Sunday, 2 March 2014
Facing Your Fears
The Shells of Chanticleer by Maura Patrick is kind like if Sleeping Beauty and Alice in Wonderland got together to make a book this would be it.
Macy is 16 years old and looking forward to her spring break. She goes out for a run on her first day of freedom, and trips and gets a splinter in her ankle, and if that was not bad enough, she catches the stomach bug going around. She gets really sick, high fever, and dark red lines up her leg with the splinter. Her family rushes her to the hospital, where she is placed in a medically induced coma to help her body heal.
Macy wakes up in a strange bed in a little hut, and two girls come in to retrieve her. They welcome her to Chanticleer. A place that Macy learns is to help teens overcome their fears, and Macy has some irrational fears like the fear of being kidnapped, or throwing herself off a bridge.
As Macy learns to navigate her coursework and the world around her, she finds out that those who fail at overcoming are made into Shells. They are ghastly recreations of the person shown in their worst fear. Macy wants to do everything to avoid that fate.
Along the way she meets Sebastian, who is drawn to, and feels like she has met before. As her feelings for him grow, she must make a hard choice. To leave her family behind and stay with Sebastian in Chanticleer, or to go back to her world and forget all about Chanticleer and Sebastian.
My friend, Gisell, sent me the link to download this free from Amazon, and I have to say it was a good choice. I like this new concepts of where people going during comas, and what they learn during them. The world of Chanticleer is a nice mix of normal and outrageous. It also gives a nice lesson that if we don't deal with our fears, they can cripple us in life.
Macy has some interesting fears she is learning to deal with, but much to my disappointment Ms. Patrick doesn't really address why she has one of them. As the book progress, and more about Macy's past is revealed, one of her fears does not seem as crazy as it did in the beginning, and I felt the author missed a real opportunity to make a point of it.
I have to admit, I was not all about some Sebastian. He just seems very pushy in ways, and always gets what he wants. In the end, I felt like he did not care what Macy really wanted, but more of what he wanted from her.
The ending of this book left a lot of things hanging, so you know there is a sequel, The World that I Remembered, which I am going to have to read, so I can get full closure.
by Cherie Priest