I received an advance reader’s copy (ARC) of The Problem With Prophecies by Scott Reintgen. Since this version is just a proof and not the final version, I won’t quote directly and will keep my comments general.
In The Problem With Prophecies, Celia Cleary has grown up knowing her family is magical: every other generation has some form of prophetic ability, which manifests for the first time on the person’s 4,444th day of life. So when that day comes for Celia, she’s ready and eager, especially with her grandmother here to support her. What she doesn’t count on is seeing a vision of Jeffrey Johnson, Celia’s neighbor and classmate, dying in a tragic accident. Shocked and horrified, Celia takes things into her own hands and saves his life—only to receive another vision soon after, of Jeffrey dying again, in a new way. The more Celia saves Jeffrey, the more worried she becomes. What if she has to do this for the rest of her life? And worse, the more time she spends with Jeffrey the more she realizes she has feelings for him.
This is so fun and charming!
I’ve never read a book by this author, but received an ARC of this one due to my job. And it was delightful! I really like Celia—she’s spirited and stubborn and compassionate. She often does things without thinking them through fully, but she’s also quite clever and good at thinking on her feet. I also enjoyed her interactions with her other friends. Her bond with her grandmother is also amazing and touching—one of the best parts of this book.
I also loved Jeffrey; he’s so sweet and geeky and endearing. It was easy to care about him, and so it was easy to become invested in the story, which of course centers around saving his life. And it’s a fast-paced story (well, at least if you read it in a day, like I did. Maybe it feels slower if you read it slower? I wouldn’t know), and the suspense of how (and if) Celia can save him for good keeps you glued to the page.
The peril, while not that graphic since it’s a middle grade novel, is still tangible and gripping. There are some pretty good action moments, and the climactic scene is particularly great. It’s not only exciting and a little scary (I imagine some younger or more sensitive kids might be a little frightened), but it’s also got a lot of emotions. And as the story concludes, it becomes clear that there are consequences to every action, but in this story, all are driven by love—for friends or for family.
In the end, The Problem With Prophecies is wonderful. Excellent characters and pacing, great suspense and emotion, delightful dialogue and magic. I had so much fun reading this, and I’m looking forward to reading more by this author! This is the start of a series, too, so I guess I’ve added yet another series to my TBR. Oh, well, at least I found a good one!
The Problem With Prophecies will be published on May 31st, 2022!