Book Review: Keen by Laura L. Zimmerman

“…My destiny is what I make it.” – Keen, Laura L. Zimmerman

If you are looking for a captivating YA contemporary fantasy, then look no further than the Banshee Song Series by Laura L. Zimmerman (published by L2L2 Publishing)! Book 1, Keen, follows Caoine (pronounced like sugar cane) in her last year of high school. But Caoine is different than her peers; she is half-faerie.

Caoine is a banshee. Cursed at birth (or was she gifted?) she sings a song predicting death. To protect her true identity, she and her father move around often. She has never had any friends due to her unique appearance, and so she has gotten used to being alone. Upon landing in a new town once again and becoming a student at West Lincoln High School, things begin to change for Caoine as she actually meets people who want to befriend her AND she meets Oliver and develops her first crush. But can she let anyone get close to her and risk revealing who she is – what she does? While trying to navigate high school, she learns she is being stalked by an evil faerie – the Unseelie Prince who has a sinister plan. Will Caoine be able to discover his true identity and save those she loves – can a banshee, a harbinger of death, save a life?

The first-person prose had me hooked from chapter one. The tension is palatable and I really connected with Caoine and her insecurities. I loved the genuine love between Caoine and Oliver, the strained yet solid relationship between Caoine and her father, and the addition of the typical mean girl made me feel I was back in high school myself. Though I wish she hadn’t been the editor of the paper (I was the editor of my school paper back in the day, LOL). Themes of self-discovery, life being what you make it, and family love and sacrifice were the cherry on top of this wonderful YA book.

Overall, I give this book 4/5 stars. The only reason I am unable to give this book a full five stars is because of what happened to my favorite character – I can say nothing more without potential spoilers. Any reader who enjoys fantasy books with a real-life twist, and anyone who is looking for a unique book (I mean, this is the first book I’ve found about a banshee!), will fall in love with Zimmerman’s world. 10/10 would recommend.

Order your copy of Keen here today!

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Published by Kayla E. Green

Kayla E. Green is a school librarian, speculative fiction author, and poet. When she isn’t writing, reading, or going on adventures with her husband, she loves singing loudly and off-key to KLove Radio, snuggling her dogs, and pretending she’s a unicorn. Her award-winning YA fantasy novella, Aivan: The One Truth, and her inspirational poetry collection, Metamorphosis, are now available through book retailers. Kayla also has stories and poems featured in various anthologies. Follow The Unicorn Writer's blog for book reviews, author interviews, writing advice, and more bookish fun!

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