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Author: Jacquelyn Sylvan

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Publisher: Echelon Press,

Material: hard cover

Summary: June knew that her life would change when she turned 21, but she could never have predicted just how much. As she enters her apartment after celebrating with friends, she's confronted by a stranger. Just as she turns the knob to escape her would-be pursuer, she's transported to a different dimension. In this new place, she is a queen ... and her subjects need her to save the planet. Thus begins June's journey of discovery: magical powers, treachery, friendship, love, loss, and destiny. This is a young adult fantasy with intergalactic travel.

Type of Reading: independent reading

Recommended Age: read together: 12 and up; read yourself: 14 and up

Interest Level: 13 and up

Reading Level: 7.3

Age of Child: Teen STAR Review Team, Be the Star You Are!™

Young Reader Reaction: This book was amazing, with many twists and turns. It was definitely worth reading. From the first page, the author reels you in and makes you wonder what will happen next. I don't usually enjoy books about magic and make-believe but I have to say this is definitely one of the best books I have ever read. This novel was amazing, and if you enjoy books like Harry Potter, then you will definitely enjoy this. It is a page-turner that do not want to put down. I recommend this book to just about anyone that likes to read and is at least 12 years old, as it has many large words. The author may not be known as well as others but for her first book this is written very well.The book might be a little long (300+ pages), but it is just about the best book I have ever read. All in all, you will never regret reading this book.

Adult Reader Reaction: June is an edgy but likable character. She has an earthiness to her that allows readers to relate to her, despite her royalty, and the author does a great job drawing this out. The story is somewhat engaging, but long chapters and text-crammed pages make it tedious at times. This was a book I walked away from several times, as the story was not one that grabbed me initially. It was about 100 pages before I was interested enough to see how relationships developed.

Pros: Surviving Serendipity offers older teen readers a strong female character in a lead, but ensemble, role.

Cons: The pages seem to have text on every inch of surface. This will discourage reluctant readers.

Borrow or Buy: Borrow, at least. This is a story that avid science fiction (sci-fi) and fantasy-loving readers may enjoy.


Educational Themes: There are several opportunities to draw out themes in the story. Although set in another galaxy, the usual "human" dimension remains: good v. evil, friendship, prejudice, choices and consequences, and even class systems.

Literary Categories: Fiction - fantasy, adventure, young adult, science fiction

Date(s) Reviewed: August 2008, April 2009

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