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Sensitive by Nina Wright

This year instead of reading any creepy (or at least paranormal) books in preparation for Halloween, the bug hit me after the fact. Bookshelves of Doom's review intrigued me so I ordered a copy of Nina Wright's Sensitive and, in a shockingly uncharacteristic move, decided to forego the prequel, Homefree, and just jump right in. I liked the premise. Easter Hutton, her best friend Andrew, and her kinda-sorta boyfriend Cal are sensitives, meaning they have abilities a little left of normal. Andrew can read memories, Cal practices psychokinesis, and Easter is capable of astral projection. Translation: her spirit can travel through time and space without leaving her body. All three of them are part of Homefree--an underground organization that educates and trains paranormally minded teens. Fun premise, no? Throw in Easter's rather monumentally maternally challenged alcoholic mother and the mysterious Homefree headmaster Mr. Fairless and it sounds like a fun ride to me.

The thing was the story never let me in. The writing told me that Easter and Cal had the hots for each other and that Andrew was somehow more endangered by his abilities than the other two, but those things never really hit me. I never felt the passion or danger. I feel like lately I'm always asking for longer books. I'm not sure why this is the case. It takes a lot to create fully developed characters and have them burst forth on the page for your reader, living and breathing and calling out each other's names. Some authors are able to do this on a small page count. Their stories leave me satisfied instead of aching for more. Meg Rosoff, Garret Freymann-Weyr, and Laura Wiess leap to mind. Others simply require more pages. I felt like Sensitive could have benefited from a few (maybe 100) more, along with a little more willingness to let the reader in and feel with the characters. At the end of the book, I felt like I'd just gotten home from one of those freshman year college dates with the guy who begins every sentence with the words, "I'm the kind of guy who..."
Stop right there. If you have to tell me, it's all over.

Links:
Bookshelves of Doom Review
Bildungsroman Interview

Comments

  1. Anonymous12:09 PM

    Hey, I'm glad you reviewed SENSITIVE even if you and I don't agree about it. In fact, we had very nearly opposite responses. I was completely caught up in the characters and story, and read the novel in a single sitting. For me the connection was deeply emotional, perhaps because of my personal history with addiction. The ending left me in tears of relief, loss and hope. Quite an accomplishment on the part of the writer. I realize it's all subjective, but I recommend this book.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Anonymous12:40 PM

    i'm with fiona on this one. no history of addiction but i still loved the story. i enjoyed homefree and liked the sequel even better.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I'm glad to hear from people who liked it so much. It's true, I didn't identify with the characters on a personal level and that may have interfered with my reading of it. I really liked the way Easter and Cal and Andrew were shaping up. I guess I'm greedy and wanted more. Perhaps I really should have read Homefree beforehand. What were your favorite aspects of the characters/story?

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