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Sunday, April 03, 2016

Review of the Week (4/3/2016)

Future TenseFuture Tense by L.J. Cohen
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Buy the book at Amazon

Matt has a superpower, and he hates it. Not only does it show up randomly, he can't control it or direct it or change it. Knowing the future leads to heartbreak and fear, feeling helpless. It's a superpower he wishes didn't exist.

When he sees a future event for a girl, Amara, he's desperate to stop what he sees happening to her, but everything he does seems to push her closer to the disaster rather than away.

That's a lot of weight on a 17-year-old boy in the foster care system. When he meets Amara's grandmother, Rose, he's baffled by her ability to see the future like he does, but with far less detail--she only gets a fortune teller's vague visions. One thing Rose can teach Matt is how to read the clues of what leads to an event. Maybe that little bit of foretelling will help Matt control his visions.

Future Tense is an absorbing YA read (adult language warning). Matt is a good kid. We readers are rooting for him throughout. We also hope he gets the girl and learns how to use those Tarot cards.

My only complaint, and it's small, is that I felt too much time was spent in Matt's head. While he's tortured by re-runs of events he saw but could not prevent, we readers don't need to go through them every time. Yes, we know what the smell of smoke means after the first three or four mentions. Leave the fifth through umpteenth in Matt's head and show us what's happening to him in the moment. The action is well-done and easy to visualize.

Like YA paranormals with tortured teens trying to overcome obstacles? You'll like Future Tense. The end is satisfying, but does allow for additional books in the series. I'd love to see Matt learn to control his visions and begin to use them for good.

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