4 stars

Eliza Nolan – Phoenix Awakens (The Phoenix #1)

A paranormal debut about a high school senior who finds herself in a fight with a secret society for control of ancient magic. Julia never believed in magic. Julia Long is starting her senior year with an extra dose of crazy. The dreams of cultish, bloody rituals are weird enough, but the victim in her lifelike dreams is her new classmate, Southern charmer Graham. Graham admits he was a Phoenix — part of a centuries old secret society — but swears he left it all behind. As Julia works with Graham to figure out why she is dreaming about his past, she’s discovering she has other abilities. She heals Graham’s migraines with a touch, and there’s her superhuman strength that comes and goes. Julia doesn’t know where her new talents come from, but there’s no denying that when Graham is near, her powers kick into overdrive. But the Phoenix Society wants Graham back. They need his blood to awaken the magic they seek, and they’ll do whatever it takes to get it. Can Julia uncover the truth behind her connection to Graham? How far will Julia go in order to save Graham and stop the Phoenixes from harnessing this powerful magic?
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I received a copy of this book in exchange of an honest review.

This is Eliza Nolan first ever novel and I say she did a pretty good job with it. Nowadays I don’t really like the YA books, it’s getting harder for me to connect with the characters but I liked this story well enough.

The book itself is not too long and after the first couple of chapters it became really fast spaced, maybe even a bit too much so. The storyline is quite exciting but also really well balanced. I mean there is just enough supernatural problems and everyday teenage stuff in it to not overwhelm the one or the other. Plus the plot has a really interesting base and origin. I also really liked that the whole plot is wrote, structured is a way that the situations and the dialogues felt honest and realistic. However the world building is a bit lacking. The author left quite a few things unexplained.
The writing style is easy to read, airy and creative. I see good things for her in the future.

Julia, the main character is clever, resourceful and has a good worldview. Finally a teenage girl who isn’t stereotyped. She doesn’t overdramatize or live in a dream world. She is realistic. Her character is a breath of fresh air after the numerous bubbly one. I liked her.
Unfortunately, the other characters deeper personality is not revealed, they kind of stay in the shadows. I liked to get to know more about them. Well, maybe in the next book.


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