December 27, 2012
Concerning Character: Kate is easy to relate to, and her asthma attacks are described with dizzying, alarming, vivid detail—many readers, I'm sure, will recognize how it feels. Though I'm not an asthma sufferer myself, I think this is a great trait for a character to have, not only in the sense of creating realism but also with respect to demystifying and normalizing asthma—it makes for a good addition to the realm of diversity literature, in my opinion. And with respect to side characters, I loved that she has a friend in Gil—one she trusts and who knows about her ability.
Recommended for Fans Of...: I think this would be a great one not only for suspense fans but for reluctant readers, too. Caroline Cooney fans, people who love the combination of suspense and problem novel (and they do tend to go together these days).
Themes & Things: Like other books by Cheryl, this one deals sensitively with the topic of abuse. This time, though, it's told not from the abuse victim's perspective, but from the viewpoint of a family member—Kate—who faces the same decisions most anyone in her situation does: When and how is it appropriate to intervene? How can we save someone who doesn't want to be saved, and what if it puts a life in danger? In Kate's case, using the one (supernatural) power she does have over the situation means considerable sacrifice. There's a lot of suspense and danger in this one, but it's also hopeful, too—Kate is brave and loyal and willing to risk a lot for her friends and family, and ultimately, even though her power is strange and dangerous, she has friends and family who stick by her, and that's a heartening thing.
Review Copy Source: Author.
You can find Parallel Visions by Cheryl Rainfield as an ebook from Amazon!