Book Review: Broken Illusions

review-cover-brokenillusions

Title: Broken Illusions [Midnight Dragonfly 2]

Author: Ellie James

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Paranormal, Mystery, Romance

Rating: 4 Stars

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Description/Synopsis:

It’s Mardi Gras, but for 16 year-old psychic Trinity Monsour this is no time for celebration. Another girl is missing. Haunted by visions she doesn’t understand—of an empty street lined by crumbling old buildings, a terrified voice warning her to be careful, and a body lying motionless in the grass—Trinity embarks upon a dark odyssey she could never have imagined. She’ll stop at nothing to better understand her abilities, convinced that doing so is the only way she can make sure the terrifying images she sees never actually happen.

But it seems everyone wants to stop her. Her aunt is worried Trinity might discover secrets best left in the past. Her best friend, Victoria, is afraid Trinity is slipping away, her boyfriend, Chase, fears she’s taking too many chances, and the lead detective will barely let her out of his sight. Only one person stands by her side, and in doing so, he slips deeper and deeper into her heart—and her dreams—blurring the lines of reality and illusion.

When the dust settles, one of them will be dead.

WARNING – SPOILERS MAY ENSUE BEYOND THIS POINT – REVIEW BELOW

Intense. That’s what I have to say about this book. Deep breath. Okay, let’s get down to the nitty gritty. The writing was well done. There weren’t a multitude of grammar, spelling, or punctuation mistakes. The narrative was clean, easy-to-follow, and fast paced. However, there were a few problems with the story that made me rate this book as a 4 star rather than a 5…

While I love the world building of this series, it is incredibly convoluted and vague at at times. Despite this being the second book in the series, I am still no closer to understanding the lore behind Trinity’s gift, or behind any of the other “talented” people within the series. There’s just so much that I still don’t know about Trinity’s visions, Dylan, and the murderer, that it’s hard to keep up at times. The constant dreams and visions Trinity suffers from are so vivid, so ever-present that even I can’t distinguish between dream and reality any more when flipping through the pages of this book. I guess I feel that there’s just too many questions left unanswered—too many holes in the story that I desperately want to have filled, and because of that, it’s hard to feel satisfied about this book.

Another problem for me was the romance. In the first book of the series we were introduced to Chase… the popular boy at school that Trinity was crushing on. I liked him in the first book… although I wasn’t fond of how he was introduced. By the time the first line of the book rolled around, Trinity had already met and grown close to Chase… all off camera. I honestly dislike it when stories start the love interest off camera because I feel as if I’ve missed something. It was harder to connect to Chase from the very beginning than I’d anticipated, but by the end of the book I’d managed to get my warm-fuzzy feelings about him inline with what the narrative was telling me, and it was fine.  In this book however, the warm-fuzzies flew out the window. He was needlessly jealous and unsupportive of Trinity. It felt like he was pulling away from her all throughout the book, and though Trinity kept running back to him, trying to patch up the shambles of their relationship… I couldn’t help but secretly hope she’d dump the guy and run toward the real hero of the story—Dylan.

I really enjoyed the dynamic between Dylan and Trinity in this story. There’s this underlying current between them that seems to draw them together. Dylan is sweet and caring, and despite his standoffish appearance, it’s clear that he really cares about Trinity. Every time she needed him, he was there (which is more than I can say for Chase). I was desperately routing for him throughout the story, and secretly wincing every time Trinity ran back to Chase. There’s so much tension and longing between Trinity and Dylan that it’s hard to do anything other than support them. I won’t give away spoilers, but I’ll admit, despite a tragic happenstance in the later half of the story, I was gleeful at the ending. I’m a terrible person.

Overall, I really enjoyed the story, despite how much the story actually hurt my brain at times. It was so busy and tension filled that I couldn’t peel my eyes away from the pages. Would I read this story again? Yes. Would I recommend it? Yes. I can’t wait to move on to the third book in the series. If you enjoy YA fiction that is heavy on paranormal and mystery… You’ll probably really enjoy this series. Give it a try.

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