Review: Darwin’s Children by Natasha Larry

Darwin’s Children by Natasha Larry
Series: Volume One
Release date: June, 2011
Publisher:  Penumbra Publishing
Source: ebook for review from author

Life can get pretty complicated for any seventeen-year-old girl, but for a home-schooled telepathic black girl trying to survive in a prestigious private school in small-town Jonesborough, Tennessee, it can be maddening – especially when her telepathic father keeps eavesdropping on her thoughts!

Jaycie Lerner’s family isn’t the usual mom-dad-kid setup. Jaycie’s mom’s MIA, but Allison, her personal live-in ‘trainer,’ is more than a mom, with her own special abilities, like being able to lift cars and run incredibly fast. And Jaycie’s godfather John is more than persuasive – he can literally convince anyone to do anything.

As far as the rest of the world’s concerned, Jaycie’s on the outside looking in. The townsfolk love Jaycie’s pediatrician father, but she doesn’t fit in with ‘normal’ kids, and she doesn’t really want to. Most of her free time is spent training to keep her telekinetic and telepathic powers under control. But there’s one thing she can’t control – and that’s her feelings, especially when her best friend Matt is nearby. If only he knew what she was truly capable of…

Everything seems to be status quo for Jaycie until she receives a cryptic message from a stranger and meets a very unusual girl new to Jonesborough. Then all hell breaks loose!

Warning: Sexual abuse and violence.
My Cover Thoughts: I liked the cover.

Review: When I first started this book, I enjoyed getting to know the main character, Jaycie, as she discovers her special powers. Her interactions with her personal “trainer” and her father were especially entertaining. There was some light romance involving a best friend, Matt, turning into her boyfriend.

The story took a different twist when a guardian popped up and told Jaycie to get a job and that’s where she meets another character, Haylee, leading a very hard life with an alcoholic mother. As the story continued, I enjoyed the developing friendship between the girls as Jaycie continues to try to figure out her relationship with her best friend/boyfriend. Without Haylee realizing it, Jaycie finds out she also has special powers and isn’t sure how to let her friend know without scaring her off.

Haylee begins spending more and more time with Jaycie, including more time at her house since her mom isn’t around much. The two develop a trusting relationship and Jaycie finally tells Haylee the truth. At this point, the story took on a very disturbing twist when Jaycie finds out that Haylee was sexually abused by strangers with her father’s permission. Jaycie takes on her friend’s pain and devises a way to get revenge.

I did not finish this book. The scene where Haylee was being abused was sickening and not necessary for this book to make its point. When Jaycie began plotting revenge for her friend and kidnaps the dad, I simply stopped reading it from lack of interest in where the story was going.

Advice: As a young adult librarian, I do not recommend this book for young adults.


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