Coming from a race of highly-evolved humans, Julia Jaynes has the perfect life. The perfect family. The perfect destiny. But there’s something rotten beneath the surface—dangerous secrets her father is keeping; abilities she was never meant to have; an elite society of people determined to keep their talents hidden and who care nothing for the rest of humanity. So when Julia accidentally disrupts the Jaynes’ delicate anonymity, she’s banished to the one place meant to make her feel inferior: public high school.
Julia’s goal is to lay low and blend in. Then she meets him—John Ford, tennis prodigy, all-around good guy. When Julia discovers a knack for reading his mind, and also manipulating his life, school suddenly becomes a temporary escape from the cold grip of her manipulative father. But as Julia’s powers over John grow, so do her feelings. For the first time in her life, Julia begins to develop a sense of self, to question her restrictive upbringing and her family prejudices. She must decide: can a perfect love be worth more than a perfect life?
To start with, I was super thrilled to have my wish granted on Netgalley! It was a wonderful feeling because I really wanted to read this book.
The plot revolves around Julia Jaynes, daughter of a multi-billionaire named Novak. She has superhuman abilities ingrained into her genes, thanks to her being a descendant of an ancient tribe named the Puras. She mingles and spends most of her time with this group of boys who nickname themselves as “The Lost Kids”. They are all a bunch of teens who each have unique abilities embedded into each of them. All was fine until they go down to the beach with Julia’s sister, Olivia where they almost expose themselves in public, something Novak strives to avoid.
This, being Julia’s fault is the reason why she is sent away from Barton Springs to Austin to distance herself from the others and learn to discipline herself. The aforementioned occurrence at the beach involved a normal human, John Ford with whom Julia connected instantly by eye contact (Bleh). Coincidentally, John goes to Austin High and is also in Julia’s English class.
One major point that made rate the book three stars was the romance between John and Julia. They keep making eye contact and Julia can read John’s mind, blah blah. Okay. But where were the conversations? That slowly built up chemistry that explodes after reaching the breaking limit? These were sadly absent. Since more than half of the book revolves around John, Julia and their meaningless, unfathomable obsession with each other, this gets a little frustrating. I mean, Angus (Julia’s “crush” and best friend) has more chemistry with Julia than John.
Putting aside the lack of chemistry, another thought kept popping into my head as I read the book. I couldn’t help but notice the parallels between the book and Twilight by Stephenie Meyer. I swear I’m not doing these Twilight references on purpose but if you write the book from the Vampires’ point of view, that is, the “keeping their identity a secret”, “having a doctor among them” and “leaving the town when things start getting suspicious” portions, both the books would sound interchangeable but for the fact that Select is about humans with creepy, superpower genes. Other than these two points, I absolutely loved the book. I must say that the last few pages, with its unexpected twists and turns, completely changed my opinion about the book. I went “Maybe this book isn’t that bad after all”. And that last line left me hanging over the edge.
Overall, I loved the book and can’t wait for the next book! Great job!
*Received ARC via Charlesbridge Teen and Netgalley in exchange for an honest review*
What do you feel about the book (if you have read it too)? Share your thoughts!