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Julie Doe

The Willow - Stacey Kennedy I tried to finish this book. I really did. Unfortunately, the plot is inane, the characters are juvenile, and the world-building is practically non-existent. I quit about 60% of the way through the book.

The plot: Nexi Jones' adoptive parents die in a car accident. One week later, she tries to kill herself but instead of dying, she wakes up in high school..., er, Otherworld. She learns that her biological parents were residents of Otherworld, makes friends with the cool kids...er, three other Guardians, witches, etc. Within 24 hours, she is "happy". The kids go clubbing, and Nexi goes out on a date, all while training in hand-to-hand combat to become a Guardian herself. After just two weeks, she is so accomplished that she can defeat the king of the weres and the master of the vampires. With a sword...which she has never used until the day she has to fight these two to prove her merit. Um, yeah.

Then she is sent out with Kyden (her lover and trainer) as a partner to kill the bad guys who are killing humans. In a kilt and an armored bra. Because skimpy, highly-reflective clothing is soooo low visibility when stalking creatures of the night and soooo practical against fangs and claws. Another female character - a witch - who helps them out has a rare and super-secret power to be able to "manipulate time" and create a vision of how each killing occurred. Her talent is so super-secret that she performs this task in front of the Guardians' random informants in the human police force.

From there, the story became about why some wolves were killing maliciously for pleasure....blah, blah, blah. By this point, the plot is so ridiculous that I just don't care anymore.

The characters: How old are these kids anyway? Supposedly, they're in their twenties, but they act like they are 16. Remember I mentioned high school above. Nexi is the perfect plain-Jane new girl whom everyone immediately loves. She can do no wrong. Quickly, she is transformed into a beauty with a little make-up and a new hair style (compliments of another character). The other main female character giggles a lot and bounces up and down when excited; she behaves more like a five-year-old than even a 16-yr-old. Adult men have a pillow fight during a serious conversation. *sigh*

The world-building: What world-building? The Guardians supposedly protect humans from being preyed on by supernatural creatures. We are never told any history of the Guardians, where they came from, how they came to be. There are also witches living with the Guardians. What role do they play? What's their history? Sorry, don't know. How extensive is Otherworld? What does it look like beyond the castle and the Witches Meadow? Never learn that either. Why are there apparently modern "apartments" and modern appliances in a castle in a different dimension? How do all of Nexi's clothes mysteriously appear in her new apartment? Don't know. *sigh*

Overall, I sighed (not in a good way) and laughed (also not in a good way) a lot while struggling through the first half of this book. The combined problems with world-building, plot, and characters made this a DNF.