Author: Mattie Dunman
YA Paranormal Suspense
About the book: To tell the truth...it doesn’t really matter if you lie.
It’s impossible to lie to Derry MacKenna. For as long as she can remember, Derry has been plagued by the extraordinary ability to hear, see, and feel the truth. But when Derry and her erratic, self-centered mother move to historic Harper's Ferry, she discovers she is not the only one with hidden talents.
As the newest reporter on the school newspaper, Derry learns of a high school student’s unexpected suicide and recognizes that the truth behind her death may still be hidden. When tragedy strikes, Derry is drawn into a deadly battle of wits with the only person whom her abilities don’t affect.
Driven by guilt and an obsession with bringing the killer to justice, Derry finds herself in danger from a vindictive murderer, a sadistic deviant who preys on the weak, and trapped in the middle of a treacherous triangle of attraction between two brothers whose abilities rival her own. Derry must trust her instincts to guide her to the truth and bring her enemies to justice even as she fights for her own survival.
INSTINCT focuses on a gifted, intelligent, and loyal heroine who must contend not only with the inherent dangers of high school bullying and backstabbing, but with loss, grief, and guilt. Against issues of sexual abuse, teenage suicide, and destructive relationships, the heroine learns to cherish the strength of real friendship, understand accountability, and experiences the healing touch of first love.
My thoughts: I like those books where you know within the first few pages that this is going to be one you will enjoy - and this is one of those. I was immediately caught up in the story. We meet Derry as she is helping her mom deal with a potential business associate. With Derry's unique ability to ferret out lies, she lets her mom know that this man is not tellling the whole truth. But her ability isn't just when she meets someone, it is also with printed words - books, newspaper articles, store signs. She sees what is meant behind the words (tends to take the joy out of shopping!)
Her mom has home schooled her since Kindergarten because of her "talent" and an unfortunate incident that happened when she spoke the truth at an open house. Derry is now seventeen, and though she has already passed her high school equivalency exams, she wants to know what it means to be a teenager in high school.
For this reason she is attending high school for the first time as a senior. Remember, if you will, what it is like to be in high school and imagine all the things she "hears" when she meets these kids for the first time. Even with an innocent 'hello' she hears what they are feeling or thinking at the time.
Before she has even acclimated to the high school environment, she finds herself questioning why she wanted to do this. Being the stubborn girl that she is though, she pushes on and begins to make friends. On one hand it is easy for her to find real friends, because she knows who is being truthful when they speak to her. Well - except for Phillip. For some reason she does not 'hear' anything different when he speaks to her. She does 'feel' that he is lying to her though, but can't quite figure him out.
Let's get to the big mystery - a high school girl, Miranda, has apparently committed suicide by jumping off the local bridge. Her best friend, Nicole, (Derry's first real friend at school) is adamant that she wouldn't have killed herself. Stumbling upon a newspaper article regarding the girl's death, Derry starts to feel that way as well.
I like the way that Derry and Nicole's friendship develops and how Derry is able to get the mean girls to stop targeting Nicole so that she comes back out of her shell. Derry also gets close very quickly with two brothers, Cole and Jack. She discovers that they have unique talents as she does and she is drawn (and at times frightened) by both.
There are characters in this book that made my skin crawl and characters that made my heart pound. I felt like I was right in the action with Derry and was cheering her on with every new discovery she made. She didn't always make the smartest decisions though, and seems to be a friend of near-death incidents.
I feel that there is more to this story though, and hope that Mattie is going to take us there in another book, as it will definitely be on my TBR list! You can read the first chapter by visiting Mattie's website.
~I received a complimentary ecopy of Instinct from Reading Addiction Blog Tours in exchange for my unbiased review.~
About the author: Mattie Dunman is a lifelong resident of "Wild & Wonderful" West Virginia, and has dreamed of being a writer since she first held a pen in hand.
Mattie has pursued several useless degrees to support this dream, and presently enjoys teaching (or tormenting, as the case may be) college students the dying art of public speaking. She spends most of her free time writing, but also indulges in reading and traveling.
She is the proud owner of an adorably insane American Eskimo named Finn, and a tyrant cat named Bella, who take up more of her attention than they probably should.
Website / Goodreads /