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Book review: Paranormal young adult novel 'Beyond' has interesting premise, predictable story

"BEYOND," by Catina Haverlock and Angela Larkin, Sweetwater Books, $17.99, 272 pages (f)

Landon Blackwood recently died from a tragic car accident. Despite his untimely death, Landon refuses to move onto the next life in the young adult novel "Beyond." Instead, he stands by unnoticed by others watching his family members mourn and life moving on without him.

Until Presley Hale moves into town and he discovers that she can see him.

Presley is struggling to adjust to the move to Truckee, California, with her absentee mom who also happens to be her new high school principal, and her autistic brother, Chase. She not only takes on the role as one of the main caregivers for her brother, but she is also welcomed to the neighborhood with her car being egged and tires being slashed.

Just as she was about to write the school year off as the worst year ever, she finally makes some friends with Violet Blackwood and her mischievous cousin Reese. Things start to turn around for the better, especially as she meets another handsome young man who mysteriously bumps into her at odd times. Little does she know that this same young man is Violet's twin, who passed away months ago from a tragic accident.

"Beyond" by Catina Haverlock and Angela Larkin is a 2017 Whitney Award finalist for the young adult speculative category. The Whitney Awards recognize writers who are members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

This novel is a paranormal romance in every sense of the word. Although the premise of the plot is interesting, this romance is very predictable and the plotline parallels many of the contemporary young adult paranormal romances.

There is no foul language, and the graphic descriptions are mild, such as fighting against the Villugm (enemies who have passed on). The romance is kept very mild, although the relationship itself does exhibit characteristics of an unhealthy relationship, such as dishonesty and selfishness.

Lauren McAfee is a librarian assistant at Cedar City Public Library. She manages the social media platform, writes grants and assist with other outreach efforts in the community. Her email is