Monday, February 4, 2013

Crossroads Review

Crossroads by Mary Ting
Reviewed by A.B.Whelan

Crossroads by Mary Ting is a lovely teen fantasy about an average, well-mannered high school girl and her romantic and protective guardian angel. Ting masterfully leads the reader into and through the story. After the first few pages the reader will find herself entangled in the world of Claudia and get to know her family and friends. The scenes and emotions are so real, as if they were right out of the pages of a young girl’s diary. Boring descriptions and heavy philosophical conversations don’t weigh down on the reader. It’s easy to follow and the reader soon becomes friends with the characters.

I recommend this book for preteens and anyone who is young at heart or wishes to relive the excitement of first love. Older readers often criticize young-adult novels, claiming they are too slow or too melodramatic, or the protagonist was not tough enough. I remember when I was sixteen and fell in love for the first time. My legs shook whenever I walked toward this boy who made butterflies flap around in my stomach. I second-guessed everything I did or said because I wanted to be perfect for him.

So if I had to choose between books filled with violence, hip stuff, and vulgar language (because the author wanted to be so true to how teenagers really talk), or books that teach my daughter to have faith in herself, and be loyal to the one she loves, and show how to recognize true worth in a boyfriend, then I would choose the latter. There is enough suffering in the real world, so kids are better off learning about the beautiful things, such as believing that a guardian angel watches over them, that if some one loves them, he will show it and not only say it.  And Ting’s book does exactly that. These are a few of the reasons I loved Twilight, and I enjoyed Crossroads as well. 

Character Interview: Michael (provided by the author):

Before you met Claudia, what was a typical day like for you?
Since we have no concept of time in Halo City, I can’t tell you what my day is like, but I can tell you what I have been doing: teaching the young ones sword fighting; practice sword fighting-mostly with Davin; reading the bible with Alexa Rose and other children; meetings with Phillip, Margaret, and Agnes; and learning the history of before and after Christ. I also enjoy making things out of my hands, but my favorite thing I made was the butterfly necklace I made for Claudia for her birthday. These are just few of the things I’ve been doing. 
Since spending time on earth, have any of your memories come back?
Spending more time on earth has not brought any memories back. I honestly think it will never happen. The Royal Council does not make mistakes. They were adamant about wiping our memories of our lives on earth. But the emotions have not disappeared. The human emotions are much stronger on Earth, for example, such emotion as jealousy. The thought of Claudia with another guy just drives me crazy, not that she was, but the thought makes me angry. Also, when I’m around Claudia, I can’t think straight. We are forbidden to fall in love, but I can’t help the way I feel. When I hold her in my arms, my heart beats faster.  I melt into her and my human emotions start to take over.
What made you decide to leave Aden?
I followed Aden, thinking that it was the right thing to do. We believe that angels and humans can co-exist. I strongly believed in our quest. I decided to leave Aden when I found out his true motives. Not only did he want to take over Crossroads, he wanted to take over humanity and have them worship him. I finally opened my eyes and I encourage many to follow me to stop Aden. Unfortunately, I was deceived by a friend and Aden knew our plan of attack. That day is very hazy. I remember being injured and the next thing I knew, I was laying on a bed in Halo City, recovering.
What are some of your special talents that we haven’t seen yet?
Claudia called me Superman once. I didn’t know who Superman was, let alone his powers. I asked Davin to find out who Superman is because I wanted to know who Claudia thought so highly off especially if I had to worry about him swooning over her. Now that I know he is a fictional character, I can relax. You can compare my powers to Superman. I have strength. I can fly and see through walls. My wings, soft and comforting, is my secret weapon. Special talents you haven’t seen yet-I am one with nature. I can make it snow, control temperature, levitate things and people and I have yet to discover more.
Other than spending time with Claudia, what is your favorite thing to do?
 Besides spending time with Claudia, I enjoy spending time with Alexa Rose, Davin, Vivian, and Caleb. Also, I enjoy observing human mannerism. For example, I'm trying to understand why Ryan behaved the way he did on his birthday party. He was drunk and acted inappropriately. Why did he behave this way? Did he think he was going to win Claudia back by acting ridiculously? 
What is something you would like to do on earth that you haven’t had an opportunity for yet?
I haven’t had time to see the world. I would love to see the world with Claudia. I can definitely fly us anywhere. I would also like to watch the cool action movies, especially Superman movies. Though I know it is produced by special effects, they look so real. I get a kick out of it. 
Thank you for the interview!

Character Interview: Davin (provided by the author):

Hello there. It’s so good to be here. “Big Smile”

What do you think of the technology?

I think it’s very cool. “Chuckle” I really like the Itouch. I can listen to all sorts of music.  I also like the computer. It’s where I search when I need information about all kinds of stuff. Human lives are full of goodies, celebrations and so much I have yet to learn about. It’s great to be a human.

What’s your favorite holiday?

I didn’t get to experience much except for Christmas. Though Valentine’s Day is not a holiday. I don’t know why it isn’t. We should celebrate love day… don’t you think? So I would have to say Christmas. I like the idea of giving and receiving. And just like Valentine’s Day, there is a story behind Santa Claus, but you already knew that.

Do you get along with the venators?

I feel really bad what happened to Patrick. It can’t be easy for Holly and Austin. I like Holly. She can be cool, but sometimes she is bossy. Austin…he’s alright. He talks too much. I don’t like it that he has a crush on Claudia. Crush is the right word… correct? It better not be love or I’ll have to…. Ooops… sorry, didn’t mean to… where is my manners? I need to be polite in interviews. “Smile” Anyway, Austin is not all that bad… I guess.  “Shoulder shrugs”

If you were a mundane person, what would you do with your life?

I would like to know what falling in love feels like. Seeing Michael and Claudia, the way they are around each other makes me want to feel it too. We can’t be with anyone that way so I might as well forget it.  “Frown”

Thank you!!! Is there anything else you would like to say?
Thanks for having me. This was really cool. “Thumbs up” See you when I see you. “Wink”

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