From the Publisher The Colonies lost the Revolutionary War. Now it’s 1839 and the North American continent is divided into three territories: New Britannia, Nueva Espana, and Nouvelle France where seventeen-year-old Claire Poissant lives. Claire has a magical way with words-literally. But a mystical power of persuasion isn’t the only thing that makes her different. Half-French and half-Indian, Claire doesn’t feel at home in either world. Maybe that’s why she’s bonded so tightly with her fellow outcasts and best friends: Phileas, a young man whose towering intellect and sexuality have always made him the target of bullies, and Sam, a descendant of George Washington who shares the disgraced general’s terrible, secret curse. But when Sam’s family is murdered, these bonds are tested and Claire’s special ability is strained to its limits as the three hunt the men responsible into dangerous lands. Along the way they cross paths with P.T. Barnum, William Frankenstein and other characters from both history and fantasy as they learn the hard way that man is often the most horrific monster and that growing up sometimes means learning to let go of the things you hold most dear.
Worth Getting in Bed For? Yes Sullivan captures the reader’s attention from the beginning of the story and doesn’t let go. This is not just a historical novel. I love that there is a gay character and other issues teens face such as bullying are addressed. My daughter is reading it now and has already declared it a winner, although she used much cooler tween speak that I don’t understand. She especially liked the George Washington swimming reference.
This is also appealing to adults. There is an almost cult following of older readers who follow YA novels that feature the paranormal or Steampunk. The early Louisiana history and the magical realism elevated the novel from just another teen novel. From a historical and ethnic perspective, I liked that Claire’s heritage was featured and found her mother and grandmother special characters.
But, what I like most is that Sullivan went for it. She took her three characters and made them the so-called outcasts and put them in this magical alternative historical setting giving them real life teen problems along the way. And that’s tricky and gutsy. And it worked.
About the Author Born and raised in Appalachia, AshleyRose Sullivan now lives, writes, and paints in Los Angeles. She has an MFA in Creative Writing from Spalding University and her first novel, Awesome Jones: A Superhero Fairy Tale is available from Seventh Star Press. She can be found at her website or her blog, My Year Of Star Trek.