Love Triumphs

Select by Marit Weisenberg

Summary from NetGalley:

“It had always been a fact of life that we were biologically different—better—and that it had to be kept secret.”

SelectSeventeen-year-old Julia Jaynes has the perfect life. She’s beautiful, freakishly athletic, and extremely smart. That’s because she comes from a race of highly-evolved humans living in the heart of Austin, Texas.

In order to protect their anonymity and preserve their elite society, Julia’s powerful father forces her to suppress her abilities. When she accidentally demonstrates her super human prowess in public, she’s banished to the one place meant to make her feel inferior: public high school. Thrust into the confusion and humiliation of a normal high school, Julia is just trying to keep her head down when John Ford strolls into her life. An outsider and tennis jock, John is immediately attractive to Julia as a curiosity. She can even read his mind. But as Julia’s newfound powers over John grow, so do her feelings.

When she discovers her father has been hiding dangerous secrets, for the first time in her life, Julia begins to question her restrictive upbringing. Caught between the prejudices of her manipulative father and the allure of an outsider’s life, Julia must decide how she will define herself—and who she will betray.

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Arc provided by the publisher via Netgalley for an honest review.

When this cover first appeared on my dashboard on Netgalley,  I didn’t hesitate to click on it.  I just love the simplicity of it and I really wanted to know why the butterfly was trapped in a bubble.  The summary continued my interest in the book, but I will admit that by the time I got around to reading the book, I had quite forgotten what it was about.  If I had reread the summary before starting the book, I would not have spent most of the first half of the book wondering why they had these powers.  Various scenarios went through my mind, aliens in hiding, descendants of gods, genetic mutations caused by human experimentation, you know the typical stuff.  So when the reason was finally revealed I was kind of like oh, is that all?  It seemed to me like something was missing from this part of the story.  Why did they feel the need to hide who they were?  What is up with that?  I also felt that Julia’s father acted more like a cult leader, and not in the good sense. He was way to controlling of everyone’s life in the group, and no one wanted to stand up to him. Thinking of her father as a cult leader made it easier to understand and accept some of her decisions through out the book.

I liked Julia, even with her abilities, she presented as a young girl who had a lot of doubts about who she was and what her role in her family was.  Her character goes through a lot in a short period of time, and her attitude and understanding toward her family, her society and especially her father changes dramatically throughout the book.  She was drawn to John almost from the start, but it was not instant love, their relationship did take a natural course, from initial attraction through getting to know each other to love by the end of the book.  It was a sweet romance, even though it was a bit creepy that she could read his mind.  John was also a likable character, although he had some flaws that might be hard to deal with.

The plot was interesting, but a little rough and slow moving at times.  As I said before, the reason for their powers and their need for secrecy about them didn’t feel fully explained.  I really wanted to know more about their past and what powers they had when they were fully developed.  We only know about the powers through what Julia and some of the Lost Boys were able to do, not any one else in the group.  Julia’s relationships with her family were not fully explained as were the reasons why the teens had been split into two groups in the first place.  I’m also not sure sending Julia to a regular high school made sense, given their need to keep their abilities secret.  

I did enjoy the story and the characters even with the few flaws in the plot.  The ending was strong enough that it can be a stand alone, but I hope there is a sequel as I would like to know what happens to Julia, John and the other characters in this book.  

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