Review: Dangerous Reflections by Shay West

Dangerous Reflectionsby Manda Disley

Alexis Davenport is an ordinary teenage girl whose life gets upheaved when her father leaves and she and her mother are forced to move in with her aunt.  Alexis must start a new school, where she crushes on a guy named Beau, makes new friends, and makes a bitter high school enemy. On top of that, she keeps seeing reflections of other girls in the mirror, and sometimes she gets thrown back in time to take over those girls’ lives and thwart a time traveler who means to mess up history.

This book is written in mostly third person limited, from Alex’s point of view. There are a few instances where the reader gets a sentence or two about what another character is thinking (which is random and a bit confusing when it does happen) but we’re predominantly in Alex’s head. There are a few short chapters that interrupt her narrative where the reader jumps to someone named “Drifter”, who is another time traveler, but they’re few and far between. Alex is a teenage girl and her inner monologue reads that way – or at least it’s supposed to read that way. Her character is a very stereotypical caricature of a teenage girl, rather than an accurate depiction of a girl her age, which was a huge let down. She fell flat and so did all the supporting characters around her.

The plot of this book (the time-travelling) was interesting in the description but played out much like the characters: boring, flat, and just not engaging. To be fair, the book is the first in the series, so perhaps the story makes more sense when you read the other installments, but as a reader I wasn’t impressed. Nothing about the book hooked my attention enough to want to continue reading Alex’s story. It even ended on a huge cliffhanger, or what was supposed to be a cliffhanger. Unfortunately the book was so dull that I have no desire to find out what happens.

There was definitely a lot of potential for this to be a great book. Time travel is a fun concept to play with, especially when put into the hands of a teen girl, but the author just didn’t put in the work. The writing is completely unpolished, the research that went into it felt superficial at best, and none of the characters actually felt like real people.  A disappointment from start to finish.

Title: Dangerous Reflections

Author: Shay West

Genre: YA Time Travel

Publication: Booktrope Editions ( January 1, 2011)

Price: $2.99 (ebook, all formats), $12.56 (paperback)

Author’s Website:  http://shay-west.com/

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