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Reviewed by Kayti Nika Raet for Readers' Favorite
In Finding Angel by Kat Heckenbach, 14-year-old Angel has no memory of her life before she was rescued by the loving Mason family. She spends her days with her sweet little brother Zach, foiling the pranks of her older brothers Josh and Jacob, and sitting under her favorite reading tree with all the fantasy books she can carry. One day, a new boy comes to town, a boy who knows more about her than anyone should, a boy who seems to have first-hand knowledge of the fantastical creatures she's only read about in books. After a dangerous accident nearly takes both their lives, Gregor reveals that the creatures and lands she always dreamed about are real and that he's saved her life before from a man determined to consume her unique powers.
As someone who was home-schooled all her life, I really appreciated that Angel's little brother Zach was home-schooled; Angel was considering joining him; and that neither were portrayed as socially awkward, excessively weird freaks of nature. I also liked how the magic was done in a very scientific manner, plates were levitated by manipulating air molecules, things became invisible due to light refraction, etc. It made me think of the Magic or Madness trilogy by Justine Larbalestier. Of course everything couldn't be completely explained with science or it wouldn't be magic!
Also readers who dislike the romantic elements that permeate the YA genre, as well as parents who may be concerned that such topics are too advanced for their children will breath a sigh of relief to learn that Angel and Gregor remain just friends throughout the whole book. Finding Angel starts off slow but is a fairly quick read, which is going to be a major disappointment to legions of 12-13-year-old readers waiting for the next book. A great book for young nature lovers and fans of the Spiderwick Chronicles, Finding Angel is filled with friendship, mystery, and adventure.