Outshine by Nola Decker

Today I am taking part in the Outshine Blog Tour thanks to Sage’s Blog Tours! For more information about the author there are multiple links below for you to check out!

Author Bio

AuthorPicNola Decker is the only writer in Seattle who doesn’t drink coffee. She makes up for her happy and healthy childhood by writing stories in which terrible things happen to young people. She loves salted caramel anything and Fridays.

 

 

Published: 11th April 2014
Goodreads badgePublisher: 7 Sparks Press
Pages: 324
Format: ebook
Genre: Young Adult/Science Fiction
★   ★   ★   ★   ★  – 5 Stars

When agoraphobic Gabe and his outgoing nemesis Jessa go on a moonlit road trip to locate Gabe’s missing brother, the two teens discover they are both hiding unnatural abilities: Gabe is a living lie detector and Jessa is a kick-ass powerhouse pretending to be a delicate diva.

Gabe’s sole reason for searching for Watts, his hot-tempered younger brother, is to clear his own name: he’s been framed for Watts’ alleged murder. Jessa is after Watts because she is, well, after him.

They find him with Deacon, the twisted eugenicist. He encourages them to stay and join his “Family” where they’ll be able to live openly as the genetically-modified freaks that they are. When Jessa and Gabe uncover the truth about Deacon’s past–and what he wants for the future–they band together to stop him.

 

Note: I was provided a copy of this book for review

Books like Outshine that start off great and only get greater are the little gems in the book world. I loved this book, I loved the concept and the idea behind what was happening and I loved everything from the start of the book until the final page. It is a great story that grabs you from the moment you start, not in exciting drama or anything initially, but through the characters, it’s their voice and their actions that keep you reading. It grabs you, holds you and it only tightens its grip the further you read.

While the synopsis is good, and got me interested in the story, it isn’t until you start reading you realise it doesn’t prepare you for the story you are actually going to get. Not in a hugely different way, it is basically the same, but there is a lot more going on than you are led to believe. Whether I misread the summary the first time I don’t know, but the story I got was so much more amazing than I thought it would be. I am not going to say much because it will ruin the surprises but I will say that I loved the world that Decker created, I loved the story she has created, and I loved all the characters she filled it with.

The two main characters are Gabe and Jessa. The contrast between Gabe and Jessa are excellent, and their story only gets more interesting as you go as hints, surprises, and twists are dropped here and there. You learn more about who Gabe and Jessa are, the secrets they have had to hide, and the toll it has taken on their lives and how they see themselves as people.

Gabe is a great character, he has the potential to come across as quite bitter and could be really cynical, and you could claim that he is, but it doesn’t make him a solely depressing character that you don’t get attached to. Decker makes you care for him and feel concerned for him. Being inside his head makes you understand why he is how he is and the further you get through the story you understand a lot more.

Jessa on the other hand has a few secrets of her own, with different abilities comes a different coping mechanism and she takes a different path than Gabe, one that appears to be idyllic on the outside. It isn’t until we get to see a little more of Jessa’s thoughts and point of view you learn that not everything is as it appears to be and she is hiding more than just one secret.

One of the things I loved was the clever way Gabe and Jessa’s abilities were presented; they are explained well and executed skilfully, they seem natural and real and completely believable. Altering between Gabe and Jessa’s perspective is a great move because it allows the reader to get inside the head of each person and explore their abilities. With each trying to hide their abilities, an internal struggle and debate is what is needed to tell this kind of story well, creating compassion for characters and sympathy when needed. By switching between the two voices more can be conveyed than sole first person or even third person, it allows us to be in the minds of both key characters, balancing the narration and exploring two very different experiences that have a common origin and goal.

I do not know whether there is going to be a second book; personally I would love to keep reading about Gabe and Jessa, not to mention the world they live in. There was a moment in the story where I thought it was hinting at the possibility but even if there isn’t going to be any more books about them there is enough in this story to keep you satisfied. By the end of it there is a great sense of completion and a conclusion that leaves you contented, if not a little bittersweet, but there is also an air of uncertainty and mystery as well which generates a great feeling of untold possibilities in your mind.

 

I loved that the story never went where I was expecting it to, there were surprises and twists, but even if they weren’t always huge, they were fascinating to read. The unexpected nature and the uniqueness of each character made this story great. I could not put this book down, I did not want this book to finish, and by the time I was done I was a little bit emotional. It was wonderful.

 

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