Book Reviews

Sparked Review


Hey guys! This week I’m working with the amazing Rockstar Book Tours on the tour for Sparked, by Helena Echlin & Malena Watrous. This awesome new YA novel revolves around Laurel Goodwin, a fifteen year old from Oregon. Laurel’s older sister Ivy disappears and Laurel begins to have nightmares about her being held hostage. On her search for Ivy, Laurel discovers that their town is the center of an ancient prophecy. She must team up with a mysterious new boy and two popular girls to save their town and her sister.


This book was extremely well plotted. Cascades, Laurel’s hometown in Oregon, is full of secrets. Among its population are people called “flares”, teens who develop a special power. They all have the same birthmark- a star. Laurel’s sister Ivy develops the power of telekinesis, and this puts her smack dab in the middle of a prophecy. The plotting is full of twists and turns as we follow Laurel and the mysterious new boy Jasper on their search to find new flares. As the team gets closer and closer to discovering the truth the pressure heats up. I couldn’t put this book down (really, I actually walked my dog while reading it), and mysteries aren’t even usually my thing.

The main character, Laurel, is also very relatable. Laurel wants to be a writer, but she feels self-conscious and insecure about her abilities as a writer. I definitely relate to this and watching Laurel overcome her insecurities and doubts about her talent was very inspiring. And in the end, it wasn’t a magic power or a boy that made her realize that she could follow her dream. It was all her.

The family dynamic also gives a level of complexity to this story. This story is set after Laurel’s grandmother died, and she was really the one who took care of their family. Laurel’s mother is caring but scatterbrained and involved with a bad guy. When Ivy disappears her mother refuses to even go to the police. Laurel is left to be the adult of the family. I think this topic really need to be addressed more in literature. Children are forced to grow up too fast all the time in the real world, and it’s important to have role models that these kids can relate to.

Overall I thought this book was well-paced, well plotted, and a fun read. It ends on a cliff hanger and I can’t wait for the next one! You can get it here Sparked

Final rating- 4.5/5

Thanks for reading my review, and until next time, happy reading 🙂

About the Book:


Author: Helena Echlin & Malena Watrous

Pub. Date: October 3, 2017

Publisher: Geek & Sundry

Pages: 310

Formats: Hardcover, eBook

Find it: AmazonB&NTBDGoodreads

Fifteen-year-old Laurel Goodwin wakes up to find her older sister Ivy missing from their Airstream trailer in the Oregon redwoods. A recurring nightmare convinces her that Ivy was abducted, but no one takes her dream seriously, including her mom. Laurel, a loner, has to learn to ask for help, and Jasper Blake, a mysterious new kid who shares her love of old books, quickly becomes her ally. Together they find their quiet town holds a deep secret and is the epicenter of a dark prophecy. 

Laurel soon learns that her worst enemies, mean girls Peyton Andersen and Mei Rosen, are developing powers that she needs to find and save Ivy. With time running out, Laurel realizes that power doesn’t always take the form that you expect. And once she learns to look beyond her snap judgments, she develops an unexpected gift of her own.

Read a sneak peak of SPARKED!


About Helena and Malena:

Hello! We are both novelists, but if you’ve ever tried to write anything, you know that writing can be a lonely, angst-filled business. So one night over a cocktail or two, we came up with a solution: write our next book together. Malena already had an idea: a girl’s sister is kidnapped and she has to rely on mean girls with superpowers to get her sister back. We couldn’t resist seeing where that story would take us – a wild ride that includes a loner girl who wants to be a writer and a gorgeous boy who can shoot fire from his eyes but also loves to talk about books. And an ancient Zoroastrian prophecy. And pie shakes. (OK, so maybe we got a little carried away.)

We’ve both published solo novels (check them out here and here) and had no idea how co-writing would work out, but we pounded out the first draft in a white-hot frenzy of inspiration we called “the Vortex.” One of us would write a scene and send it to the other with a note: “My apartment is a pigsty and I haven’t eaten all day. #inthevortex.” We wrote the book we wanted to read as teenagers: a supernatural thriller with healthy doses of horror and humor. Oh, and of course there’s romance. You have to wait a long time for the only kiss in the book, but isn’t that the case with all the best kisses in books?

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Giveaway Details:

3 winners will receive a finished copy of SPARKED, US Only.

Rafflecopter link:

Tour Schedule:

Week One:

10/2/2017- Literary Meanderings– Interview

10/2/2017- Zach’s YA Reviews– Review

10/3/2017- BookHounds– Guest Post

10/3/2017- The Desert Bibliophile– Review

10/4/2017- Two Chicks on Books– Interview

10/4/2017- Rachel’s Book Reviews– Review

10/5/2017- Wandering Bark Books– Guest Post

10/5/2017- A Gingerly Review– Review

10/6/2017- Rainy Day Reviews– Excerpt

10/6/2017- Bibliobakes– Review

Week Two:

10/9/2017- Margie’s Must Reads– Guest Post

10/9/2017- YA Book Madness– Review

10/10/2017- Bibliobibuli YA– Interview

10/10/2017- The Best Books Ever– Review

10/11/2017- Tales of the Ravenous Reader– Launch Coverage

10/11/2017- the bookdragon– Review 

10/12/2017- YA and Wine– Interview

10/12/2017- The Autumn Bookshelf– Review 

10/13/2017- Owl Always Be Reading– Excerpt

10/13/2017- Nerdophiles– Review

46 thoughts on “Sparked Review

  1. I’ve been pretty underwhelmed with books lately and haven’t gotten into any the past few months. With twists and turns, this sounds like something I might enjoy!

  2. This definitely sounds like an amazing book to read! I love mysteries like these and will be looking into getting the book for myself!

  3. When writers state how hard it can be to write sometimes… well that just makes me feel a little better. I am a PhD student and write for research constantly and have my moments. I do miss reading for pleasure and hope to slow down and enjoy it more soon.

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