Book #1 of the Countenance Series
by Addison Moore
Publisher: Self-Published (Sept 2012)
Genre: YA, Paranormal
Format: eBook (412 pages)
Source: Provided by author for blog tour
Purchase: Amazon / Barnes & Noble
Rating: ★★★½☆ (3.5 stars)
The last thing Laken Stewart remembers is the oncoming car, then bursting through the windshield.
Two months dissolve without her knowledge and she finds herself in unfamiliar surroundings with strangers who not only profess to know her but insist she’s someone else entirely.
Laken discovers her long dead boyfriend, Wesley, has been thrown into this alternate world as well. He is quick to inform her she suffered a horrible fall and that her memory hasn’t fully returned. According to Wesley the other life she had—her name, her family, they were simply a side effect of her brain trauma.
In her quest for answers she meets Cooper Flanders, the son of her psychiatrist who readily believes every word she says.
Laken Stewart knows she died on that hot July afternoon, but now she’s alive—or is she? ~Add on Goodreads
At a Glance
I was so, so excited at the beginning of this book. It was funny, scary, and hot. Then it lost it’s momentum and had a mediocre ending. I enjoyed reading Ephemeral, I just wish the plot was more structured.
Here’s The Story…
Laken could have sworn she died. But everyone around her keeps telling her otherwise. Deep down she knows she doesn’t belong in this alternate reality, but it’s hard to say goodbye again to the people she loves. Even if they are slightly different versions from the people she remembers. And though her boyfriend Wesley tries to convince her that her memories of a different life are only caused by brain trauma, Laken knows deep down that it’s not true. But only one person believes her: Cooper. The boy who makes her mind go naughty and wants to help her find her real family. But can Laken leave Wes behind after she just got him back? Can she resist Cooper long enough to follow through with the plan that will bring both of them the answers they need?
I Want More Moore…
I may not have liked everything about Moore’s writing, but I will give her this: she is damn funny. I straight up laughed out loud through half this book. Moore gave Laken a very unique personality that had me smiling and snickering even during the frightening moments. And the imagery was amazing. Moore goes beyond descriptive writing and literally creates vivid pictures with each sentence.
Laken, as a character, took this book from good to great. She tried to make light of her situation, which is something I do, so I could relate. It took a very gloomy concept and made it a fun read. Laken is the kind of character that rolls with the punches. She knows something is wrong with her new world but she plays along as much as she can. She is also horny as hell. She always finds erotic undertones in EVERYTHING. When it came to her relationship with Wes, they kind of switched gender roles in that she always wants to have sex and he wants to wait. I found that refreshing.
Let’s Hear It For The Boys…
Wes, for me, is a little bit of a nonentity. He was there for most of the book, but what Laken remembers of him is mostly from her other reality. In this one, he is secretive and…off. I just never really got into his character. But Cooper, he’s a whole other story. He’s just so intriguing. I want to know more about him. And you can’t help but love him for believing Laken when no one else would. Cooper’s interest in Laken seems more pure compared to Wes. He is the kind of guy you want watching your back…and kissing your front. Woah, who said that?
The world Moore created in Ephemeral has major potential to grow and become more complex. The book left us with more questions than answers, so I am dying to read the next book. This is definitely a fun book with a unique concept. We get zombies, which is always a plus in my book. The reason for their existence in this world seemed a little convenient, but I enjoyed the creepy moments they provided throughout the novel.
There are some aspects of Moore’s writing that I loved and some that were flat out annoying. One of the irritating things was her obsession with describing looks in such great detail. She had Laken spend paragraph after paragraph on someone’s looks and cloths. Then almost every description turned sexual. It was all just too much sometimes.
I liked the sexual emphasis of this book but at times it was exhausting. Moore rarely let up. Everything was sexual to Laken. She must be a nympho or something. I swear, I have never read a YA book with the word ‘vagina’ said so often.
I soon realized that though this book was fun to read, it ended up reading like ‘a day in the life of’ type of book. The main plot was not the focus, it was what happened to Laken every day, every hour, every minute that we read the most. I wish the interesting concept Moore came up with was more the focal point of the story. At least she could have added a couple more substantial scenes to even everything out. And the world building lacked. I still don’t understand a lot about the world Laken has been put in.
Then, the worst part, there was no climax at the end. Nothing huge happened, just a little more information and another zombie attack…the end. This book could have been way shorter, especially if it was going to end at a point that really wasn’t that interesting. It had a To Be Continued feel, which was disappointing after reading 400 pages.
OMG, I have never encountered such a horny protagonist before. Laken has sex on the brain ALL THE TIME. I actually found it funny. It was different though, it took time to get use to. I like Wesley and Laken’s relationship a lot, but it does not compare to the potential that Laken and Cooper have. Though Wes and Laken make an amazing couple, I think Wes is her past and Cooper is her future. Hell, I wish Cooper was MY future.
Either way, this book lays the sexual tension on thick. This book may be YA, but it has to be toeing the line of adult or new adult at least. Moore really knows how to make a girl blush while reading. LOL.
As you can see, there was a lot of bad parts in Ephemeral, but I still enjoyed the book immensely. I think Moore has huge potential on creating a hit. I wish there was more “big moments” that made me gasp, but alas there was very little. But the concept and the characters almost held this book all by themselves. I know I for one will be continuing this series. A recommended read.
In the grand scheme of things, you’ll be dead a lot longer than you’ll ever be alive.
I marinate in that truth, baste in the beauty of its wisdom while peering out at the dull emerald world. I fumble through dense woods with roots that race across the forest floor like wild, petrified snakes. Wisps of lamp-lit fog twist throughout the narrow trails as gnarled branches coil around the evergreens.
Something stirs from behind, disrupts the silent with the heavy crush of leaves.
Cooper coasts over me with his glacial-clear eyes, a black ring around each cornea. I’ve never seen that on a human before. My neighbor has a Husky with those eyes–hottest-looking dog on the planet.
Cooper gives a little huff of a laugh as if he heard me.
“Yes.” He nods incredulously. “I believe in love.” His demeanor changes, softens. A rise of color touches the apples of his cheeks. “I believe when the time is right, if you’re patient, the right person will walk into your life.” He exhales softly, without breaking our gaze. “Then everything changes.”
Addison Moore is the author of young adult fiction and romance. She has worked as therapist on a locked psychiatric unit for almost a decade. She is the mother of four wonderful children. She resides on the West Coast with her family and two dogs where she eats too much chocolate and stays up way too late. When she’s not writing, she’s reading.