- Format: Kindle Edition
- File Size: 2762 KB
- Print Length: 380 pages
- Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
- Publisher: BMJ Chanapi Press (22 Mar. 2016)
- Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
- Language: English
- ASIN: B01BLUIWWK
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Average Customer Review: 4 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #318,765 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Crossing the Barrier (The Gray Eyes Series Book 1) Kindle Edition
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Top Customer Reviews
Malakai Thomas is one of the golden boys of the school. He is good-looking and popular. He the one others envy. He is the one all the girls swoon over. But he is not interested in cheerleaders or such. Ever since he first laid eyes on her, he has been drawn to the petite, pretty musician, who has the most beautiful eyes he has ever seen.
I loved this book. So much happens, it is not just about first love; it is a deep and an incredibly emotional read. I honestly, could not put this book down when I started to read it. The plot is so full of surprises that each page kept me guessing. I loved the characterisation of Lily and Malakai, the chemistry between the two was so believable and beautifully written. It really was a pleasure to read.
I cannot wait for the next book in the series.
So do yourself a favour and check this book out. You won't be disappointed. I Highly Recommend.
Lily's romance with Malakai is endearing- a football star following his heart and going after the girl in the marching band, despite his crowd's rejection of the idea. As a former marching band member, reading about football games and marching competitions tugged at the strings of my heart.
While, as an adult, it seems like their dependence on each other and reluctance to talk things out when things go wrong seems a little inflated, I fully remember being 17-18 years old and feeling like a boyfriend was the center of my universe and having doubts I was too scared to voice....In other words, this whole romance is totally believable to me and swept me into it completely.
The paranormal aspect was well written- I could feel what Lily felt as I read it. I was very intrigued by mean girl Zoe. It was pretty obvious to me that something out of the norm was going on with her and I was disappointed that that wasn't explored. I am hoping that it will be delved into in book 2 of this series- which I can't wait to read!
The ending was left open and left me begging for more. Great job. I recommend!
That said, these were plot issues that this reader didn't enjoy and even so, I'm giving this one four stars. Because the writing style was so good, I would imagine many readers will be able to look past these small issues and absolutely love this book. I would recommend this author to all lovers of young adult fiction.
Highly recommended read!
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta) (May include reviews from Early Reviewer Rewards Program)
Book #1: The Gray Eyes Series
My Rating: 4½/5 stars
When I initially read the synopsis for this book, I really didn’t think it would be a read for me and then I met Martine Lewis, interviewed her for my blog, and thought maybe I should give Crossing the Barrier a shot. Holy wow! I am so glad I gave this book a chance. Talk about a surprise!
At it its core, Crossing the Barrier is all about its characters and everything is driven by these well-developed and completely interesting people. It’s not easy to create a real person in a book but Martine Lewis has managed to do so and her characters carry every aspect of this read right on through from beginning to end. Here’s the roll call:
Lily: Lily Morgan isn’t like the other kids. Since birth, Lily has been able to channel other people’s emotions and if she doesn’t have her well-developed shields in place, she can be overwhelmed by the emotions and thoughts coming from those around her. When you’re in high school, those emotions and thoughts are often erratic and intense and until the minute Malakai Thomas slammed into her (literally!) she was able to hold the emotions at bay. Now, Lily is going to have to call on all her reserves and the help of her best friend to survive each day. To make her life far, far worse, Lily lives with the single most horrible human being on Earth, her stepmother, a woman who has never hidden her total and complete hatred of Lily.
Malakai Thomas: What a good kid! Like Lily, Malakai doesn’t have the best home life but he makes the best of what he has. When most kids would take advantage of their parent’s frequent absences, Malakai does not. He is responsible, kind, has a strong sense of right and wrong, and though he is exceedingly popular, he doesn’t give into the peer pressure that is near-constant. In fact, once Malakai meets Lily and really gets to know her, he goes totally against what his “friends” want and begins to date the band geek.
David: In so many ways and on so many levels do I love this kid! David is Lily’s best friend’s older brother and he is just a genuinely good guy. Like his sister, David knows about Lily and her abilities and is fiercely protective of her. In fact, if Malakai weren’t so into Lily, David would be next in line to date her and be proud to do so. At every turn, David is right there for his friends and family and won’t let anyone stand in his way when someone needs his help. David is a support system for those around him and never once does he complain about being so.
Beatrice: Not everyone in Crossing the Barrier is good and Beatrice is a shining example of awful. Halfway through this book, I contacted Martine Lewis and asked if she would kindly kill off Beatrice in some truly wretched, horrible, and awful way. Now that Lily’s dad is gone, Beatrice doesn’t bother hiding her hatred of Lily. In fact, Beatrice truly has no concern at all for Lily and that is abundantly clear in her every word and action. With each encounter, I hated Beatrice a little more and was disappointed to not know what happened to her at the end of the read. Yes, I was truly hoping for a truly spectacular end to this cow. Maybe next time around . . .
As all the above characters – and a host of others – interact with one another and tell their stories, the plot unfolds and evolves. While Lily’s lack of shields is the major plot line, there are other things going on as well including the sudden reappearance of Malakai’s mother, the devolution of Beatrice, and Lily and Malakai’s budding relationship. There is so much interaction and conversation that the plot really moves along at a swift pace and gives both the characters and reader very little down time.
