Review: Winterborne by Augusta Blythe

Posted March 17, 2015 by Lorna in Fantasy, Lorna, Reviews, Young Adult / 22 Comments

Review: Winterborne by Augusta Blythe
Winterborne by Augusta Blythe
Series: Universe Unbound #1
Published by Indie
Published on: April 24, 2011
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
Pages: 301
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
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Mia Winterborne knows she is destined to be special. Her upcoming seventeenth birthday promises more than just a driver’s license. Details are sketchy, though, as her dad disappeared with all the answers when she was five. By Mia’s side is Loie Bryce, her best friend and eternal sidekick extraordinaire. The girls’ intense friendship has never wavered until now, when Andreas arrives in Salcey Ridge. They both fall hard for the hot Brit, who quickly becomes a fixture in their lives. When they discover that Andreas is not who he appears to be, the frightening reality of Mia’s abilities finally hits home. The nearer Mia’s birthday draws, the more the danger escalates and long-buried lies are exposed, putting the girls on a path that they never expected.

Young Adult Fantasy Well Written

If someone had told me a few years ago that I would be reading and enjoying YA books, I would have probably laughed. Not so now. There are so many good ones to pick from nowadays, and my latest is this one, Winterborne, first published in 2011. I received it from Net Galley in exchange for a fair and honest review.

Loie is a teenage girl, growing up in a small town with Mia, as her best friend. She lives in a small apartment with her chain smoking, bitter grandmother. Mia is as beautiful as Loie is smart. She’s also popular with the boys, perfect, rich, and Loie is the planet, to the sun that is Mia. And she loves Loie dearly. When Andreas, a gorgeous new boy in town, befriends them both, the girls, for the first time, compete for the same boy. In the midst of this, the girls are planning their seventeenth birthday party-both having being born on the same day. The two girls are also celebrating that Mia will be coming into her “powers” due to a story told to her by her mom. Since her powers are inherited from her missing father, she has no idea what they could be, and to make it even more interesting, her mother doesn’t believe one word of it. What they also don’t know, is that there are lots of different evil creatures that are never going to let Mia reach her seventeenth year, or die trying.

It was interesting that the main character is the best friend, instead of the beautiful gifted girl, and that was unexpected, and I thought pretty unique. As the girl that always gets the short end of the stick in life, Loie is pretty much content with her lot in life as Mia’s friend. She knows her own life has been stifled in favor of Mia’s, but because of her own horrible home life, her life with Mia, and Mia’s mom, Georgia, is the best thing she has in her life. That is until Andreas turns both of their lives upside down. He’s everything both girls have ever wanted, and he is also not what he seems at all.

When creatures start escaping from their secret world, into this small town, and attempt to hurt Mia, the story really ramps up. This author’s rich world building features evil pixies, terrifying garden gnome like, leprechauns, huge, frightening devil dogs, and more. We learn who the good guys are and about where they live, and so much more, in this story. A big question is, who is Andreas really, and is he part of the bad creatures world? Also, what really happened the night Loie’s parents died, and Mia’s father went missing? So yes, in addition to being a paranormal story, it’s also a romance, and a mystery.

I loved all the characters, that is except for the evil creatures, of course. I enjoyed the premise, the use of Loie as the main character, and the twists and turns the story took. There are some surprises to be had here, even if the reader does gradually figure some things out.

It’s very telling that as soon as I finished this book, I immediately started(and finished)the second book, titled, Ravenstoke. That’s how much I enjoyed this read. I highly recommend this to young adults from about age 14 plus, through adult.

By the way, I never thought that I would ever read a book with evil leprechauns, but it totally worked-even though I did have a moment of levity, when they first entered the story.

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I’m Lorna and I live in Maryland. Since retiring, I spend my time mostly reading and reviewing books. My favorite reads are Paranormal Romance, Urban Fantasy, and Young Adult. I read a lot of indie books in addition to traditionally published books. Favorite paranormal creature? Vampires, but I am really liking werewolves more everyday.


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22 responses to “Review: Winterborne by Augusta Blythe

  1. I totally get that you never thought you would read young adult stories, I thought the same way. Until one of my first and favorite audiobooks was labeled as young adult and I didn’t even know it. Same here, when to the next book in the series almost instantly. BTW, evil leprechauns, might be the thing that convinces me to try this one out.
    Paul (Audiobook Reviewer) recently posted…Audiobook Challenge 2015 Progress

  2. I enjoyed YA titles, actually I’ll pick anything up if I like the review, the only romance sub-genre that was hold up for me was romantic suspense, but I really enjoy it now.
    I’m glad you review this one and it’s now on my radar (sounds good!), I don’t think that cover would had made it picked it up on my own.
    Thank you Lorna 🙂
    Lupdilup recently posted…The Audiobook Salad Edition One (audiobook reviews)

    • I have several YA series that I love, and for some reason they are all paranormal. I have read some romances but the only romantic suspense one I read, I figured out the who done it part as soon as the character entered the picture-towards the beginning of the story-so haven’t tried another yet.
      Lorna recently posted…Review: Winterborne by Augusta Blythe

  3. I’m with you – I’ve really been enjoying some YA lately. I love that this one features a friendship at the center, that’s something I tend to enjoy and feel like there isn’t as much of in a lot of books. Sounds like one to definitely put on the tbr!
    Berls recently posted…When Authors Just Stop?

  4. Evil leprechauns?? I don’t believe I’ve ever read a book with leprechauns in it outside of a children’s book. Hmm… I’m rather curious about this book now, Lorna. I love that the plain best friend is the MC. And I’m very curious about these girls’ birthdays, the boy that has both the girls’ attention, and the creatures coming out of the woodwork. Isn’t YA great? They certainly didn’t write them like this when we were young, huh? Winterborne is going atop my tbr. Wonderful review!
    Bookworm Brandee recently posted…Teaser Tuesday ~ #60

  5. This does sound unusual. I don’t think I’ve ever read a book, that is from the understated best friend’s pov. I think I should just read this book to see these evil leprechauns! ;] Great review Lorna!