Published by: Curiosity Quills Press
Release date: 14th March 2013
I got it from: NetGalley
Amber Alexander has
gold-colored skin, and she doesn’t much like it. The ability to read
emotions isn’t always what it’s cracked up to be, either. Then she meets
two unusual boys, Malians like herself, and everything changes.
Super-hot Jonny, with his apple-red looks and gift of persuasion,
encourages her to fight back against those who think the Malians are
freaks. Lavender-toned Cam, on the other hand, is a live-and-let live
kiteboarder who blends in with the shadows.
Safety is becoming
more of a concern for “freaks” like Amber. Sure, Malians showed up in
society the year she was born, but now that they’re teenagers nobody
seems to know what to do with them. Politicians talk about sending them
to Siberia, or even to colonize the moon.
When Amber is attacked
by Regulars, the so-called “normal” people, she realizes how she wants
to live her life; but if she does, one of her greatest supporters may
become her enemy.
Finding a summer job, organizing a support group,
boy trouble, beaches, and a maniacal teen idol—it’s all a year in the
life of a girl who realizes she may be more than just a “golden goddess”
I was disappointed and annoyed when I first opened this book. It uses a stupid handwriting font. I hate that. However, I decided it wasn't a good enough reason not to give it a chance, so I ignored my dismay and got reading, and I have to say I was pleasantly surprised. I was expecting something fairly light and fluffy, but that's not what I got.
Firstly, I love the idea that there's all these different-coloured people being born, and with special talents too. I liked the way Amber is first generation - one of the first lot of kids to be born different. It gives an interesting element of the unknown to the story. Everyone knows the Malians look different, but nobody - not even the Malian kids themselves - really knows the full extent of their difference.
Amber is a great protagonist. She has to deal with a lot of unwanted attention, but it doesn't make her a wallflower. She's hot and she knows it. We all get a bit fed up with those girls who don't know just how beautiful they are. Well Amber, Golden Goddess, knows exactly how attractive she is, and that's an interesting angle to read - because she can sense the emotions of people around her, she knows how they react to her looks. I can't imagine feeling the dirty desire coming off a bunch of teenage boys. Ick.
As great as the idea of the Malians is, I have to say I did get a bit bored of Amber's activist tendencies. Maybe I'm just old and jaded, but the constant references to the group of kids trying to make people believe that Malians are not a bunch of freaks, just got a bit too much. I would have preferred a bit less about that, and a bit more about the bigger picture. The book covers all sorts of teen issues, but it felt a little like it was just a vehicle for them - like the author had a list of issues that she wanted to cover (bullying, racial hatred, dealing with boys who want too much, alcoholism etc), and she wrote the story around the list. I'm not sure how to describe my dissatisfaction with it, but something just didn't quite gel. The worst part was that it seemed like the book ended before it should have - I'm sure it's built up for a sequel, but to me it felt like it was just getting started, then it was over. I really enjoyed the premise, but it made me want something different out of it.