Wednesday, May 26, 2010

BOOK REVIEW: The Turning: What Curiosity Kills

So the day has finally arrived. My FIRST book review. I'm ecstatic, not only because I was ASKED to do a review but because of the spectacular selection I was given to review: The Turning: What Curiosity Kills by Helen Ellis. I am very thankful to SOURCEBOOKS for supplying me with this copy.

Title: The Turning: What Curiosity Kills
Author: Helen Ellis
Genre: Young Adult
Released date: May 1, 2010

My favorite line: "Like swallowing a mouse, kid. Put her head in your mouth, and suck like a straw."

Mary Richards is a normal sixteen-year-old girl living in Manhattan. Well, almost normal. She goes to private school on the Upper East Side, having been saved from a life of squalor by an adoptive family. But she’s also slowly transforming into a cat. 

Struggling to hide her physical metamorphosis, Mary discovers that she isn’t alone. A whole race of cat people prowls the streets of Manhattan at night, including Mary’s long-time crush, Nick. 

Aside from heightened feline senses, hanging out with Nick is the best thing about discovering her inner kitty. But Mary’s transformation is special and could decide the outcome of a citywide turf war. She must decide whether to embrace her powerful feline side and become a pack leader or go back to being a normal teenage girl. Can she land on her feet or will curiosity be her downfall?

My Personal Splats: The first thing that struck me was the cover. Yes, a girl's face. But it was her eyes or should I say 'one eye' that struck me. When I received the book, honestly I had no idea what it was about. Read the blurb as you have, and thought 'Inner kitty' hmm.... I thought it was just a phrase. It wasn't. 

On the paranormal plane, the story was different from most I've read. 'The Turning' is a sort of mythical puberty for those affected. Couple that with high school, being adopted, having a crush on a boy who...well, would never notice you and you have a great young adult story. The way Mary (main character) finds herself through this 'Turning', her new found relationship with Nick (the boy she had a crush on), and the choices she's faced with can be translated to real life situations for teens of today. I really liked that. 

I found it easy to understand and a very quick read. The story world is well built and believable. My favorite part is the language Helen has chosen to use throughout the story. It's laid-back, yet straight forward. The relationship develops naturally between Mary and her sister Octavia, and their conflicts feel real and ordinary. Octavia's brazen speech offsets Mary's calmer quality nicely. It set a great tone throughout the book. Helen does a nice job of using it to show the inner growth of both girls.  

The ending was a surprise for me. It wraps up within the last five pages, so you must read until the end. Trust me. It will be interesting to see where the next story will take Mary, her now boyfriend Nick, and Octavia.

A few places to purchase: AMAZON, BARNES AND NOBLE.


  1. I flipped through this at the bookstore yesterday. What I read, looked like a good read. Maybe I'll go back and *buy*

  2. Great review! Yet another YA book that I would have never heard of otherwise- thanks!

  3. Thanks for the reveiw. I'd never heard of the book until. Adding it to my list.

  4. sounds fun and 'new.' I like the idea of turning into a cat (an animal I possess a certain fondness for); imagine being able to see so well at night. Definitely sounds like an appealing read. Great review, Sher.

  5. Sounds interesting! Not a fan of YA but recently I've been reading about a lot of intriguing YA plots. GReat post!

  6. It really is a fun read. Quick for those 'I'm sitting at a baseball/soccer field' days.

  7. Great review. The cover draws me too. I'm going to add this to my list to read. I'm especially interested because of the adoption theme. My daughter's adopted from China and I don't find too many books with adopted kids portrayed realistically.

  8. wow. this sounds like a crazy-interesting book. I may have to check it out. The premise almost sounds cheesy, but your review gives it some gravity and mystery. I also looooove surprise endings.

    Congrats on your first review ;)

  9. wow this sounds like a really unique story! i picked it up at the bookstore the other day, but wasn't really pulled in the by the blurb as much as i was the cover. so i put it back on the shelf.

    but i think i might need to head back and take it home! this is a totally different take on the paranormal trend. i like it!

    thanks so much for the review!!


  10. Yeah MBW...agreed! And you're welcome, Tahereh. It honestly was my pleasure. I can't wait for them to ask me to do this again. ";-)
    *Hint, hint*

  11. I'm enjoying this, too! I haven't been making fast progress up to now because of other stuff going on (launching a book, husband's new job, re-writing WIP, and oh, that little day job thing) but I've reached "the turning" and I'm excited to continue!

  12. The cover alone makes me want to read this, but your review seals the deal. Must get book.

  13. Sounds interesting. I'll have to add it to my tbr pile. Thanks for the great review!

  14. Great review. This sounds like a very interesting read -- I'd love to read it. :)

  15. Congrats on your first review! Here to many more to come!


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