Friday, October 19, 2018

Book Review: The Shapeshifter's Secret by Heather Ostler

The Shapeshifter's Secret
Author: Heather Ostler
Publication: Cedar Fort, Inc (June 12, 2012)

Description: Like any sixteen-year-old, Julia’s used to dealing with problems. From her overprotective father to her absent mother to a teacher who definitely has it in for her. But everything changes when Julia’s reactions become oddly vicious and angry―more animal than human. This action-packed adventure has it all: humor, romance, and a plot that’ll keep you guessing to the very last page.

My Thoughts: I added this book to my TBR mountain in June of 2012. I was attracted by the lovely cover and the paranormal elements. Unfortunately, the cover is the best part of the book.

This story reads like it was written by a dreamy sixteen-year-old girl in her favorite unicorn-covered notebook with a sparkly pen. It is ridiculously unpolished. The characters never came to life for me since they seemed to keep changing and I couldn't understand where their emotions were coming from. The dialog is stilted and the conversations seem to be almost random. They all sound like they're speaking with the same voice. The sixteen-year-old roommate sounds like the doctor Julia goes to see.

The plot has possibilities. A girl finding out that she is a shapeshifter from another world who happens to be a princess is a plot with possibilities. Add in a mother who has left her and gone over to the evil Guild and the possibilities for conflict are there.

However, the plot was poorly executed. Julia's father Lancer has kept her in complete ignorance of her past and her future. When she does find out, which should have been traumatic, she just seems to accept it and go on like things are normal. Even knowing that the Guild and her mother are targeting her for some unknown reason doesn't phase her beyond wanting to offer herself as bait.

And her love interests... First she fixes on Caleb who she first meets when he comes to her school as a new student. Lots of the girls are interested in him by Julie isn't one of them. Then he is introduced to her as her "uncle" Liam's son who she has apparently never met. He does help her get through the portal to Ossai but she gets very angry with him when she finds out that he already has a girlfriend. This seemed pretty strange since she wasn't interested in him earlier in the story. Next, she begins a secret romance with one of her father's soldiers - Terrence. They meet maybe three or four times and they exchange letters but that is apparently enough for them to fall in love.

There are two more books in this series and I am sort of curious about them to see if the author improves her writing, plotting, and character development. I am mostly surprised that this book and its sequels were ever published.

Favorite Quote:
"Is everything all right? Maybe you're just tired, but something tells me that you have a lot of serious mental stress going on."
I bought this one. You can buy your copy here.

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