Saturday, 26 October 2013

Review & Blog Tour: Destiny (New Avalon, 1) — Andrea Buginsky

Elena Baxter has spent her life desperately wanting to fit in. She’s used to being teased and taunted by the popular girls, but when she celebrates her sweet sixteen birthday and receives two amazing gifts—the power of telekinesis, and the truth about her heritage—she has high hopes that things will change. But her wish does not come true, and Elena is bullied just as she was before, only this time her hurt feelings and frustration boil into something even she cannot understand. When an explosion hits, chaos ensues and she learns that her new power just might be bigger than she is. 

She embarks on a journey to a secret island to learn how to control her powers, and she’s thrown into a different world, one where she just might be able to fit in. What Elena learns about her heritage forces her to face her past – and the demons it created – head on. 

My Review

3 / 5 Stars

The cover is pretty intriguing, but it was the synopsis that really caught my attention. It’s well written and I'm really looking forward to seeing the synopsis fleshed out in the book so I can really get a feel for this character and how these changes affect her life.  It seems to suggest her new powers might overwhelm her and that there is going to be some awesome conflict with these ‘demons’.

While the synopsis may make it seem young adult and above friendly, I think this book is really written for younger children in their early teens. The language is pretty simplistic, and the style of writing tends to contain more listing than indulgent descriptions to excite the senses. I only really concluded this after having read the novel, and so I will try to write the review with this in mind.

This book explains one girl’s transition to young adulthood. She learns about her family history, her destiny (obviously!), and finds a place she truly belongs. It is nice to see that family is somewhat important in this story, rather than simply being brushed over. Elena is refreshingly average. She has to work hard in some subjects, and naturally excels in others. She is saddened when she realises her failings, shocked and worried when she learns of her destiny and yet is happy to be in a welcoming environment and making new friends.

There were a few things that didn’t seem to make sense. For example, when the students are being taught spells to use on a daily basis they are told to only use them in ‘emergency situations’ which could be ‘to avoid burning your dinner’. Perhaps witches have a different definition of emergency? The dialogue also felt stiff or disjointed at times. I doubt younger readers would really pick up on these two things, however.

Okay, as an adult, I was kind of disappointed. I thought it was going to have strong character development, magical elements and a real wow factor when it came to describing the world of Avalon. I also thought there would be more excitement because of the mention of demons arising. Instead it was more of an easy read for girls who like things like friendship, magic and learning.

I think young teens will find themselves able to relate with Elena and her struggles at high school. For those that like fantasy and magic, they will also enjoy reading about Elena’s time in Avalon and how her powers grow. This book is pretty well rounded in that the characters who are introduced each have their own strengths which is an important theme for some children who may feel they aren’t really good at anything.  

Because this book is so easy to read it doesn’t take long to get through. I think this will make it appeal to younger audiences because they could read it in a few days. It also means this book is very accessible to younger or struggling readers. I think it’s really important that, for those two groups of readers, there is a range of books in different genres with different types of characters and settings to broaden their imagination and love of reading. Too often it seems that books for younger audiences are somewhat the same which can be rather uninspiring for reluctant readers.

Buy Links:


Elena was getting upset as she defended her family’s honor. She wasn’t thinking about where that might lead. She wasn’t thinking at all.

“Why, Elena, I didn’t mean to upset you.  I just meant that-“

“I know exactly what you meant, Barbara Thomas! You think your family is better than anyone else in this town. You always have. Just because your dad happens to be the former mayor’s son doesn’t mean you own this town and everyone in it! I’m so sick of your mock sentiment when all you really feel is that you’re better than everyone. You’re no better than the rest of us!”  

As she yelled, things around her felt funny, and she realized she heard screaming. She looked around, and was startled to see everyone staring at her, horrified. She took a deep breath, and realized what had happened. She let her emotions get away from her, and her powers erupted.

The only words she could think of to describe the scene around her were total chaos.  Every locker had burst open, and the entire contents – books, folders, papers, pictures, mirrors, backpacks – had come flying out. The posters on the walls were scattered everywhere. Most of the students and teachers were picking themselves up off the floor. Elena knew her powers had gotten totally out of hand, and she made everything around her fly out of control, literally.

She heard footsteps walking toward her, the only sound in the hall. She looked up and saw her counselor, Mrs. Adams, walking toward her. She gently took Elena by the shoulder and guided her to her office. She looked back and saw Barb and the other Bimbettes staring at her, as well as everyone else in the hall. 

About the Author:

Andrea Buginsky is a freelance writer and author. “The Chosen,” a middle-grade fantasy novelette was her first book, and was followed by “My Open Heart,” an autobiography about growing up with heart disease. “Nature’s Unbalance” is the second story in THE CHOSEN series. Andrea is currently working NEW AVALON, a YA fantasy series. Book 1, "Destiny," is available on Amazon

Connect with the Author:

Tour Schedule:

24th October
Andreea @ Book's Blog
Anna @ Wicked Book Addict
Annamaria @ Annamaria's Writing Corner - Guest Post
Justine @ The YA Lit Chic
Kalyan @ Heavens Garden
Kyra @ The Shadow Portal - Interview
Laura @ Colorimetry
Leslie @ That Chick that Reads - Review
Lianne @ Book Reviews
Marni @ Word to Dreams
Michael @ Michael Scifan - Interview
Myra @ Pieces of Whimsy
Niyati @ Books,Food & Me
Sam @ Rockin' & Reviewing - Interview

25th October
Books are Love
Serena @ Poetree

26th October
Chuckles @ Chuckles Book Cave
Heather @ The (Mis)Adventures of a Twenty Something Old Girl
Joanna @ Words & Tea Bottles
Vinny @ Books Are My Best Friends

28th October
Candy @ Just Me, Myself & I
Freda @ Freda's Voice
30th October


1 Digital copy of The Chosen by Andrea Buginsky to the best reviewer of this tour
1 Digital Copy of Destiny

a Rafflecopter giveaway


1 comment:

  1. Thank You for hosting this tour. Dont Forget to add the post link to the Tour Host Exclusive Giveaway! :)


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