Review: Ask Me by Kimberly Pauley

Title: Ask Me
Author: Kimberly Pauley
Publication: April 8, 2014
Publisher: Soho Teen
Genre: Young Adult, Mystery, Thriller
Format: ARC, 304 pages
Source: Pinoy Book Tours

Ask Aria Morse anything, and she must answer with the truth. Yet she rarely understands the cryptic words she‘s compelled to utter. Blessed—or cursed—with the power of an Oracle who cannot decipher her own predictions, she does her best to avoid anyone and everyone.

But Aria can no longer hide when Jade, one of the few girls at school who ever showed her any kindness, disappears. Any time Aria overhears a question about Jade, she inadvertently reveals something new, a clue or hint as to why Jade vanished. But like stray pieces from different puzzles, her words never present a clear picture.

Then there’s Alex, damaged and dangerous, but the first person other than Jade to stand up for her. And Will, who offers a bond that seems impossible for a girl who’s always been alone. Both were involved with Jade. Aria may be the only one who can find out what happened, but the closer she gets to solving the crime, the more she becomes a target. Not everyone wants the truth to come out.

Ask her anything and she will answer you with the truth and nothing but. The premise of this book piqued my interest because of my history with fortune telling. I learned about my ability to read cards back when I was still in High School, I tried to erased it from memory only to once again do it in College. My friends were amazed by the precision of my prophecies but what baffles me is how I am doing it. Thinking about it now only puzzles me more. I just remember hearing voices from my head telling me what to say. I have no interest in learning more about this ability but reading about a girl who can tell the future is something I'll sign up for anytime.
The problem with prophecy is that someone has to actually ask the right question at the right time for me to produce the answer to it.
It runs in the family. Aria's grandmother also had the 'gift' or the curse as how she refers to it but it only lasted for 17 years. Aria is already 17 and had been dying to get rid of the grueling predicament she's in - the gift of the foretelling the future, that is. Not only what is to come but the truth. She is la voce della verità. She is la voix de la vérité. She is the voice of the truth.
I was born in Michigan, in the cold and the snow, but four years here had made me a child of the heat. I did not miss the cold, nor the brittle stares of the girls who had once been my friends, before my gift had turned them against me. Who wants a friend who only speaks the truth?
Honestly, I have a feeling from the start that I will like this very much. The writing is fluid and the narration is good. Aria is a complex character yet it's so easy to sympathize with her. I said to myself, "Finally, a YA character that isn't stubborn, whiny and annoying," But what happened next was pretty surprising. When the perfect girl Jade went missing, Aria suddenly became the center of attention and affection. Now that the pretty girl is gone, the cute boys gravitated toward Aria.

It had a promising start... why'd it have to take the all too familiar route, I don't know. The culprit seemed too obvious from the start yet Aria herself can't even take a hint. And, surprise surprise! This is in first person narrative! How could she not figure it out when we all know what is happening based from her own thoughts?

I shrugged, a slight apology for intruding where I wasn’t wanted. I had nothing to add, no explanations. I didn’t know what it meant. Who talks to dirt?
Yes, anyone can argue that all the things that happened after the 'Jade incident' helped Aria blossom into a more open and confident being (for Pete's sake! She even used to call herself DIRT! - I let that go because of the great narrative at first though) BUT tell me when and why she became so boy crazy ALSO when did the boys became crazy over her? Totally out of character! There's even a part that suddenly reminded me of Mean Girls. Cady Heron syndrome ALERT!!!

I don't know what made me finish this book. It must be the writers ability to capture her readers through good storytelling, I can't say that though for the storyline.

I need closure. Give me 50 pages more.

If I were to receive Aria's gift for the time being so I can give you an honest review, I'd probably say this to you:

Would you recommend this book? Yes, if you like romance and YA, no if you like mysteries and crime.

Do you like Aria? At first. Only.

What do you like most? Awesome grandparents. 


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