Author: T.L. Gray
Publisher: Vabella Publishing
Release date: 31st Jan 2012
Source: For review from authorRating: 3 stars
Review'Don't judge a book by its cover.' I think this definitely applies to Milledgeville Misfit. Most people would probably overlook it as it's not very eye-catching or intriguing. The cover is so grey and dull and it really doesn't do the content justice.
Now on to the book itself. The opening was very enticing, where the main character Juniper invites the reader to listen to her story. It was fairly promising and I hoped that the book would continue to captivate me in this way. However, I'm afraid I guessed the twist early on and felt it was pretty obvious - I'm wondering if the author made it easy to guess on purpose. This took away the suspense and I didn't find myself sitting at the edge of my seat. It was quite slow-paced as well and I was beginning to wonder if anything 'big' was going to happen. Thankfully I didn't give up on it and it picks up the pace in the last third of the book where it gets more exciting and thrilling. I would have preferred it if there were more twists and action toward the beginning and middle of the book to keep me interested.
The premise isn't entirely unique but the way the author dealt with it made it much more fascinating. The last two chapters were kind of out of the blue and quite ridiculously unbelievable, but this added to the lingering mystery element of the book.I'm still a little surprised by the ending, which is truly thought-provoking and like no other.
Maybe because I figured out the mystery so soon, I didn't really warm to Juniper or the other 'orphans' straight away. I pitied Juniper because no one deserves to suffer what she had to go through and I understood her frustration but I didn't feel that urge to reach over and give her a hug. She just didn't feel 'real' enough but she grew on me towards the end. I did like the other orphans, especially blue-eyed Daniel who was always so protective of Juniper. He was the love interest and the author touched lightly on romance but it doesn't feature heavily in the book. I adored little Abby too and her innocent playfulness and I liked pink-haired Alex's quirkiness and love for animals. There isn't a large cast of characters, making it easy to get to know each of them.
The last third of the book had me hooked unlike the preceding chapters. Despite knowing the 'truth', it still hit me hard in the face when the author revealed it and I loved the sense of urgency, which I was so hungry for since the start. It was thrilling and captivating and I just wish this had been more consistent.
Milledgeville Misfit is a worth-while read full of mystery and guessing. As much as it is a thriller, it also deals with family, loss and love. I particularly enjoyed these aspects of the book: watching Juniper flourish from a vulnerable teen into a successful young adult as she continued her journey to find where she belonged. Despite several flaws, T.L. Gray effectively intertwines these themes to create an intriguing, psychological novel with a hard-hitting ending.
3 teacups for Milledgeville Misfit
Thank you to T.L. Gray and her publisher for the review copy.