AURACLE is a story about 16 year old Annaliese Rogan. She has a secret. She can astral project. This is something nobody except for her best friend Rei knows.
When they were kids, Rei loved hearing about Anna's adventures. She projects out of her body during the night when she's asleep and she visits all sorts of wonderful places. The world really is her oyster because there's no limit to where she can go. She could visit any concert she wanted to, for free, because who has to pay when they're invisible? There's nothing she couldn't see if she really wanted to.
So of course, as a little boy, Rei loved hearing about her astral adventures. But as they've grown up, Anna has been keeping more and more of these times to herself because she sees that Rei isn't so awed by her travels and experiences anymore.
When Anna isn't off on her astral travels - during the daytime hours - she attends school with Rei and another friend of theirs, Seth, but also with a very mean-spirited girl called Taylor.
Taylor has a crush on Seth and it seems like she will stop at nothing to get him to notice her. She sits by him in class, follows him in the hallways, always fluttering her eyelashes at him. She thinks that he'd pay notice to a high-maintenance, stubborn, cruel girl like her.
But Taylor doesn't seem to notice the blatant rejection. Or if she notices she doesn't care. She just swishes her hair and bats those eyelashes. No-one else would reject her, after all, only Seth. But Taylor only seems to want the one she can't have.
Eventually, Taylor gets Seth to meet her at the falls(I won't tell you how). It's there that they argue and Taylor comes very close to the edge. Seth tries to save her, he really does. But it's hopeless. Taylor can't stop panicking and it's because of that, that she falls.
Anna was at the falls that day, she saw Taylor slip beyond Seth's grasp. Taylor's death was nothing more than a an accident. A terrible accident.
But when Anna returns from her astral trip to the falls, she can't get back into her body. She tries and tries, but she keeps getting pushed back out. Why? Because Taylor has taken up residence in Anna's body and she refuses to give it up!
Faced with being locked out of her body and trapped in another dimension, Anna knows she must turn to Rei for help. But how does she get his help when, although she can choose to let herself be seen, she cannot speak - therefore even though she has his attention, she can't tell him what's going on. He just thinks she's taking an astral trip like normal.
I won't tell you how Anna manages to get Rei's help, suffice to say that she does.
Once Anna and Rei start to work on a plan to get her back in her body, they hear that Taylor - aka Anna - has come forth as the only witness to what happened that day at the falls. She tells the police that she saw Seth push Taylor to her death.
The events that pursue, of course, are a journey that you must discover yourself. All I can tell you is that it's a struggle for all involved, even Taylor.
There's a lot of pain for Seth. He runs away so that they can't arrest him for murder. Then there's Anna and Rei. They want to save their friend. They want to get Taylor out of Anna's body and Anna back in her rightful place. Yet through this all, they uncover how they really feel about each other and so they struggle to communicate this to each other.
Gina Rosati writes such an emotionally fraught journey for all involved but especially the reader. There were smiles and frowns, ups and downs. There was laughter and there was tears - mine.
I thought that Auracle was a beautiful story about friendship, trust, love - betrayal, and hurt. It was a journey of discovery on more than one level.
We didn't actually learn why Anna could astral project, but that didn't matter one bit. I didn't need to know why. I was too engrossed in the story to care.
Anna is a great protagonist and Rei is an oh-so-yummy love interest. Every time I heard his name I would swoon. Sitting here writing my review, I think about him and a little smile tugs at the corner of my lips.
The whole cast of characters were interesting and they all played pivotal roles along the way. From Anna's alcoholic father and her mother, the enabler to Rei's mother Yumi. They were all vital to the telling of this story.
I'm not sure whether this is meant as a stand-alone story or not. There is so much more that could be done with each of the characters. But then, it sits well as a stand-alone because there's closure - nothing is left unresolved. But maybe there'll be a sequel and maybe it will tell us the why behind Anna's gift.
As an author, Gina Rosati sure knows how to tell a beautiful story and I will definitely be on the look-out for more from her in the future. In my honest opinion, she will go far in her career as an author. She's more than just an author though. Someone once said to me that each and every book is like taking a vacation, well then Gina Rosati must be the best travel agent in the land because she makes me want to take a vacation with her more often.
Thank you Gina for sending me one of the best birthday presents I will get this year and maybe the one after too. I am privileged to have read such an outstanding book and I cannot wait to give a copy away so that someone else gets to experience it.
I know everyone has different opinions and that's what makes us so diverse, but if my opinion counts for anything, you should go and pick up a copy of Auracle right now and put it at the top of your TBR pile. You don't want to miss out!