The Wanderers by Jessica Miller
Author: Jessica Miller
Series: The Wanderers #1
Release Date: December 6, 2012
Dates Read: December 18-20, 2012
What do you do when you learn your family is the one who’s holding all the secrets? Secrets that could get you killed…
Ella is looking forward to starting college in the fall with her best friend Josie. She’s looking for a place where she can get away from her overbearing parents and two older annoying brothers. Unfortunately Ella realizes that sometimes the past comes back to haunt you.
Ella soon learns that the man who terrorizes her dreams is in fact real and coming after her.
When one of her classmates is murdered, Ella slowly recognizes this is not some strange coincidence. Ella fears that the boy she’s falling in love with is the one who stalks her dreams and no longer knows who she can trust.
When she finally learns the truth of her families deepest secret, Ella has to face her demons by taking out one of the people she thought she could trust…before they kill her.
This book was obtained freely from the author, Jessica Miller, in exchange for an honest review.
The Wanderers is a great story for fans of young adult paranormal romance. It features a young girl reeling from the tragedy of losing her boyfriend in a car accident. She’s about to finally leave her family to head off to college across the country. She’s ready for the new start, and she knows her best friend, Josie, will be there to make it even better. When she gets there, it seems even better than she imagined at first. She ends up closer to Josie than she thought, and during their first week, she’s already been to a rocking party, met a cute boy (or several), and been invited to join a sorority. But things aren’t all peachy. That hot boy from the party isn’t the kind of guy you’d bring home to your parents, and he’s hounding her like there’s no tomorrow. And the dreams she started having after she lost Kyle in the accident? They’re back. And they’re changing. And the boy she just met is taking a leading role. Soon after that, a girl a campus is brutally murdered, and she doesn’t know who to trust.
Once I got into the story, I found I didn’t want to stop reading. There’s enough mystery to keep you wondering, and you find yourself interested in Ella and what’s going on with her. I really like Tristan as a love interest because Ella knows he’s bad for her and keeps fighting him off. The difference between his boozing and man-whoring default persona and the tender glimpses Ella gets are interesting, and enough to make you wonder if he isn’t so bad after all. And for the times when Tristan is a grade-A jerk, there’s Jack, another interesting guy. Between them and Ella and Josie and the secondary characters, and everything that is happening around them, it’s a real page-turner. It made me smile, it made me mad, it made my heart hurt, it made me laugh, it made me scared for Ella, it made me wonder what in the world was going on, and it even made me tear up. I enjoyed all the emotions The Wanderers elicited from me, and overall I thought it was a great book! The paranormal twist is an interesting one, and is done differently enough that it keeps you intrigued. I think readers will like it, as I did.
On a few critical notes… As the novel is a somewhat long one, I believe it could be tightened up a lot by removing some of the more extraneous scenes. There are several places in The Wanderers where the more mundane details of Ella’s life are chronicled. While I understand that some such scenes are good for developing characters and setting, many could be done without to give the novel a more concise, action-filled, polished feel. As for the technical aspects, I must say that The Wanderers would greatly benefit from a quick glance from an editor of any sort to catch grammar and word errors, particularly typos, missing commas and incorrect word choices. Many small errors exist that generally don’t necessarily impact the readability, but clearly make the work seem less polished. As an avid reader of fanfiction, I was not as turned off by this as some readers might be. Some may find it to be a real issue.
Overall, I really enjoyed The Wanderers and recommend it to fans of paranormal romance, particularly readers who are interested in the story of a girl going off to college and discovering that not everything she knew is as it seems. I think you’ll be entertained, as I was.