Jessica's books

The One and Only Ivan
Revolutionary War on Wednesday
Leprechaun in Late Winter
Ella Enchanted
The Courage of Sarah Noble
Plain Murder
Gone-Away Lake
Circling the Sun
Maggie and Max
The Haunting of Sunshine Girl
The Night Sister
Tuck Everlasting
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
Bedknob and Broomstick
Mister Monday
Alice Through the Looking Glass
The Birchbark House
The Hobbit
The Witch's Daughter

Jessica's favorite books »

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Book Review: Born of Illusion by Teri Brown

**I received this book from Around the World ARC Tours for review**

Synopsis (from Goodreads):  Anna Van Housen is thirteen the first time she breaks her mother out of jail. By sixteen she’s street smart and savvy, assisting her mother, the renowned medium Marguerite Van Housen, in her stage show and séances, and easily navigating the underground world of magicians, mediums and mentalists in 1920’s New York City. Handcuffs and sleight of hand illusions have never been much of a challenge for Anna. The real trick is keeping her true gifts secret from her opportunistic mother, who will stop at nothing to gain her ambition of becoming the most famous medium who ever lived. But when a strange, serious young man moves into the flat downstairs, introducing her to a secret society that studies people with gifts like hers, he threatens to reveal the secrets Anna has fought so hard to keep, forcing her to face the truth about her past. Could the stories her mother has told her really be true? Could she really be the illegitimate daughter of the greatest magician of all?
My Thoughts:  I loved that this book took place in the 1920's (my favorite era) and that Harry Houdini was a character!  So much fun!  
Anna is an amazing magician.  She should be..she is supposedly Harry Houdini's illegitimate daughter.  She also has visions and can sense people's feelings though.  She can't let her mother know her other secrets though or her mother will just use Anna.

Anna hates that she has to do seances with her mother.  She is miserable when she feels those people's misery and worst of all, their hope.  She knows that it is just a sham.  At least, it was just a sham until Cole showed up.  Suddenly Anna can see the dead, feels emotions without touching the person and her visions are getting stronger.  But Anna doesn't know who Cole really is or what he knows about her.  She must try to figure that out while also trying to find out who is after her and keep Houdini from exposing her mother.  

Anna is a great character.  She is strong and independent.  She gets tired of her mother always wanting to be in the spotlight and finally shows her mom up.  The only thing that annoyed me a little is after she did, she felt so bad that she hurt her mom.  Her mom spared no thoughts to Anna's feelings every time she hurt Anna.  I know...two wrongs don't make a right but still...I kinda felt like Anna's mom deserved what she got.  

I liked Cole.  He was mysterious and protective.  I like that Cole lives with Mr. Darby and therefore, Anna becomes friends with Mr. Darby.  Mr. Darby is old and acts all grumpy but he's really a big old teddy bear.  He was one of my favorite characters by far!  I also liked Houdini and Anna's interactions with him.  Unless I missed something, you never really do find out if Houdini is really Anna's father but I like that it was left that way.  

I figured out the end pretty quickly.  There was only one person I didn't put as the "bad" person and that is because there is really no mention of said person until the end.  But the others I got pretty quickly.  It was still a good story with an exciting ending though.  

This was a fun book with magic, ghosts and mystery.  It was a little predictable but I enjoyed it.  

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