Jeremy Tarleton has developed feelings for one of his oldest friends. But how can he tell her? Mackie has been different this fall, ever since she nearly drowned in the summer while boating with her family. Jeremy volunteers at a wildlife shelter, and Mackie starts helping there as well. That’s when Jeremy notices her strange relationship with the animals in their care. The minute they see Mackie, they not only calm instantly, but they defer to her – something Jeremy has never seen before. Mackie is drawn to sick and suffering animals and appears to have an impact on their improvement and well-being.
Mackie broke up with her boyfriend, Brody, after her accident, and once he gets wind of Mackie and Jeremy working together, he sees Jeremy as a threat to his plan to be with Mackie. And once Jeremy and Mackie start to spend time together, Jeremy discovers that Brody never accepted the break-up and has been continuously texting Mackie, refusing to let go.
One night after a dance, Jeremy, Mackie and their friends play an innocent game with the Ouija board. it’s obviously a joke until Jeremy and Mackie both get weird messages. Just one more unexplainable thing in a long line of strange occurrences. Are past lives somehow involved in what is going on with Mackie? And is it Jeremy’s destiny to rescue her…again?
This book is a Dagwood sandwich. There are so many different stories going on. It seems as soon as a new element is introduced, the story shifts and only focuses on that one thing. Then it changes again. It’s like a giant digression, over and over, like there was too much story for just one volume. When it started, I just had no idea as to where it was going, Well, actually I thought I did, but then it would change paths, over and over. I couldn’t tell if it was a contemporary fiction, fantasy, or Greek tragedy. Things get tied up, so it doesn’t leave you hanging, but I feel like there was way too much going on. And for all of the action, so little happened.
The book is told in first person from Jeremy’s perspective. He seems like your average high school junior, but he’s a boy and his descriptions of things were, many times, just not something a 16-year-old boy would notice, much less think. He called his underwear “briefs” (hey, maybe they do that in Oregon) and used the exclamation “Stinkeroo!” He mentioned a clothes tree and the foyer and many other words that I do not associate with this age of a boy. I think that’s the danger of writing in first person; everything becomes his words, and these were too adult and specifically, things more associated with what women would notice. Overall, there was just way too much description about everything and it seemed to take up more in the book than the story did.
And something you don’t see every day in YA – the parents were really paying attention! Always asking who was going and who was driving and when they had to be home…plus the healthy eating was amazing! While it was refreshing to see parents actually parenting, it seemed a little forced (along with the healthy eating) as to be slightly on the unbelievable side. There were only a couple of “bad” kids, and they drank and did drugs. It was super easy to tell the bad apples, Mom and Dad!
And when something bad happens, the adults/police/friends/Jeremy don’t even think to look in the obvious direction. Bottom line, this seemed like a tale that an adult would want a teen to read. I was disappointed, to say the least.
Who Is Mackie Spence? by Lin Kaymer was published January 2, 2015, by Merit Press. A free copy of this book was given to Ink and Page in return for an honest review. Big thanks to the Publisher for their generosity.
Genre: Young Adult Fiction Fantasy Thriller Romance
Ages: 12 and up
COYER Scavenger Hunt #21: Read a book featuring a male protagonist. (2 points)