|Keeper of the Lost Cities by Shannon Messenger
Release Date: October 2, 2012
Source: Personal Copy
Buy It: Amazon
|Twelve-year-old Sophie Foster has a secret. She’s a Telepath—someone who hears the thoughts of everyone around her. It’s a talent she’s never known how to explain.Everything changes the day she meets Fitz, a mysterious boy who appears out of nowhere and also reads minds. She discovers there’s a place she does belong, and that staying with her family will place her in grave danger. In the blink of an eye, Sophie is forced to leave behind everything and start a new life in a place that is vastly different from anything she has ever known.
Sophie has new rules to learn and new skills to master, and not everyone is thrilled that she has come “home.” There are secrets buried deep in Sophie’s memory—secrets about who she really is and why she was hidden among humans—that other people desperately want. Would even kill for.
In this page-turning debut, Shannon Messenger creates a riveting story where one girl must figure out why she is the key to her brand-new world, before the wrong person finds the answer first.
I would love to blame Tina for the fact I’m reviewing a “middle school” book, but Tina isn’t at fault. The author of this book is. That’s right, I’m blaming the author Shannon Messenger. It’s okay, I can, I’m friends with the author. Friends in the sense I bother her via email and twitter. But that won’t skew the review. I recently became friends with Messenger via snark, Saved by the Bell, and mocking of each other. I’ve read her blog for awhile now and quietly kept to myself, one day I wasn’t quiet anymore, commented and we quickly bantered back and forth and amazingly I haven’t scared her yet! (YAY!) It’s probably for the best Shannon doesn’t live closer to me because we would eat all the In-N-Out Cheeseburgers and she would get no work done. But as awesome as Messenger is, her book is even more awesome.
Really, it is possible. Almost every email to Tina during the period of me reading this book involves me yelling at Tina “YOU NEED TO READ KEEPER NOW.” The book is about a girl named Sophie, who’s 12 and in high school. Right?! I didn’t enjoy high school when I had to go through it I can’t picture having to go through it at the age of 12. But Sophie has a secret, Sophie is a Telepath. Has been since the age of 5 and no one knows. However one day a boy name Fitz appears and tells her that she isn’t alone. That he, too, can read minds, but he isn’t from here.
He’s from another world, a world that knows nothing about where she’s from. An ATM? An iPod? They know nothing about this technology. It is an amazing world that Messenger built because it is nothing like the United States in 2012. She had to create a whole new world, that is similar to the world we live in and yet nothing like it at all, all at the same time. Also, Messenger’s world building? Amazing. She thought of everything, down to the smallest detail which is much appreciated as a reader.
Once in the “new world,” Sophie is taken in by a family made up of Grady and Edaline, who have their own background issues, that get explained Messenger makes them, and family such an important part of this story to the point I may have shed a tear or two (okay many) various times in the story because I wanted to reach in and grab certain characters and tell them it would be okay, even though, to be honest, I had no idea myself if everyone would be okay. I only hoped.
Sophie is also extremely realistic. She has a stuffed blue elephant, who she can’t live without and is one of the few things she takes from her current life before going to her new life. She freaks out, she doesn’t fit in, she’s an extremely realistic 12 year old girl. And then there are the boys in her life. The first boy in her life is Fitz. He’s literally the first boy in her new life, he is a fellow telepath who’s parents help her become accustomed to her new world. Then there is Dex, who ends up being her BFF, he hates Fitz with a passion and doesn’t trust him, but trusts Sophie. Last there is the ‘bad’ boy, Keefe. Oh Keefe, he’s snarky, sarcastic, and he ditches class but he really likes Sophie and enjoys mocking Sophie. This is probably one of the reasons I relate to Keefe. I’m not saying that I ditched class, I didn’t. I was the annoying one who was on time and never missed a day (yes, I hate me, too.) But the snark and the mocking? That’s all me. My one friend jokes that if I’m nice to you, you should watch out, I love by being mean. Which is why I relate to Keefe and the snark.
And yes, there is already Team Dex, Team Keefe, and Team Fitz, shockingly I am Team Sophie. Yes, Team Sophie! Girl power! Sophie isn’t a weakling. She handles the fact that her world is legitimately turned upside down quite well. If I was taken away from the only family I ever knew, I’d lose it. And while Sophie did lose it, she had an amazing path to self-discovery throughout this whole book.
I finished this book and wanted to re-read it right away. Lately that rarely happens to me and a book. This book ends on a perfect note and yet leaves me wanting more. Thankfully this is going to be a trilogy. And, Messenger has another series coming out next year! I’d throw confetti in the air if that would be responsible, and I wouldn’t have to clean it up.