Tuesday, September 15, 2015

#Tuesday - Review-Except - Jillian Cade: (Fake) Paranormal Investigator by Jen Klein (YA-Paranormal)

Series: Unknown
Format: E-Galley, 288 pages
Release Date: September 1, 2015
Publisher: SoHo Teen
Source: Publisher via Edelweiss
Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal

Jillian Cade doesn’t believe in the paranormal. But her famous professor father does, and now that he’s gone, she decides to milk his reputation—and all the suckers who believe in the stuff—to open a private investigation firm. After all, a high school junior has to take care of herself, especially if she’s on her own.

Ironically, it’s when she takes on a case that might involve a totally non-paranormal missing person that things get strange. Particularly when Sky Ramsey—a new boy at school and an avid fan of her father’s—forces his way into becoming her partner and won’t shut up about succubi, of all things.

Before Jillian knows it, she finds herself navigating both her growing feelings for Sky and a sneaking suspicion that the poor saps she’s been scamming know something she doesn’t. Yet.

Jillian Cade: (Fake) Paranormal Investigator is apparently the first novel in what I hope is at least a trilogy. Having read both the Gallagher Girls and Veronica Mars, I can honestly say that this story swings more towards Veronica Mars. Not unlike Veronica, 17-year old Jillian Cade runs a business she calls Umbra Investigations. Let just put the facts on the table. Jillian is a brilliant learned con artist not unlike her own father. Have a nasty ghost haunting your house? Piece of cake! Place an ad, pay a retainer, and Jillian and her cousin Norbert will show up and get rid of your problem for you, pronto! 

What you should know about Jillian is that she doesn't believe in the paranormal world. Never has even though she lives with a so called expert on the subject, Lewis Cade, her father. Jillian takes on cases that involve the paranormal in order to bring in enough money to keep her alive, pay the bills, and so that she doesn't have to live with her with her Aunt and Uncle. Jillian also has a reputation in school as "the girl who shall not be fucked with." She has a hard exterior, a snarky attitude, and a carefree interior which leads to people keeping their distance. 

Jillian's father is totally out of the picture for the entire story traveling the world for reasons that allude both the reader and Jillian. Let's just say that he is searching for something, and leave it at that. Jillian's business model abruptly changes after a fellow student contacts her about her missing 21 year old boyfriend Todd Harmon, and the sudden arrival of the mysterious Sky Ramsey. Jillian will get a new outlook on life by being around Sky and finding a bit about her OWN existence from the most interesting of sources.

Let's talk about Sky for a moment. Sky is definitely an interesting character which you will learn more about by READING the book! He absolutely pushes himself into Jillian's business by refusing to go away. He honestly believes in the paranormal. He's a learned person in that he's read everything that Lewis has put out, and probably has watched his videos dozens of times. He could probably teach Jillian a thing or two if she would only open her mind to the realization that the paranormal does exist! The more Sky is around Jillian, the more the reader realizes that he is not wrong. Things like Succubus do exist and they are not something to mess around with! 

My recommendation: Borrow the book from someone, like the library, and read it! It has action, romance, danger, and some interesting revelations that need to be further explored! Even though there's no information on a sequel, I find it hard to grasp that the author would leave readers hanging off a CLIFFY without coming back and finishing what she started!    

**I received this book for free from (Publisher) via (Edelweiss) in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.**

