SECRETS FROM MYSELF by Christine Hart *Review*

GENRE:   Middle Grade/Paranormal

Amazon | B&N

About the Book

Eleven-year-old Katelyn has always heard voices and had visions. She’s long suspected she was hearing from past lives. But when she runs away from home and hides out with an old friend in Vancouver, things become more real. She even finds herself writing the words of someone else in a diary – the words of someone whose fate was deeply impacted by the Komagata Maru incident.

As Katelyn learns more about the Komagata Maru and the person communicating with her, she realizes that she has a task to fulfill that will correct a wrong from the past.

Read and Excerpt

MY TURN IN the shower has been bumped to after dinner because of my tardy return from the Drive. I don’t like going to bed with wet hair and the house hairdryer is broken. I’ll just have to deal. But after a truly brain-blending afternoon, I decide sleeping with wet hair isn’t something worth complaining to Mariah about.

I draw the curtain and turn the shower to mostly hot. I peel off my tank top and denim shorts. I step inside the steamy enclosure and pick up the communal shampoo bottle, cursing myself for not picking up some of my own toiletries during one of my brief outings.

As I work the foamy soap through my hair, my arms start to feel chilly. I turn the water all the way to hot. Stupid small hot water tank. They’re supposed to be housing half a dozen girls here. Can’t they do better?

The water starts to scald my skin, but the air around me is still cold. I start to feel nauseous. I need to sit down. Now. I flick off the shower head and sit down in the shower, hugging my knees for warmth. It’s no good.

I pull the shower curtain back to grab a towel. I look over at the bathroom mirror and scream. It’s not me! It’s HER! Akasha’s face stares back at me from behind the condensation on the wet glass. Several lines are written in characters I don’t recognize.

My Review

I was looking forward to the mix of true historical events and the paranormal aspects of this story as it’s not something you often see a middle-grade book. The history was spot-on and kept me wanting more. The paranormal aspect was a bit of a let-down.

I found the first-person, present tense a bit jarring. Especially when we were first introduced to Akasha and before I realized it was Katelyn’s dream. The book started slow. However, once I was farther into the book, it was easier to follow the cadence of her thoughts and speech.

The horrors of hospitalization and group homes were a very real evil and the author did a good job of giving us details without becoming too graphic.

I felt as if the heroine should have been a bit older than a pre-teen and believe the book would also appeal more to an older audience.

However, these were only a few small issues on my part as a reader. The story is sound and, as I said at the beginning, the history extremely well done.

About the Author

Located on BC’s beautiful West Coast, I write from my suburban Langley home on the border between peaceful forests and urban streets.  I love writing about places and spaces with rich history and visually fascinating elements as a backdrop for the surreal and spectacular.

In addition to my undergraduate degree in writing and literature, my background also includes corporate communications and design. I am a current member of the Federation of BC Writers and SF Canada.

When not writing, I have a habit of breaking stuff and making stuff – in that order – under the guise of my Etsy alter-ego Sleepless Storyteller.  I share my eclectic home and lifestyle with my husband and our two energetic children.

A Giveaway

Christine Hart will be awarding a paperback bundle of backlist titles: Stalked, Best Laid Plans, and Watching July (US/Canada only) to a randomly drawn winner via Rafflecopter during the tour.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Follow the Tour

This is a four-week review tour. You are encouraged to visit as many of the stops as you’d like to learn more about the author and the book and for even more chances to win.

February 14: Long and Short Reviews YA
February 14: Andi’s Middle Grade and Chapter Books
February 21: Kit ‘N Kabookle
February 21: T’s Stuff
February 28: Sharing Links and Wisdom
February 28: Notes From a Romantic’s Heart
March 7The Reading Addict
March 7Fabulous and Brunette

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It’s been my pleasure hosting Christine today. Please come back again on Friday and again next week for more authors, books, and giveaways.


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6 Responses to SECRETS FROM MYSELF by Christine Hart *Review*

  1. Karen H says:

    Thank you for your honest review. I’ve been following this tour and wondering if this is a book I, as an older adult, would enjoy reading. I’m still on the fence on that one.

    • Nancy Fraser says:

      Karen, I believe as an adult you’d definitely enjoy this book, especially if you’re into history.

    • I don’t know if you’ll find it helpful, but the story was originally written as a YA, with Katelyn as 17 instead of 12. I revised significantly to make the change, but some of the material I left intact maybe didn’t translate to MG as well as I had hoped. So what a lot of reviews are touching on about the maturity of the book really makes sense to me. I hope that’s useful info!

  2. Thanks so much for hosting, reading, and reviewing. It’s much appreciated!

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