Dahlia, written by newcomer Christina Channelle, is the first part of what’s to be the “Blood Crave” series.
Dahlia Winters, a seventeen year old girl, has been in and out of foster care for as long as she can remember. Only now, in the last year of high school has she ended up with a family who isn’t disconcerted with her mysterious past. Despite the hospitality and warmth, she begins to sense a feeling of unease, of someone watching her, waiting to reveal a secret that will change her life forever. A twist that this writer will not be revealing since it’s a true surprise in the book that a reader believes to have pegged down after one page turned.
The premise is fitting for a time period in literature where Young Adult books dominate not only the bookshelves but also entertainment and especially those of which that host a variety of all things mythical and magical. I applaud Channelle for straying from the completely obvious and rather decided to add an edge of originality to a tired tale.
Dahlia will undoubtedly appeal itself to the pre-teen audiences who don’t know what to do with themselves now that Edward Cullen isn’t in constant demand. They’ll readily stick their noses in a book promising mystique, misfit girls and bad boys.
The problem lies not within the plot but the execution, and most problems align themselves with a novice writer. For the nitpicking, there’s a reliance on adjectives and the stylistic misfortune of telling readers rather than showing. That coupled with a misuse of conversational tone communicates an image of a writer’s blog, rather than first novel.
This is a book with promise but would have benefited from a harsher editor. There would have been less mundane filler and more action (action and love is typically what young readers are today looking for i.e. The Hunger Games, Twilight). The key objective should have been to engage the reader from page one, and instead, it took about one hundred plus pages to pique the interest of this one.
Like many books of the same genre, the side characters manage to capture interest better and quicker than the protagonist. If given more time to develop Sam, Dahlia’s foster brother, there could have been a true emotional connection to him and the path his story ends up taking.
I applaud self-publishers and believe it’s a truly phenomenal form of creativity that requires real determination. However, just because it’s done with little aid doesn’t mean that the quality should falter, nor should it venture into writing for the sake of filling pages, rather than writing for the sole purpose of telling a story. The fact of the matter is that at least one hundred pages of this book could have been cut out and if they had been the ending product would have impressed better than the one out now.
This is the first in a series for Channelle so I have faith that the others will find their footing now that the shaky first is out of the way.
I recommend this book for a younger audience and for whoever wishes for some mindless entertainment.
Not yet on solid ground but hopefully with some editing, the second of the series will fare better.
Dahlia is now available for purchase.
Publisher: Christina Channelle
Length: 320 Pages
Series: Blood Crave Series
Source: ARC (Supplied by publisher)
Genre: Young Adult