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Not Quite Ordinary (Darkness Nears Trilogy,…
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Not Quite Ordinary (Darkness Nears Trilogy, Book 1)

by Ariana Knight

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I really liked reading this novel despite the fact that there were a few things that caught my attention, it makes me excited to read the rest of the novels that follow this one and hopefully after I finish my review books, I will be able to get the rest of the books. It makes me excited to post this review for the fact that I enjoyed this story.

The main character of this novel, Sarah, is a great asset with all of her flaws but can be also a hindrance to the story. Her greatest flaw as a person in this story is the fact that she believes that she is ordinary because of how everyone views her and what everyone tells her. This is what makes her relatable and lovable because everyone can see themselves in her throughout her struggles. But in writing, the main character is supposed to be larger than life and in that, take you away from all of your problems that surround you. So, honestly, it depends on the reader and I honestly enjoy a bit of both.

Secondly, I enjoyed the minor characters including the bad guys and people like her best friends. I start with the bad guys. The way that they are portrayed within the story is uniquely interesting because unlike in most stories where the bad guys are obviously bad, you are forced to call into question everyone and every relationship she has. Now with the minor characters, I enjoyed the diversity in their attitudes and attributes. I liked that her best friends were so completely different and that not everyone got along.

The dialog was lacking though. It was at times hard to follow and seemed disjointed from the narrative, making some of it seem childish. What the dialog lacked, the narrative made up for it.

Now, I am a sucker for a good family life within a novel whether it gets better through out the novel or starts that way and ends differently. So when I began this story I was saddened to find another family who is broken, another teen mistreated by the parents who swore to protect her at birth. As the story progressed, I was glad to see a growing relationship between her father and herself because it is rare to find any story in the YA genre with that ingredient.

Lastly, this is not really a bad thing because I really wish that this story was longer because I felt that some key parts were barely grazed. The thing I really wished had been put into greater detail was the time spent with her grandma because I would’ve loved to read what she learned about. Like what was it like when she did her first potion or when she first did something wrong?

All and all, a great read. Worthwhile for anyone who likes the YA genre. ( )
  BailsChris | Jan 13, 2013 |
Sarah is a teenager with a typical life, typical parents and typical friends, she struggles to make a place for herself in her world when she realizes her father is keeping a secret from her. That secret leads to major changes in Sarah's life. In "Not Quite Ordinary" Sarah finds a 'long lost' relative, discovers she is extraordinary, learns new skills and survives vicious attacks all while improving her relationship with her family and friends.

Target audience: 10-17 read old girls and adolescents who are struggling to find their own identity.

The first book in the series, in my opinion it could have been longer, but for the target audience it was a great length. Looking forward to where the series takes us.

It does contain witchcraft and references to Wicca. ( )
  brie867 | Jan 19, 2012 |
Good book which kept your interest, enjoyed reading it. ( )
  roadway2000 | Jan 9, 2012 |
Sarah knows there's something up with her family, but she would never have guessed exactly how un-ordinary they all are until she starts to seek out her estranged grandmother...

I loved the mystery as Sarah tries to figure out what's going on, and the way her relationship with everyone in her family changes as she learns more. The slow build of learning and the way knowledge brings her closer to others is beautifully written.

My one complaint is that after all this build up and preparation, the action at the end felt almost forced, and I didn't like how it resolved and then un-resolved for a cliff-hanger. Why not just cut before they're fully resolved if you want to pull us along to the next book? The perils of chopping a long story into several volumes, I guess!

But despite not loving the way book 1 ended, I enjoyed the story, loved the characters and I'm looking forwards to more discovery and action in the next volume. ( )
  terriko | Jan 4, 2012 |
Not Quite Ordinary is the story of a 15 year old girl who discovers that she is the descendant of a powerful family of witches and that a prophecy was made that several hundred years ago that she would save the world from the evil witches. It was a quick and relatively enjoyable read. I would recommend it for younger readers, but not as much for adults due to the thin plot line and lack of detail. ( )
  wiwi69 | Jan 3, 2012 |
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Sarah, the most ordinary of ordinary girls, is thrown into a world she never dreamed could exist. After discovering a stack of hidden letters from an estranged grandmother, she learns an extraordinary secret - her family comes from a long line of powerful witches. She finds herself caught up in a world of sorcery and danger - a world where she is surprisingly gifted. Sadly, her newfound confidence is shattered after tragedy strikes, and she must decide whether to continue her practice of witchcraft, or return to her painfully ordinary, but safe life.
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