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Review: Phoebe Pope and the Year of Four by Nya Jade & Giveaway

Friday, February 22, 2013
Today, as a part of the tour for Phoebe Pope and the Year of Four (Shapers #1) by Nya Jade, I have for you my review of the book and a giveaway.

3.5 Stars: A Great Read
Series: Shapers #1
Paperback: 335 Pages
Publication: October 30, 2012 by Dreamwell Publishing

The students of Green Lane Academy roam their halls unaware that below their manicured campus exists a prestigious school of an entirely different kind . . .

Sixteen-year-old Phoebe Pope has enrolled at the Campus Below: a spy academy for shape-shifters hidden deep beneath the grounds of a boarding school whose humans unknowingly protect it. There, thanks to a carefully planned schedule, she leads a double life: spy trainee Below and normal teenager Above.

As if two course loads, concealing a secret power she alone wields, and coping with her father’s recent death weren’t enough, Phoebe finds herself developing major feelings for actor and teen heartthrob Colten Chase, who attends the Campus Above and appears to be majoring in winning Phoebe’s heart. But when officials learn that Phoebe may be at the center of a startling prophecy, she becomes the target of shape-shifting assassins who will stop at nothing to suppress the truth.

Now Phoebe’s lessons about Shaper’s enemies and spycraft take on great importance as a menace stalks the campus, with Phoebe as its target. Meanwhile, what began as an unlikely relationship with Colten, quickly morphs into heartache when she suspects that something sinister lurks beneath this movie star’s glitter and fame. Suddenly, Phoebe’s caught in a mesh of lies, betrayals, and danger where she doesn’t know who to trust, and needs to rely on herself—and her secret power—to get to the truth and to stay alive.

Initially, I had a hard time getting into the novel. It leaps right into the action without delving much into Phoebe's character and the world of the Shapers. There were some concepts introduced as well that weren't explained until later on, which confused me. Once I got a feel for the world and Phoeobe's character, however, I found myself sucked into Phoebe's world. There are so many mysteries surrounding the Shapers and the Year of Four, and I enjoyed learning more about them with Phoebe in addition to the various skills necessary to become a spy. I'm sorry that we didn't get to learn more about the spy part, but I am so very glad that we got to see other areas of Phoebe's life as well. This book isn't all about the spy training. It is about prophecies, speculations, and Phoeobe growing into who she is meant to be.

Phoebe is a badass girl. It's not in the attitude permeating her everyday life--she's quiet and timid, the typical artsy girl who withdraws into her art (photography in this case) and doesn't quite like physical exertion. It's in her loyalty to her friends and her determination to do her best protect them even when she's overwhelmed with things and frightened herself. She also has an interesting ability that I'm looking forward to learning more about in the next book. Then there is Colten... a bundle of hotness and sweetness. The hot super-model boy is overdone, but I really love how it ties into who Colten is as a person. It also helps contribute to some steamy scenes. If Phoeobe ever gets tired of him, he's welcome to pay me a visit (innocent smile).

The strongest part of this novel is the dialogue. It's real and engaging. I especially love Phoebe's conversations with Hayley, her best girl friend on campus. Hayley is an interesting friend, filled with energy and always livening the atmosphere. She's a true best friend, supporting Phoeobe with cheers, cookies, and Spa Sundays as necessary. Their conversations about Colten are especial because they remind me of boy talks I've had with my suitemates. I could ramble on about the characters forever, but that would defeat the purpose of attempting to coherently summarize my thoughts in a review.

This isn't simply about the hot guy and the awesome best friend, however. It is also about the dangers that surround Phoebe and her friends as they navigate their human and Shaper lives and how they overcome challenges. There are enemies lurking within and outside the academy, and Phoebe isn't the only one hiding secrets. This is a solid first novel. More importantly, it has me wanting to read the second novel since a couple hours ago when I sadly reached the last pages.

A copy was provided by Nya Jade for review.

Nya Jade is a singer-songwriter and author based in San Francisco. In her free time, Nya enjoys hanging out with family and friends, searching for amazing gluten-free desserts, and bargain hunting for her next pair of funky shoes. Nya holds a B.A. in Economics and an M.A. in Sociology. Phoebe Pope and the Year of Four is her first novel.

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2 comments on "Review: Phoebe Pope and the Year of Four by Nya Jade & Giveaway"
  1. Wonderful review. I think this is right up my alley. Phoebe and Hayley's friendship sounds fantastic. And Colton,,,, I think I am going to have to read this one...

    Jenea @ Books Live Forever

    1. Thank you, Jenea. I hope that you enjoy it as much as I did! :)


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