Friday, April 1, 2011

Book Review: Ada Legend of a Healer by R.A. McDonald

Title: Ada Legend of a Healer
Author: R.A. McDonald
Publisher: House of Lore
Paperback, 250 pages
Date Published: January 1, 2011
Description (Taken from Goodreads):
No sickness, No injuries, No pain, No limits.

If you had the power to heal, what would you do?

For fifteen-year-old Ada discovering that she can heal feels more like a curse than a gift. When she learns of the mystery surrounding her mother's disappearance, and sees the indifference of so-called friends, she sets out for Paris to find her.

The power to heal protects her, but also has her hunted by a man who sees her as nothing more than his fountain of youth. Ada realizes her true power is her will to survive, and that her only chance at freedom is to become the best at escaping.

Ada hasn't grown up in a house with a white picket fence. Instead she was cast off and absorbed into the foster care system, quickly putting up a shield of hostility. Always knowledgeable of the sicknesses of those around her and never getting hurt just seemed like facts of life. Finally on her last strike of trouble, an estranged aunt comes to the rescue, giving Ada the knowledge of how to use her healing power. Now Ada, who up to this point has shunned the world, all of the sudden has the power to heal it.

This book delves into the psychology and growth of a teenage girl coming to grips with the knowledge that there are some good people out there; some people worth healing.

Along with action and adventure, Ada, Legend of a Healer also brings to light numerous philosophical issues. Like many middle and high school girls, Ada is introduced to society's harsh realities at a young age, so she's built a wall of anger to strengthen her self reliance, to survive. Despite the pressure and demands, Ada refuses to sacrifice her self-worth, and in this she discovers that a strong will overcomes all obstacles.

I was asked, "why the questions at the back of the book?"
My answer: Because Girls Like to Think.
R.A. McDonald
Ada Legend of a Healer is a compelling, interesting, and well-paced story that follows a 15 year old girl and her struggle with a power she never realized she possessed. Ada is young and jaded and it shows. She doesn’t trust people easily, including Jessie, the closest thing to family she has ever had. Her back and forth feelings regarding Jessie are a bit annoying, but easy to understand. Once Ada begins to accept her ‘gift’ more, she really grows and her morals develop a great deal.

The story starts off a bit slow, but once it picks up, the pace moves swiftly and the story behind Ada’s mother’s disappearance really picks up. Ada’s insistence that the sick are sick and the hurt get hurt for a reason is a little sad, but I got it. She’s only one person and she doesn’t see how much of a difference she can make, and even if she should try to make a difference. Her life has been hard, without a family or a mother, but seeing her open up and let others in is worth it.

Ada’s time in Paris is a nice change, both in setting and in her character. For a while, she’s happy. The kindness of strangers lets her loosen up and be young. Madame Jardin is the sweetest lady and Ada’s new Parkour buddies swept me off my feet. It’s an adrenaline rush to go along with Ada and Daniel as they run through the streets of Paris. Ada’s experiences with healing become more and more intense, but I would have liked to see more consequence to action. It doesn’t take anything out of Ada to heal, unless she’s fighting to stay conscious because of an injury. Aside from that, the healing is handled with care and I descriptions even seem realistic.

Ada Legend of a Healer
is an interesting take on a relatively common theme. The story is made that much more unique because of R.A. McDonald’s take on Ada’s gift and the dark illustrations scattered throughout. The story starts slow, but picks up quickly and leaves off with quite the cliffhanger. I sure hope a sequel is in the works because I’m ready to see where Ada’s story goes next.

Opening line: Usually an indoor plant will bend and twist to find the direction with the most sun, but not the plant in Ada’s room. ~ pg. 1

Favorite lines: “I know you know the difference between right and wrong. If someone slips and falls in front of you, would you help them up or just walk away?”
     “Depends on the person,” Ada retorted. ~ pg. 50
*This review is my honest opinion and I received no monetary compensation from it.

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Brandileigh2003 (Blkosiner's Book Blog) said...

The description sounds really good. Thanks for the review!

Brandi from Blkosiner’s Book Blog

Candace said...

I just saw a review of this yesterday at Melissa's blog. It sounds like a decent read! Great review!

Nikki (Wicked Awesome Books) said...

It's definitely more than a decent read. I was surprised by how much I enjoyed it, so I hope others get the chance to read it as well.

Bere said...

Fantastic review, Nikki! I have just added this one to my reading list. It sounds really interesting and I would definitely like to give it a chance. Thanks, Nikki =].

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