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Angela Cook
Into a Million Pieces (Pieces Duology Book 1)
Allison McKready is a succubus. So is her twin sister. But while Allison spends her summer break hiding in the library behind her Goth makeup, Jade fools around as often as she can. Allison can’t believe Jade would ignore their mother’s fatal example so recklessly, but concealing a cursed bloodline and its dangerous effects is far from Allison’s only problem. Mean girl Julie’s snob mob is determined to ruin her summer, and Aunt Sarah’s Bible thumping is getting louder. Only her new friend, Ren Fisher, offers safe haven from the chaos of her life. When one of Jade’s risky dates leads to humiliation and sudden tragedy, Allison reels, and Ren catches her. But as her feelings for him grow, so does her fear that she’ll hurt him—or worse—in an unguarded moment. The choice is coming—love him or save him—but Allison might not live to make it. One way or another, the curse will have its due.
In this series opener, first-time author Cook introduces Allison McKready, a teenager whose female family members have been born succubi, with the power to sap energy from men or kill them with sex, ever since their ancestor was cursed by the devil. While Allison’s Aunt Sarah uses religion to resist temptation, and her sister, Jade, dabbles in energy-draining kisses, Allison turns to black clothing and goth makeup to keep the boys away. It doesn’t completely work as Ren, a fellow classmate, breaches the walls she puts up. Though Allison is determined to keep Ren in the friend zone, tragedy throws her into his arms. Now, Allison has to resist the temptation to sleep with Ren or risk killing him. The development of Allison and Ren’s relationship feels rushed, especially considering how much time Allison has spent pushing people away, and some of the dialogue is stilted (“I’m not scared.... Well, I am but my fear has to do more with the emotions than anything else”). But Cook creates a cast of realistic characters, including sympathetic Allison, who will have readers looking forward to the next book. Ages 14–up. (BookLife)