plot arch, and the switch in POV. Sometimes we'd be in Dawn's head and then we'd get a glimpse into another characters. It was strange and jarring. That and the grammar, where tenses were constantly being switched so that I had to reread a sentence over again in order to figure it out. But the characters were all given distinct personalities and were well rounded. I could picture each one in my mind, and could decide which ones I would want to hang out with and which ones I wouldn't. This really helped pull me into the story. All in all, I'd give this a 4, and I would without a doubt read more by this author! I recommend this to anyone who wants a good paranormal story all about murders and manipulative psychics. :)
(reviewed 10 days after purchase)
Lauren Johnson reviewed on Sep. 29, 2012

Note: I have received this book by the author in exchange for an honest review.

Dark Before Dawn revolves around a high school girl named Dawn that has psychic abilities but has never had any training or any one to rely to help her explain her abilities or how to control and harness them. Moving to a new town would be hard for anyone but especially for Dawn who in the past has slipped up and been made fun of for her abilities. Not to mention that she has an un-supportive mother who just tries to ignore them. Dawn was a believable character and was extremely strong willed and moral.

The book overall was a pretty easy read that went by fast. The story goes into a lot of detail but somehow still manages to feel like the plot as a whole isn't that developed. I was left expecting there to be more of the story, maybe there will be a sequel?
(reviewed 3 days after purchase)
gaele hi reviewed on Sep. 28, 2012

When you compile the normal teen angst and the importance of ‘fitting in’ with the new kid in school, and one with psychic abilities to boot; you have the makings of an engaging and believable story. Dawn is the new girl in school, with a new step-father and step-brother, and the ability to predict the future. When she warns a student at school about his impending death – she ostracizes herself and becomes the butt of the mean girls sniping. As often happens in high school, those with similar interests tend to flock together for company and friendship. The two girls she encounters invite her to lessons with the local psychic, where they are being taught to manage and improve their skills. Or is it simple manipulation of a disturbed adult acting through the innocent? To learn more – you need to read this book.

I will say that the characters were well developed and believable, with tidbits of the psychic arts explained and detailed as the girls learned to manage their abilities. More ethical questions arise than one normally sees in a YA novel – Dawn’s inherent goodness and unwillingness to cause harm to people, even when she gains the ability to manipulate behavior is an interesting counterpoint to the psychic’s teachings. Strength comes not from what you are capable of doing, but perhaps that which you refrain from because it is ethically or morally wrong. A truly good read that engages from the first chapter and doesn’t let you go until the end. I would highly recommend this book to my daughter when she was 14 or 15, and certainly worth a solid 4 star rating.

I did receive an eBook copy from the author for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review, and all conclusions are my own responsibility. Review opportunity via Lovers of Paranormal, a goodreads group.
(reviewed 3 days after purchase)
CynDaVaz reviewed on Dec. 24, 2011

This is a book geared towards the YA audience, but I found it enjoyable nonetheless. It's well-written, with a decent plot and good character development. Recommended for those who enjoy paranormal novels.
(reviewed 22 days after purchase)
Laura Corbett reviewed on Dec. 16, 2011

I really enjoyed this book! Aimed towards the YA reader, but I am 50+ and enjoyed it as well. It was a quick read, but it told a complete story and the ending wasn't left open ended like other books I have read lately. I would definitely read more books by this author! Good job, Stacy!
(reviewed 40 days after purchase)
Tracey Steele reviewed on Dec. 16, 2011

Although this book is aimed at the YA reader it still has appeal for not so young adults, like myself. The characters are well written and the story flows smoothly, with an ever increasing build in tension. The plot is well thought out and it all ties in nicely without leaving the reader with questions irritatingly unanswered. I would definitely read more by this author and recommend her work to others.
(reviewed 22 days after purchase)
Angie Creech reviewed on Dec. 4, 2011

Dawn has always seen visions but her mother wants her to ignore them. After moving to a new town and a new school, Dawn meets two other girls who share her gifts. They introduce her to Serina, a woman who helps Dawn enhance her abilities. While Dawn is excited to feel accepted and learn about her gifts, there is something about Serina that doesn't feel quite right. Dawn must figure out Serina's plan before more people get hurt. A quick read and a very good book.
(reviewed 28 days after purchase)
J. Robert Ewbank reviewed on Dec. 1, 2011
(no rating)
Though I usually do not read teen books or books that are about psychics, I decided to read this one and I'm happy that I did. This book covers the problems that a teen girl has with the psychic abilities that she has and the abilities that others have. It covers the use and misuse of these talents. The story is interesting and keeps you reading to find out what happens to the characters. I enjoyed it.

J. Robert Ewbank author "John Wesley, Natural Man, and the 'Isms'"
(reviewed 22 days after purchase)

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