Title: Chasing Power
Author: Sarah Beth Durst
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
Format: Hardcover, 376 pages
Publishing Information: Bloomsbury USA Childrens (October 14, 2014)
Source: ARC for review
Lies, secrets, and magic — three things that define Kayla’s life.
Sixteen-year-old Kayla plans to spend her summer hanging out on the beach in Santa Barbara and stealing whatever she wants, whenever she wants it. Born with the ability to move things with her mind — things like credit cards, diamond rings, and buttons on cash registers — she has become a master shoplifter. She steals to build up a safety net, enough money for her and her mom to be able to flee if her dad finds them again. Well, that, and the thrill of using her secret talents.
But her summer plans change when she’s caught stealing by a boy named Daniel — a boy who needs her help and is willing to blackmail her to get it. Daniel has a talent of his own. He can teleport, appearing anywhere in the world in an instant, but he lies as easily as he travels. Together, they embark on a quest to find and steal an ancient incantation, written on three indestructible stones and hidden millennia ago, all to rescue Daniel’s kidnapped mother. But Kayla has no idea that this rescue mission will lead back to her own family — and to betrayals that she may not be able to forgive… or survive.
I was super excited to get my hands on an ARC of this book. As a fan of the TV show Heroes and everything X-Men, I’m really into reading books with characters that have supernatural powers. In Chasing Power by Sarah Beth Durst, the main character Kayla, has telekinetic powers and lives in Santa Barbara, California. Due to family problems, she needs to use her powers to become a master thief and help ensure financial security for herself and her mom. Her mother, Moonbeam, disapproves of Kayla using her powers at all and so Kayla keeps the use of her powers hidden from everyone except for her best friend, Selena. Or so she thinks…
One day, a boy named Daniel who has the power of teleportation, pretty much blackmails Kayla into helping him rescue his kidnapped mother. In order to save Daniel’s mother, Kayla and Daniel have to hunt down three magical stones throughout Latin America. During their journey together, Kayla and Daniel discover many secrets about themselves and learn that their pasts and families are intertwined.
I truly had a fun time with this book — it takes you on an adventure to various parts of the world and after reading it, I really wanted to go travel to ancient sites. Also, the writing style and imagery is so beautiful, for example:
“Lying curled against Daniel, Kayla listened to his heartbeat, the slap of the waves on the raft, and the wind. Overhead, the sky was streaked with rose-colored clouds and deep blue clouds that looked like smears of paint. In the west, the sun was sinking, and it looked like lave, melting into the ocean.” (p. 323)
Sarah is a very talented writer and knows how to provide the perfect balance of relaxing description-filled scenes with action-packed magical ones. Her writing draws you into the book very quickly and you won’t be able to put the book down.
The characters in this book are terrific. I really liked the main character Kayla, she was super witty, funny, and aware of her strengths as well as her weaknesses. However, I think my favorite character throughout the book was Kayla’s sidekick/best friend, Selena. Selena is snarky, intelligent, reliable, and yet has a vulnerable side that she struggles with. She is such a great addition to the story it would be absolutely fantastic if there is a novella released with her POV (wink, wink, nudge, nudge Sarah!). All of the main characters immensely develop and mature throughout the story, and I definitely enjoyed getting to go on a crazy splendid adventure with them.
The ending of this book is sweet and I completed the book feeling, overall, pretty happy with the way things turned out. I was left with a few questions about certain events that took place towards the end but perhaps there will be a sequel. If you want to go on an supernatural adventure, with many plots twists, surprises, and hilarious dialogue, I definitely recommend that you pick up this book.