Published: Pendrell Publishing (August 20, 2010)
Series: Book 1 of 3
Source: book tour
GoodReads Summary: Sixteen-year-old Yara Silva has always known that ghosts walk alongside the living. Her grandma, like the other females in her family, is a Waker, someone who can see and communicate with ghosts. Yara grew up watching her grandmother taunted and scorned for this unusual ability and doesn't want that to be her future. She has been dreading the day when she too would see ghosts, and is relieved that the usually dominant Waker gene seems to have skipped her, letting her live a normal teenage life. However, all that changes for Yara on her first day at her elite boarding school when she discovers the gene was only lying dormant. She witnesses a dark mist attack Brent, a handsome fellow student, and rushes to his rescue. Her act of heroism draws the mist's attention, and the dark spirit begins stalking her. Yara finds herself entrenched in a sixty-year-old curse that haunts the school, threatening not only her life, but the lives of her closest friends as well. Yara soon realizes that the past she was trying to put behind her isn't going to go quietly.
My Thoughts: Intrinsical was interesting because I was completely blindsided by the considerable amounts of spooky. At a private school. WITH MURDERS AND A CURSE. You guys, this book straight up has all the ingredients required for a top notch episode of Are You Afraid of the Dark. Oh that's right. Gary would launch that magic dirt into the fire with way more gusto than usual before launching into this tale.
Right away, I knew I would enjoy this story. Yara has a fresh, sarcastic voice and she's hot-headed. And she has an awesome best friend, Cherie, who doesn't end up stabbing her in the back. (Can we please take a moment to raise the roof for best friendships that are sincere and the girls aren't catty or fighting over a guy?)
Lani Woodland does not waste any time at all with the action. This novel races off to a ghostly start that may make you want to reconsider reading it at midnight when you're home alone. The Pendrell Curse is not something you want to mess around with. And Woodland kept me in suspense by revealing only small pieces of the mystery at a time. Major props for a unique plot and execution. I can't say I've read anything quite like this plotline in my YA endeavors.
Towards the middle, Yara's hot-headedness grated my nerves ever-so-slightly, but I'm willing to forgive her because she's so take charge. I love that in my MCs. Her romance with lifeguard Brent, while teetering on "too much, too soon," actually panned out rather cutely (not sure if that's a word.) The two eased into a sweet relationship and I loved how "there for each other" they were.
There wasn't an explosion of a climactic scene, but I was left satisfied with the resolution of the conflict with the villain. I think that the story was tied up rather nicely, so I'm interested to see what other shenanigans Yara finds herself wrapped up in. You'll want to check out Intrinsical if you're looking for a book that will keep you peeking from under your covers during SNICK on a mid-90s Saturday night.