FINDING JADE by Mary Jennifer Payne


From the "Daughters of Light" series, volume 1
Age Range: 12 - 16
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A Canadian teen discovers paranormal powers in the near future.

Not even two decades from now, climate change has damaged our world drastically and societies are struggling to deal with the repercussions of our abuse of the planet. On top of all this, 14-year-old Latina Jasmine Guzman must deal with the trauma of losing her abducted twin sister as well as her mother’s lupus. After a series of bizarre events leave Jasmine questioning her sanity, she learns from Raphael, a beautiful, brown-skinned boy at her new school, that she is a Seer and that she’s in danger. Even more surprisingly, she discovers that her sister is in fact alive and that, in order to get to her, Jasmine must go to the Place-in-Between, where demons dwell and await her arrival for nefarious reasons. The plot suffers from uneven pacing, with drawn-out moments that add little and gaps left from rushing through important parts of the story. Narrator Jasmine does a lot of telling, not showing, so her character feels more like a set of assertions than a fully developed person; her regrettable overuse of “crazy” is both tedious and off-putting. The obvious statement about the effects of climate change is executed clumsily, and story is sacrificed in the process.

With repetitive language, underdeveloped storyline, and lackluster worldbuilding, this series opener leaves much to be desired. (Paranormal adventure. 12-16)

Pub Date: Feb. 14th, 2017
ISBN: 978-1-4597-3500-2
Page count: 200pp
Publisher: Dundurn
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15th, 2016