By Jessica Ruddick
Genre: YA Supernatural
Release Date: March 20th 2017
Birthright is a very consistent and well-paced book. It was very easy to get lost in Ava’s struggles and bravery in her wish for freedom. She is quite literally trapped in her life but continues to stay defiant against Xavier despite the destructive power he holds. I found it very easy to instantly like Ava. She is a very self-aware character who knows her own flaws and tries to improve herself despite everything going against her.
I particularly found her relationship with her mother moving. While she is angry with her mother for keeping the Seeker secret from her for years, she stills tries to push past her anger and be close to her. Both of them are trapped as Seekers, a job that requires them to name a person of pure white aura and therefore dooming them to death. The catch is that it is for the purpose of them possibly becoming angels. Possibly. While there is no guarantee and they never find out, they both struggle with being responsible for their deaths. In many ways, I could tell the subtle examples of anxiety and PTSD that Ava experiences. Biting her nails, nightmares, and a feeling of detachment are consistently in the book. She struggles with the guilt of the past people she’s named and desperately tries to figure out how to escape Xavier’s demands.
This book balances between a darker theme and the straightforward narrative of a young adult. Ava is mature for her age and keeps to herself but is still a teenager. Ruddick does a great job of giving Ava very mature experiences and then showing her own teenage urges for a normal life and feelings towards Cole. The only critique I would give is the age difference between Ava and Cole. While Cole is only two years older and still in high school, I thought having them a closer in age or moving slower towards a relationship would have been better. At times, I wanted them to become closer in getting to know one another instead of kissing as it felt more meaningful with Ava’s actions to save him. Of course, teenagers tend to be a bit more distracted towards other things. Overall, great book! Engaging moments and dynamics between characters and the rising action to the epic climax was perfect. I look forward to reading the next one!
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