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Reviewed by Jamie Michele for Readers' Favorite
Spring by Lele Iturrioz is the second book in the YA coming of age Season's Within fantasy series, picking up with teenaged Gaia as she accepts her destiny as Mother Nature. "Gaia released the air through her mouth and concentrated. She could feel the warmth of her hands passing all the way towards the seed, and the seed began to beat like a heart." With her core group of friends, The Six, the journey begins to a gate that gets them back home to Terra, but Azazel continues to hinder their path. Meanwhile, love, loss, and treachery wrangle through the group as memories of the past slowly resurface, even as the future begins to look uncertain.
Spring is such a fantastic follow up to book one, Season's Within, and Lele Iturrioz holds nothing back as she reveals the cards written into the story line for Gaia and The Six, with some jaw-to-the-floor twists. Iturrioz has a gift of description, particularly with battle scenes and the ways in which Gaia explores her power. "Gaia felt dizzy, her head pounding from the lack of air. 'Come on G! Think of something or you are going to faint.' Gaia placed her hands on the ground. She closed her eyes concentrating. She could feel different grains of dirt vibrating under her palms. 'Now!' She pushed and the ground swallowed her." Iturrioz also offers beautifully layered characters with dialogue that feels authentic. I went ahead and asked my teenage daughter if she'd like to give Season's Within a try, and the cover alone sold her. I'm excited to see what's in store for Gaia and The Six and am overjoyed to have a series that mother and daughter can enjoy together.