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First Line: The first thing that the new mother notices about her baby is its silence.

About: It starts with a shift in the atmosphere. The forest greets Emma with startling force. At first she can’t move her limbs. Then her vision is rendered useless. The sensation comes more often, and the symptoms become frightening as Emma is left paralyzed to the force that emerges from the forest. Voices come in dream at first, commanding against her will. Something is out there that calls Emma to the forest. It isn’t going to fade until she surrenders. (goodreads)

Author: Mandi Lynn

Pages: 330

Publisher: Createspace

Review: I found Mandi Lynn via Youtube once upon a time, and knew that if she ever published her book I was going to read it, and I just knew I would love it. So, needless to say, when I discovered she was self publishing her book, I was pretty excited, and was determined to buy it.

Once it was out and published I bought it, like any person would. And I read it.

I must admit, finally reading this book felt a little weird to me. I had been so used to seeing the cover online, so actually owning it was a bit odd... but I don't know, that might just be me. :/

When I finally started reading the book I told myself (like I do for all the books I plan to review) "Now, you need to be honest, read it, think about, and don't plaster a smile on your face and pretend it's good in the review when you don't like it. Be honest!" So I'm being totally honest when I say, this book surprised me... quite a lot actually.

It felt like it started out shaky for me, probably because I was so nervous that I wouldn't like it. I didn't quite get why the prologue was important, but as I read further, I came to realize it's importance to the story. 

After I got past a couple chapters I really, really did get into it. I read about maybe 150 pages in one sitting once because I was getting so into Emma's story.

I really liked the idea of the Essence world. It is different than any other young adult book I have ever read (and as you all know, I read a lot). It might sound strange for me to say, but I can understand why this book was rejected by 39 literary agents... it is a very different story, and could be risky. But I honestly think that those agents missed out big time. 

Mandi has created one of the most original beings I have ever heard of.

An Essence is basically like a ghost, only different. The thing that struck me most about Essences is that no one wants to be one. I don't know why, but it seems like, to me, that a lot of creatures in books and tv shows make you want to be a part of the world. If that makes sense. But the difference with Essence is that it makes you realize how lucky we are to be human, and to have lives that someone as an Essence can't have.

The book had many different moments that really tugged on my heart, and made me think.

The characters were all very interesting and grabbed my attention. (Eliza and Luna in particular) 

There were a couple things that were a bit weird. Like how in the first chapter you are suddenly thrown into what's happening... while it's fine sometimes, in this book I felt like I would've been more comfortable if there had been at least a half a chapter before the whole thing in the first chapter.

And I also thought it was weird that when Emma first came to Phantom Lagoon no one really talked to her, or tried to get to know her... except for Eliza.

But really, those are the only things I thought could be improved upon.

I did enjoy this story a lot.

It didn't have any real villains, or a journey or anything, but it was a very nice story that was very likable.

Romance: None. Except for, you know her parents were married, but that's about it.

Violence: Not much that I can think of. There might have been a little, but I don't remember.

Other Fun Stuff:

Recommended Age: 12+

Actually more like 4 1/2. :)

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