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Reviewed by Brittney Rossie for Readers' Favorite
Essence by A.L Waddington is a YA paranormal romance unlike any other that I’ve read, and is a great start to a unique series with an interesting premise. When seventeen-year-old Jocelyn meets her new neighbor, Jackson, he’s an instant hit with her friends and family, but she keeps experiencing weird symptoms whenever he’s around. She suspects he knows the cause behind her symptoms of visions of an alternate reality, nausea, and blackouts. The reader learns more about Jocelyn’s visions in the alternating chapters of the book. There we follow a girl named Jocelyn in the late 19th century with a Jackson of her own who we also come to suspect knows more than he is letting on.
I really enjoy alternate dimension paranormals. What I love particularly about the way Waddington created these dimensions is that there are really two stories in one book with the same characters, and the paranormal world she has created allows them to be set on a path toward collision. That really takes some talent! I was drawn into the 1878 reality simply by the quality of the story line there. The 2009 reality was intriguing because I felt my questions about what was happening to Jocelyn with her symptoms would be answered there.
Waddington has done an amazing job creating two realities, two timelines, and built a creative way to connect them along with some really interesting obstacles for the heroine to overcome. This book was also a breath of fresh air in that it was clean and still such an entertaining and fascinating story with wonderful romantic tension. It reads like it could be a movie or a TV series. I look forward to jumping into book 2, Enlightened, to continue the saga!