Tuesday, 26 November 2013

Heather's Review for Beyond by S.P. Van Der Lee

A Review by Heather for:


Sixteen-year-old Raven desperately wants to fit in, but after using a Ouija Board, her already overwhelming hallucinations take a turn for the worse. A ghostly figure named Sam begins to haunt Raven and seems eager to kill her.

She’s saved by a reclusive biker named Damian who goes to the same school and appears to have an interest in her. Raven can’t help but feel drawn to him. Determined to uncover Damian’s connection to the ghost, Raven sets out to discover his secret and the reason Sam started haunting her. However, there’s more at stake than just her reputation. Raven’s choice between unveiling Damian’s true intentions, and living a normal life will put everyone she cares about at risk. To save them, she’ll have to go beyond.

Lives are ruined.

Hearts are shattered.

Death lurks at every corner.

Heather's Review:

I’ll start by saying that I don’t generally read young adult genre but I do love the supernatural/paranormal genre. I found at times it was difficult to really connect with some of the characters but it was just the opposite with the plot line.

I don’t give spoilers so there isn’t much I can say about details but in general, there are some inconsistencies that can be a bit frustrating but overall they really didn’t upset the plot for me but others might find them more disruptive.

Even though I didn’t really connect with Raven, I did feel for her and the lies she was led to believe from her mother. Personally, I kept expecting that “something” to happen but it was about two thirds through the book before I truly felt rewarded.

Overall, there was potential for more, so in those lines I was left wanting. That being said, I am really excited for the next installment. I have a strong feeling that the characters, especially Raven and Damien, will develop a stronger connection not only to each other but the reader as well.



When the sun sets, I go back home and flop down on my bed so I can write in the new diary my mom bought me. As I write down the first sentence, the bed starts shaking.

I turn around to look at my feet. There’s nothing. My heart starts pounding again, but I should try not to think about it, because I’m making myself insane. Ever since that night on the road I can’t calm myself during my hallucinations. They’ve become so much worse. My mom says if I keep taking the pills, the delusions should be reduced.

I’m just getting used to my environment, right?

I lie in bed, motionless. My pen is on a page in my diary, and I stare at the yellow wall in front of me. My bed trembles again, this time more violently.

If I’m not moving my bed, what is?

I turn on my back and grab the bars on the side of the bed. Something is shaking my bed, and it’s not me.

Then a dark smoke rises up from my blanket. I pull up my legs. The rippling fog shapes itself into a human-like figure on my bed and looks at me. My heart is throbbing in my throat, and sweat is dripping down my forehead. Sam.

He floats closer, and I crawl backward to the head of the bed. I want to run, but the ghost is blocking my way, and I’m not going through him.

I glance at the bottle of pills, and I remember taking them today. Why aren’t they working?

Pleading, I mutter: “Stop.” But Sam stretches his arms toward me, the fumes almost licking my skin. Tears fill my eyes and cloud my view. He’s so close that I wish everything was just a dream, even though I’m sure I’m wide awake.

Then, on my right side, the blue ghost appears again, the one that looks like he’s a part of the universe. He drifts out of the wall, like he’s being propelled by a breeze.

Again he’s hunting Sam. They fly criss-cross through the chamber, but then Sam disappears through the door. The blue ghost hangs in the air, surrounded by glinting mist. He turns around to gaze at me. This time even more intense than before.

I blink three times. We stare at each other, without making a move. His body isn’t made of solid matter. Smoke in his body moves around like waves in a rippling creek.

Even now he doesn’t strike fear into my heart. I don’t have the urge to run anymore, and I relax. This one isn’t scary. On the contrary, he looks magnificent. Like a starry night sky when there are no lampposts to block the view. I can’t keep my eyes off him, and I don’t want him to leave.

I think he feels the same, even though I know that sounds weird. Why else would he stand there like a statue staring at me like I’m so special?

He squints. This has to be a figment of my imagination. My rationality tells me I’m hallucinating, but still, it doesn’t feel that way in my heart. This feels real.

His feet lightly touch the floor when he starts walking toward me. His movements are fluent like water. The smoke coming from his body dissolves into nothingness. I honestly can’t keep my eyes off him. My fingers and toes start to tingle as he comes closer. Hypnotized by his presence, I’m stunned. I should call for help and yell for him to stop, but I don’t.

He advances toward me. His head bends down over mine, sparkling eyes staring at me. I can’t imagine this being real, but it is, for me.

The power of attraction is almost inhuman. I want to know what he is—no, who he is. I want to touch him.

I extend my finger, and for a second I hesitate, but then touch his translucent face. A shock like that of a thousand tiny needles goes over my skin and through my entire body, sparking in my toes and up my head, heating me from the inside out.

His face keeps coming closer.

Do I run? Get out of my room? Even if I wanted to, I can’t. I just can’t. I hold my breath. My heart is thumping in my throat, and I shut my eyes. No, I want to be here; I want to know more. But I’m afraid. Afraid of what he’s going to do, even if it’s just a delusion. I want to know why I feel so attracted to him.

I feel a slight tingling in my lips and know we’re only a few centimeters apart. Warmth flows into me as his lips press against mine.

About the Author: 

I'm S.P. van der Lee, my full name is Suzanne Paulien van der Lee. I was born in 1990 and live in the Netherlands. I have a bachelor's Degree in Digital Communication and have a specialization in writing. I've always had a passion for language. I could never keep my mouth shut nor resist the urge to read the smallest of texts, in whatever language they were. Writing, reading and speaking are the keystones of Digital Communication, but also those of books, which actually means those two worlds are not that far apart as one might think. I wish to combine the two.

I read and write books on a regular basis and love to tell and hear stories. My most loved genres are Young-Adult, romance, fantasy, urban-fantasy and dystopian. Occasionally I participate in contests with short stories. 

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