Midnight Runes by Celeste Buie
Reviewer: Sally Sparrow
Amazon | Goodreads
Amazon | Goodreads
I am not a huge fan of YA novels as there is frequently too much teen chatter for my taste, but the premise of this book was so interesting I wanted to read it anyway.
There is quite a bit of teenager chatter.
However, if you don’t mind that, or can look past it, the story itself is quite compelling.
After repeatedly blowing her off, Brynn’s older boyfriend breaks up with her right before she starts her senior year of high school. He’s been acting odd for a while, and since their families have been friends for decades, Brynn has known Trevor for literally her entire life. She knows there is something strange going on - Trevor ignores all of his old friends in favor of his new, mysterious group of friends - but other than fruitlessly badgering Trevor for information Brynn doesn’t know how to learn the truth. Life goes on, with all of the drama of high school, as more puzzling things happen and the mystery is slowly revealed.
It took me a while to get sucked into this book. For starters, there are a lot of explanations: explaining what everyone looks like, explaining how the town is set up, explaining the social workings of the school, etc. Brynn is more telling the readers her story rather than bringing us along for the ride that is her life. Going along for the ride is infinitely more fun than being told a story. Secondly, because of all the telling, it felt like the set up was very slow. You eventually realize the importance of the early scenes, but at the time I was impatient for things to get exciting.
Brynn is quite likable, as are her friends. There is a love triangle, which is fun, but a complete lack of sex. Not that I want to read teen sex scenes, but I always find it a bit awkward when the topic is completely ignored. It is tricky territory and I have yet to find a YA author who navigates this skillfully. In this case, very few of the characters seem to be interested in having a love life, which is notable because Brynn shares so many other details. Having so many platonic, seemingly asexual male friends is not very realistic.
This is most definitely a Part 1 book. There is something of a resolution at the end, so we readers don’t walk away completely perplexed and empty-handed, but the big conclusion to the mystery is still far off.
My only real gripe here - the teenspeak I am so not fond of frequently comes with the YA territory so I shouldn’t really complain about that - is that while I am eager to see how this plays out, the rest of the series hasn’t yet been published.
I am forever impatient.