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Radiance

Radiance - Alyson Noel Read my Review of Radiance and Shimmer at Smash Attack Reads: http://www.smashattackreads.com/2011/05/double-review-radiance-and-shimmer-by.htmlI have not read The Immortals series by the author, which is about Riley’s older sister, Ever, so I walked into this series with a clean slate. It took me some time to warm up to Riley, and I’m not sure I ever did. She is a young protagonist (age 12) and therefore, her maturity level shines bright. I read a ton of YA and some Middle Grade books, so I’m very used to young protagonist. However, Riley’s whiney, tween-like behavior was a lot to take in. Reading the story from her POV became an uphill battle on many occasion. I think Riley as the narrator is what really did me in and I couldn’t really enjoy the story as much as I may have otherwise. It was also a short, quick read and since I’ve not read The Immortals series, I did not have time to get to know Riley.That being said, the story had some merit. I find Riley’s new otherworldly job as a Soul Catcher very interesting. To me, she is a therapists of sorts, as she provides much needed counseling to these spirits that are stuck in Limbo. Riley’s first case was quite difficult. However, she shows courage and perseverance (and possibly stubbornness) throughout her trials and tribulations.I adored Buttercup, Riley’s yellow lab. I was happy that Riley had a companion in the Here & Now. There is a scene where he learns to use one of his newly attained abilities as a spirit, and I smile through it all. It was an adorable moment. There was also a very interesting scene with a dead mother who was literally stuck in her own personal hell, full of grief and despair. Riley was sucked into the world through her eyes and it was quite eerie and heartbreaking.All in all, I think this book is a great paranormal starter for younger kids!