here. Joe only cast one of the characters, Gareth, from the book, but there are so many more characters in this action-packed young adult novel.
The main character is Ren. She's 14, kind of an outcast, definitely not part of the popular crowd, full of wisecracks. (And for some reason, even though she is not sexually active, she's having her first OB-GYN appointment at 14. 14!!!! It's not recommended that you have that until you turn 21 or become sexually active - whatever comes first. But that's okay, Joe. I'll let it slide.)
Ren's first day of high school doesn't go so hot, but she doesn't have to think about it for too long because that night, she is kidnapped by a mysterious organization called F.A.T.E. Once there, she goes through four years of training to prepare for her role as "shadow" (like a bodyguard) for a "future important person". Enter Gareth, a dorky but very smart college freshman who will one day invent something that could change the world.
And there are people who don't like that. Those are the people from whom Ren must protect Gareth. But just who are "those people"? Who can Ren trust?
This is only the first book in a series, and so there is much more to come from Ren and F.A.T.E. This book definitely piqued my interest, and I can't wait to find out what happens next. I like that the main character is female, and even though Ren does have a love interest, it doesn't take over her life, unlike in other female-driven YA books.
I also liked the author bio on the back cover of my advance review copy. Joe Shine basically wrote this book because his wife told him to write her a story. And so he did! And now he's got a book deal for it! Pretty cool!
I Become Shadow is published by Soho Teen and is available to purchase now. I received a free advance review copy for my honest opinion.