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Dark Before Dawn by Stacy Juba
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Dark Before Dawn

by Stacy Juba

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Sixteen-year-old Dawn Christian has recently moved to Covington, Maine to live with her new family - her mother, stepfather and seventeen-year-old stepbrother. Moving to a new town can be difficult for anyone, but for Dawn it has been particularly stressful. Having lost her father at the age of seven, it's just been herself and her mom since then - or at least it was until her mother remarried and they moved in with her new husband and his son. Dawn is actually settling in fairly well - getting along with her new stepfather and stepbrother, getting used to being in a new school, doing her best to fit in with the crowd.

However, not everything is as it seems: Dawn and her mother have shared a secret with each other ever since she was a little girl. Dawn has always had the ability to predict certain events - from the benign to the horrific - and these premonitions of hers usually come true. In an effort to protect her daughter, Dawn's mother has told her to never reveal her abilities to anyone - and Dawn has always done her best to follow that advice. Yet, she can't help but still feel like an outsider.

That feeling begins to dissipate slightly when she meets two girls - Candace and Jamie - who apparently share her mysterious talents. Dawn's new friends may help her to fit in, but when she is introduced to a woman who Candace calls her 'psychic mentor' - a fortuneteller by the name of Serina - Dawn feels that she has finally found the place where she belongs.

Serina is a striking woman; confident and warm. She is also willing to teach Dawn how to develop her abilities; telling her that she has no reason to hide something that makes her so special. After spending so many years feeling like a misfit, Dawn appreciates the acceptance that she found among her new friends. However, when a series of bizarre incidents start happening around town, Dawn becomes troubled.

While the strange incidents initially seem harmless, Dawn suspects that her new friends may be involved in some of these ominous occurrences. She doesn't want to believe that they could possibly have done anything harmful; but as time passes and each situation grows increasingly more dangerous - she can't be entirely certain that this isn't the case. Jamie and Candace just may have ties to several of these freak accidents, and Dawn knows that she has an important decision to make.

She realizes that she is standing at a crossroads in her life: should she continue developing the talents that make her special, or walk away from her new friends entirely. Dawn isn't quite sure if she has the strength to do so, but she knows that there may come a time when she needs to challenge the only people who have ever accepted her. She only hopes that she will survive the encounter.

First of all, I want to say that I really enjoyed reading this book. The story reminded me so much of Carrie by Stephen King - which was also a book that I enjoyed reading. Having said that, I must say that the characters in Dark Before Dawn by Stacy Juba seemed to me to be slightly less isolated from each other - less insulated from the world around them. The story was fast-paced and well-developed, and I was drawn into the action right from the beginning. I would give this book an A! ( )
  rubyandthetwins | Feb 11, 2017 |
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.
( )
  IamIndeed | Mar 29, 2013 |
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?

Also on http://lrjohnson13.blogspot.com/2012/10/dark-before-dawn-by-stacy-juba.html ( )
  wolfangel87 | Oct 30, 2012 |
A very good story about psychic abilities and dark secrets. Dawn goes through a transition that makes her a different person and brings her closer to those around her. It has been a long time since I was out of high school, but I can remember the teasing and bullying that occurred. Yet, I found the constant theme of bullying and being different to be a bit tiresome. Otherwise, I found the book to be a good read, and I felt the author did her research when it came to the psychic, meditation, and crystal parts of the book. ( )
  LeleliaSky | Feb 24, 2012 |
I enjoyed this book very much! Geared to the YA crew, yet I am 50+ and enjoyed the book as well. Right blend of coming of age and delving into the supernatural. Also strong story line of the main character dealing with using her special gift for good or evil! I would recommend! A quick read that leaves you satisfied! ( )
  Laura_Corbett | Dec 27, 2011 |
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Stacy Juba chatted with LibraryThing members from Jan 10, 2011 to Jan 17, 2011. Read the chat.

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