Age Group: Young Adult
Release Date: February 1, 2014
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Everyone has a past, but for most it isn’t as long ago as Seth Sangre. His past is literally thousands of years ago. Seth’s life led him to the present seeking something that might help him save his country from destruction. He has been in the present for over three years now and just found exactly what he has been looking for
Mari had dreams that college will be a fresh start, one where she would start over and not fall for the good looking player like high school. Unfortunately for her, that’s exactly what ends up falling into her lap on the first day she moves into the dorms. Now she has to hold to her promise to herself and not fall for the handsome Seth.
But he doesn’t plan to make it easy for her. Seth has already marked her as his next conquest. As the semester progresses, Mari learns that Seth might just have a life of his own that’s actually from the past. Suddenly Mari finds her future along with her past put into question.
She’s connected to Seth far more than she ever wanted to be and maybe the player isn’t who she thought he was. If Mari can trust her heart enough to follow him, Seth will lead Mari on an adventure of a lifetime and reveal family secrets she never knew existed
I knew that I would end up liking "Carnelian" when I first signed up to do a review for it, but I had no idea how much I would come to love the book. It was one of those books that instantly hooked me in and I didn't want to put it down until it was finished. It only took me a little over a day to finish (it would have been less if I didn't have to go and do that stupid thing called "work"), and I'm already excitedly anticipating book two.
Our book starts with the main character, Mari, starting her first day of her first year of college. She's on her own in a new place, and not even her mother is there to make sure she's settled (her mother and grandfather that they live with were called away on business). Mari is sitting outside reading a book, when an attractive guy literally falls into her lap, since he fell asleep and slumped over into her personal space. She carefully eases herself away, but that isn't the last time she sees or deals with Mr. Narcolepsy.
The sleeping hottie turns out to be our lead male character, Seth. And right from the beginning, he is convinced that Mari is the right one for him. One of the big things that I liked about this book was that Mari didn't automatically swoon for Seth. Yes, she has eyes and is the first to admit that he is good looking, but she doesn't want to end up as just another notch on a bedpost. Because of a conversation she accidently overheard, Mari's first impression of Seth is that he's a player and she's reluctant to let anything happen there.
Mari's reluctance was a great thing for me. In so many YA books, the girl automatically falls for the good looking, mysterious guy at school, whether she knows him or not. However, in "Carnelian" Mari is given the opportunity to get to know Seth as a friend and as a person instead of just being, ‘Yeah, I love him, he's so pretty’. I liked it, and believe that their getting to know each other gave some needed depth to the characters.
Another thing that sets "Carnelian" apart from other books is the supernatural element that is involved. Instead of being a vampire or a werewolf or witch, Seth is actually from another time. He and his brothers time traveled to Mari's world, and that's what makes them so different. The time traveling thing was something that's not overplayed in YA Paranormal Romance and it proved to be an interesting read.
One thing that was kind of weird and seemed off in the story was the game that the college was playing called CRUSH.
There were a few scenes of Mari and her friends doing the different tasks, but they didn't do much to push the overall story forward. As a result, they just seemed out of place. Even though there was some cute interaction between Mari and Seth during the CRUSH events, I think that the story wouldn't actually lose anything if those scenes were cut.
Even though there were some minor flaws, overall, I really enjoyed reading "Carnelian". The characters were likable (especially Seth's brother, Ty who's just one of the most loveable people ever), and the story was interesting and a new change of pace to read. I would definitely recommend it.
Originally from Wisconsin, B. Kristin currently resides in Ohio with her husband, two small children, and three cats.
When not doing the mom thing of chasing kids, baking cookies, and playing outside, she is using her PhD in biology as a scientist. In her free time she is currently hard at work on multiple novels.
Every day is a new writing adventure. She is a fan of all YA/NA fantasy and science fiction.