Author: Nadia Kim
Genre: chicklit, paranormal
Published: June 2012
My Scource: the author (thank you!)
My Score on Goodreads: 4 stars (deserves a half more)
Her soul is fragmented; she is but an empty vessel. Jessica Hamid isn’t your average African American/Middle Eastern woman. She’s broken. As if her childhood wasn’t bad enough. Because of all the kids who teased her for having a big butt or being mean to her, hurting her physically and mentally, she chose never to deal with those issues to bury them deep down inside, locking away the key. And now after landing her dream job the insecurities she developed have come back to haunt her in ways no one could imagine. Something is coming for her; she has no idea.
To make matters worse, despite obviously hiring her because of her excellent writing skills her boss at Teen Savvy Magazine hates her style and her coworkers want nothing to do with her. In fact, the only one giving her any attention is the mysterious photographer, Mark, whose charm is more torment than pleasure to Jessica as she struggles to figure out if he is for real or just out for another piece.
This is a story of a woman who struggles with her own insecurities to break into the person she was meant to be. Will she overcome them and allow love to shine its light through her, or will she become the property of another, more sinister force, never able to reclaim her identity again?
Reflection is a page-turner not like any other. It’s a love story with a twist of fantasy, playing to the moral fibers of a person. The depth of the characters help create a three dimensional world. And the angst experienced by Jessica is felt by the readers on an intimate level, evoking many emotional responses along the way, from hurt and sadness to the funny moments when the ever clumsy Jessica makes a mess of things.
To be honest I didn't know whether I would like this book or not. The title, cover and covertext didn't attract me that much and I hate to say it but for me those things can make me buy books and read them. Now I have discovered once more that you can't judge a book by its cover (or title or covertext) and that's also the message this book tries to give to its readers!
My favorite genre still is chicklit. I love to clear my head and read some love stories without much depth. On the other hand I also like classic novels and stories because their characters seem more real and they really have something to say. Combine those two elements and you have "Reflections" by Nadia Kim. This author wrote a book where she combines a beautiful love story with some paranormal elements. These elements give the book a second layer in which we can learn several things about life.
In "Reflections" we meet Jess, a young woman who works for a teen magazine and loves her job. The only problem is that Jess is and has always been very insecure and this attitude doesn't really fit the world she lives in for her job. When she was younger she always was the center of ridicule. Most of the girls didn't want to be her friend because she was a little different and this made Jess horrible at finding new friends and truly trust them. When people acted like they liked her, they had other intentions most of the time (like really hurting her afterwards and laughing because she believed they wanted to be friends with her). That's why Jess is very closed and doesn't trust people around her, especially not when they're beautiful and work for a teen magazine.
Of course this makes her life difficult, because she really loves doing her job and is good at it. It becomes even more difficult when she meets the photographer (and owner) of the magazine, Mark. He really seems to like her, but Jess doesn't believe it at all. She already met some men in the past who liked it to trick a girl and make her believe they loved her before dumping her. Jess isn't going to let that happen again and keeps Mark as far away from her as possible. He, on the other hand, persists and makes Jess wonder if he really means it. Just when she starts to like him, he leaves because both of his parents died in an accident. Jess waits for him and hopes he will call her or email her, but she waits in vain and believes she's tricked once again.
When Mark finally returns to the magazine, it seems like he started a relationship with Jess's boss. At this point Jess really starts feeling depressed. All her hopes are gone and she starts having very strange dreams.
At the beginning Jess doesn't think much of these dreams. Everybody has strange dreams... But when those dreams start to get more real and frightening, she wants to learn more about them. Jess discovers she's in great danger and is followed by some sort of demons in her dream. Bad thing is these demons are more real then she thought in the beginning. For me these monsters, who try to get a grip on Jess's body, are the bad feelings she remembers from her past. The demons of her past keep following her, especially when she's insecure and hates herself once more. Just when Jess started to leave these monsters behind her because she fell in love with Mark, they started to follow her again because he left her. Just when she started believing somebody could really love her, she was dumped all over again. The demons start to catch up with her and it won't take them long to have her completely under control.
What Jess doesn't realise is that those demons have been there most of her life. They are the bad feelings she dragged along with her untill she met Mark. Can she leave them behind for the rest of her life or is she lost?
I'm not going to spoil the story for you, so if you'd like to discover how it all ends for Jess and Mark, you should really read the story. It's a beautiful one and it will keep you interested until the end (whether you like paranormal elements or not).