Publisher: Crescent Moon Press (January 12, 2012)
Format: Kindle Edition
If you’re like me, you’re going to pick this book up and go WTF?! The title isn’t Pedigree Moon? It’s Perigee Moon? What does that even mean? And after
doing a bit of google research you will have some vague recollection of 9th grade astronomy class and the definitions of both perigee and apogee. You’d think being a classics major (and by classics I mean Greek and Latin, not literature), I would know this but I don’t. I’ve disappointed even myself tonight: the perigee of the moon refers to when the moon is closest to the Earth and conversely, the apogee is when it’s farthest away. Don’t think this is important or anything because honestly, it’s not. The perigee of the moon has nothing to do with the book Perigee Moon beyond one minor plot point way at the end so we’re all in the clear.
Rowan Bliss was born with a gift: she can feel the emotions of those around her and even track down people via their emotions. But this gift turns into a curse shortly after her mother dies in a house fire and Rowan, overwhelmed by the emotions of everyone around her, unsuccessfully attempts suicide in her best friend’s bathtub. When this does nothing but alienate her from her grieving father and brother, she decides a move to her mother’s hometown of Ipswich, Massachusetts is the only way she can truly come to terms with her mother’s death. When she moves in with her grandma and grandpa and starts at her new school, her life seems to be back on track. However she’s doomed after meeting the mysterious Alex and becomes instantly obsessed. She’s never seen him before but something about him draws her to him. Eventually a fragile romance blooms between them and Rowan feels the wounds of her mother’s death begin to close. But Alex has a deep, dark secret of his own. He’s actually a witch from 1692 who has been dreaming of Rowan since he was 8 years old. He’s powerful enough to travel through time to find her but dark forces are at work in his time. His own mother was hanged for witchcraft and though he tries to play the part of a good Puritan, all of 17th century Ipswich is suspicious of him because of his mother. Through her relationship with Alex, Rowan learns that her own gift is due to the fact that she comes from a line of witches. As Rowan begins to practice and grow in power, both she and Alex search frantically for a way for their ill-timed love to continue despite the differences between them, Alex’s power hungry family, and the very forces of magic hoping to keep them apart.
I’m going to start with something inane but 100% necessary: this book needs a new editor stat. I truly believe that just because a book is YA fiction does not give it license to look bad on paper or ebook as the case may be. With Perigee Moon, I’m not sure if the issues that plague it (and I mean PLAGUE it in the most all encompassing sense of the word) are a result of formatting issues or what, but I should never, ever, ever be subjected to the glaring mistakes that are found in this book. Doubly so if I purchased it. God’s is not the plural of God; barley does not mean barely; and donning a coat means putting on a coat not wearing it. This is just a sampling of the many, many grammatical, spelling, and punctuation mistakes present. I don’t know about any of you, but when errors like this
crop up all of the time it just ruins a book for me. It’s all I can focus on because like I’ve said before, writers should know how to use words and when they don’t, they shouldn’t be writers. But I’m going to give Tara Fuller the benefit of the doubt here and say that this must be an ebook formatting problem and leave it at that. Because I can’t fathom any publishing house allowing so many to exist in a book it published. But I digress.
Now, the story itself isn’t bad per se. The plot just feels overused. It’s one we’ve read a bagillion times recently and I’m going to pull out my checklist just to be sure. Mysterious Boy? Check. Girl who is misunderstood and must leave her home to start over? Check. Paranormal beings trying to keep Mysterious Boy and Girl far, far apart? Check. Girl turns out to be paranormal herself? Check. I could keep going. It read like Twilight only with witches and time travel replacing the vampires and wolves. The story is basically that of star crossed lovers only Rowan and Alex are hindered by 400 years separating them and the fact that Alex is hanged in the past for witchcraft. Their romance comes off as forced since you never really see them interacting beyond the professions of love and Alex’s miraculous appearances when Rowan needs saving. They meet and then bam! Seem to be instantly deep in the throes of love. I tried but just couldn’t buy it. Sadly there are lot of plot points like this peppered throughout. Even the big shocker that Rowan is a witch just fell flat. You could see it a mile away. The story is really stilted with not a lot of flow between scenes and the dialogue, a big selling point for me, didn’t really go anywhere. There are a lot of unanswered questions here: why was Alex dreaming about Rowan when he was 8 years old? Wouldn’t she not exist yet? Rowan’s mom was a witch with an abnormal daughter who needed reassurance about her weirdness. Why did she let her fragile daughter believe she was some abnormal emotion feeling freak if she could just have easily explained it? Why does Rowan decide to leave her home in Colorado for Massachusetts when she has a great circle of friends and family there are all rooting for her to get better after her suicide attempt? What father would allow a suicidal daughter to move across the country from him after also losing his wife? Again, I could go on and on. In the end, this story isn’t bad, it’s just not original. The premise made me hope for something but it never went anywhere, it just floundered.
So based on the following criteria:
How much did I like the heroine: 5. Witchcraft aside, Rowan was not at all a strong character. She needed to be saved a lot throughout the book and that just didn’t sit right with me. Plus she falls madly in love with Alex so quickly that she comes across as overly needy. And it gets to the point where she actually says something along the lines of, something inside me knew you–yes, my soul recognized you. Gag! No really, GAG! But she does earn points for trying to come to terms with her mother’s death and she does handle the fact that Alex is a time-traveling witch remarkably well.
How much did I like the love interest: 5. Alex sounds like he could be dreamy–dark hair, blue eyes, muscled build, British accent–but he’s from the past, people! He can’t exist in our time. Plus he’s a witch who does bad things to people (albeit those people are potential rapists but still!) and is still under the thumb of his aunt even though he’s over 18. Plus he seems a bit stalkerish.
How believable is the plot: 5. Paranormal stuff is all the rage now. I get it. So the plot being that a time traveling witch finds the girl of his literal dreams who also happens to be a witch didn’t seem like a huge stretch for me. What did was how quick their love developed and how co-dependent they both were. I’m not so comfortable with teenage girls thinking that witches are gonna save them from all their problems.
How much did I like the writing style/editing/etc: 5. Again, I’m giving Tara Fuller the benefit of the doubt here. Maybe all the mistakes were due to the formatting of the e-version of this book and in that case, I feel for her. The writing itself was a bit flat and didn’t flow as well as I’d have liked. Everything came off a little stilted and forced but still, it was decent and got points for that.
How much did I want to keep reading: Hhmmm, tough call. Just want to stress that this book wasn’t bad. It just included a lot of points that have been overused lately. I don’t know if there’s a sequel because the ending was a bit vague on that point. But if there were, I probably wouldn’t go out of my way to get it. At one point, I wanted the story to hurry up and be over because it felt like there were too many trite plot devices being used and I needed a break from them.
Final Score: 5/10. So there you go. A decent effort that with a bit better editing and a plot that had been kicked up a notch would have been inching toward an 8 or 9.