The Bottom Line: Crossing the Barrier was a quite a pleasant surprise for me and with the exception of a few wonky things, this is a book that is well worth the time and effort. The wonky things for me included Malakai’s mother and what her real purpose is as it isn’t quite explained and the fate of a few of the characters such as Beatrice, Wes, and Zoe. To be sure, the wonky things are minor and are far outweighed by the good things. This is a solidly written read with fully-developed characters that all come together in such a smooth and effortless way. You really don’t notice this book is just shy of 400 pages once things get rolling and you become attached to the characters. In all, Crossing the Barrier is an excellent start to what should be a truly exciting series.
Although I wasn't instantly connecting with the book, it eventually grabbed me. My biggest issue was with its flow. It felt a little too wordy, making it harder for me to get emotionally attached in certain situations.
There are certain aspects about this story that I absolutely loved. I wish I could give some of the people giant shiny star stickers for how they handled a particular situation. It was great and I wish I could explain it, but spoilers. Just know that I actually put my kindle down and clapped.
There's some cheesy stuff, but it's nothing I couldn't handle. Besides, who doesn't like cheese? Crazy people!
One major thing that needs to be brought up... I was recently discussing with some of my friends how sports books do not contain POC, and this one is literally the only one I could think of - and I've read a number of them - where the players (especially the main characters) weren't all white. That gives this book a major plus.
...Also it's paranormal. That's my favorite genre!
I enjoyed this book and I am interested in continuing the series.
Malakai and Lily have strong feelings for each other from the get go, but forces outside their control threaten to keep them apart. Other than Lily’s inability to block emotions, the paranormal aspect doesn’t really come into play much in the story. Until the very end in a surprise twist I didn’t see coming and absolutely loved!
The plot is a young adult romance. Will Lily and Malakai be together? There is a fair amount of angst threaded through this plot as one thing after another forces them to wonder if they are really meant to be. The subplotting of Lily’s relationship with her mother is interesting and a little over the top at first, until more is revealed about their relationship in yet another twist. The pacing was a little slow throughout, but not to the point that it dragged, but for a paranormal, I guess I was expecting more action.
The third-person point of view made it difficult for me to really connect with either character the way I normally do in young adult. At least at first, but once I got into the story, I almost forgot it wasn’t first person.Lily, despite her ability, is a little naive and a bit of a doormat at times. It made it hard to identify with her. I would have liked to see more backbone in her. She does grow through the story, though, and she’s tougher toward the end. Malakai has his own issues. His mother left him and his father as a child without explanation. Abandonment by your mother is tough on any kid. Add to that a usually absent military father, and Malakai is basically raising himself. I thought Malakai had a lot more depth than Lily and I was glad we got to see Lily through his eyes. I think that made her more sympathetic.
The ending was my favorite part of the book and left me breathless for the next in the series.
Top Five Things I Enjoyed about Crossing the Barrier:
1. Transparency. Because Lily could feel everyone’s emotions, nothing was hidden. That was a cool angle for young adult.
2. Sandra and David. Loyal best friends are my favorite young adult trope.
3. Drama. The conflict between Lily and her mom was some of the best in the book and as the reasons became apparent, it only got better.
4. The ending. I won’t spoil anything, but it was one of the best twists I’ve read lately.
5. Football. This is my favorite sport. I thought I was going to be reading a paranormal, so the sports angle was a pleasant surprise.
Crossing the Barrier is essentially a contemporary young adult romance with a paranormal twist.
I found the book very easy to read, it was like reading teen angst love story with a paranormal twist mixed with a soap opera where sometimes you just wanted to shout at the characters LOL
Lily has a deep innate strength inside her, given she had been living with empathy her whole life and still lives life. It is a burden she bares. When Malaki runs into her putting her into the hospital causing her barrier to go on the fritz she gets to see that he has had a crush on her for a long time.
Malakai is not your typical jock he is shy, quiet and a bit reserved, could never bring himself to speak to Lily, until he put her in the hospital. When they finally do get together they find they have so much in common. From that spark and connection the story unfolds and their bond grows.
Now i am by no means a feminist, no burning of bras or anything. But i just found the shift in Lily from independent, sheltered and sad yes, but strong inside to needing to be around Malakai every second a bit jarring. Also I get his need to protect her, he wants to shield her from her pain, maybe it's sweet, i just felt it was almost smothering. Plus the pair of them need to learn to communicate and stop assuming things, hence the soap opera.
I liked Lily's friend Sandra, everyone should have a friend like that in school. Made me a bit wistful for an old friend of mine i lost contact with a long time ago from my school days.
Over all this was a wonderful book for the directed age group. A drama high teenage love story. Mixed with tender moments that made you smile and miss those first time events in your life. I highly recommend giving this a read.
I can say I like all of the characters, the annoying ones included. I like Lily's strength which is why I was sort of disturbed and a tad disappointed in the way she handled the story's conflict with regards to Malakai. I like Sandra for being such a good friend to Lily. I like how Malakai stood his ground on things. I like Wes, even if he's annoying because he makes me curious. I think underneath all that annoying things he did that there's a bigger thing he's trying to hide and maybe trying to escape from. But among all of them, it's actually David I like the most. Partly because somehow I can relate to his situation the most and also because he's such a great brother and friend.
The story was very interesting. It has caught my interest that I was able to finish reading it through text-to-speech which is the only way for me to be able to read at that time. I have tried reading text-to-speech before but I never quite finish a book through listening through and this is the first time.
I have a few questions regarding Lily's condition which I'm hopeful to get answered through the next book when based on how this one ended.
This more like a story of love, friendships, and family which for me is always a plus on a story. I really enjoyed it and I'm looking forward to reading the next book which I think comes out a couple of days before my birthday. Which means, I won't likely to forget about it.