ARC Review: Chasing Power by Sarah Beth Durst

Chasing PowerGenres: Magic, Supernatural,  Young Adult
Release Date: October 14th, 2014
Publisher Bloomsbury
Source:  eARC from Netgalley
Check out on GOODREADS

Lies, secrets, and magic — three things that define Kayla’s life.

Sixteen-year-old Kayla plans to spend her summer hanging out on the beach in Santa Barbara and stealing whatever she wants, whenever she wants it. Born with the ability to move things with her mind — things like credit cards, diamond rings, and buttons on cash registers — she has become a master shoplifter. She steals to build up a safety net, enough money for her and her mom to be able to flee if her dad finds them again. Well, that, and the thrill of using her secret talents.

But her summer plans change when she’s caught stealing by a boy named Daniel — a boy who needs her help and is willing to blackmail her to get it. Daniel has a talent of his own. He can teleport, appearing anywhere in the world in an instant, but he lies as easily as he travels. Together, they embark on a quest to find and steal an ancient incantation, written on three indestructible stones and hidden millennia ago, all to rescue Daniel’s kidnapped mother. But Kayla has no idea that this rescue mission will lead back to her own family — and to betrayals that she may not be able to forgive… or survive.


This book can be easily surmised as fun. Admittedly though, I am a tad disappointed after having my mind blown by The Lost earlier this year. This book doesn’t even begin to compare on the level The Lost sets but considering the two books actually aren’t that similar, I don’t think it would be fair to compare them.

The major selling point of this book is adventure, it’s why it’s so fun. I mean these kids are trying to find magical stones that will grant the person who has them invincibility. Who doesn’t want to be invincible (certainly not me)? There is also a bit of myth/ancient history involved which makes it all the more exciting, for me at least.

Kayla is a great main character. I love that she is willing to go so far to take care of her family but at the same time, what kept on bothering me was that she was just a teenager. She had powers yes, but she was inexperienced in using them and she really should have confided at least a little bit in her mother. No matter how good the intentions, it’s never good to keep a secret of that magnitude.  That said, her loyalty wasn’t a bad quality, I loved that in spite of everything, she recognized that her mother was not the bad guy here. That her mother always wanted what was best for her even if what she thought was best did not line up with Kayla’s ideas about what was best for herself.

In fact, I loved that there were actually good flawed parental figures in this book. There were bad ones, but they were counteracted by the good ones; the parents who in spite of their not so good actions, were never portrayed as evil or even as plain old bad since their children realized that they were not in fact the enemy.

I also loved Selena. I loved how she was not the perfect best friend and actually had issues of her own. She may have been confident but she was also insecure about certain things and did actually need to stand up for herself.

Daniel was also just as fun to read about. I loved that the fact that he was hot wasn’t particularly emphasized. It was in the beginning but as Kayla got to know him better, the emphasis was less on his beauty and more on the fact that he was actually a great guy. What I liked most about him though was his determination to get his mother back; at the same time though it was one of his worst characteristics considering it led him to lying and what have you.

The romance is one of the things that did not work for me though. I expected more considering that the two actually complemented one another but before the relationship had even had any real time to progress, they had already fallen in love and I just ended up being disappointed.

The plot also ended up falling apart when things became rushed towards the end and everything ended up being wrapped up neatly in a bow. It’s one of the reasons why I was so disappointed in this book. It started off beautifully and I was so excited to see where it would all go and how things would turn out but it just didn’t go as well as I had hoped. There wasn’t enough focus on the ancient history/myth for my taste and I wish we actually found out more about the past then just the brief mentions we got. All of this could have linked to something so full of awesomeness yet that wasn’t the case and that made me sad.

I felt like there was a lot of potential in the world building itself too but the fact that it wasn’t explored as much as possible didn’t bother me as much as the fact that the plot ended up not being as awesome as it could have been.

On top of that, I hated how some things wrapped up. As I mentioned before, I felt like the ending was too neat and that there were just some knots that could have been tied a whole lot better than they were.

With all my disappointment expressed, I have to say, this is definitely a book I’d recommend to anyone who just needs something to read. It’s fun and adventurous and while it’s far from perfect, you’ll still have a good time. I know I did.

Rating Report
Overall: 3.4
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Rashika is a mysterious creature who likes to hide in the shadows. It's impossible to get to know her but if you must know, she is a huge bookworm. She also happens to have a huge sweet tooth so you can always lure her over the dark side by offering her something sweet (or bribing her with books).


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  1. says

    Hmmm, I’m quite curious about this one and I’m glad to hear that the characters were not too perfect and the parental figures were present and not presented as just bad…

    Too bad about the ending being too tidy and too quickly, that’s always a disappointment.
    Fantastic review, Rashika!
    Pili recently posted…Tell Me Tuesdays #16!!My Profile

  2. says

    I just couldn’t get into this as much as I wanted. For some reason it read way differently than her adult books, yes younger which is understandable but, I don’t know. I just couldn’t ever get into the characters or story.
    Wonderful honest review like always Faye!!
    kindlemom1 recently posted…Review: Cinder by Marissa MeyerMy Profile

  3. says

    Oh I hadn’t heard of this one before Rashika! While I absolutely love the simplicity of the cover though i’m not so sure this one is for me. I don’t always need romance in my books but if it’s supposed to be present I need it present, you know? lol! I’m not a fan of instalove either and this one wreaks of it! Either way i’m glad you still had fun with this one :) Lovely review!
    Lily recently posted…Addicted After All (Addicted #3):ReviewMy Profile

  4. Laila BC says

    hmmm…this sounds interesting enough…i might give this book a chance although haven’t read anything by this author…thanks for this review :)

  5. says

    One of my main pet-peeves when it comes to books is when everything ends up nicely, tied up with a bow. It’s just not realistic, you know? :| But other than that, this does sound quite intriguing! I always love a fun, entertaining read that’s action-packed and fast paced, and this sounds like it does just that. Thanks for sharing Rashika and, as always, fabulous review! <3
    Zoe @ The Infinite To-Read Shelf recently posted…MargotMy Profile

  6. says

    Like you I enjoyed The Lost so much that I really wanted to read this one. I mean I still do, but I think I need to lower my expectations first. I’m really glad that it was fun, but at the same time I’m sad that the romance didn’t work out for you. It’s always a turn off. But well I think I can live with this one as it is. Hopefully I’ll get to read it soon. Great review, dear :)
    Tanja recently posted…Bookish Problems #13 – Negative Reviews and One Star RatingsMy Profile

  7. says

    RASHIKAAA!!! I missed you, sorry I’ve been so MIA, darn uni! *shakes fist*

    Ahem anyway! It sucks that this book started off so wonderfully but ended up on a downhill spiral the rest of the way. I get so disappointed when that happens, even more so than books that was meh the whole way through because you have such high expectations. But the parental figures aspect is such a major positive point! I love the fact that the main character is so loving and protective of her family, but agree that she should have shared what she’s doing with someone like her mum. I probably won’t be picking this one up, but wonderful review regardless xx
    Joy @ Thoughts By J recently posted…Book Review: Spark (Spark #1) by Rachael CrawMy Profile

  8. says

    I like reading books with super power-ish abilities like Kayla’s. They are always quite interesting and open up so many possibilities of how the story could develop. It’s a shame the romance was rushed though, because Kayla and Daniel sound like a fun couple. On the side note, I really really really like the cover art for this book, even though it appears to be kind of off-topic. Will definitely check this one out :) Thanks for the review Rashika!
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