Arcadia’s Gift by Jesi Lea Ryan
I received a copy of Arcadia’s Gift in exchange for an honest review. I have read Jesi Lea Ryan’s debut novel, Four Thousand Miles and was looking forward to her next offering. When she emailed me about reviewing it, I got even more excited because the book was taking place in my hometown of Dubuque, Iowa – and the characters even attend my high school of Dubuque Senior. When I first got to know Jesi, we both discovered we lived in Dubuque at one time, though she is now in Wisconsin and I am in Des Moines. Having that little personal connection made me eager to read the book, especially since there is a bit of a paranormal-type twist, which I love.
Arcadia “Cady” Day wakes up in the hospital with the memory of being hit by a train. But it wasn’t her that was in the accident,–– though the ache in her body and her days-long coma would beg to differ–– it was her twin sister, Lony who had lost in life in the Mines of Spain. Cady can’t believe how real it felt to her, and she also can’t believe her twin and best friend has been ripped away from her far too soon. Her family life has also been destroyed – her father is not living at home, her brother Aaron is suffering in silence, and her mom has taken to drinking and overmedicating to deal with her pain. The one bright spot is a new guy to Senior – Bryan Sullivan. Bryan helps Cady through her grief, and with the support of her close friends, Cady wonders if life is starting to head back to normal. But normal doesn’t seem to be in the cards for Cady, who starts to have more and more psychic episodes. Could she really have some sort of gift?
I loved every minute of this YA novel, and highly recommend Arcadia’s Gift! Not only was it touching and poignant with the loss of Cady, of new love, of a family dynamic through a tragedy, but Cady’s gift really made this story soar. I am very excited that this will be the first in a series, and cannot wait for book number two to come out. One to get on your must-read list!