Monday, March 4, 2013

BLOG TOUR: Dazzle by Amber Garza

Welcome to our stop on the Dazzle blog tour. We want to say thank you to author Amber Garcia and Megan at Reading Away the Days for having us along.
We're spotlighting the book as well as offering a review. So here we go...
Sixteen-year-old Delaney Scott possesses a special gift. Ever since she was a child she has known about her calling and the duty she’s expected to fulfill.
However, all Delaney wants is to be normal. That’s why she is drawn to Sam. He can offer her the life she’s always desired. Only Sam has secrets of his own.
Secrets that are deadly. Secrets that can change everything.

Amber Garza has had a passion for writing since she was a little girl, making books out of notebook paper and staples. As an adult she's worked hard to make her dream of being published a reality. She writes while listening to music (mostly the Civil Wars), and drinking lots of coffee. Amber lives in California with her amazing husband, and two hilarious children who provide her with enough material to keep her writing for years.

Dazzle has all the aspects I look for in a YA paranormal story; action, supernatural powers, and romance. What is different about this tale is how the world is developed.
Delaney and Micah live in a close knit community in Edenly lead by a mysterious man named Zerach, who has a firm set of rules that must be upheld in order to keep the most sacred of secrets. While the history of Edenly is well known and celebrated, Delaney, Micah, and those like them are sheltered and fiercely protected.
So the story begins with Delaney's parents and how Delaney came to be. Fast forward seventeen years and we meet Delaney and Micah as high schoolers, in the midst of a rescue. What happens after may change their loves forever.
I don't want to give away too much but what does need to be said is that Delaney and Micah have been best friends since they were toddlers, in fact their mothers were pregnant together and formed an unbreakable bond. The two teenagers each have their gifts. Micah relishes his and Delaney wants nothing more than to be a normal girl. But because of their powers they stick together and have no other friends. Enter Sam- a gorgeous, popular boy, who despite knowing the pair most of their lives, despises them for what he believes is hero worship from his dad and others in town. Fueled by rage and jealousy, he vows to get back at Delaney for "stealing" his father's praise and adoration.
In Delaney's quest to find her own way and choose who she falls in love with she can't deny her attraction to Sam. Micah develops his own obsession (you'll have to discover this one on your own), and here's where it really gets interesting...
Told from the POV of Delaney, Micah AND Sam we get a unique look into a world steeped in legend and expectations- where one small slip can endanger them all, and mistakes, more secrets, and betrayals might shatter their beliefs, permanently damage friendships, and destroy the world as they know it.
I found this premise fascinating. What a tangled web and fiery triangle. And it gets more complicated and much more involved.
The world Amber created was intriguing and I wanted to learn more about the histories and what Delaney and Micah were gifted for. BUT something was missing for me. I liked the characters but I wasn't caught up in them. I didn't really connect with Delaney. I understood her longing to fit in and be normal, but I wasn't truly engaged with her. Micah was the stronger and more reasonable of the two. He was also the most realistic. I don't know what it was they were lacking, but the one that interested me the most was Sam. He's hellbent on exposing the other two. He wants nothing more than to ruin them both. And then something shifts. He's conflicted and subsequently tortured throughout the remainder of the story.
So Sam keeps the story interesting and the motives moving along, but he's not the only thing that threatens Delaney and Micah's world. Someone new has put a wedge between the inseparable pair. Can they trust this person? Is she what she seems or is she keeping her own secrets?
Dazzle is a slow progression but always in a forward motion. It raises questions into these characters all along the way. Building emotions and tension to the very end where Amber leaves us hanging by a thread and hoping for the best. It's a helluva cliffhanger and one that left me curious and invested enough to want to find out what happens next. So yes, I'll be picking up the second book so that I can follow the chase.
This series has a lot of promise and I look forward to watching the characters grow and come into their own- if they all survive...

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  1. Thank you so much for your thoughtful review and for participating in the tour!! :)

    1. Thank you, Amber. Appreciate you stopping by. ;)