Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Radiant by Christina Daley

Hosted by Giselle at Xpresso Book Tours

Christina Daley  

Publication date: February 12th 2013
Genre: YA Paranormal Romance 

Mary is part Vietnamese. Carter is a complete jerk. Normally, they don't talk much.

But when Mary's in an accident on the way to school one morning, Carter nearly dies saving her life. The doctors say his chances of living are slim, and Mary's feeling the full weight of survivor's guilt.

However, Carter's back at school in a matter of days, as if nothing had happened. Although, he is a little "glitchy," and he's developed a sudden and intense interest in Mary. She thinks he's suffering from major brain trauma from the accident. Or that he's been possessed.

As it so happens, Carter really is possessed. And the thing controlling him is having the time of its life learning to be human.

Featuring a diverse cast of characters, RADIANT is a funny "paranormal-lite" story about being human, being in love, and being healed.

My Thoughts:

Radiant is a beautiful story that gripped my very soul.  It is about what it means to truly be human.  Not just on the surface, but deep down.  Radiant was a story of substance that touched on the human capacity for love and experiencing the vast emotions of excitement, sorrow, hurt, humor, affection, and fear.

The story is told from Mary's point of view.  One day, she is running late to school, and as she's running through the cross walk, and not paying attention to what she's doing, she get's hit by a car.  She recognizes the driver in the car as Carter, a guy that attends her high school, and is popular, shallow, and materialistic.  He is on the Varsity basketball team and has a reputation for womanizing, and being egotistical.  What doesn't make sense to Mary, is that Carter swerved his car in front of a bus to save her life.  After Mary is admitted to the hospital, she is informed that Carter died on the operating table, and is filled with sorrow and guilt for his passing.  She asks to see Carter, and as she glances upon his lifeless body, he wakes up before her eyes.  The doctor's cannot explain the phenomena of how Carter came back to life, and survived the crash.  A few days later when Mary returns to school, she is shocked to find out that Carter returned the day after the accident, and since then he has made a dramatic transformation.  Carter has now taken a significant interest in Mary, treats others with compassion and caring, speaks with extreme formality, walks funny, and is not the same person that he used to be.  Mary starts to suspect that Carter is possessed, and let's just say things take a change for the more interesting.  Radiant will grab you to the point where you will not want to put it down.  In fact, if you're anything like me, Radiant will have you reading late into the night...

Ms. Daley is an extremely talented writer, and Radiant really opened my eyes to the difference between being alive and really living.  Her book was more than a great story, it also had great life lessons as well.  Lessons about transformation, cherishing the small moments in life that mean the most, approaching others by being open, and how important it is to forgive others.  When we are able to forgive, a great burden is lifted from off of our shoulders.  I adored the characters in Radiant.  My favorite character was Mary's grandmother, Ba.  She was such a wise, caring, compassionate, and funny lady.  All of the characters, both primary and secondary, took on their own unique personalities in the story, and came to life before my very eyes.  I grew attached reading about Mary, Carter, their school friends, friends in the community, Ba, Ba's friends at Agape, and Mary's mom.  Radiant had such an interesting array of characters, that part of the appeal for me was learning about all of their unique personalities, stories, and experiences.  The plot was highly entertaining, and I value the way Ms. Daley tells a story.  Radiant took on a life of its own, and I was lucky to be a part of it.  I laughed while listening to the retired folks tell stories during visiting hours at Agape,  I got butterfly's as Mary and Carter experienced first love, and shed tears as some of the sadder moments in the story came to fruition. 

I would highly recommend Radiant by Christina Daley.  If you enjoy stories of substance, that make you think, and have an interesting as well as unique plot, then you will be entertained by this story.  Radiant is a character driven story that contained a colorful cast of characters that you will never forget.  I give Radiant 5 scorching shooting stars!

My Favorite Quotes:

"A treasure hunter who won't go looking for his treasure is rather useless."  (Nook, 52)

"Some things are spoken louder than words."  (Nook, 67)

"Last night, Carter has said that he enjoyed being with her.  Possessed or not, as much as she hated to admit it, Mary was starting to like being with him, too."  (Nook, 81)

"That should have been it.  But when Mary began to pull away, she realized Carter had already wrapped his arms around her.  It felt good being in his arms.  He felt warm.  And safe."  (Nook, 100)

"Fiery hands caressed her soaked cheek and traced the lines of her brow, nose, and lips.  Strong arms wrapped around her, pulling her close to him.  Then scalding lips kissed hers.  The rain sizzled everywhere he touched her."  (Nook, 197)

Escape in a Book,

                 Excerpt From Radiant:

