Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Crossing the Barrier Review

Book: Crossing the Barrier

Author: Martine Lewis

Series: The Gray Eyes Series #1

Genre: YA romance, paranormal

Source: ebook, author (thank you, Martine!)

Pages: 380

Release: March 22nd, 2016

High school student Malakai Thomas, star wide receiver of the varsity team, collides with band member Lily Morgan on his way to football practice. As days go by, Malakai cannot get the petite clarinetist out of his head.

Lily Morgan can feel everyone's emotions. She loses her ability to shield herself against them the day Malakai runs into her. Now she must try to maintain her sanity in the emotional jungle that is high school, as well as deal with her growing feelings for Malakai.

Can Malakai get over the social stigma and his own internal struggle to be with Lily? Is Lily's secret too big to accept, even for him?

I have found a true gem of a story. This book is a complete breath of fresh air!

When Malakai Thomas accidentally rams right into Lily Morgan, he triggers an unknown event in Lily's life: taking away her ability to shield. Without her ability to block everyone else's emotions, Lily finds herself struggling to stay on her feet, overwhelmed by onslaught of emotions in her head from others. But as Lily and Malakai's feelings grow for one another,  they must find a way to triumph over social high school life their own individual secrets and demons...

Lily was a very human character, one easy to connect to and root for. She went through highs and lows like any normal person, and her ability as an empath created a sense of excitement and unpredictability to the plot. Right from the beginning of the book, we were introduced to Lily's strange ability to feel the emotions of others, and the importance of being able to shield herself from other people's emotions in order to function properly. And like any good book, the first thing that happens is that she loses this ability, thrusting her into a life no longer under her control. And if her situation wasn't bad enough, Lily was also forced to deal with her emotionally abusive mother, Beatrice, who was constantly trying to get rid of Lily by pressuring her to marry a young man of Beatrice's choosing in order to salvage her own supposedly tarnished reputation. The author perfectly captured the struggles Lily had, unable to protect herself from the pure hatred emitting from Beatrice's mind, as well as the less-than-favourable emotions from some of her classmates. But what also came with her heightened emotion reading also came a beautiful romance between herself and Malakai, and that really stole the show. She could feel Malakai's emotions towards her, which fuelled her own.

In the beginning, I was wary of Malakai since he was described as a star football player, but was relieved to see he was nothing like the stereotypical thick-headed football player characters I always read about. Though there were no cheerleaders, there still were preps, and with them, some downright nasty people who were the ones stereotyping everyone else. Malakai was quick to show that he, and the rest of the school, were not to be stereotyped at all; everyone was their own individual person, simply sharing passions like sports or music. Malakai really challenged these supposed notions, refusing to be used or paired up according to student social expectations. His actions really proved that he could tell good friends from bad friends, and went to lengths to avoid those people and be with whoever he wanted to. What had to be the best trait about Malakai was his fierce desire to be there for Lily for any and all occasions and support her. And with a backstory like his, with his absent parents, it's only natural Malakai would gravitate towards wanting to always be there for Lily. It complemented the plot and Malakai's character perfectly, making him a great character to read about, and so easy to fall in love with. He's the type of guy every girl dreams of scoring, myself included!

The writing was very strong: lush, flowing, and easy to follow. I enjoyed all the side characters like David and Sandra, and their roles in the plot both for essential and supportive roles. There was a great blend of peer/student support and adult support, along with social rules and legal rules. It's a contemporary love story with a twist to keep things interesting and unique, and with that ending, will leave you both satisfied and intrigued for the next one. I can't wait to get my hands on the next one!


  1. Thank you Erika! :) I'm glad you enjoyed.

    1. If anything, I should be thanking you for giving me the chance to read such a great story! :)

  2. This sounds really good! I haven't heard of it before, but I'm going to add it on Goodreads now. :D

    1. It's really good! I completely recommend it!

  3. Ooh I like the sound of this!

    1. It's a great novel! I hope you'll get around to reading it one day :)

  4. I'm really glad you enjoyed this! I've been in the mood for some paranormal YA these last few weeks :)
    Poor Lily, her mom sounds really awful!
    Haha and I usually don't like your typical football player that you find in books either, but Malakai seems very nice and supportive :)

    Lipstick and Mocha

    1. I'm not really for the stereotypical football player characters, but Malakai was far from it, which was really nice!