Review: "Crossing the Barrier" by Martine Lewis

After a grueling schedule throughout August, I have finally found the time to review the next book in my summer reading list! As always, possible spoilers may come of this review (and I'll do my best as before to avoid said spoilers). Let's begin with the summary before I dive into my overall reaction to Martine Lewis' book, Crossing the Barrier.

High school student Malakai Thomas, star wide receiver of the varsity team, collides with band member Lily Morgan on his way to football practice. As days go by, Malakai cannot get the petite clarinetist out of his head.

Lily Morgan can feel everyone's emotions. She loses her ability to shield herself against them the day Malakai runs into her. Now she must try to maintain her sanity in the emotional jungle that is high school, as well as deal with her growing feelings for Malakai.

Can Malakai get over the social stigma and his own internal struggle to be with Lily? Is Lily's secret too big to accept, even for him?

It is admittedly refreshing to see interesting fiction written for younger audiences. Based upon what has appeared previously on this blog, I can confidently say that this has been the "youngest fiction" piece I've reviewed yet. Like every book I will ever read, there are good things and things I can nit-pick but overall my reaction to this book was very positive.

The characters Lily and Malakai are solid, their romance sweet and the touch of the supernatural keeps things interesting. I expected more from the supporting characters, Zoe being a possible exception to this, as I felt the commentary on high school social graces limited their drive to be more involved in the plot. That being said, I could be jaded in this opinion as this is the very first book in an entire series and it would be pretentious of me to deny that each character, especially Wes, seemingly have their secrets. This could be subject to change through the following sequels and I optimistically welcome it.

My compliments also go out to Lewis' vivid description of Lily's empath powers. Every step of the way I was clearly versed on how and what Lily felt even though the book ended with Lily's powers not being fully explained (as is to be expected from series fiction). Lily's powers are a scintillating mystery that would definitely bring me back for more.

Overall a good book with just enough intrigue and excitement to keep you turning the pages.

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