Tuesday, November 18, 2014

The Weight of Destiny by Nyrae Dawn: Review


When “crazy” runs in your family and your namesake is known for walking into a river with a pocket full of rocks, a girl kind of wants to avoid tempting fate at all costs. For Virginia Nichols, the only way to dodge that bullet is to be perfect at everything: school, student council, life. Too bad it’s all a lie, and underneath the perfection...Virginia is lost.

Ryder Blackstock knows a thing or two about being born into fate. The talents passed down from his father aren't exactly normal; instead of learning how to throw a fastball, he was taught to hot-wire a car like a pro and pick any pocket in sight. He’s got criminal blood, just like his old man. And as soon as he turns eighteen, he’ll be living life on the run with his dad.

When Ryder and Virginia meet on the beach, it seems they couldn't be more different. Soon they discover they’re both trapped in their lives—Virginia denying her fate, Ryder embracing his. Like the rocks in Virginia Woolf’s pockets, the weight of their destinies will pull them under. But being together brings out pieces of themselves they didn't know existed—pieces that make them want to take fate into their own hands and rewrite their destinies...if it’s not too late.

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About the Author:

I am a compulsive reader and writer who loves YA fiction.

I love nothing more than writing about young adults. There is something so fresh and fun about it. You can pretty much always find me with a book in my hand or open document in front of me.

I live in Southern California with my husband and two children.

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Review by Yvette:

It's been quite some time since I've read a Young Adult novel, but if anyone could entice me to pick up a genre I’ve shamefully neglected in favor of books featuring characters closer to my age, it would be Nyrae Dawn, whose protagonists possess a level of maturity beyond their years, no matter her chosen genre. The Weight of Destiny is the first book in the author’s Misfits series and, as such, is a detailed introduction to a group of friends that have bonded over their shared status as outcasts. Our male protagonist, Ryder, is a card-carrying member of the misfits and, although our female protagonist, Virginia, would fit in amongst the motley crew, her idiosyncrasies aren’t distinguishable to the outside world. In all other aspects of their lives, fate seems to be working against Ryder and Virginia, steering them toward what they believe to be a predetermined path, but it is fate that brings together this unlikely pair during a time when they need each other the most.

The plot of The Weight of Destiny seems fairly basic at first glance – privileged girl falls for boy from the wrong side of town – but Ryder and Virginia prove that there's always more to a person than there appears to be on the surface. For all intense and purposes, Virginia is perfect – a model student with a bright future ahead of her. Ryder, on the other hand, aimlessly floats through life, holding onto the belief that his lot in life has already been cast against his favor. As the narrative progresses, though, the backstories of Ryder and Virginia are gradually unveiled, peeling back layer after layer of their characters until all of their secrets are exposed. Both Virginia and Ryder are two different people at any given moment – one of which is the person they want everyone to think is real, and the other is the person they hide from everyone else except, perhaps, each other.

The Weight of Destiny is a love story but, most importantly, it's a coming-of-age story about two individuals attempting to create their own destiny rather than allow history to perpetuate itself in a new generation. The romance between Ryder and Virginia is an integral part of the story, yet it’s the intense connection that these two characters build that gives them each the strength to make sense of their muddled lives. These are two characters that will draw you in and make you want to delve deeper into their multifaceted personas, more of which are revealed with every sentence. The Weight of Destiny is an incredibly beautiful and superbly written story that helped remind me what I love about the Young Adult genre, including the magical and redeeming power of first love, the journey of self-discovery, and the limitless possibilities for the future of these characters.

*complimentary copy provided by author in exchange for an honest review

Rating: 5 Stars

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