March 14, 2012

Title: Anew

Series:  The Archers of Avalon

Author:  Chelsea Fine

Published:  December 2011

Two years ago, Scarlet awoke in the forest alone, afraid, and unable to remember anything. Lost and confused, her life was a mystery…until she met a boy with a familiar voice.

Gabriel Archer has a voice from her past, and Scarlet’s determined to remember why. She immerses herself in his life only to discover he has a brother he’s kept hidden from her: Tristan Archer.

Upon meeting Tristan, Scarlet’s world becomes even more muddled. While she’s instinctively drawn to Gabriel, she’s impossibly drawn to Tristan–and confused out of her mind. As she tries to piece together her history Scarlet realizes her past…might just be the death of her.

Ana will put Anew on her top shelf!

My Review:  This book was truly original…and I don’t throw that term around loosely.  The situation that unfolds here is quite unique…and keeping this review spoiler-free is going to be a challenge!!  Scarlet has spent the last two years of her life trying desperately to piece together a memory…any memory.  She woke up in a forest without even the shred of an idea about who she is and where she came from.  And, aside from drawing a symbol that she assumes meant something to her in the past, she hasn’t had much luck in solving her mystery.  But, she has made a life for herself with a guardian and a best friend and she’s moving on.

That is until she meets the Archer brothers.  These two boys are very familiar to her and the closer she gets to them the more she realizes that they hold the key to her memories.  However, their evasiveness makes it difficult for Scarlet every step of the way.

One of the great things about this book is that we get to experience this story from the perspective of all three main characters, Scarlet, Gabriel and Tristan.  This gives the reader insight into what each of them is seeing, feeling and experiencing as this mystery unfolds.  And it gives you the opportunity to get to know and love them.  Scarlet is easy to like.  She’s a strong character in spite of what she’s been through.  Gabriel is the all around nice guy.  He’s handsome, sweet and, sadly, cursed!  Yes…cursed!! Tristan is the dark, mysterious, tortured soul.  The love triangle in this book is different from others I have read…it actually makes sense!  There’s a reason for it but there’s also angst and heartbreak around it.  It’s the best kind of triangle…one where everyone believes and everyone loves and everyone suffers!

There aren’t many secondary characters here but the book doesn’t really need them.  Laura, Scarlet’s guardian, is MIA most of the time (and we know this is a necessity in YA books…parents just slow down the story).  I’m a bit suspicious about her, however, and I hope we get to know what’s really going on there in the second installment.  Heather and Nate, best friends of Scarlet and the boys respectively, were both funny characters who added levity to the story when it needed it.  Heather is a bit over-the-top with her obsession with fashion and boys but she’s exactly what someone like Scarlet needs to feel real and connected to the world.  I’m also considering the Kissing Festival (yes…Kissing Festival) as a character too.  This crazy festival (which as a city girl I can’t quite wrap my mind around) plays a large role at the beginning of the book and acts as the catalyst for the start of the relationships and the unfolding of the story.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book.  I wish I could tell you more about the relationships, the triangle and the curse…but this is one of those books that when you start to talk about it you tend to spill all the secrets.  And I don’t want to spoil it for you.  I think it’s enough for you to know that I wanted to keep reading, even when I should be working or sleeping or doing other real life stuff.  Oh, and by the way, I will share this…the end left me wide-eyed, open-mouthed and longing desperately for the next book!!


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