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Author: Janine Caldwell
A copy was provided in exchange for an honest review.
Seventeen-year-old Joanna Murphy has lost faith in her life. Vying for her mom’s attention, she’s resentful of her stepdad’s intrusion to their family. Her best friend, Tommy, has no clue she’s in love with him as he dates girl after girl without noticing how it tortures her. The final kicker, though, is God’s sick joke to make her freakishly tall when everyone knows boys prefer petite girls.
Then in a bizarre accident Joanna meets James, a breathtaking teen who appears to her after an unusual falling star sighting. Suddenly, her dream for an alien encounter becomes all too real. But when she finds her life has been made unrecognizable, she’s forced into an explosive study of the original design for her life that just may have her regretting every wish she ever made.
Ever since the day I read Rematch, the first instalment in the The Vortex Series, I have been a huge Janine Caldwell fan! Her writing is fantastic and her stories have that entertaining and humorous quality I absolutely love! While waiting for the final instalment in the Vortex Trilogy to release, I found out Janine was releasing this stand-alone novel and was immediately excited! Visited is a fast read filled with life-lessons, comedy, and the ultimate idea of appreciating the life you have and not taking it for granted. After reading Visited, I definitely have made it a point to look at my own life differently.
Visited is a story based around an alien fanatic seventeen year old girl named Joanna who is unhappy with numerous things about her life. Her mother has recently gotten married to a man she disgusts and has just told her she's pregnant--ultimately ruining Joanna and her mother's plans to travel to Europe after graduation. In addition, Joanna is bothered by her unusually tall height (despite the fact it is the reason she is able to play the sport she loves, volleyball) and is yearning for her best friend, Tommy, to one day look at her as more than just a friend. While one night Joanna is on her roof stargazing, she sees a shooting star and wishes for all these "negative" things about her life to change and after doing so, finds herself falling off the roof and then being saved and healed by the handsome James. The next morning, Joanna wakes up in the hospital finding her life turned upside down--her mom isn't married, Joanna is now petite, Tommy is her boyfriend and James is...an alien?! Joanna's life may seem to be perfect but Visited tells the story of how sometimes what you desperately wish for might not always be what makes you the most happy.
Joanna pre-wishing-on-a-star is really just a typical teenage girl I was able to really relate to. She's got a little humour in her, has her own alien-fan-blog and is one of the best volleyball players on her team.There are some good things in her life and some other things that she isn't too crazy about. Even though some of the things Joanna is unhappy with may come off as a bit selfish, I think all of us have our moments of selfishness and because of that, it's easy to understand where Joanna's coming from. Once Joanna wakes up in this new dimension where everything she thought was wrong in her life is fixed, seeing her transition to this "better life" made me think about what my perfect world would be. However as the novel progresses we see Joanna begin to see the faults in the life she thought was perfect, and as result she experiences tremendous growth and maturity that makes you realize it's never too late to change your attitude and perspective on things.
The one constant relationship through Joanna's journey is with the dazzling being that goes by the name of James. James' sudden appearance after seeing the shooting star makes Joanna come to the discovery that James is an alien, however she doesn't initially link the sudden changes in her life to him. James is on earth to complete a mission that Joanne is not allowed to know details about, but with James' arrival on earth comes Aidan, the stunning model-like boy who is trying to interfere with James' ability to succeed and carry his mission out. James really acts as that supportive figure for Joanna during a time where her life is a mess and the people she used to rely on are her friends no more. I really thought there would be something romantic between the two of them and although nothing ever really happens, there is that hint of something more than just friendship between the both of them. Unlike The Vortex Series, this is definitely not a novel with a huge romantic storyline, and although that is what I typically am looking for, Visited has such a focus on improving your inner-self that the absence of a full on couple wasn't apparent to me. The sweet small doses of lovey-mushy stuff fits the story perfectly.
You write one semi-respectable science blog and before you know it, aliens will hunt you down.
So there I am with a real-life, honest-to-goodness extraterrestrial an arm's length away, and I have absolutely no idea what to do about it. Okay, so maybe I'm still in shock, but as a member of the online group "Teen Alien Watch," in which I'm the self-appointed president, I'm kind of disappointed in myself.
"Uh, sure. You look...nice." Way too nice. I have to stop and remind myself that this body and face are not his true form. For all I know his real form could have two heads, eight arms, and a tail!
Overall Visited was one of those novels that sneakily teach you important lessons while being disguised in an enjoyable, quick read you'll have no trouble consuming. This books makes me confused, once again, as to why more people haven't heard of Janine Caldwell because her stories are just so good! I can't wait to read more from her! If you haven't heard about Janine Caldwell, then I most definitely recommend picking up Visited (and her Vortex Series, which is filled with romance and time travel)! Have you read Visited? Do you like books that have a large focus on character growth? Be sure to let me know in the comments below! Keep Reading!
Your Y.A. Bookworm,