Visions by Sara Daniell
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
“Visions” is the first novel in a trilogy, a delightful and fast-paced read, very realistic in its understanding of the character of a college coed. I found myself chuckling because Holly is such a “natural”-to a point. Holly has a stalker-at least, if this were an ordinary story about an average life, that is what Luke would be. A guy who looks up a student’s cell number, sends he r texts, stations himself outside her dorm, and seems to know her mind before she does (and appears without notice) in most occurrences would be a stalker and the girl would recognize him as such, and either avoid him or even report him. But Luke seems to have a sort of unspoken hypnotic effect on Holly-she just falls right in line with his slightly strange but winning ways. In the context of the novel it makes sense, because suspension of disbelief is so easy.
I also liked the way the author Sara Daniell built up the suspense. Clearly Luke is a man with secrets, urgencies, and needs and intentions that he’s not about to reveal. The characters are drawn very subtly: Holly, the college student, who considers herself to be smart and sensible, even street-smart-yet falls in with the plans of this strange guy she’s just met; and Luke, who definitely has his secrets, and one major issue-he lets himself be ruled by his emotions-walking away from an arranged betrothal; dropping another relationship even though the girl is in love with him, because he doesn’t have any strong feelings for her; then finding and isolating Holly just to “keep her safe.” By building the protagonists with these conflicts, issues, and failing, the author has made them much more realistic and very easy to comprehend as individuals. The story is fast-paced, and I found myself racing through the pages just to see what would occur next. This is a debut novel, and this reviewer anticipates Books 2 and 3 in this series.
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