by S. H. Everly
Independently published February 23, 2021
For 17-year-old Katrina Peterson, life is never the same after she finds out she’s moving back to California. Upon arrival, Katrina learns that the town has secrets, and at the heart of them is the mysterious and popular Jared, who’s been dreaming about her long before she came to Santa Cruz. Only one thing seems to have all the answers: a map given to her by her mother. But Katrina wonders how long she can keep her own secret from Jared. Will he ever accept her for who she truly is? But, more importantly, can she? A story filled with friendship, family, love, and even faith, Iridescent will take you away to the beaches and ocean waters of Central California, and on a magical journey in this coming of age book.
I chose Iridescent primarily because of the setting. Monterey Bay, Santa Cruz and the surrounding coastline are some of our very favorite spots in the world. The author does a good job of describing the kelp forests and wide variety of sea life in her book. Katrina, her aunt and her best friend work at the aquarium, main character Kat wants to be a marine biologist. There’s also discussion of the redwood forests an the light houses which help add to the authentic and unique Central California mood. It’s a long book, but I was able to get through it in a day. It has a bit of a Twilight vibe in the “love triangle” and I found myself pulling for the underdog rather than the main interest Jared. What I loved? The family dynamics which highlighted foster, adoptive and traditional families. All functional. I struggled with suspension of disbelief with Katrina continuing to enter into situations which were dangerous and harmful. One of the main themes is forgiveness, yet the main character does not set healthy boundaries for herself and puts her life in danger by going on sleepovers and trips with someone who has tried to hurt her. I suppose she is growing and learning as a teen, but even after she learns the gravity of the threat she still continues to associate with two main characters. One can forgive but set a firm boundary.
I loved the Christian themes interwoven through the book and the relationship to faith & deity the characters possess. Overall, a clean read, appropriate for younger teens. Thanks to Prism Book Tours for the complimentary copy as part of their review tour.