Title: Ask Me
Author: Kimberly Pauley
Publisher: Soho Teen
Publication Date: 8 April 2014
Source: Review Copy
Synopsis from Goodreads
Ask Aria Morse anything, and she must answer with the truth. Yet she rarely understands the cryptic words she‘s compelled to utter. Blessed—or cursed—with the power of an Oracle who cannot decipher her own predictions, she does her best to avoid anyone and everyone.
But Aria can no longer hide when Jade, one of the few girls at school who ever showed her any kindness, disappears. Any time Aria overhears a question about Jade, she inadvertently reveals something new, a clue or hint as to why Jade vanished. But like stray pieces from different puzzles, her words never present a clear picture.
Then there’s Alex, damaged and dangerous, but the first person other than Jade to stand up for her. And Will, who offers a bond that seems impossible for a girl who’s always been alone. Both were involved with Jade. Aria may be the only one who can find out what happened, but the closer she gets to solving the crime, the more she becomes a target. Not everyone wants the truth to come out.
I don’t know whether you’ve noticed but there seem to be a few books out/coming out that feature an oracle (Greek Mythology) as the main character of the story. We’ve caught snippets of oracles in most of the YA fiction based in Greek Mythology so the chance to get to know one on a personal basis wasn’t something I could pass up
I’ve got to say from the onset that the ‘criminal’ was OBVIOUS, the clever way in which it was revealed provided an ‘ah ha’ moment lol. Saying it was obvious to me, doesn’t detract from the ingenious yet chilling portrayal of a sociopath – charismatic yet manipulative, self-absorped and with an utter lack of regret/guilt sent chills down my spine.
Told from Aria’s point of view, she inherited the ‘gift’ of prophecy as a direct descendant of the original Sybil she has to answer any question she hears; whether its directed at her or not. This, as you can imagine can lead to some very uncomfortable situations resulting in loss of friend and family. My heart-ached for Aria. Add in the fact that the prophecies rarely make sense and can cause her physical pain, you can empathise with her retreat from socializing and losing herself in music. The music lyrics, songs titles and artist at the chapter headings added to the plot while providing a deeper connection with Aria, you could listen to the song at the same time as Aria in the story.
Kimberly Pauley’s writing is beautifully descriptive adding depth to the imagery; I did, however, have a problem picturing Aria, her physical description was scattered throughout the narrative. I think I would have preferred the description earlier in order to connect with her further.
For all the bad Aria has encountered due to her ‘gift’ she retains her optimism. She is kind, considerate and empathetic while her trust issues create a barrier to making friends when they do break through they are guarenteed unquestioned loyalty and devotion
Ask Me is fast paced, a murder mystery wrapped in paranormal with a good dose of theology. Providing more insight into the role of an oracle Ask Me leaves you asking more