"What about the kid in the red car?" Mary asked.
The doctor took off his glasses. "I'm sorry. He didn't make it."
Mary stared at him. "But he looked at me."
Mom and the doctor exchanged concerned glances. Mary looked down at her bandaged hands, trying hard to remember. A lot of details still weren't clear, but she did remember Carter opening his eyes. If only for a quick moment. "Can I see him?" she asked
"I don't know if that's a good idea," Mom said.
"Mom," Mary said. "Please."
Mom's brow wrinkled. Then, she sighed. "We can see if his parents will allow it."
The doctor released her, and Mary left the room with her mother. When they got to the end of the hall, they saw a homely couple speaking with one of the ER surgeons. The woman was crying, and the man clutched her as if he was keeping her from falling apart.
"I'm very sorry Mr. and Mrs. Maxwell," the doctor said.
"We're not the Maxwells," the man said. "I'm Marcos Romero, and this is my wife Linda. We're their housekeepers. Carter's father and stepmother are out of the country right now."
"I see," the doctor said. "Have either of you contacted his parents? Or his mother?"
"I called and left a message for Mr. Maxwell," Mr. Romero said. "Carter's mother past away several years ago from cancer."
Mrs. Romero wailed. From the way she was crying, she might as well have been Carter's mom. Mary wished that she could cry with her. Mom once joked that Mary was born with the tiniest tear ducts in the world, so she didn't cry often. Now, she wished she could drum up a couple tears, if anything to not seem so unsympathetic.
Mary looked at her mother, who nodded. Then, she cautiously approached them. "Excuse me. But I'm Mary. I'm the…what I mean is…." She couldn't find the right thing to say. Mary had always been terrible with words. Especially the sensitive ones needed for things like this.
Mrs. Romero looked at her disheveled school uniform and her bandaged hands and knees.  "You were the girl who was almost hit by the bus," she said.
"Are you all right?" Mr. Romero asked.
Mary nodded. "I am, thank you. But I was wondering if I could see him? Carter, I mean."
"I would advise against that," the surgeon said. "The body…I mean Carter…is not—"
"Please," Mary begged.
The stout couple looked at one another. At last, Mrs. Romero said, "Let her."
The doctor looked at her. At last, he sighed and gestured for Mary to follow him.
Mary was used to hospitals, ever since Mom became a nurse. But she had never seen an operating room occupied. Instruments and equipment were still in the places where the doctors and nurses had left them when they were trying to save Carter's life. At the center was the operating table with a still figure on it, covered with a bloody sheet.
The doctor took part of the sheet. "Are you sure about this?"
No, Mary thought. But she nodded nonetheless.
He pulled the sheet down to Carter's neck.
Mary stared at the broken, pale face of a boy she hardly knew.
"I'll give you a few minutes." The doctor left the room to wait outside.
Mary studied Carter's closed eyes. Maybe when they had opened in the car, it was because of an involuntary spasm. Or maybe she really had just imagined it.
Mary bowed her head, once again wishing she could cry now. But all she could offer was a meager, "I'm sorry."
Mary took one last look at Carter as she turned to leave. But she stopped.
A single tear slowly fell from the corner of Carter's right eye.
Mary rubbed her eyes, making sure her vision was clear. Then she looked again.
Another tear escaped from the corner of Carter's eye.
Mary bolted from the room. "He's crying!"
Everyone looked at her like she was a lunatic.
"Mary, calm down," Mom said.
"But Mom, he's crying!" Mary repeated. "He has tears coming from his eyes."
The doctor looked at her curiously. "Are you sure? Maybe the tears came from you?"
Mary frowned. Couldn't he tell she wasn't crying? "You have to check him again," she said.
The Romeros looked at the doctor, like they had seen a glimmer of hope struggling through the sorrow. He sighed and shrugged, but he turned and went back into the operating room.
A tense few minutes passed. Suddenly, the doctor burst from the door, calling for his team. Several nurses rushed in and the door closed again.
Mary and the others hardly breathed, let alone spoke, as they waited in the hall.
Finally, after what felt like ages had passed, the doctor came out again, followed by the undeniable sound of the heart monitor beeping.
Carter was alive.

          About the Author:  Christina Daley

Christina Daley made her first book with neighborhood friends when she was four years old. They "wrote" out some semblance of lettering with crayons, cut up a cardboard box for the cover, and bound it all together with clear adhesive tape. It was brilliant.

Quite a few years later, Christina is trying her hand at writing "real" books. She lives in Dallas, Texas, with a pet plant named Herb.

Christina's:  Website/Goodreads/Facebook/Twitter

Purchase At: Amazon/Barnes & Noble/Smashwords

                         Win An Ebook Copy of Radiant

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Thank you Lindy for your review. Like the curious George that I am I added the book to my TBR list.

    Sometimes I like to break the routine with some paranormal stories. And this one look very interesting.

    Thank you for the review & giveaway ! :)

    1. This book is very different and unique from anything I've ever read! So, it was a nice change of pace :) I hope yo enjoy it!

  2. Thanks for the awesome review Lindy!

    1. Your Welcome Christina :) Your book is that awesome!

  3. I am SO totally intrigued! I haven't read many books where people are possessed so this should be interesting! great review Lindy!

    Janhvi @ The Readdicts

  4. I was on the edge on whether or not I should read this book, but now that i've read your review, I think i'll give it a shot!! Thanks for the chance to win it!

    And by the way, I am in love with your blog: the layout, the name, the reviews.. everything!

    1. Yay!!! I'm so happy that you love our blog :) That's one of the best parts of blogging, getting to know our followers, hearing positive feedback, and having someone actual value what you have to say! Thanks Kara :)


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