Hey, writers and readers!
It’s not a good month without an indie novel or two. Today I’ll be reviewing Reflections by Briana Morgan. Check out the review below and make sure to give your two cents in the comments section if you’ve already read the book, too!
Rating: 4 stars
“Rama would trade almost anything for the chance to become someone else, even for a little while.”
Ramachandra “Rama” Ganeshan lives in small Aldale, West Virginia, and she would rather be as small and unnoticeable as her small town. After she faces a brutal assault, her confidence and self-esteem, she feels more alone than ever. She doesn’t know where to turn or if she should even tell anyone else about her assaulter or what happened.
At the same time, the town becomes increasingly uneasy about the beautiful, popular girls her age that continue to go missing and never come back. When she comes across the dead body of her classmate, she is discovered by a group of shapeshifters. They seem to know about the killings but keep mum about it.
Rama stays with the group in hopes of learning what they know about her missing classmates. She also has to learn to love herself and confront the events she had to endure to stick up for the friends she lost and seek justice.
What I Enjoyed:
Rama. What a real character. I sure wished I read something like this in high school. I think anyone who has dealt with self-confidence or body dysmorphia will find a piece of them in Rama and will find her journey throughout the book pretty realistic even though the novel has fantasy/supernatural/paranormal elements to it.
And as many reviewers have already said, there was an excellent blend of fiction and supernatural; at first I thought this would be a standard teen fiction novel based on the tone and setting, but the light burst of the shapeshifter stuff—and the magic rules that go along with it—only enhanced it.
All the shapeshifter characters are also really fun. Morgan has a way of making each character interesting and relatable, but you’re still not sure who to trust. She keeps you in suspense until the very end. As in, you weren’t sure if they witnessed the murders and didn’t want their group to be found (while playing the heroes), or if they were up to something more deviant.
What I Didn’t Enjoy:
I think the only thing that consistently didn’t work for me was the overdose of inner dialog we get from Rama. Someone would ask her a question or tell her to do something, then she would think to herself for a page or so. The pacing was disrupted because she was feeling a dose of self doubt and needed to fully express it. Thus, it felt a bit redundant. I’d prefer to have that peek inside Rama’s mind not interrupt the dialog.
My Final Thoughts
Morgan deals with a lot of serious issues such as rape, assault, and victim blaming. She handles these sensitive topics well throughout the novel but also provides professional links and resources at the end of the story. I’d also say that Morgan doesn’t add this kind of content for shock effect, but it serves a deep purpose to the novel. If you prefer to avoid novels about rape and assault, there’s no way to avoid this while reading, as Rama thinks about the events over and over again in order to analyze the situation and overcome the trauma.
I hope I shared enough to pique your curiosity without giving too much away! If you’d like to learn more about Briana Morgan and her work, you can catch up with her via social media:
Have you read this novel? Share with me in the comments! You can also see all of my other book reviews by checking our the Book Reviews tab.