After I got my class schedule, I went searching for my locker. I trudged up two flights of stairs, past hordes of other students who were all exchanging hugs and waves and big dumb OMGs about their stupid summers. I caught pieces of conversations as they floated by me. Apparently, most of my classmates had toured colleges or gone to the beach or been, like, totally bored. No one else had fake exterminated fake ghosts in fake haunted houses. Go figure.
I found my locker near the biology lab. Awesome: a year of smelling like formaldehyde. I dropped my backpack on the floor so I could dig the combination out of my jeans. Except the combination wasn’t in my right pocket. Or the left one. Or either of the back ones. Really? This? Already?
I was reaching down for my backpack—maybe I had shoved it in there after all—when I heard a voice from behind me.
“Six, thirty-nine, seventeen.”
I spun around. Standing in unacceptable violation of my personal space was a tall guy with messy blond hair, green eyes, and bright white teeth. Also, an inappropriate number of angles and muscles. For no apparent reason, my heart paused for a second, recovered, and kept beating…a little too quickly.
That was new.
The guy wore what looked like a military jacket covered with musician buttons and metal pins. He smiled down at me, brandishing a slip of paper between two of his fingers. My locker combination.
“It fell out of your pocket.”
“You shouldn’t be looking at my pockets,” I snapped, snatching the paper from him.
He was obviously brand new, gathering from the fact that he was (a) still smiling at me, (b) hot, but (c) not yet face-suctioned to Corabelle LaCaze or Angel Ortega. Those girls had game for miles, whereas I still didn’t even know the location of the stadium.
“I like pockets,” he said.
I could see what was going on. He was trying to assert his dominant place in the social hierarchy by messing with me. Or by flirting with me. Or by messing with me while flirting with me. Regardless, it was just what I didn’t need: a hot, deviant pickpocket on my ass (literally). I turned and concentrated on opening the lock. And trying to ignore him. But after two failed attempts at getting the combination right, I had to admit to myself that I couldn’t focus. He leaned against the adjoining locker, watching me…and apparently enjoying himself.
It made no sense whatsoever. It was high school, for crap’s sake. There had to be a cheerleader or two around that he could gawk at.
“Do you mind?” I asked.
“Not at all.”
I finally succeeded in yanking open the padlock. I slid the shackle out of the locker handle. “Ask around about me,” I said, avoiding his eyes. “If you’re looking for a new school romance, you’re barking up the wrong girl. I’m not the chick with a tough exterior concealing a wounded, golden heart, the one who’s aching for the right guy to notice her so he can crack her shell and sweep them both into the sunset. I might look like that
girl, but I’m not her.”
“Then which girl are you?”
“The one who wants to be left alone.” Even as I said it, there was that teeny-tiny part of me that knew it wasn’t true, but I forged ahead anyway. “I’m Jillian Cade, and chatting with me is not going to improve anything about your life, especially your social standing.”
My monologue did nothing in the way of discouraging him. In fact, it appeared to have the exact opposite effect. His green eyes widened. He straightened and suddenly got all formal, jutting out a hand toward my own. He was even closer now, close enough for me to get a whiff of minty toothpaste and boy shampoo.
“I’m Sky Ramsey, and if your father’s name is Lewis, then I beg to differ. Chatting with you has, in fact, improved my life. Significantly.”
Ah. There it was. He wasn’t talking to me. He was talking to the daughter of Lewis Cade.
I didn’t answer.
“You are the single pro next to a very long list of cons about moving here,” he added, dropping his hand when it was clear I wasn’t about to shake it.
There was no reason to be disappointed. Despite the fact that this guy—I mean Sky—was much prettier than the usual flock of Lewis Cade fanboys, that’s exactly what he was. Another brainwashed lemming looking to fling himself over the cliff of my father’s lies. God forbid a normal boy be into me, just once.
“You are a fan of fiction,” I informed him, “not a fan of me.”
Sky raised an eyebrow. “Fiction?”
I was great at promoting my father’s paranormal baloney when operating undercover, but I drew the line at real life. Fake Me ran my father’s fraudulent cases. Real Me called it like it was.
“Poorly written fiction,” I clarified.
“One man’s trash is another man’s treasure,” said Sky. “I’ve read everything your father has written—poorly or not—and the truth is that I would love to meet him.”
“You’re too late. He’s away on business.”
“I’m not going anywhere.”
“It might be permanent.” My voice hardened. “And even if he was here, I’ve got better things to do than arrange his playdates.”
Sky laughed. “Funny,” he said, which startled me. No one at school ever thought I was funny. Then again, I wasn’t exactly the class clown. He reached out to touch my arm. “Look, I didn’t ask to move to Van Nuys. Your name is the one familiar thing around here. I’m happy to meet you. That’s all.”
He gave my arm a gentle squeeze, and before I could think of anything to say in return, he sauntered away down the hall. I stared after him, wondering what had just happened. I turned back to my locker. I was about to toss my Muenster and pickle sandwich inside it when I realized it wasn’t empty. Leaning against the interior wall was a brown envelope.
What the hell?
I pulled out the envelope, ripped open the top edge, and upended it. A torn scrap of paper—maybe the size of my palm—fluttered out. I lifted it and scanned the printed text.
“What. The. Hell.”
This time I said it out loud. The thing I was holding made no sense. It had no reason to exist.
It was a piece of newspaper.
An obituary.
My obituary.

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