~ The Blurb ~
The Keeper is young adult paranormal romance set in old Rye Wilderness in Manatee County Florida.
Sixteen year old Kaylee Carmichael has had a rough year with the loss of her best friend in a horrible accident. Things don’t get any easier when her family relocates to southern Florida on an old plantation. She doesn’t make friends easily but she doesn’t need them; she has her horses, her family and her memories of Cassie. But when strange things start happening in the house and on the land and everyone (herself included) thinks she’s losing her mind, a friend may be exactly what she needs. That’s what she finds in Zeke.
Zeke is golden and beautiful and everything Kaylee isn’t yet somehow he seems to be sent just for her; maybe even heaven sent.
As the two delve into the mysteries of the plantation and explore the paranormal, Kaylee can’t help falling for him, but Zeke is hiding a dark secret that could change everything. And things only get more complicated when another strange boy comes into the picture and takes a special interest in Kaylee.
What does he seem to know about her that she doesn’t?
One thing is clear, something evil is awry and Kaylee finds herself right in the middle of it. Even so, all she can think of is how she feels about Zeke. Could a boy so perfect love her back?
She doesn’t think so and she has no plans of finding out. When Zeke finally finds out the truth how will he react and how will he tell her what he’s been hiding?
Most importantly, can the two get to the bottom of the evil that has taken hold of the plantation and protect Kaylee and her family from danger or will this love story have a tragic ending?
~ My Thoughts ~
I feel like I’m on a bit of an angel kick these days, and I really enjoyed The Keeper by Jessica Crawford Vernold. She has written a story that not only captured and held my attention from the very beginning, but she also created characters that I genuinely cared about, and every time I stepped away from this book I missed them a little bit! The Keeper was emotionally stirring, exciting and contained just enough mystery and action to keep me glued to the pages.
The Keeper really begins when Kaylee and her family relocate to southern Florida in what she believes to be a move to help her come out of the depression that has settled over her following the death of her best friend Cassie. I instantly liked Kaylee, she was damaged but not whiney and she had a toughness to her that I really appreciated. While she was continually punishing herself for the accident that killed Cassie, her emotional turmoil was presented in an authentic way and I believe anyone in her position would have struggled with the same feelings.
It is no secret that I am not a fan of the dreaded insta-love and even though there was a healthy dose of insta-love happening between Kaylee and Zeke for some reason it really worked for them and I kind of liked it in the case of The Keeper. Zeke is pretty much the perfect male YA character. He is genuinely good. He is sweet and caring and it shocked me to see that Zeke was perhaps one of the few YA characters I can think of who actually called someone out for treating our heroine badly. I’m at a point where I’m getting a little tired of the bad-boy treating a girl like crap = swoon-worth behavior thing that seems to be going on in YA romance, so Zeke was an absolutely welcome change for me! So Zeke’s inherent goodness overshadowed any doubts that I had about how quickly he and Kaylee fell in love with each other. They convinced me, and that can sometimes be hard to do.
My only real complaint about The Keeper is that there were a few instances where things tied up too neatly and details were inserted at very convenient times with little to no build up or explanation. For example in the last quarter of the book when confronted Kaylee wonders to herself if her Tae Kwon Do training would help her in this situation. I was like “What? Tae Kwon Do – since when”? These minor annoyances didn’t really impact my experience with this book and I still quite enjoyed the ride that Vernold took me on.
The Keeper by Jessica Crawford Vernold is a YA “angel book” with a bit of an edge. It will play on your emotions and keep you coming back for more! Kaylee is an easily relatable character and Zeke is definitely a swoon-worthy love interest! Despite the requisite insta-love there is something going on in the romance department that really works for this novel. I definitely recommend The Keeper to fans of YA angel stories, and a good YA love story!
I received an e-book of The Keeper from the author in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.