33 Degrees

Young Adult - Paranormal
386 Pages
Reviewed on 05/06/2023
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Anne-Marie Reynolds for Readers' Favorite

Micky O'Brady's 33 Degrees is a paranormal tale for young adults. Gwendolyn O’Karran is 17. She and her friend Sarah are kidnapped, and while Gwendolyn survives, Sarah does not. Gwen also can't remember anything about the kidnapping; her life is in tatters. Kai Harrison is also 17, and he tries to commit suicide. He and his twin were both in an accident and their hearts stopped. Kai saw firsthand what lies beyond and now he wants to flatline and bring his brother back from his coma. Intrigued, Gwen gets together with Kai, and they decide to flatline and experience near death. This can only bring pain and sorrow, and as Gwen begins to experience visions, she is forced to confront what happens when you part the veil, especially when she realizes that the door is open both ways. Gwen is about to be confronted with what happened when Sarah died, and she's about to discover a web of secrets that challenge everything she thought she knew.

What a wonderful story! Micky O'Brady's 33 Degrees is a haunting tale of life, death, and the fine line between them. It's also a story of secrets, lies, and the lengths people will go to keep things hidden. The two main characters are well-developed; they show realistic emotions, are easy to relate to, and are oh-so likable, even when they are experimenting with things they have no business being anywhere near. The plot is unique and full of action, and it twists its way to the end as you follow their individual stories, especially Gwen's, and experience the pain survivor's guilt can bring. It's bad enough for an adult to deal with, but even harder for those barely adult. The subject has been dealt with compassionately and expertly. There's also a lesson in not messing with things you don't understand, especially if you aren't prepared for the consequences. This is an excellent story; I enjoyed reading it and believe anyone else will too.

Rosie Malezer

Micky O'Brady has written an incredible paranormal tale in 33 Degrees, which details the lives of Gwen O'Karran and Kai Harrison - two teenagers whose individual tragedies brought them together. After a botched kidnapping, Gwen has suffered from amnesia for the past six months and cannot remember how her best friend Sarah died. While swimming, Gwen hears a splash and realizes that somebody is sinking. After rescuing him, Gwen earns the ingratitude of Kai, who just wanted to bring his comatose twin brother Cole back to life. He believed that dying would achieve this. Both teenagers decide that temporary death could provide a solution. Gwen would be able to apologize to Sarah, and she would hopefully regain her memory in the process. In turn, Kai would be able to seek out his twin's soul which is trapped in the afterlife known as The Realm, and bring it back to the land of the living.

Micky O'Brady's realistic, heart-wrenching story is filled with love and friendship, bound with grief, desperation, and regrets. The complexity of the storyline brings about a shocking ending which left me shaking my head, trying to comprehend what I had just read. I enjoyed reading about Gwen's and Kai's carefree youth before the horrific events which followed. At first, the characters that were added in between seemed like page-fillers, but each soon became relevant to the development of the storyline and kept me thoroughly engrossed. O'Brady's 33 Degrees hit home to me in many ways, having recently (and suddenly) lost my father, but it also helped me find some peace of mind regarding his death. I know that I will be giving this novel a place on the top shelf of my reading collection, where only the best books reside.

Alma Boucher

Micky O’Brady’s 33 Degrees is a work of fiction in the paranormal genre and is aimed at young adults. Gwen is sent to her grandfather in Kampton, Oregon, to escape from the media. Almost six months before, Gwen had been kidnapped and her best friend Sarah was killed. One day during Gwen's morning outing, a guy jumps off a bridge into the river in front of her. When he did not surface, she jumped into the river to rescue him. Gwen recognized him as Kai, one of the twin brothers she had a crush on for years. Kai and his brother were in an accident that left his sibling in a coma. Kai attempts to stop his heart so he can enter the afterlife to bring his brother back. Gwen also wants to enter the afterworld to ask Sarah for forgiveness. Gwen and Kai come up with a plan to visit their loved ones.

The story is layered, and it takes time to unravel the secrets of 33 Degrees one by one, but Micky O’Brady does it in a way that is not overwhelming. It kept me engaged in the mystery, and I was thoroughly hooked. It was intriguing that someone could make his heart stop to enter the afterlife and then come back to life again. There were several plot twists that I did not see coming. All the action and suspense kept me on the edge of my seat. The chapters flowed smoothly into each other. The characters were brilliant and complex and were developed naturally throughout the story. The story is well-written and held my interest. O’Brady took me on a bumpy ride, and I did not expect the ending. It was mind-blowing.