Reviewed by Faryal Jabbar (age 15) for Reader Views (12/17)
“Part of Me” by Deanna Kahler follows Chase, a seventeen year old boy, as he tries to discover himself with great difficulty and many setbacks along his way. Appealingly, Chase should be perfectly happy as he is popular at school, has a beautiful girlfriend, and good friends. However, something inside him is triggered on his plane ride to Panama City for Spring Break. A combination of visions of a fiery plane crash, and dreams of an unknown beautiful brown haired girl plague Chase, eventually pushes him onto a path of self-discovery.
Throughout the story Kahler introduces psychic elements and a unique take on past lives and the supernatural. These elements enhance and create an enjoyable ending to the story which was my favorite part. Though this was a quick read of 221 pages, some scenes slowed down the progression of the story and didn’t add to the character development. There are not that many plot twists in the book as the plot is very straightforward. Also I found that though Chase and his girlfriend’s characters were well developed and relatable, the rest of the characters, including the second main character felt somewhat unknown to me.
Of all the components of Kahler's writing style, her descriptions were my favorite. The characters materialized in my head while the descriptions were effective without being difficult to understand. Furthermore, the characters dialogues are believable, as they did reflect the voices of teenagers. This is an important aspect of young adult novels.
All in all, I think the author did well in creating a clear plot that maintained curiosity in readers to the end of the story. Personally the mystery and anticipation for Chase to find his missing puzzle pieces kept me reading. “Part of Me” is most definitely unlike any other young adult novels in terms of the ideas and spirituality of the story.
I would recommend “Part of Me” by Deanna Kahler to teens over the age of 13 because there are adult concepts present, like desire, and a few kissing scenes. If you are a patient reader and don’t mind the wait in exchange for an exciting ending, this book is a great option. In a sea of young adult novels, Kahler successfully created a unique story.