Being Jamie Baker by Kelly Oram
Source: Received from author in exchange for my honest review
Summary from Goodreads:
An accident that should end in tragedy instead gives seventeen-year-old Jamie Baker a slew of uncontrollable superhuman abilities. To keep her secret safe Jamie socially exiles herself, earning the title of Rocklin High’s resident ice queen. But during a supercharged encounter with star quarterback Ryan Miller she literally kisses anonymity goodbye. Now the annoyingly irresistible Ryan will stop at nothing to melt the heart of the ice queen and find out what makes her so special. Unfortunately, Ryan is not the only person on to her secret. Will Jamie learn to contain her unstable powers before being discovered by the media or turned into a government lab rat? More importantly, can she throw Ryan Miller off her trail before falling in love with him?
Review: With a comic book-like atmosphere, Being Jamie Baker is a fun super hero-esque read.
It was exciting to read about a girl with super powers plain and simple. Each discovery of her powers is new to her and the reader, so I liked not having expectations as to what would happen next.
The beginning hooked me, but the middle started to lose me. Jamie has a unique voice which is most evident in the opening chapters. Later, I felt like the middle got a bit bogged down with some repetitive events. More on that in a minute.
A major conflict of the novel is Jamie opening up to others and learning to trust herself. Ryan, Jamie’s love interest, is at the center of this conflict. Jamie constantly goes back and forth between being his friend and avoiding him for “his own good”. I admit that I found this very frustrating, even though I could sort of understand where she was coming from. I think the middle of the book would have been stronger if Jamie had picked one decisions and stuck with it.
The end picked up the pace once again. While the evil foe is obvious, the ending battle makes up for it. I think that Jamie could have handled a situation with another enemy a lot better than she did, but it will be interesting to see how she deals with it in the sequel, More than Jamie Baker.
Many pop culture references are in this novel. (I plan on having a discussion post on this topic soon.) These references felt a little dated. I found it out of place to be reading a book with super abilities only to have Smallville or Borders the bookstore mentioned.
The writing style is quite easy to read. However, I feel that more transitions are needed to make the story easier to follow along with.
One thing that didn’t sit quite right with me was a certain plot point I can’t discuss because of spoilers. Suffice it say I didn’t think it got the attention it demanded and was brushed off a little too casually.
The super hero feel of the book makes Being Jamie Baker a fun paranormal/urban fantasy read. I would recommend BJB to younger YA readers who are looking for a place to start reading the UF/PNR genre.