Cassidy Jones and the Secret Formula (Elise Stokes)

Ah, teen drama. So very straightforward. There needs to be an outsider, a spurned love interest, a former enemy now ally with whom things are just beyond platonic. If the parents could be wonderful role models, that would be great. An annoying younger sibling, and your choice of distant but ultimately supportive older sister, or a twin!

I tease, of course, but not by much. There is a definite familiarity to stories such as Cassidy Jones and the Secret Formula (the first in what is sure to be a series).

We are introduced to Cassidy as an uninterested, not popular but has friends, typical 15 year-old high school girl. With all of the accompaniments listed above. Her father is a journalist, who brings Cassidy along to watch him interview a geneticist who has been making great advances with gene therapy.

There is an accident!

There are dark forces!

There is a mysterious fire at the lab, the scientist goes missing, her son arrives to be cared for by Cassidy’s family, and she wakes from the lab accident with super-speed, super-hearing, super-sight.

Will she prevail against the dark forces who want the gene therapy for nefarious purposes? What do you think?

I may be teasing about the story, but it is actually pretty good for the genre. Our heroine is a bit cliched, but her internal monologue shows some character, and the first-person narration is used to reasonable effect.

I think I picked this one up on a random book buying spree on Amazon. It was worth the few dollars. There is a website for the series, and the author is on twitter. I haven’t really looked to see whether it’s a normal thing for authors these days to embrace social media. So kudos to your Elise!

Elise Stokes has an Amazon page, where we learn that Ms Stokes is a former teacher-turned-full-time parent who draws on her experience with three teenage daughters provides an (and I’m quoting from her PR) “understanding of the challenges facing girls in that age range inspired her to create a series that will motivate young teens to value individualism, courage, integrity, and intelligence.” I applaud the sentiment, I honestly do. There aren’t enough female authors writing strong female characters that can be role-models for girls growing up in a world that tells them that they’re defined by their appearances.

The obligatory Amazon stuff: the Kindle edition is currently on sale.