A Healing Spirit

Riverview Series Volume 2

Young Adult - Romance
283 Pages
Reviewed on 08/20/2015
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

MELISSA A HANSON lives in Southern California, with her husband and two sons. Growing up in Southern California, inspiration for the city of “Riverview” is based on her hometown. "A Healing Heart" is her first completed novel and is book 1 of the Riverview Series. It is Bailey and Collin's story - "A Healing Spirit" is book 2 of the Riverview Series and is Mia and Dylan's story.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Patricia Day for Readers' Favorite

A Healing Spirit – Riverview Series Book 2 by Melissa A. Hanson is a thoroughly enjoyable read. I had not read Book 1, but this in no way ruined the context of this story. The tale follows the lives of a group of close friends. The main character is a charismatic young lady, Mia, who looks forward to the good times ahead with her best pals during their vacation from all the academic studies. College is out and their anticipation of the fun ahead fills them with excitement. When they all meet to enjoy the free time so eagerly anticipated, fate takes control and their lives are forever changed. They find themselves in a nightmare of events that bring abject horror to some, and anguish to them all.

To tell much more could spoil the story completely, but suffice to say, that if you are looking for a good balance in a book about young adult love, friendships, family ordeals and unexpected, shocking developments, this book should fit the bill. I found it an absorbing tale that kept my interest throughout. It is beautifully formatted and was really easy to read on my Kindle. I found the characters plausible and entirely engaging as they solved and resolved issues they faced, and I doubt many would be able to say they could not read to the end. It is quite a page-turner, because events happen quickly and drastically change the lives of more than one of the young men and women. There is no offensive language, nor uncomfortable content. A pure delight to read, and I would recommend it to anyone.

Hilary Hawkes

A Healing Spirit by Melissa A. Hanson is a romance story aimed at young teens. Nineteen-year-old Mia falls from a ski lift, and Dylan, a ski patrol member, is one of the first on the scene. Mia’s injuries are serious and her friends and family struggle emotionally but continue to support her as she recovers. Mia and Dylan are attracted to each other. Mia decides that something needs to be done about ensuring the safety of ski lifts and begins to investigate ways of bringing about greater awareness and change. Her relationship with Dylan blossoms into romance, but there is a part of his past that he keeps from her. Mia finds herself caught up in danger and abduction when she encounters Dylan’s dangerous, abusive, recently released from prison father as he seeks to inflict his revenge on Dylan and his mother.

The writing style of A Healing Spirit is suited to young teens and the theme of young/first love and friendships is one that readers this age will enjoy. The story is told in first person, but from various characters’ points of view rather than one. The author makes it clear who is telling which part so that there is no confusion. This shifting viewpoint gives the reader more insight into the different characters and I found this technique very appealing. The plot moves the story along in a satisfactory way and the tension builds in the last part of the book.

Hanson has partly based her book on a real life incident involving a child who fell from a ski lift, and the issues around awareness of safety are brought out through this fictitious story. Dylan’s issues as a survivor of childhood abuse are highlighted in the story too – his feelings of self-blame, guilt, and fear of being rejected if he tells are the common reactions of victims. A good and enjoyable story that deals with some significant issues, wrapped up in a warm and exciting romance.

Jack Magnus

A Healing Spirit, Riverview Series, Book 2 is a young adult romance written by Melissa A. Hanson. Mia couldn’t wait to get out on the slopes with her friends this morning. It was the day before Thanksgiving, and she had missed Bailey and Natasha who went away to college. Mia still wasn’t sure about her future career plans and decided to go to community college at home instead. After all, Riverview was a pretty nice place to live with the desert, ocean and the mountains all nearby. But everyone was home from college now for the holidays, and there was an early snow, so the five friends were taking advantage of the situation to get some early season snowboarding in. They were on the lift for one last morning run before taking a break for lunch when Mia began to feel as though she were slipping off the chairlift seat. Moments later, she fell thirty feet to the snowdrifts below. Fortunately, she fell right near the ski patrol’s hut, and they rushed out when they heard her hit the ground. No bones were broken, but internal injuries left her in terrible pain and in critical condition. One of the ski patrollers stayed with her as she lay strapped to the backboard, and he held her hand while the ambulance drove to a place where the emergency helicopter could land. And his green eyes kept her mesmerized, despite her pain.

Melissa A. Hanson’s young adult romantic suspense novel, A Healing Spirit, Riverview Series, Book 2, is an enthralling and uplifting story. The author notes at the end of the book that her story was influenced by the real-life accident of a young woman. The story is told through the perspectives of Mia, Dylan, Quinn and Mia’s other friends, and this device works marvelously to make the story multi-dimensional and more fully involve the reader in the story. A Healing Spirit is also an accomplished coming of age story that charts the lives of the two young protagonists and their stories. Mia is a splendid, strong and determined young woman who finds her purpose through her accident. Hanson’s writing style is fluid and easy to get lost in. Her romantic plot has elements of suspense woven throughout it that keep the action taut and compelling. A Healing Spirit, Riverview Series, Book 2 is highly recommended.

Samantha Dewitt (Rivera)

Mia is an experienced skier, a girl who has practically grown up on a chair lift. But on that one fateful day before Thanksgiving, none of that matters as she finds herself clinging to life after a skiing accident. It’s going to be up to her own determination, along with the friends and family who will never give up, if she’s going to win this fight for her life that won’t end when she’s finally out of the hospital. Instead, Mia is going to find herself faced with challenges that only continue to grow. With Dylan, Quinn, Natasha, Collin and Bailey, as well as Dylan’s and Mia’s parents, there’s going to be more than enough adventure for one season.

A Healing Spirit by Melissa A. Hanson is based on a true story and much of what Mia went through is actually the same as what another little girl went through. The characters really drew me in. I felt the entire story was so realistic (which makes sense because it was), but it also felt like the characters were real. They seemed to have dimension to them and they really grew throughout the story. This is not a medical drama (for those who may be confused). A Healing Spirit by Melissa A. Hanson is the type of book that any romance lover will enjoy. It’s the story of a young girl overcoming the odds because of her strong spirit, her stubborn will, and maybe because of the young man waiting beside her.