The Wanderers (The Wanderers #1)
by Jessica Miller
Summary: What do you do when you learn your family is the one who's holding all the secrets. Secrets that could get you killed...
Ella is looking forward to starting college in the fall with her best friend Josie. She’s looking for a place where she can get away from her overbearing parents and two older annoying brothers. Unfortunately Ella realizes that sometimes the past comes back to haunt you.
Ella soon learns that the man who terrorizes her dreams is in fact real and coming after her.
When one of her classmates is murdered, Ella slowly recognizes this is not some strange coincidence. Ella fears that the boy she’s falling in love with is the one who stalks her dreams and no longer knows who she can trust.
When she finally learns the truth of her families deepest secret, Ella has to face her demons by taking out one of the people she thought she could trust…before they kill her.
Source: I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.
I was thoroughly surprised by how much I liked this book! I found myself unable to put it down, completely invested in the characters, and frequently frustrated with Ella (which is a good sign because it means I cared about her and her actions). This book is truly a hidden gem and I’m glad I read it.
The story began with Ella about to head off to college. She’s excited to get away from her overbearing parents and have a fresh start after a particularly traumatizing incident that has her family watching her closely for signs of mental distress. Ella attended a party with her best friend Josie and found that Tristan, the cocky boy with the beautiful blue eyes, couldn’t seem to stop staring at her. Ella’s new life away from her family had her struggling to balance classes, social life, dealing with fighting off Tristan’s sly advances, trying to turn down a sorority, and figuring out who she was for the first time in her life.
I loved the characters. Josie was fun, mischievous, and quirky while Ella was more reserved, stubborn, and quick to anger. Tristan was definitely my favorite character because I kept trying to figure him out. He was the life of the party, the popular guy who always gets what he wants, with an arrogance that would make any sane girl cringe. But he was also extremely deep, intelligent, and even a little sensitive when he wasn’t aware of it. The conflict and dynamic between Ella and Tristan was enough to keep me on my toes the entire novel.
I knew something strange was going on from the beginning of the book, but I couldn’t figure out what it was. The mystery was slowly unraveled and I liked how subtle it was because it was unpredictable. Is this a werewolf book? A vampire book? Are there angels/demons/witches? Other paranormal creatures/things/mixtures? I truly had no idea until the big reveal, despite the vague and subtle hints dropped throughout the text. So I’m not telling. =) While the paranormal conflict was slow, I cannot say the book was slow at all. I was entertained simply by the conflict between the characters, namely Ella and Tristan, and the paranormal conflict was just a lovely addition.
While I enjoyed The Wanderers a lot and thought it was a great story, it had some issues, mostly with editing. There were errors throughout the text: misspelled words, misused phrases, typos, and occasional switches from past tense to present, though these weren’t terribly numerous or incredibly distracting to me. I felt that many areas of the book could have been condensed and others elaborated more elegantly. It took a long while for the plot to get moving and only certain scenes ended up having a relevance to the plot. Overall, it’s not a polished novel. With that being said, I really enjoyed the plot and the characters. The romance and tension was amazing and I felt like I really knew the characters well. I debated with myself about dropping the stars from 4 to 3 because of the issues, but I feel like I enjoyed the plot far too much to give it just a 3.
I would recommend this series to others, as long as they are open to reading books that need some polishing. I will continue the series because I’m anxious to find out what happens to the characters next!