The Shadow and The Rose
(The Ash Grove Chronicles #1)
By Amanda DeWees
Ok, I'm a sucker for famous/popular guy falls for the girl next door but there was so much more to the Shadow and the Rose than a simple love story. In fact, this love story was far from simple!
16 year old Joy Sumner is enrolled in Ash Grove High School for Performing Arts where only the elite and talented students are taken. If it wasn't bad enough that Joy is daughter of the english teacher, everyone at the school has a clear goal as they are either budding musicians, actors, or dancers who all look like something out of Vogue.
Joy, on the other hand, is neither overly talented in music, nor does she have the physical beauty, features or grace to pursue a career in drama or dance. Although her pianoist skills improve during the year, I thought this was quite disappointing because I would have hoped for her to have a secret talent that suddenly emerges but no such luck!
One moonlit night Joy heads to the cemetery on a dare to pick a white rose from a specific bush in the graveyard. There she meets the gorgeous, charismatic Tanner; student turned model. Or at least one layer of his varying personalities. A brief meeting that has a lasting impression, and so their story begins.
I liked how the supernatural aspects are developed in the book, as opposed to overwhelming the reader from page 1 with characters, magic and a confusing story.
I appreciated Joy's strength while she tried to fit in with the other students, improve her academic performance and not worry about her father who was suffering from cancer.
Tan on the other hand was a leeeetle too weak willed for my liking. Please don't misunderstand me, I looked forward to the Tan/Joy scenes but I do wish he had a bit more backbone to fight for himself without being pressured into it.
My favourite character was Joy's best friend Maddie, who has a similar personality to my own best friend. Talented, fiercely loyal, stubborn and an uncanny knack of picking the wrong boys!
If you have read this pick you will think I've missed out mentioning the 'villain' Melisande but I don't want to spill all the secrets- find out for yourself!
Thanks Amanda for providing me with the ebook copy in exchange for an honest review. I eagerly await the sequel!