The Bookanistas: Other by Karen Kincy

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Today is the first launch day of the new book review bloggers – The Bookanistas: Books are the New Black. We are a group of writers – in various stages of the publishing process – who have decided to band together and review the special books of our peers. We – as fellow writers – have decided to only post positive reviews, therefore, only reviewing the book we LOVE. No negative reviews here!

The Bookanistas give nothing but love!

Starting today, we will post reviews every Thursday that cover various topics– upcoming ARCs, books we love, special diamonds in the rough, classics, and even cover reviews. This fashionable badge represents our group (club/gang/posse/secret society/peeps).

The Bookanistas think books are the best accessory. If you would like one of us to review your book or ARC, feel free to contact me and we will add it to our list.

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This week, I decided to review OTHER, by Karen Kincy.

What It’s About: Gwen Williams is like any other modern teenager with one exception: she’s a shapeshifter. Never having known her Pooka-spirit father, Gwen must struggle with the wild, wonderful magic inside of her alone—and in secret. While society may tolerate vampires, centaurs, and “Others” like Gwen, there are plenty of folks in Klikamuks, Washington, who don’t care for her kind.

Now there’s a new werewolf pack in town, and Others are getting killed, including Gwen’s dryad friend. The police are doing zilch. In the midst of terrible loss and danger, Gwen meets a cute Japanese fox spirit who’s refreshingly comfortable with his Otherness. Can Gwen find the courage to embrace her true self and find the killer-before she becomes the next victim?

Favorite Character: So many of the characters were complex and interesting, and I loved a lot of them.  But I have to say my favorite character was Tavian, the fox-spirit new boy.   Although Gwen was definitely a fun narrator, and I sympathized with her on the journey.

What I Loved: I’m usually skeptical about books where the supernatural world is openly known about.  That said, I loved the way things were explored in Other.  Being an Other (any of the supernatural creatures like vampires, werewolves, leprechauns, water sprites, etc) is very strongly linked to minority struggles.  In Seattle they have Vampire Pride marches at midnight, people openly gawk at  a Centaur who shops in a market, and when it comes to investigating crimes against Others, sometimes people look the other way.  The world building made sense, and it didn’t overshadow the rest of the story.

Gwen’s snark is realistic, without being overshadowing the rest of her personality.  She isn’t just a random font of witty one-liners and banter.  She struggles between her human and Other selves, and explores some of her own self-hate throughout the course of the novel.  If Gwen had been gay, or of a mixed race, many of the themes of the book would still have held true.

And can we just talk about the cover?  I’ve DROOLED over the cover of OTHER for months now, loving the mix of colors and the woods and everything.

And finally, I think the last thing I loved about OTHER is that, despite being sure I knew how the book was going to conclude, I was caught off guard.  Things didn’t happen the way I thought they would, but it all totally fit together.  I strongly approve!

Other is available now!  You should pick it up immediately!

Other books up for review today:
Katie and Sarah Frances – ANNA AND THE FRENCH KISS
Lisa and Laura Roecker – STRANDED
Christine Fonesca – NIGHTSHADE CITY
Shannon Messenger – LINGER
Shelli Johannes-Wells – DARK GODDESS
Elana Johnson– THE HEALING SPELL
Kirsten Hubbard – THE DUFF
Beth Revis – PEGASUS
Carolina Valdez Miller – MATCHED
Jamie Harrington – ARCHVILLIAN
Bethany Wiggins and Suzette Saxton – NIGHTSHADE CITY

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