Author: Artist Arthur
Published: Kimani Tru, 8/1/10
Age Range: 14 and older (for some disturbing content)
Cover Score: B+ (so-so, kinda boring)
Overall Grade: A-
As if moving from New York City (and leaving her father behind) to the middle of nowhere in Connecticut isn't bad enough, now Krystal Bentley is seeing dead people. Well, just one particular (and very cute) dead person--Ricky Watson, a boy her age who was killed a year ago and has unfinished business: he wants Krystal (as a ghost-whisperer, she's the only person that can help him) to help him find his murderer. But now Krystal's strange power draws two other kids with supernatural abilities to her: Sasha, a rich girl, and Jake, who grew up on the wrong side of the tracks. Together, they are the Mystyx, and their powers are manifesting. They set out to learn who killed Ricky, and the connection between Ricky's murderer and creepy texts being sent to teenage girls...Darkness is coming, and the Mystyx need to be prepared.
My thoughts: I didn't know what to think coming into Manifest. Nowadays, there are so many stories about girls who can talk to ghosts and girls who fall in love with dead boys. The paranormal genre is getting a bit overdone, so I was expecting the same old, same old plot from Manifest.
There was still the same general story line, but the addition of Krystal's family problems and the murders of the girls added a new spice to the story. Sometimes, all the different aspects of the plot (Krystal's home life, her ghost-whispering abilities and Ricky, the sexual predator, her love life, and the Mystyx) got a little jumbled, which is why I think the story took so long to get to the point and the exciting conclusion, but it was still refreshing to see a 3-dimensional plot.
I can't stand a whiny main character, and Krystal complained a lot, so I got a bit frustrated sometimes. I would've liked to have seen more details on the other two Mystyx, and regarding Ricky and Franklin too.
I did really like how realistic Krystal's family problems were--teens will be able to relate. Also, I was really happy that the main character was half African American, part Cherokee: I like books with diversity! The ending was a great shock: I pleasantly surprised at how well Ms. Arthur tied up all the loose ends and showed me who the killer really was. To me, the last chapter wasn't necessary--the book was perfect ending after the exciting conclusion, leaving me wanting more.
Fans of Lee Nichols' Deception will love this author's YA debut!
*ARC provided by Lisa Roe of The Online Publicist