Dangerous Reflections by Shay West, e-book, 212 pages, first published in 2011, this edition published by Booktrope in 2014.
Alexis and her mum have been forced to move into her aunt’s guesthouse after her father left them penniless. Now Alex has to begin her freshman year of high school at a new school. Being new, her obsession with history and her old clothes already make her a target for bullies, but she also quickly manages to make an enemy of one of the most popular girls, Catelyn. To complicate her life even further, when Alex looks into the mirror, her reflection shifts to that of another. She finds herself traveling through the mirror into the past to prevent an evil time traveler from changing some important events.
This novel combines fantasy elements with the contemporary struggles of a high school student. For a lot of the story we are faced with Alex’s everyday issues, such as making new friends, having a crush, coping with how she feels about her dad leaving, school, all the things that consume the average teenager. Then Alex gets to travel through the mirror, becoming someone from the past and living as them as they avert a disaster that would alter the course of history.
I enjoyed the dips into history, they were well written and exciting. The time travel sections felt realistic and plausible, though perhaps not entirely historically accurate. I don’t know that Hernan Cortes had an older sister for instance. I’m also curious as to what happened to the people whose body Alex borrowed during these times. Since Alex’s body was cold and still during each trip, they probably didn’t take up residence there, so what happened to them? And what happened upon their return, would they remember what had happened in their absence? These trivial curiosities don’t affect the quality of the story, I’m just naturally inquisitive and like to think outside of the story.
Overall I liked Alex and her friends. However, Alex was a rather whiny and ungrateful character at times. Angry at her mum for selling all their stuff, and moving them to Grand Junction away from her friends, Alex shows little to no understanding of how hard it must be for her mother. Alex wants the right clothes, the latest fashion items and technology, and blames her mother for their lack of funds, which is quite unfair. Alex does grow through the story, and begins to understand her mother’s position a little better by the end. The trips through the mirror help her to mature and become more empathetic to those around her, but she is still a rather egotistical teenager, making her a pretty realistic character! I think teens will be able to relate to her, and to her friends. Why she would moon over that idiot Beau is beyond me though, he was obviously a self-absorbed prat!
An engaging read, Dangerous Reflections is suitable for upper primary school and high school students. This is the first book in The Adventures of Alexis Davenport trilogy, which is followed by Twisted Reflections and Desperate Reflections.
*I received this book as a digital copy from the author, who asked me for an honest review of this book. I did not receive any other remuneration, and the review is composed entirely of my own opinions.