Series: Mystyx #1
Published by Harlequin Teen on August 1st 2010
When fifteen-year-old Krystal Bentley moves to Lincoln, Connecticut, her mom's hometown, she assumes her biggest drama will be adjusting to the burbs after living in New York City.
But Lincoln is nothing like Krystal imagined. The weirdness begins when Ricky Watson starts confiding in her. He's cute, funny, a good listener—and everything she'd ever want—except that he was killed nearly a year ago. Krystal's ghost-whispering talents soon lead other "freaks" to her door—Sasha, a rich girl who can literally disappear, and Jake, who moves objects with his mind. All three share a distinctive birthmark in the shape of an M and, fittingly, call themselves the Mystyx. They set out to learn what really happened to Ricky, only to realize that they aren't the only ones with mysterious powers. But if Krystal succeeds in finding out the truth about Ricky's death, will she lose him for good?
Everything changed for Krystal in the blink of an eye. Gone is the city and the father that she adores. In its place, it is a small town where nothing exciting ever happens and a new step-father who she loathes with a passion. Krystal believes that her life just cannot get any worse… that is until she starts hearing voices. With a new power she never asked for, life for Krystal is looking like it could become even more complicated than what it already is.
Manifest, for me, was really divided in what what worked and what did not. On the upside, the characters are very diverse not only in personalities but also in social class as well. You have Sasha, the Richie, Jake, the Tracker, and Krystal right in the middle. I loved that Arthur also features a family with a "broken" home. Krystal is shell-shocked so to speak. She does not understand what has happened to the happy family she believes that she had, and so she is trying to deal with it as best she can. I applauded Arthur on many levels for featuring a character that was a little damaged.
On the downside, Krystal was a pretty annoying character. For the most part, she had a negative attitude for just about everything. True, I understand that her life just took a dramatic turn. But instead of trying to be positive about anything in the novel, she always looks at the down side. While most teens would be thrilled or excited to some extent about having a superpower, Krystal completely rejects it in almost a childish manner by basically putting her hands over her ears, and trying to convince herself that this event is not happening. Now to be fair, I cannot say that to some extent I would not do the exact same thing in her position, but I would like to think that I would be more open to the experience.
Despite having a main character that I had a hard time relating to, Manifest is an enjoyable read that brings together some of my favorite elements in Young Adult paranormal fiction. While the story is not completely unique, it was definitely fun to have an author focus on supernatural powers vs. creatures. And although there is a lot going on in the novel, for the most part everything was very easy to follow along with. Manifest definitely has left me with a lot more questions than answers. And I will be look forward to the novel in the series in hopes that some of these lingering questions can be answered.