Visited by Janine Caldwell
Publication date: May 25th 2013
Genre: YA coming-of-age fantasy
Source: Provided for book tour by Xpresso Book Tours
Buy: Amazon; Amazon UK; B&N
I know I really shouldn't say this, but the first thing that drew me into this book was the cover... I'm a sucker for a pretty cover and I love this one! It's so pretty! And also, the very intriguing synopsis that had me wanting to find out what was going to happen in Joanna's life and that she met an alien made me really want to read it! I ended up really enjoying this book!
I had a problem with Joanna throughout the book. She was such a selfish character! I never noticed it at the start, but when her life changed, it became clear just how selfish of a character she actually was. She wanted her mother all to herself (even if it made her miserable), she didn't notice how other people around her were feeling and she was just constantly thinking about herself! However, I did like that I could relate to her because of the 'coming of age' thing. Joanna isn't happy with how her body is and how tall she is. That I could relate to very easily. When I started high school I was way taller than everyone else and got a couple of nicknames for that and always wished I was smaller, so I found it very easy to relate to Joanna when she was feeling self-conscious about her height. There were times when Joanna was so naïve and couldn't see what was right in front of her that I had to smack myself on the forehead. But Joanna's character did develop and change a lot throughout the book and by the end, I really liked her character.
And then we have James. I was a bit iffy with James to start with (even though he did save Joanna's life). He seemed to be hiding something and avoiding Janine's questions, but I gradually grew to like him. He was always there for Joanna, helping and protecting her. He always wanted to know about Janine's life which I found pretty weird and made me start to suspect why he was actually there. I was a bit surprised by James' reveal at the end. I never saw that coming! But I had guessed why he was there because it became pretty obvious by the end. James was a brilliant character and friend, he really helped Joanna develop and learn to appreciate her life throughout the book.
Tommy was a bit of an iffy character as well. He was a brilliant best friend, but a very jealous boyfriend. He flew off the handle at the mention of another boy from his girlfriend. So what if he was treated badly by an ex, that doesn't give him an excuse to pick a fight with every girlfriend he has over the mention of another boy. His girlfriends don't get jealous when he mentions Joanna, do they? Well, I don't think they do anyways... But still, Tommy acted like an ass sometimes and I wanted to hit him. Joanna started to see that he wasn't really the Tommy that she'd thought he was and that maybe she and him wouldn't actually be a good couple.
When chapter 3 came around, I was so confused! I was wondering if chapters 1 and 2 had actually happened, and then I just had no idea what the hell was going on! It took me a while to piece together everything because I was so thrown, but I really loved what happened with the story line in this book. It was fascinating to see a different Joanna and see how different her life would be. It also helped Joanna grow as a character as well. She realised that she'd made split judgments about people but hadn't bothered to learn about them; Some of the things she'd been desperate for weren't working out how she'd planned and she also learned a lot about her mother too. Joanna definitely needed what James provided for her.
There were times that I was a bit iffy with the writing and the characters, and I wanted to hit them for being stupid/naïve/cringey/annoying, but I did find this to be an enjoyable read overall.
I was a bit miffed about what happened with James at the end though. But still, the ending was nice and I'm hoping that Tommy will be able to change eventually. I'm also hoping that Joanna will start to be comfortable in her own skin and that maybe her and Blake will get together.
Overall, I thought this was a quick and entertaining read that I managed to get through in a couple of hours. I debated for a while on what rating to give it, and I finally settled on 3 stars. It just lacked something that would have pushed it to a 4 star for me, but I still really liked this book. It was a quick and enjoyable read that I definitely recommend.