Fused (The Samantha Granger Experiment, #1) by Kari Lee Townsend
Reading Level: Middle Grade/Tween
Release Date: Available Now
Publisher: Sourcebooks Jabberwocky
Source: Received from author/publisher for honest review
Summary: When you make a face or cross your eyes, do your parents tease that if you're not careful, your face might stay that way forever? Well, my parents said that if I'm not careful, I'll turn into one of my gadgets. I thought they were joking, people! But-somehow, someway-I have become a living, breathing, walking piece of technology. Apparently my head now has a built-in GPS and my palm is equipped with talking and texting capabilities-just like my cell phone! Now I'm a techno-superhero with powers that seem to have a mind of their own. And, in my case, keeping a secret identity is harder than it sounds. I short-circuit every time Trevor Hamilton looks my way. Like being a girl isn't stressful enough.
My Review: Kari's Fused, was a delightful and animated beginning to a bright superhero series. My skepticism behind middle grade fiction turned out to be a pleasurable experience. Samantha was a spunky, free-spirited, young teen who had a knack for running into bad situations. When a mysterious gem integrated her cell phone and body, Samantha turned into a technological walking phenomenon. Personally, the plot's originality restored the typical idea of superheroes. Who needs spider senses when there is a built-in GPS in your brain? Just like Samantha, I wouldn't mind having that power since I'm horrible with directions.
Of course every superhero needs a sidekick, which brings me to her best friend, Melody. The relationship between the two was amusing and funny. There witty conversations worked up memories from my junior high years. Throughout Fused, Samantha not only dealt with her abilities, but also suffered from a case of puppy love. Trevor, the "dreamy" guy she admired, was a decent character. He seemed to genuinely like her, even while her random cell phone quirks kicked in. Finally, Kari's world and writing skills have the capability to crossover to older teens and young adult audiences. If you're looking to get into middle grade fiction, I recommend you read this series. I am now invested in Samantha's crazy experiments and look forward to seeing her grow in the sequel, Fearless.
Kari Lee Townsend lives in Central New York with her very understanding husband, her three busy boys, and her oh-so-dramatic daughter, who keep her grounded. Kari has a masters in English Education and has been both a winner and finalist in several online writing contests, including the Amazon Breakout Novel Contest.
For more info on Kari, visit her sites:
Fearless (The Samantha Granger Experiment, #2) by Kari Lee Townsend
(June 7, 2011)