Mama Reads: Connected by Kat Stiles- a critical review

ConnectedBk

Connected by Kat Stiles

Kindle Edition, 306 pages
Published June 3rd 2015 by Wild Child Publishing
Blurb:

High school is hard enough, Em knows. Her freshman year introduced her to all the cliques, annoying teachers, and tough homework assignments. But discovering you have super powers and not knowing how to control them is a whole new level of complicated.

Thankfully, Em isn’t alone. Her best friend Roz starts having unusual dreams that come true, and Tommy, Em’s secret crush, can hear the softest whispers in class.

A romance blossoms with Tommy. But just as things are looking up, people start dropping like flies. A telepathic serial killer is on the loose and only Em and her friends have a hope of stopping him.

Or do they? If they don’t figure out the killer’s identity soon, one of them could be next.​

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Mama’s Thoughts:
This review opportunity was provided by Xpresso Book tours, thus I was provided with a free copy in exchange for an honest review.
On the surface, I should have loved Connected– paranormal fantasy? check.  Teens finding out they’re more than they thought? Check.  Flirty romance? Double check.  But that’s where the love ends for me.  Kat Stiles certainly has potential and given the amount of work that goes into a novel, publishing one over 300 pages for your first go is rather impressive.  Maybe that is part of the issue that kept me unsettled whilst reading this book.  It seemed stretched thin, filled in by excessive rounds of forgiving douchey behaviour and making out, when there are some serious problems in the world around them.
As for the characters, though they felt a bit underdeveloped on the whole, I did really enjoy Roz- she’s the perfect bestie and supporting character even if she doesn’t always have good answers or great advice.  I wasn’t personally a fan of Tommy, but honestly I don’t think you’re supposed to like him the way he’s written.  Em was so-so for me, she could have stood up for herself more and exhibited more growth.
There were tricky spots with the plot, but it was well-paced for the most part and there were a few surprises to keep me reading for answers.  Although there is certainly room for a sequel.
While I wouldn’t give this a re-read without some re-working I would recommend others give it a read to find out if they could enjoy it more than I did.  Maybe better for truly younger folks (full disclosure I’m almost 29, married with a kid so I realize I may just be out of touch.)  Although with some of the themes and situations, it would depend on the person, but you might not want your under 15 year old to read the book- read it yourself if you have doubts though:)
I’d go with 2.5 stars because while there were certainly issues, the writing was not riddled with errors and there is a lot to work with here, which may grab others more than it grabbed me.
About the Author:
(In her own words.)  Originally a Jersey girl, sunny Texas is where I now call home, in a town way up north in the panhandle called Wellington. Along with the man of my dreams, I have two children: a rambunctious five year-old girl and a sweet but vocal one year-old boy. Three cats, three dogs and an inordinate amount of pet hair complete my household. For fun I like to read YA, horror, and existentialist fiction, as well as watch cartoons, movies, and sometimes even cartoon movies. I try not to take anything in life too seriously and I tend to smile often.
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