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Book review: 'Eleanor' is an intriguing paranormal novel

By James Holt

By Eleanor Holt

For the Deseret News

Published: Saturday, Aug. 2 2014 1:00 p.m. MDT

Updated: Monday, Aug. 4 2014 9:34 a.m. MDT

"ELEANOR: THE UNSEEN, Book 1," by Johnny Worthen, Jolly Fish Press, $14.99, 356 pages (ages 13 and up)

"Eleanor" by Johnny Worthen tells the story of a young girl who hides many secrets and is not what she appears to be.

Eleanor is a seemingly shy and awkward teen who, in reality, is merely masquerading as such. Beneath her "normal" appearance is a monster who struggles to come to terms with who she is, especially as she deals with her foster mother Tabitha’s struggle with cancer and all of the challenges it brings.

Eleanor is an amazingly developed character that is easy to fall in love with throughout the book. Her depth of emotion and her complexity both puzzle and entertain.

"Eleanor" visits the many varieties of love in the world. It is suggested that the word "love" is the most inadequate four letters in the English language as they do not convey the varying meanings and feelings. Despite this, the book does justice to all of the meanings and emotion. The familial and maternal love shared by Eleanor and Tabitha is especially heartwarming.

The love interest, David, is lovable, caring and unbearably cute to the teenage reader. He seems to be every girl's dream guy.

The main theme of the book is hinted at throughout the novel, and for a while it can come across as slightly confusing, but persistence make the effort worthwhile.

This book creates a new dynamic to paranormal young adult novels. "Eleanor" is a breath of fresh air after so many teen novels about vampires, werewolves and angels.

The book is full with everything a novel should have to entertain and intrigue its reader. At some points the writing can feel strained, almost as though the author were trying too hard to make it good, especially during the first chapter.

The romance doesn't go beyond kissing and there is no foul language. Violence is alluded to but never described.

Overall, it is a great novel and lays an intriguing basis for the Unseen trilogy.

If you go ...

What: Johnny Worthen book signing

When: Saturday, Aug. 9, 2 p.m.

Where: Barnes and Noble, Jordan Landing, 7157 Plaza Center Drive, West Jordan

Web: barnesandnoble.com, johnnyworthen.com

Eleanor Holt is 16 years old and lives in Manchester, United Kingdom.

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