Book Reviews: Arcadia Novels, Acardia's Gift and Arcadia's Curse, Books 1 and 2

I had not read the first book, Arcadia's Gift, in author Jesi Lea Ryan's Arcadia series when I was offered the opportunity to review Book 2--Arcadia's Curse. The descriptions held just enough reality vs. paranormal/fantasy to catch my interest and draw me into reading not just one of the books--but, both of them. After all, I couldn't very well read about a curse instead of a gift....or not know how a gift became a curse, now could I? What did I think of Arcadia's Gift and Arcadia's Curse?  

I received complimentary copies of both books in this series for use in my review. All opinions are my own.  I may also receive slight compensation from affiliate linking within my posts.

Quick Summary of Arcadia's Gift.  Most people who experience death don't live to tell about it. When sixteen year old Arcadia "Cady" Day wakes in a hospital after experiencing what can only be called a psychic episode, she finds her family in tatters. With her twin sister gone, her dad moved out, her mom's spiraling depression and her sister's boyfriend, Cane, barely able to look at her, the only bright spot in her life is Bryan Sullivan, the new guy in school. When Bryan's around, Cady can almost pretend she's a regular girl, living a regular life; when he's not, she's wracked with wild, inexplicable mood swings. As her home life crumbles and her emotional control slips away, Cady begins to suspect that her first psychic episode was just the beginning...

Well written young adult fiction.  As an adult reading young adult fiction (usually to review for a tween with a high reading level)--I don't always find the novels well written and believable.  Paranormal or fantasy books concerning high school aged girls are often so focused on misguided love interests or dramatically transform a normal teenager into a totally different character with opposite personality traits after a few chapters once a power or "gift" is realized.  Ryan doesn't do that with Cady.  While teen dramas occur in the book and the character does have a romantic interest--the book isn't written around the love interest and has a real plot and character dialogue.

 Would I recommend Arcadia's Gift?  This book was really good--and was one that I would let my middle school daughter read as well.  It's well written and leaves just enough of a cliffhanger to leave readers ready and waiting for book 2--Arcadia's Curse.  It's a nice break from the vampires, witches and mystics so often featured in young adult fiction!

Quick Summary of Arcadia's Curse.  Think high school sucks? Try being an empath who has to experience everyone else’s suckage on top of your own. (Literally.) In the months since her family life imploded and her psychic gifts began to arise, Cady has struggled to figure out how she can fit into her normal life without going crazy from the constant presence of emotional energy. Her grades have tanked. Her best friend is afraid of her. And she begins to have doubts about why her boyfriend, Bryan, is really keeping her around. But a chance meeting with another gifted girl online opens up a whole new world of possibilities. Unfortunately, this new world comes at an awful price.

Arcadia's Curse is even better than the first.  I really liked Arcadia's Gift--and was really excited to read the second book.  Sometimes, though, a second or third book in a series just lacks something.  I so hoped that Arcadia's Curse would be as well written as the first--and I actually found that I liked this book even better.   Ryan's writing style continued as evenly as the first book with her plot and character development flowing easily.  As with the first, the reader isn't left hanging for another book--but wanting to read another Arcadia story.

Would I recommend Arcadia's Curse?  I would recommend both books in the series--and I think that it is worth the reader's time to read both books in the series.  Book 2 could certainly be read without the first book--but, if the description appeals to you--read both!

Buy  Arcadia's Gift in Paperback |
Arcadia's Gift on Kindle | Arcadia's Curse Kindle

About the Author:

Jesi Lea Ryan grew up in the Mississippi River town of Dubuque, IA. She holds bachelor degrees in creative writing and literature and a masters degree in business. She considers herself a well-rounded nerd who can spend hours on the internet researching things like British history, anthropology of ancient people, geography of random parts of the world, bad tattoos and the paranormal. She currently lives in Madison, WI with her husband and two exceptionally naughty kitties.

Connect with Jesi Lea here: Facebook/Twitter/Website/Blog

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  1. Thank you so much for the wonderful reviews. I really appreciate you taking the time to read both books. ~Jesi



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