Title: Raven
Author: Suzy Turner
Format: e-book

Raven , Suzy Turner’s first book in the young adult fiction series, Raven Saga,   tells the story of a Lilly,  young girl who lives a relatively cruddy life under the rule of an oppressive mother and a father who is always there yet somehow manages to be completely absent. She’s never shown an ounce of love, and until she meets her friend December Moon, she’s completely alone in the world. Oddly enough, despite the fact that her parents are wretched, she still manages to be a sweet and caring young girl. One day, her parents up and vanish into thin air. No clues, no note, nothing. They’re just gone. Lilly spends some time with the kindly spinsters across the hall before she’s shipped off to Canada, and a family she never even knew she existed.

In Canada, Lilly’s life changes completely in many ways. For the first time in her life, she learns what it is like to be part of a loving family. She also learns many secrets about herself, her parents, and the entire world around here, and falls for a boy for the first time. That would be an awful lot for any 13-year-old girl (almost 14) to deal with, but Lilly handles it all with complete grace and acceptance, something that can be rare in young adult fiction.

Sweet, Clean Young Adult Fiction

I liked Raven quite a bit. The story is sweet and engaging, with wonderful descriptions and world-building techniques on Turner’s parts.  Turner manages to weave a large cast of characters into the story without overwhelming the reader or making it confusing to remember who’s who. The plot moves along quickly once Lilly reaches Canada, and it is a pleasure to see Lilly transform from a neglected, unsure girl to a confident, happy teenager. The main supernatural creatures in Raven are a little different than the normal young adult fiction cast, offering a fun change of pace from the usual vampires, werewolves, and so on.

I did have one issue with the story. Lilly is 13, the guy she likes is about 17, yet no one has the slightest issue with this. The pair are even left alone in the house to give them some privacy. The fact that this bothers me is pretty funny, considering I dated an older guy when I was 14, and I spent plenty of time alone with him. When I look at young teenagers today, I think of them as being much younger than I thought of myself being at that age. I don’t know why, they’re probably even more mature today than we were back then, and that’s a scary thought! Don’t worry, nothing inappropriate happens in the book. It’s all very chaste. I would recommend Raven to  those who enjoy young adult fiction and adults who are fans of the paranormal. I’m definitely going to read the next book in the series, December Moon.

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